Decorating with Chinoiserie Pillows: Transform the Look of your Home

Chinoiserie Pillows

A well-known fact of decorators and designers everywhere is that decorative pillows can rapidly, and often dramatically change the look and feel of a home. As bigger items, like sofas and beds, can't be replaced frequently, you can easily play around with decorative pillows to change a rooms decor. In that respect, pillows make a fantastic home decor accessory on their own, and the beautifully illustrated pillow will add a dash of color, provide an element of luxury and texture to any room, all the while reflecting your personality, and improving the comfort level of any room in your home.  

To that end, our decorators love the use of the chinoiserie pillows to change the look of a room. Whether used in moderation or with abandon, Chinoiserie has a knack for always feeling sensationally chic!

What Exactly is Chinoiserie?

Simply put, Chinoiserie is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, ceramics, garden design, architecture etc.  In this respect, Chinoiserie is an entirely European invention.  The word itself is French –and basically means something that is “chinese-esque”.  Chinoiserie designs are often elaborate and intricate patterns that include Chinese motifs like pagodas, dragons, and flora as imagined through the highly fantastical Western lens. On the tamer side of the spectrum, Foo Dogs prevail. Designed to stand guard outside of palaces and temples, Foo dogs traditionally come in pairs—one male and female—to represent yin and yang.

Blue Foo Dogs

Blue Foo Dogs Twins on Cream Pillow

Blue Pagoda on Cream Pillow

Blue Pagoda on Cream Pillow

Decorating with Chinoiserie Pillows
One reason many decorators like using chinoiserie pillows is because it each pillow can tell a “little story”, it has depth, a dash of strong color, and can quickly captivate your eye.  It can reinvent the traditional into a modern décor.  One brand of chinoiserie pillow / cushion covers we are especially proud to carry due to their quality and crispness of design is the British-based company, FabFunky. This line is popular for its unique home decor, and in particular, the decorative pillows by Kelly Stevens-McLaughlan, a self-taught UK-based designer, artist, and founder of FabFunky. Known for getting inspiration from everything around her, Kelly Stevens-McLaughlan particularly enjoys creating whimsical and absurd designs, and her love for animals can also readily observed in many of her illustrations and designs.

The quality of the FabFunky chinoiserie decorative pillow covers warrant mention as all are handmade with crisp illustrations printed on both sides of a cotton and linen blend fabric, ensuring that the stunning art shines through. Every pillow / cushion cover is completely piped and designed with a zip fastener that is discreetly fitted to not interfere with the design and still provides easy access for inserting a pillow filler.

Popular Chinoiserie Designs

We asked our designers to select some of their favorite Kelly Stevens-McLaughlan’s chinoiserie designs or patterns they have used to change the entire look of a room.  Here’s what they told us.

For a floral look to bring the outside indoors, they choose the Chinoiserie Vase Trio pillow.  This design adds a hint of eastern style to your decor with its vase and ginger jar artwork while introducing some green florals with its lush, green palm plants. Especially lovely during the spring and summer seasons or for use on a patio and porch.  For floral chinoiserie, our designers also recommend the Chinoiserie White Orchids in Dragon Bowl which brings “Mother Natures Masterpiece” --the orchid -- into your home introducing an exquisite, gentle, graceful beauty into your room.  The chinoiserie design on the dragon bowl also adds a timeless and classic decorative interior style.

Chinoiserie Vase Trio Chinoiserie Vase Trio

Chinoiserie White Orchids in Dragon BowlChinoiserie White Orchids in Dragon Bowl

The Quintessential Blue & White
If decorating with chinoiserie, odds are you have at least one (probably more) piece in the traditional blue and white.  Any pillow with the iconic images of rounded ginger jars or vases are almost a necessity! Consider the following for adding the quintessential blue and blue to your décor be it blue on cream, or blue on blue.
Chinoiserie Cherry Blossom Vase on Cream

Chinoiserie Cherry Blossom Vase on Cream

Chinoiserie Vase Collage # 1 on Blue

Chinoiser Vase Trio on Cream

Chinoiserie Vase Trio on Cream

Add a Splash of Vibrant Colors!
While no one color palette represents “chinoiserie chic” decorating, even though blue and white comes close, don’t limit yourself to just those colors! Introduce bright bursts of intense color that will distinguish chinoiserie as well as your decor style.  A splash of blue, red, green, and white can instantly add character to any room.
Chinoiserie Vase Collage #1 on Red

Chinoiserie Vase Collage #1 on Red

Chinoiserie Vase Collage # 3 on Green

Chinoiserie Vase Collage # 3 on Green

Red Chinoiserie Vase Collage # 4 on Cream

Red Chinoiserie Vase Collage # 4 on Cream

Chinoiserie Vase Collage #1 on Red

Chinoiserie Vase Collage #1 on Red

So, next time you want to change the look of a room, explore the use of chinoiserie pillows. Whether used in moderation or with abandon, chinoiserie is always in style, and always chic. Check out our large selection of chinoiserie pillows at Au Bon Goût Boutique for your next design project.