Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Framed Chinoiserie Panels

Before the perfect house popped up on the radar and ruined my train of thought, I was talking about changes I was making to the décor in our master bedroom. Remember? I think we left off with the idea of using this beautiful York wallpaper mural as a sort of Gracie imposter, framed in panels on either side of the canopy.

I don't know about you - but when I come up with these ideas, I typically look for inspiration photos. So, that's what I did. Not surprisingly, there were dozens upon dozens of examples, likely because wallpapering a room in hand painted chinoiserie wallpaper will cost you a small fortune. Panels are a much less costly, but equally beautiful solution if you have the desire without the dollars.

Design by John Loecke, Inc.
What I loved about this room, beyond the sheer controlled chaos of that gallery wall, was how the small scene from that vintage wallpaper stands out, even against all of the other patterns in the room. 
Design by Betsy Burnham
Betsy Burnham probably spent the equivalent of enough paper to do this entire hallway on the framing for these two panels, but you can see how much impact they have in this space. I often wonder how people navigate their urge for art when they've spent so much on paper. Do you bite the bullet and hang atop the paper? Do you give in and let the paper do all the talking? With framed panels you don't have to worry about that. They become your art, instead of the backdrop.

Design by Bonesteel Trout Hall 
A similar situation to how I'll end up showing my framed panels. I love how simply they're framed. 
Design by Suzanne Rheinstein

And again, you can't show framed panels without showing Suzanne Rheinstein's living room. Here again, simply framed, they're perfect. I have wondered what this room would look like if papered entirely in the deGournay paper, and I honestly don't think it'd have the same appeal.

Design by Martha Mulholland
This antique grisaille panel is framed beautifully here, floating against a white backdrop behind the glass and antique gilded frame. Again, framing is not only a cost effective option - but one that will allow you to use that small fragment or limited quantity paper.  
Design by Martha Mulholland

Typically, the paper is sold in panels 18 - 22" wide. While you could apply the panels to a board to widen the vignette, it'd be as simple to do what Martha Mulholland did in this bedroom, framing each panel and hanging side by side.

Design by Kelee Katillac

Design by Maison Luxe
This deGournay wallpaper is beautiful, and very expensive. I've seen it done on entire walls, and it's quite lovely. But here, in a pale dining room, simply framed, flanking glass french doors - I think it shows best. 

Design by Tracery Interiors

More grisaille paper. I like too how framing paper, even if it's not an expensive hand painted paper like this one, gives you an opportunity to have art the precise size you're looking for. You can not only choose your overall height, but the width as well.

Design by Miles Redd

In this show house, Miles Redd used several framed Gracie panels, throughout the room, and had no problem hanging art, mirrors, and sconces over it. One of my favorite scenes from this room is this one:

Design by Miles Redd

The abstract art against the wallpaper just seems to work, doesn't it? Mark D. Sikes didn't hang atop his new bedroom paper from Gracie, but rather leaned a piece of abstract art against it:

Design by Mark D. Sikes 

There's something about that pairing ... almost like Chinoiserie and Suzani, like we talked about before, that just seems to work.

Design by Mary McDonald

Mary used framed panels on either side of the bed in this bedroom, a staging effort for the multi-million dollar renovation her one-time boyfriend, John Bersci oversaw. Perhaps that is why she chose not to paper the entire room? It occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity for those of you who may not be in your own home, or even your "forever" home. If you're going to invest in wallpaper before you invest in your house framing might be the way to go. You can at least take it with you!

Design by Mary McDonald

If you chose not to frame it, you could always have a screen made, like this one, which Mary did for a show house. I think this is another great idea, and could easily be done with wallpaper or even fabric panels.

Design by Brooke & Steve Giannetti - Velvet & Linen
When Brooke, who writes Velvet & Linen, needed to cover the recess for their family room television, she chose this Gracie paper and had it installed on three panels. 
Design by Mark D. Sikes
And here again, Mark framed paper from Gracie for this Legends window at Hollyhock, themed from his interpretation of the book "Orient Express". I loved this space ... but you know I'm crazy for blue and white. Speaking of perfect pairings, check out that les touches fabric from Brunschwig & Fils against the chinoiserie paper!
Design by Mark D. Sikes
The fabric isn't crazy expensive (not when you really think about how expensive some designer fabrics have become) at $145/yard retail. But, since we're talking about options ...

Charlotte Moss for Fabricut
I had to draw your attention to this fabric that Charlotte Moss designed for Fabricut. Some of the line is still carried at Calico Corners, this fabric named "Fanny" isn't available in every color on their website. The two they have (ivy and sycamore) are on sale for $21/yard. You can still find other colors online though, for less than $30/yard at fabric superstores like this one.


  1. I love chinoiserie and the bedroom with the green wallpaper is amazing. Mark Sikes window was so beautiful - the blue and white…stunning!

  2. My favorites are the blue and whites, but all are stunning!

  3. Loved this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks as always for bring such great inspirations to us all!!!

  4. Be still my's amazing that I'm still breathing after all these wonderful pictures. What a way to start my day! I've loved the framed panels for quite some time so having this collection in one spot is just uber wundebar. Thank you Artie!

  5. oh I have the perfect spot for 2 of these.. I wont be staying in this new home for long but I need color and impact-- many of your samples would fill the bill perfectly.


  6. LOVE the idea of framing 'çhinoiserie' paper, as without doubt they are such beautiful works of art. -Brenda-
    P.S: Thank you for the including the info. on Charlotte's fabric as well.

  7. I am mad for grisalle and find the idea of framing it to be brilliant. I can so visualize the chinoiserie in you our bedroom done that way. Great images Artie.

    Victoria in SC

  8. Looking amazing to see your photographs . Thanks a lot for shared .