Written and produced by Lucy Fitzgerald
Take a new look at toile, the traditional fabric that designers are revising with verve. First, a mini-history lesson. Originating in 18th-century Ireland, toile de Jouy (named after a French town) is a traditional fabric once reserved for window treatments or upholstery. Historically, the fabric featured monochromatic pastoral etchings in a repeated pattern against a cream or white background. Reaching the height of its American popularity during the Colonial Era, toile has at times been considered outdated, stuffy, and so not chic.
Well, a new style era has dawned, and toile is once more ready for its close-up. Technology now allows artists to create highly unique, colorful, and personal patterns that blow the stuffy old designs out of the water. Even renowned decorator Charles Faudree couldn’t keep two of his loves—King Charles spaniels and everything French—separate for long, designing his own doggy-themed toile for Vervain called Cavalier Toile. With a lasting style that has become so customizable, toile is here to stay.
In this master suite, blue-and-white toile fabric by Hinson & Company was used for wall coverings, bedding, and furniture, creating a peaceful mood. The upholstered headboard is illuminated by sconces from Circa Lighting and accented by a painted wood arch. A blue-and-white needlepoint rug by Stark Carpet introduces a simple grid design underfoot.