Chinoiserie style

Eighteenth century Europeans were fascinated with everything from East- Asia. Traders would bring home delicate China, beautiful silks, and fabulously different furniture from this exotic place that few Europeans knew very little about. Picturesque wallpapers, vases, pottery, and more all depicted scenes of everyday life in this far away land. All the things coming in from East-Asia became known to the elite of the eighteenth century as Chinoiserie a word taken from the French ‘Chinois” which means Chinese. French designers found it very stylish to mix Rococo furniture with Chinoiserie and it is still stylish to this day! As a matter of fact, these motifs and mixings are on the rise again. Let’s peek into the dining room of the Mandevilla model from last week to see how Chinoiserie can be used to create a classic and timeless space somewhere in the Heart of The Villages.

•  Wall colorMandevilla model, Dining-room, Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
The dining room in a Mandevilla is separated from the living room with two columns and an arch, which makes a great separation for choosing a different paint in the dining room. The homeowner chose the color Livable Green 6176 which is a soft green with warm yellow and grey undertones. The wall color is complementary to the rest of the home that was painted Patience 7555.

•  Frame out windows
The windows in the dining room are symmetrical on the wall and the room looks very balanced. The windows were lacking any character, so we added white casement molding and a cornice above each window. The cornices are simple, and the top of the cornice matches the bottom of the cornice. Typically, the top molding of the cornice will be larger than the bottom. However, in this case the homeowner wanted a simpler version of the cornice, and the smaller crown molding looks a bit more casual and very light when painted white. The cornices look like they are built in for good, but you can remove them if you need to get to the mechanics of the blind.

•  Cornice over the slider
The cornice is built to just cover the mechanics of the vertical blind. The cornice matches the looks of the window cornices, and everything looks uniform.

•  Curio cabinet
The curio cabinet fit perfectly between the windows however, it was originally golden oak. The golden oak dated the piece and the color of the oak clashed with the other pieces in the space as well as taking attention from the collection in inside. The collection inside the curio is porcelain flamingos by Will George that have vibrant pink bodies with black tipped wings. The collection shows so well in a black cabinet! A quick side note: collecting is back in!

•  Top of Curio
The top of the Curio shows off a collection of ginger jars and foo dogs. Both items are iconic in Asian cultures and are a must have for a collector or chinoiserie style!

•  Rug
The homeowner chose zebra print for the rug with a heavy emphasis on the black stripe. The use of animal print is timeless, neutral, and dramatic in the space. The rug makes a huge visual impression and blends with everything all at once. The rug was purchased as a 9’by12’ rug but we needed a 9’ round rug. We had it cut down to a 9’ round rug. This is easy to do, and most rug stores offer the option of cutting a rug down if you cannot find a round rug in the size you need. We needed the rug to be 9’ round so that in the dining room people would be completely walking on the rug. I don’t like people walking half on the rug and half off the rug because it can be a tripping hazard. Also, the rug can now fully accommodate the pullout that a chair requires to sit at the table.

•  Table and chairs
The table and chairs were purchased separately to create the look that we achieved. The table is stained black on the pedestal base and the tabletop is inlaid wood that is stained a softer espresso color. The softer espresso color allows the beauty of the inlaid wood to show creating an exotic look as if the table were purchased from some far away land. The chairs were purchased from Ballard Designs because they are the perfect style for this space, the classic Chinese Chippendale Chair in lacquered black. This pattern is as popular today as it was in the eighteenth century. If you are not familiar with this pattern, start looking around and you will see it everywhere.

•  Chinoiserie vases
Two large chinoiserie vases stand in each corner of the dining room. The homeowner purchased these at an estate sale for a steal! These vases reinforce a curated look that can only be established over time.

•  Chinoiserie chest
The chinoiserie chest depicts a day in the life of people from the orient delicately painted on a black lacquered background. Pieces like this chest along with the vases are what piqued the interest of all things Asian for so many Europeans in the Eighteen century particularly in the Regency era. Be on the lookout for things like this today because there is a Regency Revival happening in design currently among the Millennial generation (20 to 40 years old) in America today. In fact, the term to describe this movement is Grand Millennial Design.

  Wall art
The wall art is a collection that the homeowner procured over time by combing estate sales and antique shops. He was able to find Asian watercolors that were already fabulously framed and worked perfect in the space.
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