Chinoiserie, derives from the French word “chinois” or “Chinese”, and is the European interpretation of Chinese and East Asian style. It first became very popular in the 18th century as trade between Asian countries and Europe grew. Having a piece in this “new” and “exotic” style showed your friends you were very wealthy.
Chinoiserie, in its classical sense is VERY ornate. It’s visual interest overload to the eyeballs. This style is very bold and filled with its fair share of color, pattern play, and curvy lines and details.
I’m in love with all things chinoiserie. This should come as no surprise since I’m a fan of color, whimsy decor and the maximalist concept of “more is more”. And it seems I’m not alone in this love affair as a new generation of fans like myself are decorating their homes with this style; albeit with a more modern vibe.
The modern style represents a “toned down” chinoiserie. While there’s still a lot of color and pattern play going on, you also see this juxtaposed to modern furnishings and a more simple aesthetic.
Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite modern chinoiserie items to give you a purview into this lovely Asian influenced decor. I must warn you that chinoiserie ain’t cheap, my friend. You’ll need to come prepared to fall in love and spend some cash on these gorgeous motifs.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Nothing says “look at me” more than a bold chinoiserie wallpaper. It is truly the statement piece in a room. Some of the most classic chinoiserie textile companies include Fromental and deGournay. These luxurious wall coverings are often hand painted on silk and custom made to your wall specifications. Its like having artwork adorn your walls! The estimated cost is about $1,000 per panel. Yep, you read that correctly.
Below are some of my favorites that wont cost you a year’s worth of salary to purchase, mixed in with a couple of highbrow ones.
my top picks: chinoiserie wallpaper
Anthropologie Artemis Wallpaper-$298 | 2. Etsy Handpainted Silk Wallpaper-$360 | 3. Wayfair Mandarin Wallpaper-$1.14 per sq ft | 4. Fromental Ochre-pricing available upon request | 5. Sand Blossom Wallpaper-$12 per sq ft | 6. Etsy Handpainted Silk Wallpaper-$400 | 7. Anthropologie Havenview Mural-$228 | 8. Fromental Carp & Moon-pricing available upon request
If wallpaper isn’t your thing because of the cost, another avenue to incorporate the modern chinoiserie look is through art and accessories. A little goes a long way here. You want to include a few pieces as an accent, to avoid overpowering the style of the room.
my top picks: chinoiserie art & accessories
One Kings Lane Pagoda Mirror-$154.99 | 2. Chairish Bird on Silk Painting-$295 | 3. The Enchanted Home Foo Dogs-$105 | 4. The Enchanted Home Framed Mural-$785 | 5. Wisteria Pagoda Mirror-$551.97 | 6. Anthropologie Gilded Avery Tieback-$38 | 7. Wayfair In Bloom Painting-$269 | 8. The Enchanted Home Monkey Cart-$260
Next up, textiles. Rugs and pillows are a great way to add in color and pattern. When aiming for a subtle look, stick with a cohesive color palette, as seen in the picture above with the classic blue & white scheme.
my top picks: chinoiserie textiles
Etsy Pagoda Pillow-from $68 | 2. CB2 Chinoiserie Rug-$999 | 3. Chairish Blue & White Pagoda Pillow-$399/set | 4. One Kings Lane Ada Rug-$3,249.50 | 5. Etsy Chenonceau Pillow-from $50 | 6. Loloi Indigo Rug-pricing available upon request | 7. World Market Amber Pillow-$39.99 | 8. Lulu & Georgia Marceline Rug-$2,300
There are so many wonderful modern style chinoiserie lighting options available. A foo dog as a lamp base allows you to showcase your personality and add a bit of whimsy to your decor.
my top picks: chinoiserie lighting
Anthropologie Garden Lamp Shade-from $78 | 2. Anthropologie Judarn Lamp Shade-from $78 | 3. Catlin Wilson Blue & White Lamp-$375 | 4. Horchow John Richards Blue Dogwood Lamp-$1,300 | 5. Wayfair Charlton Elem Lamp-$77.99 | 6. Cole & Company Pagoda Lamp-$2,950 | 7. Dana Gibson Bamboo Lamp-$495 | 8. Wayfair Foo Dog Lamps-115.99/set
Chinoiserie ceramics range from ginger jars, decorative plates, vases/planter bowls and canisters. The most celebrated of them are the blue and white pieces. These ceramics are the most recognizable decor of the chinoiserie style.
As you know, ginger jars are my obsession and adding them into a vignette is absolutely necessary. To keep a clean and modern look; always place the ceramics in a grouping for display.
My top picks: chinoiserie ceramics
The Enchanted Home Pink Chinoiserie Jar-$115 | 2. The Enchanted Home Chunky Character Jar-$160 | 3. The Enchanted Home Lemon Topiary-$230 | 4. Chairish Chinese Rose Umbrella Stand-$300 | 5. Chairish Chinese Botanical Bowl-$130 | 6. The Enchanted Home Chinoiserie Garden Seat-$145 | 7. CB2 Chelsea Dinner Plate-$19.95 | 8. Williams Sonoma Lunar New Year Rice Bowls-$39.95/set of 4
Don’t you just love this new and improved chinoiserie style? None of the pieces scream, “I’m important” and would compliment both classic and modern homes.
I hope this list is helpful for those who love this style but is hesitate on ways to incorporate the look in their home. There’s a plethora of chinoiserie to fit all budgets.
So tell me, have you incorporated a modern chinoiserie style in your home?