Can Chinoiserie be Chic?
You bet my design chops on it! Most of you probably have no clue what that is or how to pronounce it. Here is some help on the pronunciation bit - [sheen-wah-zuh-ree]. There now, you are a pro! Let's get some background information. These fanciful oriental inspired interiors were popular during the 17th & 18th century after the Europeans started infusing their interiors with Asian influenced themes. No, this design style had nothing to do with the actual Asian culture, and by that I mean it wasn't "invented" there. Weird right? Bold in colors like deep blues, greens and brilliant reds. Whimsy is introduced with dragons, Chinese legends, exotic animals & flowing landscapes. This design style has spanned ages, it is timeless, luxurious and dynamic.
We have of course added the "chic" to put a modern spin on it. And I am all in.
What brought this up? I am currently designing for a client who has fallen in lust with all the makes up Chinoisorie. It has been quite an inspiring project and has be obsessing over researching it. I think it is always fun to educate myself and my clients on new trends, old trusted favorites & forgotten jems like this one. It also has close roots with another period of design I have a soft spot for Rococo, but I will save that one for another day.
Some might be lucky enough to uncover original shiplap. Others plan to use it as a design feature in their new builds or remodels. Either way it is a timeless way to add interest to plain walls that is now making it's way back to current design in a big way.
I wanted to cover this topic on the blog because I have been a bit obsessed with Fixer Upper lately. As in watching it on repeat on OnDemand until there are no longer any episodes to watch. Oops! Usually I am not thrilled with HGTV shows but Joanna & Chip do a great job showing a more realistic side of the design process. She always seems to find a way to incorporate shiplap into her designs and they always turn out beautifully.
Most of the time when you think shiplap, you think of white horizontal boards on all walls, that has been on trend. But you can also use shiplap in other ways. Stain or white wash is equally as stunning and it’s not just for walls but ceilings too! And when you paint it – it doesn’t have to be stark white.
The most common use is in living rooms. However, it works great in bedrooms, bathrooms and even kitchen areas!
You can use it to define spaces, as shown in the dining nook. You can also use it to unify spaces like an entry to a main living area.
Shiplap is being used in traditional and more contemporary designs. It all depends on how and where you use it and what you do with the material itself. Bring it into a traditional space by keep the paint colors muted and defining it with trim work. More contemporary looks include white painted or light stains.
There are many species of wood you can use to achieve certain looks. Pine is what many of the old shiplap walls are built from and are beautiful both natural and painted. Poplar is usually used in instances where you will be painting as it creates a smooth finish. Cedar might be used in areas where you wanted to stain or clear coat it to keep the warmth and beauty of the wood.
Anyway you incorporate shiplap you can be assured it will be a great investment. It instantly adds timeless character to a space for years to come.
If you have been following emeralDesign on Pinterest lately you will know I have been obsessing over dark interiors, especially Black and White. The is something so timeless, simple and calming about the familiar color combo. The beauty of the two colors is it can also be used in a number of design styles from modern to traditional to even an art deco inspired scheme. Take a loot at some of my favorite finds.
This bathroom is a perfect example of the drama Black and White color schemes can bring to a room. The contrast of the black elements against the white create so much interest in the vertical & horizontal lines.
I kind of feel like I cheated on this one. Let's face it, it's not pure Black and White - but it is a monochromatic color scheme (using once color in varying shades, i.e. Black). Using black and white in varying tones creates a more comfortable, relaxed feel. It is especially effective with all the different textures and materials that are used to bring the space together.
Now it is time to swoon over these lovely exteriors. Your eye is automatically drawn to them, whether it be the whole facade or just a glossy black door it instantly makes you look.
Taking a look at something new is always inspiring! Happy October!