The Timeless Appeal of Pagodas

Pagodas were plentiful at the High Point Market in April – appearing in a range of vibrant colors and bold scales. These multi-tiered structures with upward-tilting roofs are associated with chinoiserie (a fanciful European interpretation of Chinese styles that originated during the 17th- and 18th-centuries due to increased trade with East Asia), but this type of architecture was first introduced to China when Buddhism entered the country during the late Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). Buddhism originated in India where the earliest pagodas were built to house religious relics. Pagodas now appear in modern homes as lamps, valances, chairs and decorative motifs – lending an air of whimsy to a space . . .


“The six granddaughters share a Tiffany-blue-walled room with three matching four-poster trundle beds. The pink carpet is made for outdoor use and can be scrubbed down with water if necessary.” Raminentz, the Lake Michigan vacation home of Betty and George Schaefer. Elizabeth Schmidt Interior Design. Photography by Werner Straube. Text by Amy Elbert. “Family Lake Home with Vibrant Color” produced by Sandra L. Mohlmann. Traditional Home.


“The valance’s pagoda fabric appealed to the homeowner’s love of chinoiserie. ‘I always start my designs with textiles—usually for the windows. Textiles become my springboard for building a palette,’ says designer Katie Rosenfeld.” Photography by Emily Jenkins Followill. Text by Amy Elbert. “Pink in Every Room” produced by Lisa Mowry. Traditional Home. Ottoman by Wesley Hall. Janet Brown Interiors is your Richmond source for Wesley Hall.

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Detail of Indigo Toile Pillow featuring Asian scene with pagoda. Offered by Janet Brown Interiors.


“Blue and white porcelain was purely a Chinese export until 1712, when the French missionary Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles smuggled the formula out of the country. Artisans worldwide began making their own versions of the iconic pieces, like the pagoda-inspired tulip vases the Dutch designed or the Blue Onion china pattern that Germany company Meissen has been selling for more than 300 years.” From Stuff, a book by New York City interior designer Carey Maloney, published by Pointed Leaf Press. Image copyright Aronson Antiquairs Amersterdam via Veranda website. “Well-Read: Carey Maloney’s Stuff” by Candace Braun Davison. Veranda.

Spring 2012

“Tulipiere Tower Set” by Juliska. Available through Janet Brown Interiors. “From Juliska’s Country Estate Collection – this stunning tiered tower of three vases was inspired by the tulipieres of the 17th century, when exotic imported flowers were status-symbols of elite households.” Photo via Juliska’s Pinterst Board, Floral Follies.

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Tulipiere offered by Janet Brown Interiors.


“In the living room of a Manhattan apartment designed by William Sofield, the sofas and shagreen cocktail table are custom made . . . and the 1970s pagoda lamps and ’30s silver-gilt and parchment mirrors are French. ” Photography by Simon Upton. Text by Celia Barbour. “An Eye for Elegance: A New York City Apartment Designed by William Sofield” produced by Anita Sarsidi. Elle Decor.

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Blue and white box featuring Asian scene with pagoda. Offered by Janet Brown Interiors.

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Detail of blue and white box featuring Asian scene with pagoda. Offered by Janet Brown Interiors.


“Miles Redd followed his own advice in designing the living room: ‘Get the floors and walls right, and the rest is easy.’ Asian-inspired furniture plays off a backdrop of chinoiserie-wallpapered panels and a blue-and-cream rug. Dressed in blue panels and scalloped valances with a Far East bent, the large windows announce the exotic theme, which is repeated by side chairs in a peacock motif. Pagoda chairs encircle the dark-wood pedestal dining table. Chinese-style fretwork doors on bar cabinets and ginger jars complete the Asian theme. To brighten the room, Redd coated the ceiling beams and wall trim in a custom blue hue. A host of chairs, including one of tufted leather, forms a classic conversation area radiating around the marble coffee table.” Photography by John Bessler and Peter Rymwid. “The Showhouse at Adamsleigh” written by Clara Haneberg and Candace Ord Manroe. Traditional Home.

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Detail of 18th century black tray featuring Asian scene with pagoda. Offered by Janet Brown Interiors.


Pagoda fabric on chairs. D.C. Design House Showhouse (Washington, D.C.) Interior design by Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey. Photography by Gordon Beall. Text by Krissa Rossbund. “Showhouse Rooms in Orange” produced by Eileen A. Deymier. Traditional Home.

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Pagoda offered by Janet Brown Interiors.


“The room’s lustrous sheen paves the way for other shiny elements, like this quartet of teal patent leather chairs surrounding a Lucite table. Pagoda-shaped valences above the windows echo the tangerine-and-teal chinoiserie toile itself.” “Colorful Bedrooms: Choose Your Perfect Palette” produced by Lucy Fitzgerald. Traditional Home.

Janet Brown Interiors invites you to visit our shop and design studio to learn more about our collection of chinoiserie-inspired objects, fabrics and wallcoverings.

Store hours: Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Design Studio hours: Monday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Questions? Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 804-358-9548.

Our store (3140 West Cary Street) and design studio (3150 West Cary Street) are conveniently located in Carytown in Cary Court.


Post by Kathleen Sams Flippen for Janet Brown Interiors.

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