Saturday, November 10, 2012

be still, my chinoiserie-loving heart

say it with me now. "sheen-waz-er-ee". It is a French term that literally means "Chinese-esque". Shall we dive into a quick history lesson? I usually don't like to get into too lengthy of explanations on my blog, but when it comes to Chinoserie I think it is important and interesting to know where it originated. So, here we go. Europeans’ fascination and passion of all things "Oriental" began in Marco Polo’s day, during the thirteenth century. Cultures from Persia all the way to China were called “Oriental” by the Europeans during that time. Trades people who were lucky enough to travel to the Far East would come back to Europe with endless stories of the people and places that they encountered while they were there. In turn, these stories (both real and imagined) were hand painted by European artists on textiles, wallpapers, pottery, porcelain, and furniture. 

My fascination and passion for Chinoiserie began when I started working at Jennifer Bevan Interiors and we used the piece below in a dining room. Chinoiserie can be used in serious, dark spaces and playful, bright ones as well. Chiniosiere fills my heart with so much happiness it feels as if it is going to burst. no really. 

Maitland-Smith rosewood chiffonier
House of L Interior Design

Bronze and Ebonized coffee table by Holly Hunt

Nancy Corzine Chinois Secretary

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