Home Decor and Design from Asian-Owned Brands 2021

Lisa D. Small

Brooklyn-based Virginia Sin makes ceramic candlestick holders and fruit bowls (that you’ll find below).
Photo: Retailer

One way to shop more consciously, as we’ve written before, is to patronize businesses owned by members of underrepresented communities. Those who’ve read our (ever-growing) guide to AAPI-owned businesses or contributor SuChin Pak’s lists of products and gifts she loves from AAPI-owned brands have probably noticed a good chunk of the companies mentioned focus on décor for the home. To give you an even better idea of what those businesses have to offer, we combed through their inventory to find pieces to zhuzh up every inch of a home, from fruit bowls for the kitchen to alarm clocks for the bedroom to magazine racks for the living room (or bathroom). We’ve also put together a separate list of wall art from Asian and Asian American artists, for anyone looking to gussy up their vertical space. Like our list of AAPI-owned businesses and gifts, this one is always growing, so we’ll be updating it with more home décor as we uncover it.

The Sill Pilea Peperomioides with Planter

Hudson Wilder Aita Smoke Base Short Glass

Hudson Wilder founder Conway Liao says his brand focuses on reinterpreting classic styles of dishware and drinking glasses, like this smokey handblown glass that can be used for wine or water.

Poketo Bamboo Dinner Plate in Waves (Set of 4)

Husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung founded Poketo, a lifestyle brand and boutique, in 2003. Based in Los Angeles, it stocks stationery — including planners that are beloved by teachers and productivity experts alike — and lots of stuff for the home, from stylish organizers to vases and planters to tableware, like this set of four bamboo plates in sunny stripes.

Wing On Wo and Co. Silk Lantern

Wing On Wo & Co. is New York Chinatown’s oldest continually operating store and is primarily known for its ceramics. Still, there are lots of other items to choose from, like this silk lantern that would make any room feel a bit more ethereal.

SIN Small Fruit Bowl

We — and Pak — love the Brutalist, coiled ceramic creations from Brooklyn-based designer Virginia Sin. Filled with lemons and limes, this fruit bowl would make any kitchen counter or table look way more sophisticated.

Chen Chen & Kai Williams Leg Bowl

This cheekier Leg Bowl would be just as head-turning whether empty or filled. It comes from design duo Chen Chen and Kai Williams, who are best known, perhaps, for the popular stacking planter they created for Areaware. The ceramic conversation-starter even comes with tiny Mary Janes.

Pearl River Mart Bamboo Design Tea Set

You can find just about anything at New York City institution Pearl River Mart. This ceramic tea set includes a bamboo-handled teapot and four tea cups for less than $20.

The Qi Bloom Glass Teapot

For something a bit more whimsical, here’s a delightful glass teapot designed by Sophie Lou Jacobsen (one of the Strategist’s favorite handblown-glass designers) for the Qi, a tea and wellness brand started by Lisa Li.

Society Social Hampton Cane Frame in Turquoise

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Pak is also a fan of the frames from Society Social, a home-goods brand founded by Roxy Te that is inspired by her North Carolina and Filipino roots. “Everyone oohs and aahs over them,” promises Pak.

Pat Kim Moire 3 - Monoprint - Viridian Art Print

Designer Pat Kim works mostly in sculpture, objects, and furniture. But she also creates wood-block prints that are a bit more affordable and no less unique, like this abstract piece that comes signed by the artist.

Ilha Amber & Moss Candle

Photo: Retailer

Ilha candles are poured and made by hand with cotton wicks, natural soy wax, and toxin-free fragrances. This particular scent, according to the brand, is ”earthy, woody, with a touch of musk,” but there are a lot more to choose from.

Light + Ladder Vorta Candlestick + Incense Holder

If candlesticks or incense are more your speed, you might prefer this two-in-one, concrete-and-brass incense burner and candle holder from Light and Ladder.

Riki Watanabe for Lemnos Riki Alarm Clock - Wood

Nalata Nalata is a lovely shop on a tiny side street in the East Village (fittingly called Extra Place), where husband-and-wife duo Stevenson Aung and Angelique Chmielewski curate a selection of minimalist, Japanese design objects. While it looks pleasingly analog, this wooden alarm clock by industrial designer Riki Watanabe has a built-in snooze button for late sleepers.

Sam Lee Mini Vase 2- Matte White Speck

Pak also alerted us to San Francisco–based potter and illustrator Sam Lee, whose rustic creations feel very of the moment. This mini vase is 3.5 inches tall, 5.5 inches wide, and just waiting for a bud or two.

Sun at Six Rise Bookstand

Brooklyn-based design studio Sun at Six is run by a mother-and-son duo who create furniture using classical Chinese joinery, a technique that allows their pieces to fit together like puzzles. For instance, this floating stand — just waiting to be filled with magazines or books — is handcrafted from solid white oak without nails or screws.

Sabai The Essential Ottoman

If you’re looking for furniture to sit on, you should check out the couches and smaller pieces from Sabai, a company founded by Phantila Phataraprasit and Cailtin Ellen that focuses on quality, sustainability, and durability. The Essential Ottoman is one of its less-expensive and more versatile pieces, because it can be used as extra seating or as a coffee table. You can choose from one of eight recycled or upcycled fabrics for the upholstery and two colors for its wooden legs.

Neri&Hu NH Wall Sconce

Those looking for a less-expected way to brighten their homes should check out the expert-approved wall sconces from Shanghai-based studio Neri&Hu. While the piece is rather intricate — the blown-glass globe hangs from a brushed-brass ring that’s suspended from a black metal base — installation is a breeze because you just have to plug it in.

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