If you’ve been paying attention at all to the design world, I’m sure you’ve noticed that chinoiserie has been popping up everywhere. Even if you don’t know what chinoiserie means, we bet you’ll have seen this style all over the place. Today, Ellecor is going to explain what chinoiserie is and highlight a few of our favorite ways to use it.
What is Chinoiserie?
Chinoiserie is the European imitation or interpretation of an Asian—and more specifically—a Chinese design aesthetic that was seen through the media of fine art, interior design, architecture, music, and other art forms. For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to focus on chinoiserie within the interior design world.
The History of Chinoiserie
Chinoiserie emerged in Europe in the late 17th century and was a prevalent design aesthetic throughout the 18th century. During that time, Europeans had developed a fascination with China, and there was a demand for Chinese goods, specifically porcelain and other decorative arts.
In an effort to capitalize on this demand, European manufacturers began to produce goods that mimicked Chinese design. Chinese motifs, like bamboo, pagodas, florals, and dragons, became popular elements within the decorative arts being produced at the time.
However, the designs were not an exact copy of Chinese ones, rather they were tailored to the taste of wealthy Europeans. By the end of the 19th century, chinoiserie fell out of fashion. In the last few years, this aesthetic has re-emerged as a popular design trend. Specifically, it has reappeared as part of the larger design movement of grandmillennial, which is defined by its use of patterns, maximalism, embellishments, and mixed textures.
Related post: Everything to Know About DIY Vintage Furniture Repair
Examples of Chinoiserie
If you were to flip through an interior design magazine, examples of chinoiserie would abound. We’re listing a few of our favorite ways to incorporate this trend into your home.
Our absolute favorite use of chinoiserie is within wallpaper design. Chinoiserie wallpaper is defined by its use of flora, birds, romantic colors, and a whimsical feel. Chinoiserie wallpaper has a timeless quality to it. It won’t feel dated or off-trend anytime soon, so it’s a great investment.
We also love furniture that takes inspiration from chinoiserie. For example, tables and chairs that incorporate faux bamboo and black lacquered pieces with gold accents.
Blue and White Ceramics
You might not be aware, but the blue and white ceramic wares that have been making a comeback also fall under the design aesthetic of chinoiserie. Blue willow tableware, which seems like such an American classic, is actually derivative of chinoiserie. These days you can find blue and white ceramics at just about every popular home goods retailer.
Looking for Design Inspiration?
Here at Ellecor, we’re always happy to help! Stop by our showroom to shop for custom furniture options or schedule a consultation. No matter the size of the project, we’re ready to create something beautiful. Contact us or give us a call today!