Chinoiserie has always been popular among collectors, as well as designers who want to add a little worldly (or vintage) flair to a space. But, many of us hear the phrase without knowing what the term means.
We’ll define it for you: Chinoiserie refers to a decorative style that uses whimsical drawings depicting Asian motifs, as interpreted by the Europeans. Common decorative motifs include dragons, figures, landscapes, and pagodas. Favored by European monarchs and aristocrats, chinoiserie reached its height of popularity around 1750. However, it also became “trendy” again during other decor “periods,” from the Aesthetic Movement to the Hollywood Regency style. What makes this style endure is that the refined details make each piece a work of art. Below are a few of our favorites, available now at Viyet:
A striking example of the chinoiserie style, this armoire features stunning drawings on its paneled doors, top, and trim. With bamboo design legs, this piece can be separated in two to use as a display case (top) and as a sideboard (bottom). The top features an interior light.
This beautiful panel depicts two French women sitting in a Chinese garden. Hand-painted and finely detailed, this stunning antique find is on a wooden stretcher, which allows it to be hung or leaned against a wall.
This armchair has a pretty striped fabric in blue and green. The lacquered arms feature a bamboo-look design and whimsical painted details.
Storage is so stylish with this charming cabinet, which is detailed with chinoiserie pictures all over the outside. Inside, you’ll find two drawers and three shelves. This piece also can stand alone or be wall-mounted.
A striking example of the European interpretation of Chinese style, this lacquer-finish table has curved legs that give the piece a graceful shape. The top features Chinese floral garden scenes and the sides are carved in a geometric pattern.
Elegance meets the unexpected in this custom design, which makes a regal statement. At a commanding 67″ in height, this is a birdcage fit for the grandest of interiors (not to mention the grandest of birds).
With its bamboo-like wood frame that takes the form of a pagoda, this mirror from Woodson and Rummerfield’s award-winning house of design certainly makes a statement.
A Greek key motif draws the eye around the exquisitely painted scenes that grace each lamp’s base. This blend of styles is the perfect example of how a piece that can be called “chinoiserie” can actually encompass a surprising array of influences. Yet, as you can see in these lamps, the mix of motifs work so gracefully together.