I’ve spent the last 15 years traveling across the world visiting antique fairs, and as you can imagine, I’ve amassed quite a few collections. I personally think grouping pieces with a bit of history that you’ve carefully gathered over time gives a home its soul. But I often get asked, “What should I collect?” I’d like to start by regularly introducing you to few favorites on our blog. 

First up – Chinese lacquerware. These painted wood pieces became popular with Europeans after they began trading with China in the 17th century. Shades of red or black are the most common (with black being my personal favorite). Tea caddies, trays and little snuff boxes are the things you see often, and most are decorated with tiny figures, birds, pagodas and botanical landscapes.

Every room needs a touch of black – and adding Chinese lacquerware is a pretty, soft way to do just that. I love mixing the larger pieces in bookshelves, on coffee tables, or grouping the small snuff boxes together on a tray.

Obviously antique fairs are good spots to find Chinese lacquerware (Round Top in Texas and Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta are good if you want to make a girls’ trip out of it) but I also love Antique Row and Wolf Hall in Dallas. And you can’t beat hunting from your home on 1st Dibs!



These opaline glasses add a pop of color next to the Chinese black lacquer tray in my bar.

The website 1st Dibs is a great place to purchase antique chinoiserie pieces like this lacquerware tray.

These antique lacquerware pieces feature designs typical of chinoiserie, including pagodas and Chinese landscapes.

The two most popular colors of Chinese lacquerware are red and black. I prefer black because it’s neutral and can go with any decor, no matter your style.

Arranging small snuff or tea boxes on a modern tray on the cocktail table is a chic way to blend old and new. Design by Lindley Arthur Interiors.