What is Chinoiserie Furniture? A Buyer's Guide

Chinoiserie Furniture can create the exotic look in any room. Here we will talk about its history, two types of Chinoiserie Furniture and where you can buy one.

1. What is Chinoiserie?
Chinoiserie (Shin-Wa-Za-Ree) first appeared in the mid 17th century as the European decorative style influenced by the East Asian style. The word "Chinoi" is the French word for "Chinese". The word "Chinoiserie" means Chinese style decorations. However, when we talk about "Chinoiserie", it also includes Japanese style decorations too.

2. How to Identify Chinoiserie Furniture?
The key characteristics of Chinoiserie furniture can be summarized as below,

- Landscape: The use of landscape such as mountain and river can be found anywhere in all Chinese furniture and decorative items from the bed to porcelain.

- Animal: There are 2 common animal motifs in Chinese furniture. The first one is the use of the dragon and phoenix to symbolize the natural harmony. Dragon means the sun or the king and phoenix means the moon or the queen. The second one is the use of monkey which is one of the animals in the Chinese zodiac. It symbolizes "cleverness" or "wisdom".

- Flower: The most common flower motif is the use of water lily which can be seen on any type of furniture.

- Pheasant: The way of life of local pheasant is also popular in Chinese furniture.

- Color: Each color has special meaning in Chinese culture. Red means fire, energy, good luck, fortune and joy. Gold means something related to the king and wealth. Blue means relaxation, calmness and long life.

- Lacquering Technique: Since Europe couldn't produce lacquer by themselves, they imported lacquer made from the Asian lac tree from Japan. Then, lacquering has become a feature of Chinoiserie Furniture.

3. Where to Buy Chinoiserie Furniture?
Now we will introduce you to newly produced Chinoiserie style furniture available on Amazon.com as below,

- Dining Set: This Chinoiserie dining set is the perfect example of Chinoiserie. It comes with elegant lacquering and also includes common features of Chinoiserie such as the use of flower and landscape.
Chinoiserie Dining Set
- Coffee Table: This Chinoiserie style coffee table shows you that Chinoiserie style can be an integral part of your room. You can use it together with other vintage style furniture to create a chic living room.
Coffee Table
- Desk: This harpsichord style desk with chair demonstrates how to combine western structure with Chinese motifs. This Chinoiserie chair uses very good colors. Red background means joy and luck and gold decorative details mean wealth.
- End Table: This Chinoiserie blue end table represents relaxation. The floral and bird motif goes very well with the color. Actually, it looks modern enough to use in any room.
End Table
- TV Cabinet: This black and gold TV cabinet makes the floral and royal motif paintings really stand out. It's ideal for any room.
TV Cabinet
- Screen: Chinoiserie screen or room divider like this is still used widely in both Chinese and Japanese homes today. It features Chinese Spring Festival beautifully. The use of black and gold color like this gives this furniture the real meaning.

Have you ever used Chinoiserie furniture at home?