We’re Into: Chinoiserie

Art prints of blue and white porcelain vases

Psst…want to know the quickest way to add a worldly sophistication to your decor? Look no further than Chinoiserie. This charmingly exotic decorating style has been around for centuries, but it’s bigger than ever.

Chinoiserie (French for “Chinese-esque”) is a uniquely European interpretation of Asian influences dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when traders and travelers brought back their wares and sketches of their trips east. Designers began to translate the unique style in all aspects of design, from porcelain to interior decorating to architecture and gardens.

We love the way the Chinoiserie decor instantly adds a sense of history and travel to a room — and all it takes is a few striking pieces or upholstery in a bold pattern to do the trick. Here are our favorite ways to bring the chic style to your home.

Chinoiserie-style furniture collection

Bonair Collection

This classical style, based on a 150-year-old book on European furniture design, is carved to mimic bamboo. These pieces work in so many places — from entry to living room — and add instant architecture to a space.

Blue and white porcelain vases

Blue and White Porcelain Vase

Blue and white porcelain is a great way to add Asian flair, and it’s beautiful in any interior, from minimally modern to traditional. For the biggest impact, group a collection of vases together on a table. Of course, our framed Blue Vase Art is a fun take on the look.

Lucy Fabric

French pastoral scenes are replaced with pagodas, palaces and bamboo for a delightful twist on toile. The bold blue and white color scheme gives this toile a fresh feel and makes it easy to mix with other patterns, from florals to stripes.

Chinoiserie-style Macau chair in red

Macau Chair

A colorful fret back chair surely achieves the desired effect. We’re die-hard fans of this classic Chinese Chippendale style, crafted of mahogany with rattan wrapped joints. No need to buy multiples — all you need is one to add an unexpected element in a room.

Chinoiserie-inspired garden seat

Garden Seat

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a perennial favorite and Chinoiserie must-have. Decorative and utilitarian, the Garden Seat goes absolutely anywhere.

Chinoiserie-inspired applique knot

Kiki Frog Knot Pillow

Intricate detailing and ornamental adornment are hallmarks of Chinoiserie. The classic frog knot detail on a pillow adds subtle decoration with style. Group several pillows together on a sofa or bed to achieve the look.

Chinoiserie-inspired pagoda etagere

Chloe Etagere

Chinoiserie introduced new shapes and details to Western design. The pagoda style top on our Chloe Etagere gives this etagere sculptural interest. It adds sophisticated flair in any space, from eclectic to traditional.

Find more decorating inspiration by browsing our Pinterest boards.


About the Author:

How to Decorate Team
We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Jennifer April 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I love the blue pattern curtains and ottoman. Do you still have that fabric available?

  2. joannie April 4, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    where can i find the bar cart

    • Caroline @ How to Decorate April 5, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Unfortunately, that bar cart is no longer available. I’m so sorry! We do have three different styles of bar cart though. You can find them here.

  3. Pam January 10, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    love, love, love. Where can I find the vase prints? Thanks.

  4. Chelsea August 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Where is the “La Mer” print from??

  5. Cathy February 5, 2015 at 5:56 am - Reply

    where can I buy the Bonaire table?

  6. Dianne September 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Where can I find the curtains shown in the top photos?

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