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How to decorate with chinoiserie wallpaper

Are you looking to add a little bit of wow factor to your home? Here's everything you need to know about iconic chinoiserie wallpaper, plus our favourite decorating ideas to inspire you...

black and green chinoiserie wallpaper
Published: April 20, 2022 at 11:52 am

Ornate, elaborate and extremely beautiful, chinoiserie wallpaper is perfect for giving your home a luxurious look. But how much do you know about this historic style?

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Here's everything you need to know about decorating with iconic chinoiserie wallpaper, plus some styling ideas for inspiration…

Black and white tropical wall mural

What is chinoiserie style?

Chinoiserie is a decorative style that emerged in Europe during the 17th century. The style, which can be recognised by its fantastical depictions of the Far East, developed as a direct result of the increased trade that began to take place between Europe and Asia in the 1600s.

green chinoiserie wallpaper
Wallpaper by de Gournay

Chinoiserie style emerged as Europe increased trading contact with China, spurring a wave of Western fascination with the culture and landscapes of the Far East. They began decorating their homes romanticised depictions of life in the orient. The term ‘chinoiserie’ comes from the French word for Chinese, reflecting its origin as a European interpretation of the art and design associated with China and other East Asian countries during this time period.

What is chinoiserie wallpaper?

Although the term chinoiserie can be used to describe a particular type of design on fabrics, ceramics, wall coverings or furniture, it most often refers to a specific type of beautiful wallpaper.

bathroom chinoiserie wallpaper
Wallpaper by de Gournay

Chinoiserie wallpaper is actually more like a mural than wallpaper, because it typically features a pattern that never repeats. The design is often lavish and ornate, and traditionally, would have been painstakingly painted by hand.

Why is chinoiserie so popular?

Chinoiserie wallpaper will give a room instant wow factor thanks to its beautiful, intricate designs. As the pattern never repeats, each part of your wall becomes unique. It adds instant colour and interest to a space, and can be teamed with accessories from a number of different styles.

black chinoiserie wallpaper
Wallpaper by de Gournay

Is chinoiserie wallpaper expensive?

The price of chinoiserie wallpaper varies extensively depending on where you purchase it from. Authentic De Gournay wallpaper, for example, features hand-painted garden scenes based on historic wallpapers from grand European houses in the 17th and 18th centuries, and can set you back anything from £1500 to just over £3000 for a single panel.

orange chinoiserie wallpaper
Wallpaper by de Gournay

Happily, there are also a number of more affordable brands that sell chinoiserie wallpaper, with prices starting at around £30 per roll. Etsy is a great place to find chinoiserie wallpaper, as is temporary wallpaper brand Tempaper, Graham & Brown, and Woodchip & Magnolia. High street brands such as Dunelm and Wayfair also stock chinoiserie inspired wallpaper.

How to decorate with chinoiserie wallpaper

So now you know the history of chinoiserie wallpaper, but how do you decorate with it? Take a look at our gallery below to discover our favourite chinoiserie wallpaper decorating ideas!

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Feeling inspired? Don't forget to check out our guide on how to wallpaper like an expert, and take a look at how to wallpaper tricky areas here!

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