French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

Today’s post is about Chinoiserie decor and how to add it to your home.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may be thinking, uhh, what’s this have to do with your Euro-centric decorating style? Well, let me explain.  First, what is Chinoiserie? It is a French word that means “in the Chinese style”.  It is a European style of decorating that reached its height of popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries.  It was made extremely popular by Louis XIV and his Petit Trianon.This post may contain affiliate links. 

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Pure Louis XV style with Chinoiserie decor. Chateau de Haroue in France , photo from the Vendome Press
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That’s why when decorating with French design in mind, using Chinoiserie is totally acceptable!  A lot of it is from France!  One of the prominent artists was Jean-Baptiste Pillement.  He is the artist that is most widely known for popularizing Chinoiserie and is also known for French Rococo.  He designed for many of the royal courts of Europe.

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Jean Baptiste Pillement’s chinoiserie panel

Most people do not know that Chinoiserie is not from China!  Most of the works that the artists created were influenced by original Chinese works and then stylized with a whimsical European spirit!  This significantly cheaper than importing the real deal!  Owning a piece of Chinoiserie made you the ultimate style icon.  That’s one reason why the Chinoiserie style is so versatile – it’s a mix of real and fake!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Louis XIV marquetry chest with chinoiserie silk wall paper

There are ways to add some Chinoiserie style into your home, French-style or not! The style had a huge repertoire: wallpapers, porcelain, silk, fans, fabrics, faux bois bamboo furniture, and lacquered furniture!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

While it seems like Chinoiserie is becoming a popular decor trend, I see it more as a timeless decor trend… it’s been around for hundreds of years!  Now, don’t get to themed with this style.  A piece or two of it in the room and that’s it!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Louis XV canvas panels from Paris
French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Reconstruction of how Madame de Pompadour’s room looked like

So, let’s look an some examples of how to incorporate Chinoiserie style into modern times…

1.  Adding Porcelain Plates
You can arrange blue chinoiserie plates on the wall, like the two pictures below.

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

Don’t you just love this French kitchen below and the painted walls and ceiling?

French chinoiserie kitchen in pale blue

2. Decorating with interesting vases

A popular way to add Chinoiserie to your home is decorating with the blue and white vases.  I like how they are styled in the picture below.  Notice the French settee!

 

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
source: chinoiserie chic from Carolyne Roehm

However if the blue and white porcelain is not your thing, you could always decorate with a pretty vase like this below! I love the colors of this.

Louis XIV terracotta vase

Or for a more minimalist look, prints of blue vases are displayed on the gallery wall.  Notice the bamboo frames.

3. Decorate with Wallpaper
Now, this is my favorite option however it *is* the most expensive option!!  It makes for such a pretty room.  Using the wallpaper in a powder room is your most cost effective option!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
source – The Enchanted Home
French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Suzanne Kasler – Design in Canterbury

Below, this pretty pink room is adorned with pink Chinoiserie wallpaper which brings out the pretty pink hues in the Swedish settee.  They also added some Chinoiserie fabric pillows.  Adding a few pillows is another option!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

4. Decorate with Chinoiserie Panels

I liked this room below in a hotel in Paris.  It is mid-century modern style which I’m sure appeals to many people, as well as a Chinoiserie panel in the background. You can spot it in the back left with black and gold.

Below is a panel of chinoiserie wallpaper.  I love the French day bed in front of it!

grisaille wallpaper

Decorating with panels is a cheaper way to add the wallpaper look to your room.  Just purchase one panel and frame it!

5. Add Chinoiserie fabric

Another way to add the Chinoiserie look to your house is to add some fabric somewhere.  This house below has some Chinoiserie blue-vase curtains – a modernized version of Chinoiserie.

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

This French Louis IV chair below is covered in a pretty chinoiserie toile!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
Fauteuil a la reine, c 1755

6. Add a piece of Furniture
Here, you can see a fabulous Louis style cabinet in the Chinoiserie style black and gold lacquer!

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home
From the Chamber de la Dauphine, Palace of Versailles

Below are some of my Chinoiserie style pieces… an antique Mora clock!  It blends in well with the French painting and cabinet to the right.

I also have a Chinoiserie style tulipiere (vase).  It blends in well with my little French bud vases.

French Chinoiserie and How to Add Chinoiserie Decor to Your Home

Like this post? Check out my other posts about Chinoiserie Wallpaper HERE.

Chinoiserie Wallpapers

What do you all think? Do you like Chinoiserie?

Sources for the writing: Posh Surf SideEssential

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32 Comments

  1. April 4, 2016 / 12:44 am

    Love this post, every wall you shared is a true work of art! Thanks so much for sharing at the Dishing It & Digging It link party. Hope it brings you some new friends and great traffic!

  2. April 4, 2016 / 12:59 am

    I love this. All the rooms you shared are very pretty. …Christine

  3. April 4, 2016 / 2:31 am

    Beautiful! Yes, incorporating Chinoiserie to European décor, has been a custom in Europe from a few centuries ago.
    I specially loved to see English décor with Chinoiserie pieces of furniture, ginger jars and wall plates, of course.
    I have always swooned with pieces as such and tried to have a few mix with my home décor… and still do.
    Thanks for sharing, I'm pinning this gorgeous images.
    Hugs,
    FABBY

    • April 4, 2016 / 6:18 am

      Yes, while I entitled the post French chinoiserie I did sneak a few English pieces in! I have a few pieces here and there, forgot to include a little chest I have too!

  4. April 4, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    What beautiful inspiration! I learned a lot from you today about the history of chinoiserie. I did a blue and white plate wall above my master bed inspired by the master of wall arrangements, Charles Faudree. I chinoiserie wall inspired by Faudree. Say that five times fast! To be truthful, my interior designer friend quizzed me on how to say chinoiserie for a week straight before I had it down pat. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • April 4, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Oh I just love Charles Faudree! Yes, he does use chinoiserie in his rooms! Chinoiserie is a bit of a tongue twister! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. April 5, 2016 / 3:47 am

    Great post, Angelina! I love many looks of chinoiserie and have to admit that some of them look so similar to toile fabrics to me. The wallpapers threw me for a loop, I would never have thought of them as chinoiserie. They are beautiful! Great lesson for me!

    • April 5, 2016 / 4:27 am

      Janet, so there are chinoiserie motifs in some of the toile fabrics. Not all toiles are chinoiserie but there are *some* prints of toile that have chinoiserie scenes and motifs. So I think that's why you mau have been a little confused!

    • April 7, 2016 / 3:32 am

      It does, doesn't it? Why can't we decorate like them??? (Or at least emulate it, I know we can't all have real gold on our walls!)

  6. April 7, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    This is such great information. Our last house was much more french country than this current one. When I was choosing fabrics for furniture, the designer picked chinoiserie and I was completely uninformed and baffled. I loved it though. 🙂

    Than you for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We learned something here today.

  7. April 8, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Chinese style looks gorgeous. It looks so aristocratic. In such atmosphere you feel like a Queen 🙂

  8. April 8, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    I needed this post in my life. We have been in our new home a little over 3 months and it has such lovely elements, but I am a bit baffled on where to proceed next!
    I think I am overwhelmed.
    Beautiful everything!
    Thank you for sharing this with us on Thoughts Of Home On Thursday!
    Jemma

  9. April 8, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    I enjoyed this post – interesting history, great tips and the most gorgeous eye candy. Thanks.
    Amalia
    xo

  10. April 8, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    all the photos are incredible love this style will be checking it out for when I get a house pinning have a great day now following on bloglovin have a great week

  11. April 9, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    I have panels of these over my bed!! I love this style and look! I will feature this week on HSH! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  12. April 10, 2016 / 1:31 am

    A great post and an oft neglected aspect of French Decor. Thankyou! Mimi xxx

  13. April 11, 2016 / 4:16 am

    Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop