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Chinoiserie – Chinese-Style Wallpaper

Chinoiserie – Chinese-Style Wallpaper

With its increasing prominence on the world economic stage and its hundreds of years of rich, cultural and aesthetic history it’s no surprise that many people here in the west look to China for inspiration when decorating their homes. Emulating Chinese style, or to give it its proper name, Chinoiserie, is a design ethos going back to the mid-17th Century, when trade between Western Europe and the Far East first became commonplace.
Here we’ve chosen five Chinoiserie wallpaper designs, two from world famous Hong Kong born designer and architect Steve Leung, that capture the rich visual heritage of the east but also reflect the robust and ultra-modern China of the 21st Century. 


Those of you who were expected flowers, swirling Chinese dragons and pagodas may be a little surprised to see this first Chinoiserie selection, a minimalist, geometric design of subtle white stripes and interlocking squares against a white background, but Steve Leung’s ‘Bao’ is heavily indebted to traditional Chinese architecture. This is a great choice for modern settings with contemporary furniture, but is versatile enough to work well in almost any room throughout the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom!
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Vibrant and exotic, Precious also features climbing trails, this time of white flowers and curved grey leaves against a rich blue background. This opulent design combines traditional Chinese imagery with modern attitude, making it a choice that will work in contemporary and more vintage settings alike. Why not try using it in tandem with a single-colour wallpaper matching one of its tones of white, grey or blue?
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Our second selection from Steve Leung, this design takes a traditional, climbing floral pattern and gives it a thoroughly modern makeover with shimmering, metallic highlights against a lively purple background, to create an almost “3D” effect. We can imagine this working excellently to highlight the fireplace in an older property or in tandem with a single colour paper above or below a dado rail.
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Temple Tulips

We’ve saved the most extravagant Chinoiserie wallpaper for last, with Temple Tulips, a wildly sumptuous design from Amy Butler. Here we have a swirling trail of red and pink flowers against a warm, almost autumnal terracotta that matches Far Eastern exoticism with a retro, 1960s chic. A superb choice for sitting rooms and dining rooms.
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