The word of the day today is chinoiserie.  Believe it or not, I can spell that word correctly on the first try, even though it takes me at least two tries to spell ‘believe’ right.  But anyway, if you are unfamiliar with the term, don’t worry.  We’re about to get familiar.  Chinoiserie is basically a style of furniture (or anything really) that is influenced by Chinese artistry.  It can be a super-ornate lacquered hutch inlaid with heavily detailed still-life scenes, or a simple bamboo-style table.

It’s not hard to come by, you just have to know what you’re looking for.  You could easily snag yourself some at your local thrift-store, and then impress your friends and influence your neighbors by casually name-dropping the term like it ain’t no thang.  (Just be sure to pronounce it right: shin-wha-zur-ee)

Jenny found her cute little chinoiserie-style table at Goodwill for $12, and updated it with white paint and a mirrored top.  See more at Days of Chalk and Chocolate.

Simple chinoiserie-style makeovers on

Simple chinoiserie-style makeovers on

And Better After reader Jenny saved this chair from pea-green plaid misery, and recovered it instead with a beautiful chinoiserie fabric that is much more in keeping with its bamboo bones. Such a luxe look in gold too!  Great job ladies.

Simple chinoiserie-style makeovers on

Simple chinoiserie-style makeovers on






  1. Bee
    January 8, 2014 / 2:53 PM

    Hope you are feeling well. You speak French! Nice.

    Love the first table but the chair, not so much. I like the upholstery but think white paint would suit it better.

    Have to admire people who actually take on these projects though…I just get my DIY thrill reading your website. Thanks for taking the time to find the best Before/After transformations for me.

  2. Jo
    January 9, 2014 / 2:24 AM

    Wow, I’ve learnt a new word today… but I can’t remember how to say it without reading phonetically (if I’m going to casually drop it into conversation, I’ll have to have it written on the back of my hand!) I love the chair, the fabric is lush with the gold. That table is gorgeous too. Oh, to have the talent…

  3. jane
    January 9, 2014 / 7:13 AM

    What a great job! Love them both!

  4. January 9, 2014 / 7:21 AM

    Thanks so much for featuring my little table! The chair is fantastic too! so tickled to be on your site!!

  5. January 9, 2014 / 7:29 AM

    Pretty table!! My friend just found two exactly the same, we’re using them together as her coffee table and she’s thinking of painting them black. $12 is a steal, too!

  6. January 9, 2014 / 1:01 PM

    And how many tries did it take to spell “two”, and still get it wrong? 😉

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