Although Chinoiserie style refers to Asia, and China, more specifically, the name “Chinois” is the French term for decor that incorporates Asian accents and designs. However, it was the English who first popularized the style by incorporating motifs with Asian scenes (or what they thought looked Asian) onto porcelain ware. Here’s a quick how-to on some of the most key elements in Chinoiserie style.
BOLD AND DYNAMIC
While Chinese style has its own appeal, Chinoiserie is decidedly more flamboyant and dramatic. In other words, it’s Chinese style with a touch of Vegas thrown in. Rather than simple bamboo chairs surrounding a dining table, the chairs are painted a bold, brilliant, high-gloss fuchsia.
Color is a prominent feature in Chinoiserie, never taking a backseat to accessories or architecture. And sometimes, color is what’s missing, but what stands out most. White porcelain dragons, ginger jars, garden stools, or white furniture all make a strong impression when incorporated in Chinoiserie styling.
TAKE IT TO THE WALL
Another prominent feature in Chinoiserie is emphasis on the wall treatments. Whether with color, big bold designs, or wallpaper, Chinoiserie-accented walls make a statement that’s daring and luxurious. Often, they’ll feature a raised relief, or a design in the paper that incorporates natural elements such as leaves, branches, or animals. Motifs often include birds, deemed auspicious and harbingers of good news in Chinese culture.
If you’d like to impart that oh-so-stylish Chinoiserie look in your home, it helps to know how to make the most impact. Without doubt, color leads the way. Look for unique colors like deep teal, dark fuchsia, robin’s egg blue, or lime green — and don’t be shy about using them!
by Xiao Xiao firstname.lastname@example.org
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