Spring is in the air…well almost. While we wait for the snow to melt, what better time to update your space to herald a season of renewal and growth. The SBD Spark Blog was created to provide you the tools to add design, style, and functional upgrades to your space on your own. With that in mind we are excited to introduce seasonal Shop the Look posts with specific key features:
- Style Focus each season on one of our favorite styles with historical tidbits and identifying elements
- Room Focus each season with a list of “ingredients” for a successful space
- 2 Complete Looks to use as inspiration for your home
- Shoppable Links to quality furniture and accessories you could buy today to add to your space - these are not items you will find at the store down the street
The Style: French Chinoiserie
We have seen a huge resurgence of appreciation for historical styles from many popular designers on tv and online. We are sure you have noticed designers looking back in time for inspiration but then blending it into today with more modern, clean lines.
We also love historical design at Sonia Barney Design. Today, we are taking inspiration from 17th and 18th Century French style and how it included influences from cultures all around the world. Thanks to expanded trade routes at the time, the bourgeoisie loved combining the indulgent Baroque and Rococo styles with elements inspired by East Asian art and design. These elements were often described as Chinoiserie, or “in the Chinese style”.
You can identify French Chinoiserie through the use of:
- Blue-and-white motifs commonly found on Chinese porcelain
- Extensive gilding
- Chinese patterns and figures in furniture, art, and surface painting
- Extravagant scenery and floral designs in wallpaper and fabrics
For more examples and design inspiration, take a look at these articles by Hadley Keller and Elizabeth Stamp.
As per our designer prerogative, we choose to be inspired by French Chinoiserie but still add our modern flair. Scroll to the bottom to see our modern interpretation which is perfect for a springtime refresh.
The Space: The Entry
The entry to a house is one of the most overlooked spaces, yet is one of the most commonly used. Not only do you pass through it everyday taking off your workday woes, this space is an introduction to your home. What first impressions does your entry give to your guests? Is it cluttered or organized? Does it showcase your values? By following the recipe below, you can personalize your entry and make it not only stand as a hallmark of your family, it can make entering and exiting more pleasurable.
So what elements do we need in an entry? Let’s break it down. Your entry needs the following ingredients:
- Hero Piece
- Concept Inspiration
- Light and Reflection
- Functional Support
Let's Build Your Chinoiserie Inspired Entry
At SBD, we believe every space has a main role, and the furniture piece most closely tied to that role is the “Hero”. In a bedroom, it's the bed. In the dining room, it’s the dining table. In the entry, it's the console table. The console table grounds the function of this space, providing a location to deposit keys, take off your shoes, and breathe a sigh of relief saying “I’m home.” Here are 2 possible console tables. If you tend to have a lot of clutter in your entry, we suggest a console with drawers.
Next, choose a concept inspiration piece that you love. It can be a light fixture, piece of art, or even a wall finish. Just choose something that inspires the vibe and identifies the color scheme. Obviously we wanted to display the Chinoiserie style, so we found a couple pieces that showcase those iconic organic patterns in a fun spring color palette.
Light and Reflection
Entries are notorious for being smaller than we wish. This is where well trained designer pulls out their secret weapons: light and reflection. Don't just rely on one light source in your entry. Adding lamps plus a beautiful pendant will make the room feel brighter and more welcoming. And we all know how mirrors can double a space. But really any reflective surface can help with that illusion. If you don't have a mirror, add shine and sparkle somewhere. Bonus: mirrors are perfect for final touch ups as you leave the house. What a great double duty piece!
Now it's time to determine the secondary functions you want your entry to provide. Do you sit and take off your shoes? Do you need a place to store dog leashes and extra shoes? Knowing how you want to use the space will help you select between extra seating in the form of small ottomans or stools, or if you need extra storage to eliminate clutter.
An entry isn't complete without an entry mat or rug runner. It is necessary to help keep the outdoors from spreading through the rest of the house. Look for durable rugs that are easy to clean or shake out. To coordinate with our style, we suggest sisal, lattice, or floral pattern rugs. And when it comes to sizing - don't be afraid to go large. Postage stamp sized rugs are a thing of the past. Leave around 12"-24" of space between the walls and rug.
Last but not least, let's add the final touches. Whatever you call it—accessorizing, decorating or styling— it's all about adding the right personality to complete the look. Fill your entry vignette with the right items that showcase your family, interests, collections, travels, etc. They can even double duty as extra storage.
This is your home. Make it yours.
The Final Look
Chinoiserie Inspired Entry #1
Shop This Look:
1. Console Table
6. Gold Magnolia
7. Book: Maximalism by Sig Bergamin
8. Book: Redoute. The Book of Flowers
9. Book: Audrey Hepburn by Bob Willoughby
Chinoiserie Inspired Entry #2
Spark your creativity and implement ideas with our SBD Studio Blog - The Spark. This is where we share with you our take on upcoming trends, favorite things, and even give you seasonal shoppable looks.* We can't wait to see how you incorporate these amazing ideas into your home. And please share your pics with us on Instagram @soniabarneydesign.