Finding the shop--CHINOISERIE--can be quite a challenge; tucked quietly between Hank's Oyster Bar and Alexandria Cupcakes (on King Street in Old Towne Alexandria, VA) very little reveals its location, and only the introduction by a fellow design-addict made me aware of its existence. Once stepping beyond the door, one feels like you've discovered an untold secret, a mecca of sorts devoted to the pursuit of design and aesthetics, and a celebration of the decorative arts. Quite tiny, yet filled with a tightly edited array of modern jewelry, Italian and European glass art, Scandinavian pottery and dinner-ware, Middle-Kingdom vases, Heath ceramics, mid-century furniture and lighting, vintage art-books (on graphic design and architecture), limited edition greeting cards, clothing from obscure West Coast designers, and oversized abstract paintings, Peter Zi's point of view is quite apparent. The mix is informed, defined, and shows an affinity for clarity in both objects and presentation. The mood invites repose, and soft music (and ambient lighting) made me relive days of traipsing (and chilling) in tiny shops located in then questionable parts of London and Amsterdam.
Please drop into CHINOISERIE on your next visit to Alexandria, and see some of the beautiful objects offered by Peter Zi. His hours vary, so please call ahead for his availability, or to schedule an appointment. The shop's address is 1024 King Street, and inquiries can be directed to 703 838 0520.
Enjoy today's visual treat (vases by Middle Kingdom), and have a wonderful evening.