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!
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.
London Toile Brights by Timorous Beasties offers a neon take on English cityscapes.
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
Pink Toile on Toile via Manuel Canovas, Paris.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.