According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary Chinoiserie (shēn-ˈwäz-rē), is, ” the fanciful interpretation of Chinese style in the designs of interiors, furniture, pottery, textiles and gardens.”
Chinoiserie became popular in France and other areas of Europe in the 17th century. It is an Oriental design given a French aesthetic and it is wonderful.
I have a fascination with this style. It is colorful, whimsical, and beautiful. I love the combination of Chinese and French. Louis XIV build the Trianon de Porcelaine at Versailles in a Chinese style that only the king of France can do and the rest is history.
Fabrics and wallcoverings in the Chinoiserie style
Chinois Exotique from Scalamandre is happy, colorful and whimsical.
Chiang Mai Dragon from F Schumacher combines the strong Chinese dragon with an array of flowers,
China Rose from Scalamandre is a perfect Chinoiserie pattern.
South Seas from Thibaut brings a bright, updated look.
Palais Chinois from Osborne & Little works wonderfully in a clean, crisp modern setting.
Scalamandre Chinoiserie toile pattern on dinnerware from Lenox
Blue and white pottery is a prominent and beautiful element in Chinoiserie.
An ornate mirror on flowing floral wallpaper with a crystal chandelier brings Chinese design and French aesthetic together.
A design by Mary McDonald includes these delicate Chinoiserie figures,
This beautiful vignette shows off the Chinoiserie style.
My renewed interest in this wonderful Chinese/French style is my inspiration for a design project. This spring I will once again design a tablescape for the Friends of St Louis Children’s Hospital annual fund raiser. I am going to use Thibaut’s South Seas fabric for the table skirt and the Let Them Eat Cake vase I found at Anthropologie for a floral arrangement. I can hardly wait to design my table. There will be updates to come.