Double, Double Toile and Trouble

In French, the word toile (phonetically “twall”) refers to a simple woven fabric, in fact the word in French means “linen cloth” or “canvas”.¬†¬†However, in interior design and haute couture, the term toile is mostly used in reference to¬†¬†“toile de Jouy” – a¬†cloth from¬†Jouy-en-Josas¬†France which originated in the 18th century.¬†¬†This¬†type of decorating pattern usually consist of a white background, on which a repeated pattern depicting complex scenes, can be found. The scenes are of pastoral farm life, picnics, high society, and any number of classic architecture motifs.¬†The pattern consists of a single color, most often black, dark red, or blue. The fabric was extremely popular in France and Great Britain during the 18th century, and late in America during the Colonial Era.

It’s time for the resurgence of this trend!

James Merrell / The Walkup

Colefax and Fowler does a modern take on toile wallpaper. Bright printed pillows, and a graphic (zigzagged!) patterned throw bring this bedroom into the 21st century. A turquoise, gilded headboard doesn’t hurt either.¬†Photograph by James Merrell¬†via Design Gumbo.

The Walkup

London Toile Brights by Timorous Beasties offers a neon take on English cityscapes. 

Modern Toile Wallpaper

Somehow this match-matchy room, wherein the stuffed animals match the pillows which match the wall, comes off looking extremely cute, french and modern. Image via Le Petit Chou Chou

Balleroy by Manuel Canovas

Pink Toile on Toile via Manuel Canovas, Paris.

Surrender the Pink / The Walkup

A toile, Japanese print screen acts as a headboard. The bed’s dust ruffle and chair bring the nautical, fresh and revitalized Colonial bedroom to the present. Image via¬†Surrender the Pink.

The Walkup

A grown-up office space. I imagine myself closing envelopes with wax seals in this sohpisticated nook. The geode bookends match the Toile pattern perfectly. 

The Walkup / House to Home

Like an aristocrat from days gone by, feel free to cover every surface with bucolic, toile scenes. Add some edge to the space by playing on the contrast of farm-scenes with more modern, colour-blocked upholstery. Midcentury Modern and geometric design elements finish off the eclectic space. Image via House to Home.

The Walkup

In the guest room of his Manhattan townhouse, Architectural Digest decorator Geoffrey Bradfield experimented with a black-and-white toile depicting the city skyline to create a modern take on a traditional design concept. The upholstered headboard was inspired by one in a Dubai hotel. Image via Architectural Digest, September 2005. Photography by Durston Saylor. 

The Walkup

Toile drapes, pops of red, long mirrors and classic bathroom floor tiling allow this bathroom to be a space which I would not mine relaxing in for hours. I particularly love the industrial pipes-meets-marble His and Hers sink station. 

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Bedroom Breakdown

Interior design of Sabine Marchal

The Parisian owner, who brought many French pieces and ideas to this apartment in Madrid, retains a balance between feminine and masculine. The interior designer, Sabine Marchal,¬† paired classic comfort with glamorous touches of lucite and metal – tr√®s chic.¬†The bed is framed by two dark columns. The tables lamps are by Maca Mu√Īoz Victoriana Decoracion. French graffiti artist, Miss Van, breaks the formal tone of the bedroom. “Painting on walls was a way to show that I was boycotting the conventional art world,” Miss Van explains.

The high-brow, Gothic den is also playful. The carpet, Dolz Collection, and chairs, LA Studio, eggplant velvet Gancedo, complete a set of glossy and dramatic aubergine. Image via Nuevo Estilo.

Featuring Miss Van, Target, 1st Dibs, Burke Decor

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


Versailles (or how I came to love French opulence)

I will let the lavish, decadent landscapes speak for themselves. Welcome to the luxury of being an 18th century royal (minus the beheadings of course). 18th-century French art was dominated by the Rococo and neoclassical movements; the palaces, illustration and fashion of the rich often featured creamy, pastel-like colors, asymmetrical designs, curves and gold (e.g. gilded, leaf). Whether a bourgeoisie, a pauper, or a courtesan, we can appreciate the meticulous and ostentatious beauty displayed by these ornate vignettes. Step into the fantastic and melodramatic influences!

Chanel 2004 Spring Runway. Via.

Welcome to my dilapidated yet stately Cinderella fantasy replete with a rustic French tables cape. Image found here.

¬†A French living room from the home of decorator and garden designer Jean-Loup Daraux, author of ‚ÄúBy the Light of the Sea”. The luxurious volume En Passant par la Demeure¬†(By the Light of the Sea)¬†is a vivid photographic tour of the noted French interior designer Jean-Loup Daraux‚Äôs country home. Located in the south of France, in the Camargue region, the house is a stunning showcase of French country interior design.¬†Image from House Beautiful.

The¬†Petit Trianon¬†is a small ch√Ęteau located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Image by Flickr user Romeika, here.

I would demand breakfast in bed…Image found via.

Oversized French Portrait Canvas –¬†This uniquely beautiful oversized portrait of Manon Balletti (who was once engaged to Casanova) would make a wonderful statement piece in any room. The original painting hangs in the National Gallery. For purchase, click¬†here.

Emily Blunt, in Dior Haute Couture, photographed in Le Raincy, outside Paris. Bracelet by Mikimoto. Styled by Jessica Diehl. Image found in Vanity Fair, here.

Image found here.

Kendall Wilkinson’s Seacliff Southern home photographed by Matthew Millman. Via.

Cara Delevingne for Chanel Resort 2013. Via.

Seriously frivolous is how Lagerfeld described his Chanel Resort 2013, shown on the crunchy gravel at the Chateau de Versailles in France.

Cara Delevingne for Chanel Resort 2013. Via.

A scan from Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles, page 101. To escape the formalities and royal obligations of Louis XVI’s court, Marie-Antoinette created a private realm of pleasure for herself at the Petit Trianon and Hameau, where she planted the first Anglo-Chinese garden; created a trysting grotto; a working farm; and revolutionized architecture and gardening trends for the century to come. Marie-Antoinette’s entire private domain and its story are told in beautiful photographic detail by François Halard for the first time since its recent restoration and accompanied by well-researched texts by garden expert Christian Duvernois.

Crisp and saturated bathroom designed by Paul Raeside.

French furniture, antiques, and porcelain. Via. 

Versailles Historical Costuming via Concour de Style, here.

This photo was taken on October 4, 2010 inYvelines, Ile-de-France, FR by Flickr user Pearled.

There is not a misplaced napkin, flower, or fork in this Paul Raeside tablescape. Via. 

Screencaps from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antionette, a¬†retelling of France’s iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles.