Get the Look: Playful Chinoiserie

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Image: Mana Ross Berman Interiors

Chinoiserie is a decorating style that has been with us for centuries, but it still feels fresh even when used in the present day (that is, depending on how it’s used). The dining room above could easily become traditional, ornately feminine, or even a bit stuffy, but the mix of bright colors and clean lines in the furnishings and accessories keep it playful and modern. You can get a similar look with the items below.

Get the Look: Playful Chinoiserie

Images: (1) Target, (2) Jonathan Adler, (3) Patrick Townsend, (4) Graham and Brown, (5) Ethan Allen, (6) Ethan Allen, (7) The Brass Gallery, (8) West Elm, (9) Apartment 48, (10) Pottery Barn

  1. Keep a couple of small benches in the room, and you’ll be ready to seat extra guests in a pinch.

  2. Plates rimmed with a happy blue look so nice on display (and on your table at meals).

  3. An amazing room needs an amazing chandelier, right? This one fits the bill. 

  4. This is just one example of Chinoiserie wallpaper. Try searching that term and you’ll find a million other options— perhaps the one you’d want to incorporate into your home.
  5. An oval table seats a large group graciously.

  6. White and wood chairs with clean lines complement the table.

  7. Traditional brass candlesticks temper all of the color and pattern throughout the rest of the room.

  8. Bring in a little more of that happy blue with serving pieces like a large lacquered tray.
  9. Have a little fun with a bar cart, and choose a vivid color like green.

  10. A neutral, natural-fiber rug grounds the space and gives your eyes a place to rest.

Could you see yourself bringing Chinoiserie into your home?

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Designer Nicole Balch transforms the so-so into the lovely. As she begins decorating her new home, a Victorian painted lady, she invites readers of her blog, Making it Lovely to follow along, offer advice, and gain inspiration from her creative process. Making it Lovely was named one of the 50 World’s Best Design Blogs by the London Times Online, and Nicole’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Time Out Chicago, ReadyMade, Everyday with Rachael Ray, CS Interiors, and other publications.