My new favorite design style is chinoiserie.  So what is chinoiserie? It become popular in the 18th century, it was the European interruption of the Chinese style.  The style is characterized by vibrant colors, exuberant decor, lush fabrics, luxurious design, lacquered furnishings.  The term chinoiserie comes from the French term chinois which means “Chinese”.  In the 17th century, Europe began trading very heavily with China and other East Asia countries. Europeans become captivated by the culture of Asia and started to mimic the style in their own homes.   
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So what are some of the elements of the design?

Scenic Wallpaper 

As wallpaper become more popular in Europe, many homes began to use natural Asian scenes.  The designs were often handmade and very costly.  Today, many wallpaper companies try to copy the style of these original wallpapers and murals.

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Foo Dogs

Foo Dogs date back thousands of years to Imperial China.  Despite their name, these figurines were meant to resemble lions.  They would be placed outside homes to stand guard.  Foo dogs were meant to be displayed in pairs, a man and women.  This was to represent yin and yang.

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Is it a surprise that bamboo is used as a design element of Chinoiserie.  Bamboo is one of the most common natural materials in Asia.  This material is used in furniture, mirrors, artwork, and home decor.  Many times the bamboo is painted in a vibrant accent color.  

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Pagodas is a common image that is associated with chinoiserie.  Although thought to be Asian architecture, the design elements actually originated from India.  The architectural style migrated to Asia with the spread of Buddhism.

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Blue and White Willow

Ceramics are definitely statement pieces for Chinoiserie.  Many of the jars depict Chinese landscapes.  Initially ginger jars were used just for transporting spices.  Later, they were used as decor items through the home.
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Vibrant Colors

Any and all colors are acceptable in the style Chinoiserie. The colorful atmosphere adds to the elegance of the style.

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