Interior Styling

chinoiserie – a touch of elegance at home


image by Ping He

I noticed that more and more friends or acquaintances ask me about how to decorate their own space with the influence of Chinese style. I want to show them with images that I like or show them what I have done with my space. But these are not enough. Some friends even told me that the best example he can come up for his house is the the interior from Jimmy Woo. If you have never been to Amsterdam, here are some images of the club. The club is also famous for its interior and sound system: Jimmy Woo won the ‘Dutch Design’ price and was honored for ‘best club sound in the Netherlands.

Image: booza

In some weekends, I love to hang out with friends at Suzy Wong to get my sip of baileys with ice. The creamy, mouth watering drink is my favorite. I normally love to choose sitting next to the green wall. You maybe already guessed why when you see the image below.

image: trends and travel

At this point, I realize that there is a name for the Chinese style design. It has a long history since 17th century in Europe. Chinoiserie. Yes, that’s the word I learned. I got a very nice hand painted antique book from John’s Grandma lives in Somerset West, South Africa. She gave to me as soon as she knew that her grandson got a Chinese girl friend. haha, I am so lucky. She gave me another book after a year. That is an antique Japanese textile design hand painted book. She is a very well-known artist in Somerset West herself. One of her art friends is the biggest Chinese antique art collector.

I looked up the term of chinoiserie on wikipedia, here is the explaination: Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying “Chinese-esque”, and pronounced [ʃinwazʁi]) refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences. It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquerlike materials and decoration.

When I read through the book from grandma and other interior design books with influence of Chinoiserie, I conclude that the design can apply for everything. It can be anything from your furniture to an accessory in your kitchen. And what I love the most is that the chinoiserie can be as modern as you want, or as classic as you want.
I wish I can write more about chinoiserie in the future, I really wish to have China’s rich aesthetic history remains uncharted in some of our western families.


Image: the not

I think it is the first blog article I write about chinoiserie, I am sure many more readers will be interested in to read more. While living in Europe for 11 years, eventually I found a way to express my passion in home styling and chinoserie. It is a super combination.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you Hennie, wish you a nice weekend.

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