3 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie is always popular – it’s a timeless way to add an exotic aura to any space, and it can be mixed with an unlimited range of decorating styles. However, over the past year, it’s been stronger than ever. Case in point: Chinoiserie elements were featured in half of the spaces from last fall’s One Room Challenge. (Click here to browse the gorgeous designs!)

To celebrate Chinese New Year this week, we’re diving into the eternally elegant patterns, prints and elements of chinoiserie. And we’ve got tips to help you get the look!

Draw Inspiration from Your China

When Casey Timm of Studio C Interiors designed this dining room, she was inspired by the Wedgwood china set her clients already owned, choosing a mix of floral and geometric fabrics for the drapery and upholstery. The oversized bamboo birdcage-inspired light fixture brings in a hint of Far East glam.

Red and blue chinoiserie dining room by Casey Timm at Studio C Interiors

“The varying scales in the patterns on the drapes, urns and chairs keeps the room looking modern with a bit of edge,” Casey told us.

Get a Similar Look:

Trend Poppy Fabric Portfolio Iznik Oasis Santorini Fabric Schumacher Ming Fret Cerise Fabric
Lee Jofa Jardin Chinois White Fabric Robert Allen Corn Maize Coral Fabric Kravet Somerset Seaside Fabric

Mix Patterns Within a Set Palette

For her One Room Challenge space, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch was also inspired by porcelain. She grouped blue and white ginger jars on her bamboo-inspired buffet, then took the theme to the walls with Clarence House’s The Vase wallpaper. The kitchen and seating area feature a whopping five different patterns, but all within the vibrant palette of blue and yellow.

Yellow hot pink blue and orange chinoiserie kitchen

Get a Similar Look:

Clarence House The Vase Yellow White Wallpaper Schumacher Nanjing Porcelain Fabric Peking Handicraft Ombre Embroidered Pillow Fuchsia
Duralee 20993-146 Denim Fabric B. Berger Cobalt Fabric Threads Zenith Indigo Fabric

“When designing from scratch, I always start with an element that inspires me,” Paige told us. “For the kitchen it was the incredible David Hicks wallpaper. I really wanted a bright and colorful room, and the Nanjing fabric [on the dining chairs] was the perfect partner.”

Schumacher Nanjing Porcelain Fabric Clarence House The Vase Yellow White Wallpaper Duralee 20993-146 Denim Fabric

Paige’s custom art, created by The Pink Pagoda, marries perfectly with the blue and white fabrics and porcelain in the room. For an affordable option in your home, try framing a piece of fabric or wallpaper with thin pieces of trim.

Chinoiserie dragon wall art by The Pink Pagoda - Kitchen design by The Pink Clutch

Get a Similar Look:

Scalamandre Chi-en Dragon Linen Print Indigo Fabric Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon China Blue Wallpaper

Enhance a Traditional Look

When we asked design firm Cullman & Kravis about chinoiserie, Claire Ratliff lauded its chameleon-like versatility and transformative properties.

“For instance, we find that the addition of a chinoiserie desk in a traditional interior can provide relief from the serious and add an element of whimsy, and the clean lines of an Asian-inspired altar table can blend seamlessly into a modern interior,” Claire said.

In the dining room below, Cullman & Kravis used Chinese wallpaper to add interest to a traditional design.

Traditional chinoiserie dining room designed by Cullman and Kravis

“The room pictured shows a very traditional application, with a classic palette of vibrant greens and blues with pops of red. The beautiful paper forms a back drop for the client’s English antiques, and feels just right in this Georgian style country home.”

Get a Similar Look:

Schumacher Fox Hollow Document  Natural Wallpaper Scalamandre Bird Song Multi on Cream Wallpaper Scalamandre Ming Circus Multi on Tea Wallpaper
Karastan Knightsen Southwood Croissant Rug Dash and Albert Essex Indigo Wool Tufted Carved Rug Karastan Knightsen Prewett Ranch Ginger Rug

“We’re always looking for ways to update the traditional, and with chinoiserie, the options seem endless!” Claire added.

Traditional dining room vignette with gold mirror and chinoiserie wallpaper designed by Cullman and Kravis

Get a Similar Look:

Schumacher Sinhala Sidewall Bittersweet Wallpaper Schumacher Seychelles Ivory Wallpaper Scalamandre Shanghai Multi on Tea Stain Wallpaper
Cole and Son Library Frieze Olive Wallpaper Cole Son Balaustra Stone Wallpaper

Do you have any chinoiserie in your home? Tell us about it!

Photo Sources: Casey Timm of Studio C Interiors/Christian Scully of Design Imaging Studios | The Pink Clutch/Dixie Delights | Cullman & Kravis/Eric Piasecki

Related Articles:

Chinoiserie: The Asian-Inspired Decorating Style
Chinoiserie: The Asian-Inspired Decorating Style
Moodboard Monday: Chinoiserie
Moodboard Monday: Chinoiserie
One Room Challenge: Fall 2015
One Room Challenge: Fall 2015
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