Friday, April 1, 2011

Word of the Week

As a service to my readers, all 3 of you, I am starting a new series called Word of the Week.  I can't have you guys going around like the lady at Home Depot who thought toile was pronounced toll.  (It is pronounced twall, in case you didn't know.)

Our word this week is something I love very much.  It is Chinoiserie!

No, it is not pronounced chin oy seree, the way I used to say it in my head whenever I saw it on a page.  It is pronounced sheen (as in Charlie Sheen) was ree.  Go here to listen to it spoken out loud.

Now say it out loud, "sheen was ree."

Again.  Chinoiserie.  Good, I think you've got it!

Now that you know how to say it, you need to know what it is!  According to the blog Chinoiserie Chic, Chinoiserie is a French term meaning "Chinese-esque."

Basically it is a style in art or decoration reflecting Chinese motifs.  I won't bore you with the details.  Go here for more information.

Should you incorporate Chinoiserie into your home?  Yes, immediately.

You can start with something small.

Like these foo dogs.  I wish I wouldn't have seen these pictures.  I have some foo dogs similar to these and I am definitely going to have to paint them coral and icy blue.  Just added some more projects to my already long list!  These are available on etsy, but I found mine at Homegoods for $7.99.

Or you can start with something large.

Like an Asian screen or a gold pagoda.  I actually found an Asian screen at the Salvation Army and I sadly did not purchase it!

You can start with something red.

Like this trash can from Wisteria.

Or you can start with something white.

Like this chair, also from Wisteria.

Or you can start with something blue.

Like this Chinese garden stool from Wisteria.

Your homework is to add some Chinoiserie to your home.  Today, if possible.

Because you have all been such wonderful students, I am going to leave you with my favorite pictures of Chinoiserie!  All images from here.

I actually used the above fabrics in some projects around my house.  I used the top one to make a table skirt for an old, ugly side table in my dining room.  I used the bottom fabric to recover some bulletin boards.  Pictures of both of these projects coming soon!

I have a mirror just like this, but white, in the bathroom above the sink.  I got it at my favorite resale shop on half off day, so it was only $19.  I found it the day before the sale and took a chance that it would still be there the next day!

There's that mirror again!  Love the wallpaper!

Love the colors in this room!

Homegoods, Garden Ridge, and Hobby Lobby are great resources for blue and white Chinese vases. This foyer was designed by Mary McDonald.


Ruthie Sommers

More Ruthie Sommers!  Love it!

Ruthie Sommers' daughter's nursery.  So chic!

Love the mix of patterns in this room!  So cozy!

I have always loved this kitchen!  Chinoiserie wallpaper + lucite bar stools = awesome!

Awesome shell mirror.  I have tried to make one myself, but only got a third of the way through and the shells keep falling off.  It might be worth paying retail.  Pier 1 Imports has a good one that is not too pricey.

Another awe inspiring room by Ruthie Sommers!  Gorgeous does not adequately describe this room.  The wallpaper in the above four pictures is designed by David Hicks and called The Vase by Clarence House.

Beautiful in blue and yellow.

This room designed by Miles Redd was in the latest issue of House Beautiful.

Blanc de Chine displayed on brackets.  I bought some Blanc de Chine at an estate sale recently.

Ruthie Sommers

Lyford Cay in Nassau, Bahamas by Tom Scheerer.

Pretty palette of dark brown, lime green, and coral.

So, do you have any Chinoiserie?   If not, I hope you are inspired to add some to your home!

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