Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hand Painted Chinoiserie Dining Rooms

Lately I have been inspired by hand painted Chinese wallpapers by de Gournay and Gracie. I love them in all colors, particularly in blue, pink and yellow.

I adore the popular bird, butterfly, flower and tree motifs, but I also am fascinated by the colorful, old-world Chinese depictions.

The other day, I was skimming through my “Dining Room” board on Pinterest, and I noticed what I thought at first glance was a duplicate pin…
Here is an exquisite red and yellow Chinoiserie dining room Billy Baldwin designed in the 1950s:
Billy Baldwin, via Peak of Chic
And here is a dining room Meg Braff designed, using Shanghai wallpaper by ScalamandrĂ©: 
Just look at the similarities in the yellow and red pagoda-inspired valances!
While Scalamandré wallpaper is still expensive, it is a fraction of the cost of custom, hand painted Chinese papers, which generally run well over $1,000 per panel. What a clever way of achieving this classic look on a modified budget!
Meg Braff, via House Beautiful
Shanghai, by Scalamandré, hand printed toile
Price Per Roll: $370.75 via Decorators Best     

According to History Magazine, the Chinese began to produce wallpaper in the early 1600s, showered with painted birds, flowers and landscapes on rice paper formed in rectangular sheets. Chinese paper continued its popularity and its style of hand-painted birds, trees, pagodas and sometimes Chinese figures in landscapes became known as Chinoiserie. The paper found its way into manor houses, palaces and chateaux.
   The iconic Chinese Parlor at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library features hand painted Chinese wallpaper dating from the late 18th Century. Click here to take a virtual tour of this amazing room with Bob Vila.
Hand painted Chinese wallpaper is also very popular in Palm Beach estates. I have written about my little hobby of perusing Palm Beach MLS listings for design inspiration (here), and below are two amazing dining rooms I found.

If papering an entire room isn’t in your budget, another option to achieving this look is to frame a few hand painted panels. That way, you can take them with you, should you ever move!
House Beautiful, April 2012


  1. How interesting to see the Billy Baldwin room and the MEg Braff room together! I'm crazy for that Scalamandre paper. I wish it had some pink in it!!

    1. I love this paper too, and yes it would be fabulous in pink!! Everything is more fabulous in pink! :)

  2. I love this look, too. I am so impressed to see how it has really stood up through time. I would love that room today.

  3. Gorgeous wallpaper and totally worth the cost. Such beautiful images and lots of great information!


  4. Beautiful examples! I love hand painted murals and the exquisite DeGournay papers.. You can tell the quality and the uniqueness...exceptional.
    xo Nancy

  5. really nice, thanks for sharing and expression


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