Word of the Day : January 15, 2014


noun sheen-wah-zuh-REE


: a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also : an object or decoration in this style

Did You Know?

In 1670, King Louis XIV had the Trianon de Porcelaine erected at Versailles. It was a small structure-a pleasure house built for the king's mistress-and it was decorated with chinoiserie and faced with faience tiles with a blue and white chinoiserie pattern. The building persists in history as the first major example of chinoiserie-the English word is borrowed straight from French, which based the word on "chinois," its word for "Chinese"-but the trend it began long outlasted the building itself, which was destroyed a mere 17 years later to make way for the Grand Trianon. Chinoiserie itself was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and enjoyed a brief revival in the 1930s. And people still enjoy it today.


We admired our host's daring taste in home décor, which combined spare modern elements with chinoiserie.

"Bamboo chairs vie with 19th-century lacquered armoires, nooks covered in chinoiserie toile and paisley-block prints exude irresistible coziness, and whimsical yet inviting rooms reflect a confluence of historical periods ranging from Rococo to Regency." - From an article by Lindsay Talbot in Harper's Bazaar, October 1, 2013

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "Since buying their organic farm three years ago, Ken and Sheila have been gradually adjusting to an __________ lifestyle"? The answer is …


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