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Blue and white chinoiserie is a captivating design style that has stood the test of time. Originating from East Asia, this decorative technique combines vibrant blue motifs with crisp white backgrounds, resulting in a timeless and elegant aesthetic. There are many ways to decorate using chinoiserie and today I’m discussing this designer favorite. Most of my collection is thrifted and I hope to inspire you to think outside of the box when using different interior design looks.
Vintage Blue & White Decor
In coastal decor, blue and white chinoiserie adds a touch of sophistication and tranquility, evoking the serene beauty of the sea and sky. In this blog post, we will dive into the essence of blue and white chinoiserie, its cultural origins, and how to use it in your coastal-inspired homes.
What is Chinoiserie?
Blue and white chinoiserie is characterized by its intricate, hand-painted blue designs on a white ceramic or porcelain background. The motifs often include delicate landscapes, floral patterns, mythical creatures, and traditional Chinese symbols. This art form emerged during the Ming Dynasty in China and quickly gained popularity across the globe for its exquisite craftsmanship and timeless appeal.
Chinoiserie is a term used to describe Western interpretations of Chinese artistic styles. It emerged in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries when trade with China flourished. European artisans and craftsmen sought to recreate the allure of Chinese porcelain, leading to the development of blue and white chinoiserie as a distinct decorative style. Today, it continues to be revered for its fusion of Eastern and Western artistry.
Blue and White Chinoiserie in Coastal Decor
One of my favorite garden centers, Abide a Awhile, has an entire section full of chinoiserie. They have it beautifully decorated with ferns, rattan, and coastal pieces. The look flows beautifully when it’s done right. Here are a few ways to incorporate this vintage staple into your coastal look.
Add Statement Pieces
Include blue and white chinoiserie as statement pieces to anchor your coastal-inspired decor. Consider investing in a large porcelain vase, ginger jars, or decorative plates adorned with blue and white chinoiserie motifs. Display them prominently on mantels, consoles, or shelves to create a focal point and add visual interest. The piece I have below in my living room bookshelves is actually a replica that looks realistic.
Wallpaper and Murals
Think outside of the box and search for blue and white chinoiserie-inspired wallpaper or murals to infuse your coastal space with this style. Choose designs that feature serene landscapes, delicate birds, or blooming flowers. This creates a dreamy backdrop reminiscent of the ocean and sky, enhancing the coastal ambiance.
Introduce blue and white chinoiserie through soft furnishings such as throw pillows, cushions, or upholstery fabrics. Look for patterns that incorporate chinoiserie elements like pagodas, bamboo, or intricate floral motifs. These accents can instantly transform a space, adding elegance and a hint of whimsy.
Tableware and Accessories
Extend the beauty of blue and white chinoiserie to your dining table and living spaces through tableware and accessories. Select blue and white porcelain plates, bowls, or tea sets with chinoiserie patterns. Enhance the coastal theme by incorporating seashells, coral, or driftwood as complementary accents.
Artwork and Wall Decor
Adorn your walls with blue and white chinoiserie-inspired artwork, such as paintings, prints, or framed ceramic tiles. These pieces can evoke a sense of tranquility and create a sophisticated coastal atmosphere. Mix and match different sizes and styles to create an eclectic gallery wall or a curated display.
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Where to Purchase Chinoiserie
One of the most convenient and widely accessible options for replica pieces is Amazon and I have several linked in my storefront here. Another excellent source is thrift stores, both online and in-person. These treasure troves often house hidden gems, including vintage chinoserie pieces that can add a touch of elegance to your space without breaking the bank. I have several of my favorite local thrift stores saved here. Check them out frequently and go read my tips for finding the best finds!
Websites like Etsy and eBay are also worth checking out, as they feature a wide range of chinoserie-inspired products from independent sellers worldwide. Local antique stores are great but they are known to increase the prices, so I wouldn’t start there.
Have I convinced you to think outside of the box when incorporating vintage styles into your home? I love to include one unexpected item and not go over the top with chinoiserie pieces. When paired with the right decor, you’ll have a timeless look that will last for years!