Timeless Toile!

April 15, 2015 4:03 pm
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This French print has stood the test of time. Toile first appeared on the scene in the 1760’s in a small French village by Christophe Phillippe Oberkampf and featured the typical pastoral landscapes. Usually printed on a white or creme background fabric with blues and reds as the most popular colors, it was an instant hit.  It was at first expensive due to the production but in no time the French developed a reasonable way to mass produce this pattern.  In the early 1800’s there were at least 150 textile mills making toile.  This pattern has been a decorating staple and along the way has been copied and expanded upon hundreds of different ways.  Thibaut, a popular wallpaper and fabric company carries the latest adaptations in all the hot new color trends current today.  The traditional reds and blues have given way to pale greys, taupes, browns and aqua just to mention a few.


One of my favorite toiles is a Lilly Pulitzer hot pink.  Just visit one of their retail shops and I promise you’ll fall in love with the dressing rooms decorated in a custom toile wallpaper.  Children’s rooms are the perfect place to use a modern version of toile.  One of my favorites is a take on the classic children’s book “Peter Rabbit” and it couldn’t be any more adorable!  For a young girl I’d suggest a combination of apple green with a pink or color background.  I don’t think you have to use large amounts of the pattern in a room  but I’ve see an entire bedroom wallpapered and the same pattern in the window treatments and it’s certainly the WOW factor.



Chinoiserie Toile became THE rage in the late 1790’s when all things from the orient were in vogue.  The English and French aristocrats couldn’t get enough of the imported Chinese porcelains so it was only a matter of time before the fabric mills produced toile with this theme.  One of my favorite designers was Charles Faudree who was well known for his country french interiors.  He used toile in most of his projects and when paired with a checkered design it was classic and beautiful.  Even Pottery Barn has carried a line of bedding in this timeless pattern for over a decade with occasional updates in the choice of colors.  In this country we have none other than Ben Franklin to thank for bringing toile to America.  On a trip to France he picked up a bolt of this fabric as a gift for his wife in Philadelphia. So the story goes it became such a hit that everyone wanted a room decorated in toile. Do I think this design will fade anytime soon?  Not a chance!  Stop into Trellis and let us help you bring a little Toile into your own home.


Be sure not to miss my next blog. I’ll be sharing all the latest trends from High Point, North Carolina at the International Furniture Mart.

Be Inspired!


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