Chinese decorative art for interior decor

When designing a room in your home, it can be difficult knowing how to add bursts of personality or interest to a look without straying from the basic motif, whether it’s Art Deco, Midcentury Modern, or classic American. You may very well be wanting something unique that also fits in with current trends, and that’s where Chinese decorative arts come in. They have a timeless elegance but are not readily available in department or furniture stores. The ideal way to find a wealth of beautiful possibilities is online, in auctions. If you’re not sure how Chinese art and objects might enhance your home decor, here are some tips on how to integrate them seamlessly into your current design scheme.

But first, why Chinese decorative arts?

The beauty of Chinese decorative art lays in its distinctive designs, shapes and colors. The figures on famille verte pottery or the colors in blue and white designs are immediately recognizable as Chinese. Our ability to identify them so readily, is because of the long tradition of incorporating Chinese pieces into Western interior design. Since the 17th century, Chinese porcelain, especially, has been highly prized in Europe. The origins of the craze for “white gold” is said to have begun when a Dutch crew raided a Portuguese ship of Ming Porcelain in 1603.

Pair of large Chinese vases. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Invite nature into your home

Something that Chinese art is often renowned for is its stylized depictions of the natural world. Towering bamboo, water lilies and rolling mountains, along with the fauna that inhabits them, are common in Chinese designs, and in our urban world we yearn for more of it. Using Chinese painted scrolls and statues can be a brilliant way to introduce these serene landscapes into your home in original ways. Additionally, using motifs helps tie plants and greenery into the scheme of your home. It is truly a way to bring to outside, in.

Chinese gilded Buddha. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Add height or a focal point to a space

When arranging a sideboard, shelf or table centerpiece, Chinese porcelain is a perfect choice. Some Chinese porcelain might be considered “oversized: in comparison to everyday crockery, but that’s what makes it so useful for this purpose. You want a focal point to be striking and to attract the eye. A large, tall piece like the Celadon vase below invites the eye in and up, in a way you might not have expected.

This is also where we should say that, when thinking of Chinese decorative arts, consider alternatives to just blue and white porcelain. Included in this category are porcelain paintings, snuff bottles, seals and stamps; and ceramics that come in a wide range of monotone palettes and detailed designs. It’s this diversity that allows for Chinese art to fit into a wide range of home designs. Whether your style is more modern or traditional, there will be a piece that works for you.

Ming-style porcelain vase. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Use Chinese bronzes to add warmth to a bedroom

Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, and at the end of the day you want to enter a space that is warm and inviting.To achieve this atmosphere, Chinese bronzes can be perfect, as the material reflects a warm and cozy light. These bronze pieces also come in diverse forms, such as wide-bowled censers or regal statues of Buddhas. The censers, in particular, can have a practical form such as jewelry or accessories holders, like we’ve demonstrated below. Bronzes sometimes have a colored, enameled finish, which can “pick up” the main color of a room’s decor. Take, for example, this Buddha, which has enameled embellishments of red and green but still has an inviting bronze face.

Bronze of Naga. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Add softness to a bathroom or kitchen

The shine of porcelain and its intricate natural designs are a good choice when styling bathrooms and kitchens. They add sophistication to these rooms and any other spaces that are used through the day. And, being ceramic vessels, they can also have a practical purpose – such as storing cosmetics or tea, or displaying flowers.

Ming-style porcelain vessel. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Bring your personal touch to the office

Once you’ve thought about the spaces in your home, it’s worth casting your mind farther afield, to the office or workplace. At the moment, many of us are unable to work from our offices. However, when we return, we’ll want them to feel as fresh and welcoming as possible. To achieve the feeling of renewal, many of us will be bringing parts of our personalities back to the office with us, through the use of accessories and small furnishings. Try grouping them with books or plants.

Three bronze censers. Image courtesy Pax Romana Auctions and

Explore Jasper52 auctions on LiveAuctioneers for fine-quality Chinese art and decorative objects.

Content courtesy Pax Romana Auctions