Monday, March 4, 2013

Wanderlust Week: Design 101: Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie. A French term meaning  "Chinese-esque". You pronounce it sort of like: "Sheen-waz-er-ee".
I would recommend that you could just sort of say it as you are coughing in your hand.

It has been popular throughout Europe since the 17th Century, depicting ornate, overly- fanciful,  Chinese imagery imitating Chinese porcelain themes and patterns in laquer, silk, accessories, furniture design and wall paper.

{Various European monarchs, such as Louis XV of France, gave special favor to Chinoiserie, as it blended well with the rococo style. Entire rooms, such as those at Château de Chantilly, were painted with Chinoiserie compositions, and artists such as Antoine Watteau and others brought expert craftsmanship to the style. Pleasure pavilions in "Chinese taste" appeared in late Baroque and Rococo German and Russian palaces, and in tile panels at Aranjuez near Madrid. Entire Chinese Villages were built in DrottningholmSweden and Tsarskoe Selo, (Catherine the Great's country residence) in RussiaThomas Chippendale's mahogany tea tables and china cabinets, especially, were embellished with fretwork glazing and railings, ca 1753 - 70, but not every adaptation of Chinese design principles falls within mainstream "chinoiserie". Chinoiserie media included "japanned" ware imitations of lacquer and painted tin (tôle) ware that imitated japanning, early painted wallpapers in sheets, after engravings by Jean-Baptiste Pillement, and ceramic figurines and table ornaments.}

With the HUGE come back of all things FLORAL and EXOTIC in both fashion and interiors, you'll be seeing Chinoiserie all over the place... but the question you see it in your place? 
Take a look at these classic uses and scroll down to see some of my suggestions...

de Gourney
Children's Room by Martensen Jones Interiors
Aerin Lauder's dressing room
Lightened up Chinoiserie Dining Room via House Beautiful

Lovely office space with Chinoiserie wall paper, silk curtains, Chinoiserie  style desk
in a clean  gray and white palette.
Chinoiserie Unexpected Colors
Cheery Chinoiserie 
Chinoiserie Unexpected Colors
Blue and white porcelain against a mint Chinoiserie background with shells, coral,
palms along with the natural seagrass basket creates a lighter Seaside Chinoiserie look.

So, it's overall a pretty formal look, but it doesn't have to be.  Here are some of my Chinoiserie picks to bring this look into your home with modern appeal:
Serena and Lily Asian inspired shelf table.

Pixie Dust Pagoda Fabrics

joss and main invitation curators sale
Simplified Bee's Indochine Collection at Joss and Main

Frame a piece of Chinoiserie Fabric or Wallpaper...gorgeous as artwork
Turquoise Dragon Pot
Turquoise Dragon Pot from Wisteria
Elsie Bookcase
I  would love to line a bookshelf like this white one, with this green wall paper!! 

Bolton Lantern
Pottery Barn Bronze "Bolton" Lantern 
Are you an all-out Chinoiserie dining room sort of gal?
A love it in small doses gal?
Or "now you know" that you don't like Chinoiserie cherie?

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  1. ooohhh this is not what i want to see after just painting over a chinoiserie boxed dresser!! when i was first married, i was in love with this style but my loved grew cold. but back then it was more of a dark look. i am loving the more airy feel to these. i will have to give some of my pieces, {which i still have because i keep everything} a new life with softer hues!!

    1. HA! I KNOW, it sort of used to be dark and Dull...I have a dark Chinoi dresser that I've been thinking about painting white for years and just haven't gotten to it yet...I'm thinking of painting it bright emerald or porcelain blue now and free styling some's certainly a bold look but like you, I do love the more cheerful, airy colors that are showing up these days. Fun to see how people interpret it. Thanks for stopping in and for the comment. XXXOOO!

  2. Wonderful post! very informative. Little Bit from

    1. Thank you for stopping over. So glad you liked the post! I'll pop over to see you at Little Bit!!! So glad to meet you! XXXOOO!