If you’re an interior designer, home styling enthusiast or home decorator, you must have come across the word Chinoiserie alongside beautiful pictures of hand made paintings on wallpapers, furniture and chinaware. Chinoiserie wallpapers are an epitome of luxury. They come in a plethora of styles and each composition is unique and a piece of art.
HISTORY OF CHINOISERIE
The word Chinoiserie comes from the French word “chinois” “Chinese-ish” or “a little Chinese”. It is the Western interpretation of the East Asian and Chinese art and culture with French roots. The Chinoiserie style was highly influenced by China and it made its way to the European countries around 18th century and has been illustrious ever since then. In this period, oriental wallpapers, tapestries and drapes were chosen by the upper class individuals. They were usually combined with oriental porcelain and silks.
One of the main reasons why Chinoiserie gained popularity and stayed that way is because Europeans had an interest and fascination with the South Asian countries due to the increase but limited access to their new cultures as a result of trade expansion. This also created a type of mystification of these cultures which piqued more curiosity and enthusiasm. The Chinoiserie design was never traditional to China but were created to attract wealthy clients and interior decorators from Europe. Chinoiserie design represented the exchange between the East and the West in that period.
In the 19th century, the Chinoiserie design became less associated with China and was homogenized under a generic definitions of exoticism and orientalism. Even though many people understand that Chinoiserie is European, it can be considered a global phenomenon.
WHAT IS CHINOISERIE WALLPAPER?
Chinoiserie wallcoverings are highly detailed and hand-painted designs which comprises of natural motifs and elements. Some of the typical designs included swirling flora and birds which generates a mural like effect. Originally Gouache was used to paint the detailed and elaborate designs on silk materials which was a perfect luxury item for homes. One of the main features of Chinoiserie design is the fact the patterns never repeat, that means each and every part of the wall is completely unique. Some of the main motifs that are used in Chinoiserie design are:
1. Foo Dogs: Despite their name, foo dogs are actually lions who are stand guards outside temples and palaces and these date back to millennium ago to imperial China. Foo Dogs are typically depicted in pairs (male and female) and these also represent the balance of the yin and yang.
2. Pagodas: Pagodas first originated in India and are now an important aspect of South Asian culture. The spread of Buddhism from India to China also brought with it the culture and architecture along and were later incorporated into the regional style.
3. Nature Scenes: This is the most common type of motif that is used in Chinoiserie designs. Light hearted designs of flowering plants, creepers and shrubs were highly valued. Depictions of gardens with butterflies, birds and some insects were popular in Europe. This classic type of Chinoiserie design is in style in the recent years and adds subtle elegance in luxurious spaces.
4. Dragons: In Chinese mythology, dragons were a symbol of strength and prosperity. The rich preferred the dragon symbol in their clothing, ceramics and interior spaces. Hence this became a popular motif used in Chinoiserie design.
In the present times, Chinoiserie wallpapers includes classic elements including a wide use of birds and floral patterns and motifs with a more European modern twist.
WHY CHOOSE CHINOISERIE
Chinoiserie wallpapers adds bold colors and patterns to the room and can completely transform and elevate a simple and boring room and make it come alive.
The natural themes in Chinoiserie designs have an effect on the mind and spirit that is almost unmistakable and transporting the inhabitants from the confines of the house into nature. The abiding magic of Chinoiserie is its ability to invoke feelings of romance and longing for distant lands
TIPS TO CHOOSE CHINOISERIE WALLPAPER
1. Select stand out pieces that portray Chinese and South Asian culture in you wish to give a touch of the far East to your home interiors.
2. Play with some dark and unique colors such as maroon, dark crimson, deep teal, sage green and gold.
3. Balance out the space by pairing maximalist Chinoiserie wallpapers with other minimalistic elements. Keep in mind that too much Chinoiserie and heavy elements can make the room look cluttered.
4. You can also add elements like Asian styled lanterns, Chinese style porcelain and ceramics to give an enhanced oriental look.
Over the past few years, Chinoiserie designs are created digitally and are also being mass produced. This has allowed more and more individuals to get their hands on these luxurious wallpapers which once upon a time could be used only by the rich. It has become easier to customize and create many variations in different colors to suit the purpose.
Chinoiserie designs can be printed on woven or non woven canvas depending upon one’s preference. From living room to bedrooms to corridors Chinoiserie wallpapers can be used to decorate any space. These designs can also be used to decorate panels, furniture, cupboards and ceilings. These designs are so versatile and unique they can do wonders to the spaces they are added. Chinoiserie designs can be chosen to elevate a simple into something that exudes opulence.
Looking to add some of the said exquisite pieces to your home? With Life N Colors to help you with every wallpaper doubt, you can choose from a wide range of Chinoiserie wallpapers to meet your every expectation. You can also speak to the experts and customize one to perfectly suit your home.