Monday, September 4, 2023

The Blue and White Chinoiserie Powder Room

CBi Studio

This wonderful powder room features Lee Jofa's adaptation of Blue Willow china called Willow Lake. The classic chinoiserie Blue Willow pattern is 300 years old and depicts the tale of two thwarted lovers.

"The story tells how Koong-se, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Mandarin, fell in love with Chang, his low-born assistant. When the Mandarin found out he banished Chang and built a great fence around his property to keep his daughter in and Chang out. The Mandarin arranged a betrothal for Koong-se with a rich and powerful Duke, who arrived by boat carrying a casket of jewels as a marriage offering. While the Mandarin and Duke got drunk together, Chang broke into compound and escaped with Koong-se taking the jewels. The Mandarin, Duke and one of his men gave chase but the couple got away. They ended up living happily on a far away island where Chang made a successful living as a writer. In fact, he was too successful and his fame reached the ears of the Mandarin. He sent his henchmen over to the island where they killed Chang and set fire to the house, killing Koong-se who was inside. The Gods, seeing their plight, immortalized them as two doves which you can see flying together at the top of the Willow Pattern." (Victoria Gallery and Museum)

Happy Labor Day! I am trying to decompress after a stressful week. First, Hurricane Idalia sped through Florida causing lots of damage, including storm surge destruction here although I was spared at CCC. Second, millions the world over are mourning the loss of Jimmy Buffet, and nowhere more than his adopted home in South Florida. He personified the lifestyle here with his love of sun, ocean, margaritas, endless summer, and flip-flops. Rest In Peace. Lastly, the skies were ablaze last night when a suspected arsonist set vegetation on fire at several beaches here in Venice. So I am taking the day off and trying to relax. Hope you are doing the same.

Venice, Florida Last Night


  1. I love this pattern. They used to make it available in fabric as well, but have discontinued it. There was a pink and blue version that was one of my favorites.

  2. Such a beautiful story with a sad ending! Chang should have had a pen name for his writings. I’ve always loved this wallpaper! Thanks for sharing this story.

  3. The fire set by the arsonist is infuriating. I'm terribly sorry to read this.
    Beautiful powder room.
    RIP Jimmy Buffet.