Has everyday living begun to lose its magic? Are you ready for a change? Have you ever dreamed of taking an extended vacation on a tropical isle? Before you pack your bags and book those tickets to Bali, you may want to consider a less drastic (and less expensive) option. Perhaps all you really need is a change of scenery.
In fact, you may not even need to step outside your own home! Perhaps the solution is right at your fingertips. All you may need to do is take down those old curtains and replace them with the natural, tropical beauty of bamboo blinds.
Bamboo blinds have been a fixture in traditional Oriental homes for centuries. In the West, they have come into fashion as window treatments. In the East, bamboo blinds have not only been used as window shades but also as room dividers or partitions. These are hung like wooden waterfalls, marking the border between one room and another. They also hang from doorways in place of solid wooden doors. Bamboo evokes images of delicate stalks waving gracefully in exotic locations throughout the Orient. The mystique deepens as one discovers the symbolism associated with bamboo in different parts of Southeast Asia.
In India, the bamboo is regarded as a symbol of friendship. Its durability represents eternity, tradition and longevity in Vietnam. In China, its pliancy, tensile strength, evergreen properties and swift pace of growth are associated with youth and longevity, suppleness and flexibility, strength and endurance, and luck as well as quick achievement. It also symbolizes luck in Thailand. The Japanese view bamboo in an entirely different light. It is used as a barrier against evil spirits in this Land of the Rising Sun. Bamboo is an intrinsic part of the creation myth in Philippine folklore. According to Philippine oral tradition, the first man and woman emerged from a bamboo pole that had been split by a Philippine bird after a grand battle between the elemental forces of the Sky and the Ocean. Malaysian legends tell of a similar tale in which a man sleeping under a bamboo plant dreams of a beautiful woman and, upon awakening, finds her when he breaks open the bamboo stem.
Recently, the magic of bamboo has extended its influence from the realm of mythology to the arena of history. It was chosen as a symbol of peace and unity by two warring factions in the Islamic region of Mindanao in the Philippines. Who knew such magic existed within the slender reeds of bamboo blinds. Bamboo blinds not only link us to the past but also connect us to the future. Multi-award-winning architect Michael McDonough has been passionately promoting bamboo as the design solution for the next century. Far from being a relic of ancient history, bamboo is showing signs of becoming the hottest design material of the future. As a matter of fact, it has sparked growing interest within the hardwood industry. Bamboo flooring is an alternative favored by designers today. Bamboo is also turning up in furniture, basketry, and even bedding! Unlike other trends that come and go, bamboo holds the potential for becoming a classic because of its sustainability and environment-friendly nature. Bamboo blinds blend right in with the current focus on bamboo housing materials. Their magic, like the bamboo itself, is eternal.