Friday, February 15, 2013

Readers' Requests Series - Old School Chinoiserie

One follower requested that I do more posts on old school Chinoiserie - gladly, it is my favorite! An apartment that epitomizes this style is that of Mary Jane Pool. These pictures are from my favorite Domino Magazine article ever in March of 2008 featuring her apartment. Pool was one of the best magazine editors of the 20th century. She worked for both Vogue and House & Garden, serving as editor in chief of House & Garden from 1970 - 1980. That magazine was never better than under her perfect eye for detail. I still miss House & Garden and Domino. She is now 88 years old.

I love these photos - wonderful colors, Venetian antiques, sumptuous fabrics and wallpaper, and the expert mixing of antiques with 20th century pieces. Note the split photos showing earlier and later versions of the same space.

She incorporates so many of my favorite things - Chinoiserie, lots of books and magazines, painted furniture, the deft mixing of antiques and modern pieces, hand painted Chinoiserie wallpaper, blue and white Chinese porcelain, leopard, lots of pattern, my favorite colors of coral pink, yellow, and blue, oversized lampshades, needlepoint rugs, beautiful pillows, and modern art. The needlepoint rug in the living room is Chinese in red, gold, and white, the Fortuny pillows are from Venice, the pair of gilt mirrors are Neoclassical Italian, the sofa is from a Syrie Maugham design and is covered in silk. I hope you enjoy this stunning apartment.

I have started a Pinterest board on Old School Chinoiserie that you can find and follow here.


  1. Beth,
    I think Harrison Howard's prints would work really well with the old school also.

    Old school is definitely my favorite, and it is the way in which I have decorated our home!

    It has a certain elegance, don't you think?

  2. What a truly lovely post. Have enjoyed every frame and word, as usual!

  3. To me, perhaps to you also, the appeal of this style of decorating is that is says two things about owner: "I love beautiful things in my home," and "I actually live here."

    And, I adore seeing books (slightly messy ones at that) in every room.

    P. Allen Smith, though known for his gardening not his decorating, does this style wonderfully in today's world.

    Best. Ellen