Classic Wallpaper Pattern: Chinoiseries

Classic Wallpaper Pattern: Chinoiseries

Anna Hoffman
Oct 15, 2010

"Chinoiserie" is a catch-all term for any Asian-inspired decoration, from geometric bamboo patterns to pagoda-filled landscapes to delicately climbing florals. Chinoiserie patterns have been popular in wallpaper design since at least the 18th century. Here are several different examples of traditional Chinoiserie, from the classic to the bold.

The term "chinoiserie" (pronounced shin-wah-zer-EE) was coined in France and England in the 17th century, when China began exporting scenic wallpaper to Europe, and it refers to the East-West fusion in design (which often bears no relation to 'authentic' Asian design). Floral chinoiseries are popular in dining rooms and bedrooms, and tend toward the traditional, while geometric and abstract patterns can often lend a '60s-'70s mod feel.
Which would you most rather have in your home?


Images: 1 Portabello by de Gournay in a Massucco Warner Miller interior; 2 a Miles Redd interior with a hand-painted de Gournay paper; 3 Clarence House Flowering Quince by Kazumi Yoshida, Domino via Chinoiserie Chic; 4 Nicky Haslam interior via From the Right Bank; 5 Chinese Lattice by Bob Collins in a Meg Braff interior; 6 Scalamandré's Bamboo by Billy Baldwin, $121.25/roll from Decorator's Best, via New York Social Diary; 7 Vintage Chinoiserie in beige, $200/roll, from Secondhand Rose; 8 Shantung Silhouette Print by Schumacher; 9 Coy by Palace Papers, $165/roll from Wallpaper Collective; 10 Koi by Judit Gueth, $160/roll from Wallpaper Collective.

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