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Monday, May 18, 2009

Eastern Influences

As we look back over the last decade on decorating trends that have come and gone (hello ikat, goodbye shabby chic!), we've come to realize that few decorating styles have the staying power of chinoiserie. While in the traditional sense, chinoiserie has its origins in the 17th century, when European artwork and design began to reflect a Chinese influence, in a way, the concept is continually evolving. While we still love the classic chinoiserie toiles, today's take on Chinese design is fresher, bolder, and less fussy. When old and new are paired together, the result is the epitome of modern chic design. We love how just one Chinese-inspired piece adds instant interest to a room and really sets it off. Take a look at some of our favorite rooms and pieces!

We are in love with Alessandra Branca's New York City apartment, featured this month's Elle Decor. Note the red lacquer coffee table with the Chinese styling, and of course, the dramatic gold and black toile room screen behind it. Amazing. There are a lot of patterns at work in this room- are those Madeline Weinrib ikat pillows?- but it works. The yellow flowers really tie the room together.

As a nod to the lines on the coffee table above, how about this irresistible Ming table, $998? You could use this in so many ways- a dining/kitchen table for a small space, a card table, even a little desk or work station. And it comes in quite a few inspired colors!

We love a fun, daring wallpaper in a powder room! How amazing is this Chinese toile? This would be my favorite room in the house. House Beautiful.

While french country-inspired toile died a slow and painful death from overuse in the 1990's, Chinese toile seems to have remained unscathed and remains one of our favorite types of patterns. Try this Chinese bridges wallpaper by G.P. & J. Baker from Lee Jofa. You'll have it forever.

We love this wall covering- do you think that's hand painted, or just amazing wallpaper? But what we love most of all is the fabulous red fish table in the background. Definitely a statement! House Beautiful.

For the same look, we love this white Fish Table, $165. The white makes it look super fresh and modern. Definitely a conversation starter!

In this living room by Mary McDonald, we see a hint of Chinese chippendale in the lines of the cabinet in the background, but a more realistic asian-inspired touch is the ceramic garden stool next to the coffee table. We see these types of stools everywhere, and for great prices. They're perfect for introducing a new texture into the room, and of course, can double as a place to sit or a place to throw your book or magazine. House Beautiful.

Garden stools even go perfectly in a more traditional sunroom. They really do blend with most any style or decor, from modern and sleek to white wicker!

An alert MoS mom pointed out these fab Palmer Stools, $129.95, from Z Gallerie. We are loving the orange- how fab would that look with a brown and white zig zag rug? Just when we have about written off Z Gallerie, they introduce chic items like these! We'll have to check it out in person.

This eclectic room has loads of style- and note the pair of pagoda-like lamps, along with the blue and white Chinese figurines on the sconces. There are a LOT of pairs going on in this room- the pair of blue chairs, the pair of lamps, the pair of sconces, the pair of figurines. We'd probably go for just one lamp so as not to overload on symmetry, but otherwise, we love this mix of colors.

As a fresher take on the Chinese figurines in the room above, how about these turquoise foo dog statues, $25 per pair from Pearl River. Ok, we admit foo dogs may be a little trendy these days, as evidenced by the fact that they even showed up in Jill Zarin's apartment on the Real Housewives a few weeks ago (how they tie into her "mid century modern" apartment makeover I have no idea...but that's another story)! But at $25 per pair, you can afford for your love to be conditional.

We swoon for those chairs. We simply love the lattice detailing- the pattern reminds us of vintage deco bamboo chairs, but when done without bamboo, they takes on a more contemporary feel.

In the spirit of the glamorous room above, can't you see this mirrored Lara Tea Table fitting perfectly into the decor? The turquoise wall color would play off the mirrors so well. Wouldn't these be amazing bedside tables? We love how they are a unique twist on mirrored furniture, which tends to be more deco-esque in design.

The lattice on the chairs in the living room remind me of the details on this Xia Li Side Table $191. What a steal- this will jazz up any room.

We love where Meg Braff has taken this living room- it's got red faux bamboo chairs, a white ceramic garden seat, a floral rug, and killer bookshelves adorned by huge blue and white pieces that tie into the rug's colors. We also love how the blue of the rug and vases ties into the blue wall in the background. Now that's planning!
In the spirit of the bookshelves pictured above, how about this Xia Li shelf, $1,240? The red definitely says Chinese to me, but the star-like detailing suggest a hint of moroccan influence.

We would not at all mind hunkering down at the Viceroy Santa Monica, decorated by Kelly Wearstler, and as featured on the Elle Decor website this month. We're not sure where to start with what we love- the bamboo chair? The graceful shaped legs of the desk? Its marble top? The rattan wallpaper? The upholstery over the open bamboo back of the chair? The staffordshire dog lap? Forget it- we can't pick a fave- we love everything!

For another inspired desk arrangement, this amazing guest room by Meg Braff is totally captivating. We love that white desk! Wish you could get the same one? Well, you're in luck...

It looks like Meg used this very same Jacqui Console/Desk Table, $1,500 from House Eclectic. It comes in several colors, and though the red really speaks to us, clearly it also looks fab in white! We love how this is perfect as a desk OR a console table so you can switch it up as your needs change. We'll take it!


Julie said...

What a great post, ladies! I love it.

goheels83 said...

Good post! Helped me fix a case of the Mundays. :D

Dave said...

The Lara Tea Table is indeed a great piece and is also available in black glass which is visually stunning. It's a great alternative to its lacquered doppelganger, the Jacqui Tea Table, which has a more summery look.

I love the blog. You've got a great sense of style!

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