I adore Chinoiserie! Especially on a wallpaper. I am not sure if you have heard this term before. But it is existing since the 18th century.

I got introduced to Chinoiserie a few years back while I was reading an interiors book. You must ask google on how to pronounce it. Cuz it sounds way different from what it spells 🙂

Today, this word popped again in front of me, which reminded me of letting you know more about this… cuz it’s much more than just a word.

In this article, I am taking you on a tour-de-chinoiserie. Where all this art-form is used? And how does it represent beauty to a home?

Chinoiserie Ginger Jars

How Chinoiserie came into existence?

Due to the rise in trade with China and East Asia, this art came into existence because of Europe. The vintage look and use of Chinese motifs & techniques, has inspired me with awe.

“Chinoiserie is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and East Asian artistic traditions. Especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre and music” Wikipedia.


As soon as I got to know about this term and its importance in depicting beauty to a home, I researched about it. And I instantly fell in love with it. Hardly seen, yet used in most of the home interiors, this art has still managed to scrub-off the rust forming on it.

So basically, you will see a lot of nature-inspired designs viz. trees with long branches, birds, flowers etc. and it is no way dull. You may hit with a black and gold edition, but apart from that. all you’ll see is pops of orange, cheerful blues and Kelly greens… even more than that.

You might have seen these pieces occasionally in some art-fairs and likewise. They are called Ginger Jars. These, often round-shaped, high-shouldered, jars with heavenly motifs in white-and-blue colour were used in China to store spices. Especially to store ginger while transportation.

Usage of Chinoiserie in Home Decor and Interiors

As time passed by, the pieces have shrugged off its utilitarian purpose and entered into home design world with an attitude to never fade away. Currently, these jars are used as show-pieces, vases and also for storing spices 🙂

Majorly curated on wallpapers and murals, this art…. wherever implemented… will rule the look of the room.

I have seen them on upholstery (entire furnishing range), furniture design, wallpaper, murals, knobs, jars, ceramics, mirror frames. And how about a phone case?

Scoring the vastness of colours from pleasant pastels, to bright hues to darkest of the shades, gives immense scope to select whichever your heart calls to.

I would love to have a mural-work of Chinoiserie done on one of the walls of my work-studio. Or maybe on the ceiling of my living room.

What about you… Have you heard or saw this art before? Did you like it? If yes, then where would you want this and in which form?


Tara Nair


Image Source: 1/2/3