I thought I`d start off this post by describing what Chinoiserie is.
Sure I can point out pretty wallpaper and say yes that is chinoiserie but do I know it`s origin? Did it originate in China? Nope, it's European. Can I identify what is chinoiserie and what is not? Well I wasn't sure so I decided to do some research.
After reading up on it on Wikipedia (of course!), Britannica and a bunch of other sites, I came across a great article. It is so detailed and so well written I don't even want to attempt writing my own (ok, and I'm also feeling a bit lazy after all that reading). This one is perfect, so why mess with perfection I say.
Sure you can just scroll thru the pretty chinoiserie bathroom photos without learning the background of chinoiserie, but it has a pretty interesting history and this article could make you look like a star at the next dinner party you attend. Imagine it, you are sitting at the most boring dinner party and you just can't think of anything to talk about plus you left your cell in your bag so you can't do a fake 'emergency' call. What to do? Look around if there is beautiful chinoiserie decor in the house and then marvel your hosts with all that you have read about it. And if you still need an out, while they are all taking a closer look at the designs in the chinoiserie you can go check your phone for that 'emergency' call and make a dash out the door. Chinoiserie saves the day! Not bad for reading a great article.
Here's that article:
(You'll see it's interesting. Especially the part about Marco Polo)
(Temple Newsam’ design in standard design colours on Custom Blue Green Williamsburg Matt Glaze. Balfour Castle, Scotland)
I particularly like the idea of using chinoiserie wallpaper in a powder room because there is so much detail in the designs. You can find chinoiserie wallpaper with everything from fantastical floral motifs to whimsical elaborate designs with monkeys dressed in fancy outfits and princes carrying gorgeous umbrellas riding decorated elephants to exotic floating palaces and dozens of other enchanting scenes. Chinoiserie wallpapers are the perfect backdrop for a nice sit and daydreaming in the loo.
In decorating chinoiserie is often paired with more modern furnishing. I think the same rules can apply in the bathroom. Pairing chinoiserie wallpaper with a sleek modern tub, modern vanity and modern fixtures is just breathtaking.
(Photo above:Shanghai Deco wallpaper in red from Clarence House. Swing-arm sconces with milk glass shades from Ann-Morris. Console sink from Smith's Country collection for Kallista)
(Askew’ design in full custom monochromatic design colours on Custom Brown Williamsburg with antique staining. Balfour Castle, Scotland)
btw, if you love chinoiserie, you should absolutely check out Beth's amazing blog:
(Make sure to take a peak at the miniature creations she's done. I love the
one with the monkey table. I actually though it was a real room!)
And if you want to see a bathroom that used white and red chinoiserie wallpaper for a dramatic and eclectic effect check out this other post I did: here.
Oh and if you ever do strike up a conversation about chinoiserie at a boring
dinner party let me know! hahaha....