Crushing On: Contemporary Chinoiserie Prints

Before I share all the beautiful prints I scouted out for you, I’m going to go on a small tangent. The Crazy Rich Asians book series by Kevin Kwan started years ago, but I caught the bug this summer, just before the movie came out. I’m currently obsessed with everything related to this world – I love the fun romp of the stories; I’m excited by the significance of their popularity for cultural representation; and I’m moved by the idea that while people in the books – and in the real world – spend a lot of time judging cultural authenticity and superiority, the message of the books is that cultural identities are individual, dynamic, blended, and beautiful.

I promise, this is all related, because incorporating Chinoiserie elements into my home is one my favorite decorating themes. Chinoiserie is “the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture.” I recently made a beautiful bolster for our bed, upcycled from a baby sling I held on to for the past seven years. (See my Instagram post for a picture of the original sling!) After making it, I was inspired to source some other Chinoiserie prints with a contemporary feel. Here’s what I found. I hope you’ll share your favorites, too!

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The archetype of Chinoiserie prints is Schumacher’s Exuberant Prints Collection. The origin of many of these prints are in fact vintage, but they still feel completely contemporary, which is a true sign of good design. They are pricey, but a worthwhile splurge, if you can swing it.

I’m particularly in love with Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon:

A similar and more accessibly-priced option is the beautiful Robert Allen Ming Dragon:

And of course, when you are looking for a distinctive print, you’ve got to browse Spoonflower! I browsed tons of ideas there, and here are my favorites:

Cranes Garden by lorloves_design on Spoonflower:

KOI by tornpaperpaintings on Spoonflower:

Jenny Cherry Blossoms by Domesticate on Spoonflower:

Japanese Garden by Judit Gueth on Spoonflower:

(Yes I understand the irony/ inappropriateness of including this in a post on Chinoiserie… but it is pretty!)

In addition to accent pillows, you could frame a swatch of these prints or use one to line a tray. How would you use these prints?

“Jewels”

3 thoughts on “Crushing On: Contemporary Chinoiserie Prints

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