Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

Posts tagged “Chinoiserie

High/low Great Lamps

One of my favorite recent projects has been helping my young adult daughter with her very first apartment.

I am loving these Chris-Spitz look-alikes from Overstock:


Can you tell which, above, is the

Christopher Spitzmiller Aurora Double Gourd Marbleized Lamp
$2,665.00 (EACH!!!)

and which is from ($144.99 per pair)?




Chinoiserie bedroom makeover for a young twenty-something


Design by Ellen Rhett

My young collegiate was anxious for an update to the room that had last been decorated when she was thirteen.

A college co-ed desires a sophisticated space to return to when she’s home.

Chic chinoiserie details pleased and surprised.


Pink dogwood linen fabric unifies the hot-pink wallpaper with the neutrals.

And repeats the Chinoiserie theme.

Existing strié wallpaper was kept.

Foo dog lamps add a youthful vibe and continue the Chinoiserie theme.


They also repeat the white in the dogwood fabric and bedding.

Remember, white is never a neutral in décor, even though it always is in fashion.

It must be repeated at least three times in a room.

White peonies, a favorite, are a natural in this room.


Design by Ellen Rhett

Custom padded headboard with expertly hand-applied nailheads (by my wonderful upholsterer)
Fun and funky and ultra-feminine light fixture, below, with plenty of sparkle and a dark finish.

Repeating the shape, movement, darkness, of the branches on the drapery and neckroll fabric.

Repeating the color of  the  lampshades as well.

And, a gorgeous on-trend sunburst accent mirror, handmade and all-wood. 


Design by Ellen Rhett

Both sourced online for a song.

If I told you from where, you wouldn’t believe it anyway.

But, I know you, reader.

I know what you really want.

You want the before.

I’ll show you the before.

Get ready.

A little embarrassing so I’ll make this quick. 

Here you are:



And,  one more time, the AFTER:


All Images Color Calling

Fabric Sources

Neckroll: Clark and Clark “Dogwood” (trade only)
Draperies: same as above. 
Headboard fabric: Clark and Clark “Chinese Square” (trade only)
Bedspread, shams, comforter: Macy’s

Chinoiserie Saint Francis

When I saw this finely carved “ivoryesque” figurine at a church thrift store for a song, I couldn’t resist.

He is a Chinoiserie version of Saint Francis. See the little birds he is holding?

He looks right at home in my Chinoiserie powder room.

The wallpaper also has birds on it, do you see those storks to the left of the figurine?  
This little illustration shows one of my favorite decorating secrets, which I happily share:

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It is visually and artistically pleasing to use repetition.

The eye will pick up on repetition as it processes what it sees in a room.

Sometimes the conscious mind does not recognize the repetition, but the subconscious mind has processed it as pleasing.

So, in the above vignette, the Chinoiserie St. Francis repeats several things from the wallpaper:

the antique cream color, the Chinoiserie style, the birds,  the figural images, and even the cross-hatching in his hat is also in the wallpaper.

Take another peek and you will see these things that perhaps you didn’t notice before they were pointed out.

Now, let’s look at some elements in another room, images below.

Notice the repetitive geometric motif, diamond shapes, which I have broken down individually.

Diamond shapes are repeated throughout the room. You probably wouldn’t even notice.

Image ©Color Calling

Cut velvet upholstery, Image ©Color Calling

And here

Drapery trim Image ©Color Calling

Subtle, very subtle.

Powerful, very powerful when used together.

Because of the repetition.

Repetition, one of the best ideas in any good design professional’s bag of tricks.

Are you using repetition effectively to please the eye in the rooms in your home?

Summer Chinoiserie

Sometimes a dash of light-or-white Chinoiserie is the perfect punch for summer living, whether in a summer getaway,

or in a room in your home that is more frequently used in the summer. Here, some summer inspiration:

How do you hang a mirror?

There are a number of places to effectively hang a mirror. Over a dressing table, it is positively expected. Make it count with a beautiful shape or a gorgeous finish.

Hang your mirror to relate to what it is hanging over. For a mirror over your dressing table, for example, hang it so that you can actually use it while seated. For a mirror over a console, make sure you hang so that it relates to the console and not to the ceiling.

Wherever you use a mirror, allow it to double your view of something beautiful that you love!

Above: A hand-carved water gilt mirror, hung at dressing table height

Below: An ornate mirror reflects Chinoiserie wallpaper

All Photographs ©Color Calling