Design 101 Interior Decorating

Chinoiserie: Global Sophistication

I’m in love with Chinoiserie! It is one of my favorite classic decorative styles. The word Chinoiserie is borrowed from the French word chinois, meaning Chinese. It’s the European interpretation of Asian artistic traditions or styles in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, and culture. This style of décor is exuberant and will add global sophistication to any interior space.

It is closely associated with the Rococo style. It’s characterized by exuberant ornamentation, asymmetry, and conforms to subject matter that focuses on leisure and pleasure. Its distinctive nature offers stylized subject matter that Europeans thought was typical of Chinese culture. Various motifs, such as, foo dogs, dragons, pagodas, human figures, wildlife, and landscapes, were the images that graced this age-old style. The most popular materials used to create these fabulous interior fashions were wood with lacquer finishes and bamboo. These pieces were embellished with hand-painted scenes, intricate fretwork, carvings, and inlaid details.

Chinoiserie first appeared in 17th-century wall coverings. It became very popular in the 18th century due to the rise in trade with China and East Asia. Tradesmen who traveled to the East were introduced to various types of art, which included architecture, interior design, ceramic art, textiles, and fine art painting. It was also a favorite style of monarchs such as Louis XV of France and 18th-century British furniture maker Thomas Chippendale.

In today’s interior spaces, Chinoiserie brings an understated elegance to virtually any design style. Click here to view more chinoiserie inspirations.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

My favorite chinoiserie design is the blue and white concept. Check out my favorites from around the web.

About Author

Shandra Ward is the and CEO/Principal Designer for Signature Designs Interiors + Events + Custom Decor. She is also the Editor of Signature Living-Design & Lifestyle blog. This native Houstonian is a skilled design professional with an exceptional eye for detail. Inspired by her father, who is an engineer, her mother, who was extremely crafty, and her Grandmother, who was very stylish, she knew she wanted to be a designer of all things beautiful.

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