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Emily Henderson

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by Jess Bunge
Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 211
image source | design by dimore studio

You asked and we answered. The Modern Chinoiserie train is jam-packed with EHD readers and I couldn’t be happier. Can I get a choo choo?! Cool, I’m already making lame mom jokes and I don’t even have children yet…or a dog..or a living succulent. How lucky those future children of mine are…(hand in face emoji x30). Now that I am banned from all train puns, I gladly introduce our chinoiserie Get the Look shopping roundup. After the resounding “we LOVE chinoiserie” consensus in the comments section of yesterday’s post, the team did a quick divide and conquer to find the best products to highlight the elements of this style so you all could get it into your homes ASAP. Fair warning: most chinoiserie ain’t cheap but we have some awesome options in a variety of price points with a decent dose of some great vintage and antique. 🙂 With our picks, you can either go big with a beautiful wallpaper or sprinkle it in with a small ceramic jar. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Wallpaper & Murals

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 22
image source | design by mona ross berman
Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 131
image source | design by david kaihoi

First up we have wallpaper and murals. This element is the main event when it comes to chinoiserie because nothing makes the statement like a bold and ornate wall covering. The classic/famous chinoiserie wallpaper heavy hitters are Gracie, de Gournay and Fromental. As I said yesterday, these luxe babies are handpainted (usually in place) on silk, often custom and will run you at least $1,000 a panel. An extreme amount of masterful work goes into those wall coverings so I’m not trying to discount their worth but the majority of us aren’t able to click that purchase button with that price. Am I right? But with some deep internet digging and the help of yesterday’s commenter Ashley, who did a great post on removable chinoiserie wallpaper, we have some great and more affordable options for you to choose from.

1. Temporary Chinoiserie Wallpaper | 2. Handpainted Silk Wallpaper | 3. Brookside Mural | 4. Blue Wallpaper Tile | 5. Gold Jungle Wallpaper | 6. Judarn Mural | 7. Blossom Birds Wallpaper | 8. Teal Removable Wallpaper | 9. Soft Blue Bird Wallpaper | 10. Havenview Mural | 11. Beige Classic Temporary Wallpaper | 12. Ice Blue Removable Wallpaper | 13. Navy Bird Wallpaper | 14. Sand Blossom Removable Wallpaper | 15. Chinoiserie Wallpaper | 16. Anderson Handpainted Silk Wallpaper | 17. Emerald Green Silk Panels | 18. Jardinieres & Citrus Trees Handpainted Silk Wallpaper

Furniture & Screens

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 23
image source

Next up we have furniture and screens. Bringing in a piece of chinoiserie furniture is one notch down on the commitment chain from wallpaper (sort of). It is a focal piece in a room but is easier to change out if you decide to go in a different design direction in the future. But as we have learned from its patterned crazed history, having too many pieces that are chinoiserie-y is not going to give you the modern look you want. Keep it simple and out of the 1900s (and ’80s).

1. Wingback Chair | 2. Vintage Chest | 3. Oslari Painted Console Table | 4. Chinoiserie Partition | 5. Light Taupe Bench | 6. 19th Century Chinese Screen | 7. Bamboo Screen | 8. Antique Asian Motif Cabinet | 9. 1960s Iron Bamboo Chairs | 10. Japanese Garden Scene Table | 11. Japanese Garden Scene Table | 12. Liza Skirted Ottoman | 13. English Floral Screen | 14. Cece Dresser | 15. Chinoiserie Four Panel Room Screen | 16. Chinoiserie Small Buffet | 17. June Headboard | 18. 1970s Black Rattan Chair

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 27
image source | design by barrie benson

Moving along to even less risky accents, we are diving into art and accessories. We want to emphasize again to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Let that piece shine girl (or guy). Just like in the two photos above, the wall hangings (framed art and mirror) are the only real Chinoiserie pieces in the space. They add beautiful visual interest without taking over the style of the room. You will look eclectic and effortlessly cool if you go this route. Isn’t that what we all really want?

1. Vintage Lacquered Asian Jewelry Box | 2. Gilded Heron Print Set of 2 | 3. Carousel Horse | 4. Bird on Rose Painting | 5. Rectangular Mirror | 6. Antique Chinese Painting | 7. Bird on Branch Linen Table Runner | 8. Teal Dimensional Chinoiserie | 9. Sitting Foo Dogs Set of 2 | 10.  | 11. Gilded Aviary Tieback | 12. Two Birds Serving Tray | 13. In Bloom Painting | 14. Japanese Lithograph Prints | 15. Chinoiserie Wood Mirror

Textiles

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 32
image source | design by johanna ortiz

Now let’s talk textiles. Pillows and rugs are another great way to add in chinoiserie with a soft touch…yes another pun. 🙂 I can’t be stopped. BUT if you want to stay on the “modern” spectrum here, we would suggest maybe start with one pillow to accent or just a rug. Are you seeing a “simple” theme here? Piling on pillows and rugs in a room cloaked in chinoiserie wallpaper and Ming chests is definitely a look, but…it’s certainly not subtle or modern. But if what you want is a party of pillows (and or rugs) then just stay within a cohesive color palette like Johanna Ortiz did with her blues. This will keep them from being too “Hey look at me,” not “LOOK AT ME RIGHT NOW!” Battling textiles are the worst. Here are our favorites.

1. Mustard Crane Embroidered Pillow | 2. Coral Rug | 3. Tassel Flower Pillow | 4. Navy Floral Rug | 5. Fringe Velvet Pillow | 6. Coral Lumbar Pillow | 7. Greek Key Trim Lumbar Pillow | 8. Blue & White Chinoiserie Print Pillow – Set of 2 | 9. Traditional Blue Rug | 10. Chinoiserie Rug | 11. Yellow Lumbar Pillow | 12. Blue Blossom Pillow | 13. Red Fringe Pillow | 14. Floral Print Black Rug | 15. Blue & White Floral Lumbar Pillow | 16. Blue & White Pagoda Print Pillow | 17. Bird Lumbar Pillow | 18. Antique Yellow Rug – 4’6″ x 6’8″ | 19. Green Leaf Print Rug | 20. Gray Chinoiserie Print Pillow | 21. Blue Peacock Print Pillow | 22. Navy Print Pillow | 23. Green Floral Rug | 24. Coral Greek Key Lumbar Pillow

Lighting

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 31
image source
Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 33
image source | design by Elodie Moussié and Sophie Richard

Lighting is crucial to any room and as we saw in yesterday’s post, adding a chinoiserie-style lamp can have a BIG impact. Lamps are, in my opinion, the perfect place to get a little weird. Let the base be a bird, dog or add some fringe. The sky’s the limit. The key as always is visual balance. If you look at that beautiful dark teal room in the Hotel Providence in Paris, the room is incredibly simple but those sconces are EVERYTHING. They bring in texture and modern character. Here are our favorites.

1. 25″ Blue & White Lamp | 2. 6-Light Bird Chandelier | 3. 20″ Blue & White Table Lamp | 4. Printed Cotton Shade | 5. Brass Crane Lamp | 6. Vintage Green Bird Lamp Base | 7. Vintage Oversized Black Chinoiserie Lamp | 8. Brass Pagoda Pendant | 9. Grande Chinoiserie Lamp | 10. Vintage White Ceramic Lamp | 11. Garden Lamp Shade | 12. 24″ Table Lamp | 13. Vintage Green & White Lamp | 14. Flushmount Light With Tassel | 15. 19th Century Metal Tea Canister Light (Set of 2) | 16. Petite Chinoiserie Lamp | 17. Vintage Black Urn Lamp | 18. Tree Scene Lamp Shade | 19. Vintage Black & Gold Lamp | 20. Yellow Chinoiserie Lamp | 21. Coral Porcelain Tea Jar Table Lamp

Ceramics

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 30
image source
Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 29
image source | design by katy schelter
Emily Henderson Full Kitchen Reveal Waverly Frigidaire 30
photo by tessa neustadt for ehd | from: our modern country english kitchen

Lastly, let’s talk about the most recognizable type of decor of the chinoiserie style…the ceramics. As you know, ceramics are kind of an EHD obsession and adding them into a vignette is always solid gold in our book. However, with ornate pieces (like these beauties), keeping the amount displayed in one area to a minimum is—SURPRISE—our recommendation. It just keeps things clean and modern. Is that horse dead yet? Chinoiserie ceramics range from ginger jars, decorative plates, vases/planter bowls and canisters. The most celebrated of them are the blue and white pieces. The vintage ones can get pretty expensive (of course) and many people collect them so if you see a good one you love, grab it fast before someone else gets it. We have compiled a pretty great roundup of both new and vintage, so have at it.

1. Blue & White Canister | 2. Chinoiserie Capital Pitcher | 3. Vintage Porcelain Vessel | 4. Double Gourd Vase | 5. Perched Bird Salad Plate | 6. Lidded Ginger Jar | 7. Porcelain Antique Japanese Plate | 8. Chinoiserie Bud Vase | 9. Blue Tree Bowl | 10. Peacock Vase | 11. Blue & White Ginger Jar | 12. Black Willow Dinner Plate Set of 4 | 13. Hourglass Table Vase | 14. Large Chinese Botanical Bowl | 15. Vintage Ginger Jar | 16. Ceramic Umbrella Stand | 17. Traditional Cachepot | 18. Square Porcelain Tea Canister | 19. Floral Globe Vase | 20. Rose Chinese Umbrella Stand | 21. Vintage Ceramic Planter

Emily Henderson Design Trends Modern Chinoiserie Updated Examples 101
image source

Alright, so there you have it. All the chinoiserie products you could ever want or need. JK, but it’s a pretty great place to start. And while you learned to keep it simple with chinoiserie, I can now easily spell a long French word without spellcheck. It’s a win for everyone. Also, we would LOVE to see if anyone takes the leap and adds this style into their home. If you do, snap a picture for Instagram and make sure to hashtag #showEMyourstyled so we can see (and we just may feature you on her feed). Another win-win. I would say it’s a Winning Wednesday. 🙂 Okay, I’m really done now.

  1. You can search for “kutani china” on eBay and sort by lowest price to find lots of reasonably priced chinoiserie pieces in colors other than blue/white if you aren’t into blues.

  2. YAY! Love it! Especially the wallpapers – so hard to find good chinoiserie styles at a reasonable price. I’ve had great luck finding beautiful (even antique) blue and white chinoiserie ceramics and brass pieces on ebth as well. And craigslist is amazing for budget bamboo and faux-bamboo pieces. They trend more toward ‘Palm Beach chic’ than chinoiserie, but sometimes you get lucky!

  3. I’ve had a few pillows from World Market that weren’t the best quality, but a few weeks ago I bought the mustard one with the birds (#1 in the pillows section here) and it’s holding up really well, feels luxurious, and looks dope on my bed. 10/10 would recommend.

  4. Excellent visual imagery to accompany a well-written piece. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for this round up! I have a Chinoiserie lamp that I saved from the reception area of my dad’s office before he retired and closed it. I don’t have a place for it now but I can’t bring myself to sell it. Maybe this is a sign. 🙂

  6. I would also recommend the website “The Enchanted Home”. She has all sorts of blue and white porcelain at pretty reasonable prices.

  7. How do you bring in chinoiserie without the icky feeling that you’re kind of perpetuating tye concept of orientalism?

    I struggle with this one, as I have with the popularity of buddha statues, and other cultural pieces that are trendy but are devoid of any personal meaning to the home owners.

    1. I have to say that I find your comments very disappointing and leaning towards overthinking in a PC manner. Much of early chinoiserie was deliberately manufactured between the 16th – 20th C – mainly 18th and 19th C – for export to Western/European markets. Why is it considered “cultural appropriation” when you are appreciating a certain type of design? Design is universal and influence from other cultures runs through much of what is considered “contemporary” design. Is an appreciation of certain types of design such as Corinithian, Doric or Ionic columns which is still prevalent in many types of design and architecture appropriation from ancient Greece and Rome? Please try and appreciate this style of design for what it is – a beautiful style! Why do you assume they have no personal meaning? I have two c 1920’s chinoiserie panels that I bought and bargained for at an antique fair – when I look at them, they remind me of a wonderful day with friends.

      I just want to add that I live in the UK and perhaps Europeans are less worried about being PC and more interested in enjoying their surroundings.

    2. Culture is meant to be shared. You’re appreciating something that another culture developed. My opinion is that as long as you are respectfully appreciating items of someone else’s culture it’s ok. Otherwise, we’d all have boring homes and clothing if we were only allowed to use items from our own cultures.

    3. I am in agreement with the ickiness of reproduction Buddha head statues. The original Buddha heads were chopped off/desecrated from religious sites and sold/collected in Europe and North America as “art.” What would be the reaction if people in China–through colonialism–started ripping Christian iconography off Catholic cathedrals and decorating their homes with it because they liked the Gothic or Baroque look, and also because it symbolized political and military conquest over an area? And then a market for modernized imitations begins…

      Along the same lines, how do people feel about decorating with African masks? There is no question some of the European modernist movement can pay a little homage to earlier European interest in these visually striking, culturally specific works. Sticky questions…

      I’d like to think that the birds and flowers theme that is so prevalent in the wallpapers featured here are just pretty (or do we think they are pretty because they are latent appeals to earlier cultural senses of superiority?). Can we just like “pretty” just as people in dynastic China liked pretty depictions of birds and flowers? As someone who has spent a good deal of time studying Chinese art, I can tell you that in traditional China, “birds and flowers” for much of Chinese history was considered a popular but low-brow decorative theme. Different times, different places, different cultural constructs. If you think too much about this, you’ll never get anywhere decorating your home.

      1. Catherine and Susie – your responses really lack understanding and empathy. I hope you further educate yourself on exactly what appropriation is.

        1. Angelica, I am so sorry that my comment offended you so terribly. I understand quite clearly what appropriation is — I am Native American, myself. I am not advocating for the right to appropriate a culture’s religious statues. I also think that is terrible and that’s not what I was saying in my comment. I am advocating for sharing between cultures in a respectful and appreciative manner that brings better understanding between cultures. I think that if I want to have a beautiful Turkish wool rug in my home that I purchased while on a trip to Istanbul from a kind man in his lovely shop, who I enjoyed talking with, it is ok and I’m not “appropriating” someone’s culture. If I want to buy a reproduction lamp in white and blue, I’m not appropriating someone’s culture. If I want to wear a Thai silk blouse…well you get it, I hope. The problem with internet comments is that so much can be read into text, without the personal interface and discussion, that much can be misunderstood. I am sorry my comment was interpreted as impolite or worse, racist.

    4. Here’s an article on cultural appropriation http://www.theweek.co.uk/cultural-appropriation as food for thought. I agree with Angelica about the previous remarks. Being PC generally means you are just not being a jerk, not that you are overly sensitive. Just because there is a long history of it or everyone is doing it doesn’t make it alright. I do like the #5 lamp, but most of it would make me feel like I was trying too hard to be something I am not.

    5. Thanks for your comment Patty. I found an article from a few years ago that directly relates to what you’re talking about, and touches on many of the thoughts that I had while reading this post:
      https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2015/09/91589/china-through-the-looking-glass-cultural-appropriation?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email_share
      The author is much more articulate than I, but it’s incredibly easy to forget that styles and trends in design, fashion, food, etc. often become popular not through the people and culture those things originated from, but because western culture/white folks said it was attractive, and often altered the original to make it “more acceptable.” I think it’s just important to remember that we are all looking at things through a certain lens (and most likely, not a true/authentic version of something), and ask ourselves why we’re drawn to a certain type of design in the first place.

    6. I’m trying to think about this is a sensitive way without going overboard or “being a jerk.” Is this topic rooted in the fact that there is a greater cultural divide between East and West? If an American has something in his/her home that’s from France or Denmark, no one accuses them of cultural appropriation, but if I have a pillow with a crane on, am I going to be accused of something? And by whom?
      I agree that religious objects like Buddha heads are definitely “iffy.” I think the poster who claimed such things “are devoid of any personal meaning” meant that the person who displayed a Buddha head was not a Buddhist. (And to be honest, I have never known a Buddhist who displayed a statue of Buddha in their home.) But the EHD team is not promoting the display of religious objects, so I am not sure why that issue is being raised here.
      I personally feel that drawing inspiration from the decorative styles of other countries is 100% okay! I lived in Japan for a long time and I’ll tell you–they love mid-century and Scandinavian design as much as the rest of us. Are they too guilty of “cultural appropriation?” Another very popular style there is based on surfing–Hawaiian and Jamaican motifs are common. So what?!? Why would I get mad if an Asian person were wearing a Hawaiian shirt or a cowboy hat? One poster said that just because something is common, that doesn’t make it okay. I agree, but I don’t think that’s the argument I’m trying to make. Yes, cultural appropriation exists, but this [article above] isn’t it. Yes, there may be something within us that attracts us to what is “foreign,” but is that really a bad thing?

      1. Susie, the OP wasnt even talking about cultural appropriation, though it’s still very apparent you havent looked into it further. This isnt the time or place to have people unpack it all for you. I wish you luck in doing so.

      2. Can we all look up the concept of orientalism, here? Yes in the 18th/19th C there were exports of chinoiserie to Europeans markets from China and Japan; but does commercial activity mean a tacit agreement that what is happening is OK? The stuff being sent over was changed to make it more palatable to the European market. So yes, there is some design aspect of it but who really makes the decision of what is acceptable design? especially back then where there was a stronger link between colonial regimes. The reason why we don’t rethink Scandi as appropriation is that is was already an accepted culture and not exotic.

    7. *eye roll* Some people will be offended by everything. I’m surprised you haven’t been up in arms about this websites love for MCM furniture…”perpetuating the concept of Danish modernism”. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to constantly be offended by everything.

    8. How do you know that Buddha statues, et al, are “devoid of any personal meaning to the home owners”? That’s not true for me. I like spiritual art; it speaks to me. I have a small, antique bronze Buddha on my kitchen windowsill, just above the sink, where I see him many times a day. I appreciate him spiritually and artistically, as I do with an antique Mexican Santos in my living room. I appreciate the artifacts and through them I appreciate the cultures and artists who produced them. I don’t think that I am the only one who reacts this way.

      Once people started traveling millennia ago, cultures started mixing. Glass beads from Italy or Africa have been found in prehistoric sites in northern Europe, suggesting that trade existed even then. The Romans were famous for taking and integrating the best that each culture it encountered had to offer. The silk trading routes brought not just silk, but other Asian products, such as “china” to all of the countries along the routes, and those countries sent their own products to China and other silk-producing nations. This trade and its corresponding sharing of cultures appears to go back to the very foundation of human beings.

      If we can’t share our arts and culture, then where does that leave us? Like most Americans, I am a mix of at least five different countries and two different races. What would be appropriate for me culturally? I choose to appreciate beauty where I find it, whether it is the Buddha on my kitchen windowsill, the Santos in my living room, the glorious folding screen of hand-painted 18th century Chinese wallpaper in my bedroom, or the danish modern table in my dining room. I think that preserving these pieces honors the artists and cultures that produced them.

  8. I’m not sure when you started doing this but I just noticed…embedding the link in the image is so streamlined! I love it!

  9. Wahoo! Thanks for this! I’m just gonna sit right here and keep obsessing over the textiles, wall paper, and ceramics.

  10. I’ve been saving my pennies to order wallpaper from Mural Sources online. It’s a quick registration to see the panel prices, and samples are inexpensive and credited back to you when you order panels. It’s about $200 – 400 per panel.

  11. That ceramic #4 looks more like a Shibori than a chinoiserie. Love it, but it doesn’t look at all like the others, I’m not entirely into this trend. Very fussy. Although I do like the ceramics!

    1. This is fair, but we thought we’d add in a few pieces here and there that more whispered to the feel of chinoiserie (in this case, a blue-and-white ceramic) without screaming it in case some people weren’t TOTALLY into it but…kind of!

  12. Yay! Love the post and love that you’re back to your roots and what we all came here for: styling, design and decorating! So fun!

  13. Really great post for the resources, like that are a variety of prices, and the written content. Thank you.

  14. I love this round up soooooo much!!! Thank you.

  15. First, I want to thank you for writing about your style back before design star. Loved reading it. Time and kids really do metamorphasize our minds. I know your stylist heart will always shine through.
    Secondly, thank you for keeping the “not so fortunate” (budget minded) people in mind.

  16. I have a LOT of Chinoiserie and am downsizing. Any ideas of how to sell some of it? For example, I have a very beautiful room screen.

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