An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
As the moon’s cycle begins afresh and the quiet of winter is superseded by the first whispers of spring, families and communities across Asia and around the world mark the start of the Lunar New Year.
The 15-day festivities focus on casting negative energy from the home to make space for the positive. Accompanying the emphasis on colors, cleanliness, symbolism, and ornamentation is the added benefit of beautifying properties in ways that are both practical and breathtaking.
So whether you’re of Asian heritage or respectfully learning and seeking inspiration from friends and neighbors, here are five ways to commence the Lunar New Year the right way—along with incredible residences to show you how it’s done.
The Lunar New Year always occurs sometime between January 21 and February 20. However, its theme of renewal means this holiday is also known as the Spring Festival, and this optimistic mood carries through to its aesthetics.
This is a time for lightness—not just in terms of hue, but also the bulk and heft of materials. Take a queue from this airy waterfront villa on Singapore’s spectacular Sentosa Island. Diaphanous drapes and linens lend a vernal radiance to the space, in lieu or darker, denser, or more formal fabrics.
Whether redecorating living rooms, dining rooms, or bedrooms, consider using throws, blankets, accents, and accessories to bring light in every sense of the word—light in color, texture, and spirit.
A thorough cleaning is customary in the week leading to the eve of the Lunar New Year, as it invites prosperity into the home and expels any lingering bad luck. But once the festivities begin, any further tidying is considered taboo—as if you’re dusting your good fortune out the door—and only becomes acceptable again on the new year’s fifth day.
Streamlined spaces and sleek, tasteful storage are design-forward solutions that complement the new year aesthetic while providing perennial utility. This glamorous Manhattan condo, located in the unparalleled Osborne building across the street from Carnegie Hall and Billionaires’ Row, demonstrates how to imbue a space with both flair and function—and does so against a stunning chinoiserie backdrop hand-painted in gold and black lacquer.
Gold is one of the colors associated with the Spring Festival, and is believed to bring good luck. Red is equally iconic, with exuberant shades of scarlet signifying bounteous fortune and boundless joy, and is seen everywhere from the paper lanterns that illuminate entryways to the lai see envelopes given to friends and family.
To commemorate this time of year through interior decor, prominent red and gold accents can be added to a room in the form of rugs, pillows, or cushions. Red lampshades can be a novel way to create a warm, energetic ambience that pays homage to the fireworks displays that herald the Lunar New Year.
The library and sitting room in this premier triplex penthouse on Park Avenue showcase how luxe and sophisticated this look can be. And because gold and red go together so well, it’s a palette that endures even when the parties conclude.
The main event of the Lunar New Year is the gathering of friends and relatives to share greetings, blessings, stories, and feasts—so it’s essential to design and decorate spaces to accommodate everyone. This is a key principle in feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of allowing currents of energy to slow through living spaces.
It’s crucial to provide more than enough seating for all guests, and to curate it to facilitate conversation and exchange. It’s an ethos perfectly encapsulated by this elegant estate in Rancho Santa Fe, which also adheres to the feng shui practices of balancing the five elements of fire, water, earth, metal, and wood by mixing distinct yet complementary colors and materials.
At dinnertime, motifs of gold and red recur in dishes and charger plates, placemats and napkins. Opulent ornamentation contributes to an overall sense of prosperity and fortune in the home; therefore, it’s important to be intentional about the location and significance of objects and decorations.
In Toronto, such attention to detail is readily apparent in this regal mansion, which has been meticulously gilded in 24-carat gold leaf by some of the world’s finest artisans. It’s also considered good luck to display the year’s zodiac animal—so in 2024, having a few dragon accents will help to guarantee a great year ahead.
Perhaps the reason why the traditions of the Spring Festival resonate so universally is because ushering in the best possible new year starts at home. By organizing and adorning your living space to spark joy, and through reuniting with the people who matter most, you set the foundation for continued serenity, serendipity, and success.
While the Lunar New Year begins and ends, the joy only family can bring exists in perpetuity. Discover how to luxuriously accommodate multigenerational living year-round.