Chinoiserie Wallpaper & the Apartment Dweller


Last night I was looking thru the beautiful de Gournay wallpaper catalogue as research for an apartment I’ve been working on. Their Chinoiserie Collection is truly breathtaking. If you have dined at Bergdorf Goodman’s restaurant in NYC, then you have seen Kelly Wearstler’s use of de Gournay’s Askew pattern.


An apartment dweller may not have the option to put wallpaper directly on their walls due to landlord restrictions and may have the desire to take it with them when they move. There are ways to have your Chinoiserie & take it with you too. While shopping in St Louis recently, I came across vintage Gracie Wallpaper panels that had been beautifully framed. What a lovely idea that celebrates the art of the wallpaper & gives it mobility.



Another use of Chinoiserie wallpaper in a way that makes it easy to take with you would be to apply it to a decorative screen. I read an article about Gloria Vanderbilt, who while browsing on 1stdibs came across some screens made from vintage Gracie Wallpaper that was originally in one of her own former residences. Her thoughtful & charming son, Anderson Cooper bought them for her as a birthday present.


When I moved into my loft 10 years ago, I didn’t explore the options of wallpaper but commissioned my (then) neighbor & muralist, Judy Krogstad, to paint simplified Chinoiserie panels in silver & brown set in trompe l’oeil molding. I still love it today a decade later. Though she painted my mural directly on the walls, it could have been done on canvas to make it removable. A future occupant of my loft can paint right over it if they so choose.

In writing this post, I thought a lot about the root of my own interest in Chinoiserie & the Asian Modern vintage furniture of the 40’s & 50’s. I’ll write a post on that subject in the near future.



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