Tag Archives: chinoiserie

Design Definitions: Chinoiserie

We’ve been hearing about and seeing a lot of ‘chinoiserie’ out in the design world lately but, while the word conjured up images of hand-painted paper, we didn’t know exactly what it meant.  The word “chinoiserie” is French for “Chinese-esque” and refers to the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century.  It can refer to furniture and decor, but in this post we thought we’d round up chinoiserie wall treatments.

Chinoiserie wallpaper is indisputably fancy, and most of the examples we found were in very posh rooms – we only found a few examples of it used in more modern spaces.  In this bedroom the slab headboard is a nice and weighty contrast to the willowy vines, while the all white bedding lets the wallpaper be the star.

This room has some particularly modern elements — most notably the Serge Mouille ceiling lamp — and the chinoiserie wallpaper adds the perfect organic element and gives the room a feeling of lived-in layers.

from Domino magazine

This verdant wallpaper beckons from the hall.

The yellow flowers on the purple-grey background of this version make it one of our favorites.  And you just know that cup of tea is perfectly steeped.

Pretty unusual to find chinoiserie in a kids room.  We’re not totally sold–do you think it works here?

chinoiserie close upThe hallmark of chinoiserie wall treatments (including wallpaper) is that it is hand-painted. Here’s an action shot.

treasure hunt 2A more affordable way to get the look is to use chinoiserie wallpaper panels and frame them in plexiglass like our favorite blogger and muse Jenny Komenda did here.

This room unabashedly embraces chinoiserie everything. The carp are a little creepy, but in a good way.

Anthropologie has its own interpretation, but if they hadn’t named it chinoiserie we’re not sure we would have recognized it. While it contains the standard elements of birds and flowers, the colors are much more vibrant and it feels overly tropical to us.

Have a great week everyone! We’ll be back on Wednesday with a report on our Eugene weekend together–we thrifted up a storm!