Home design is often inspired by fashion, so it isn’t surprising that toile is having a major moment. The 18th century pattern, inspired by traditional Chinese porcelain print, was heavily featured in the Spring 2019 fashion collections—to the point that The Zoe Report officially declared it a “spring fashion trend.”
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Toile de Jouy (translating to English as “fabric of Jouy”) is cotton or linen printed with designs of landscape scenes, floral motifs, and figures for which the 18th-century factory of Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles, France gained notoriety.
In the design world, toile has gone through various resurgences, from colonial times to the 1970s and even the early 2000s. With the grandmillenial trend continuing to resonate in the design world, it only makes sense that toile would reincarnate.
Christiane Lemieux, founder of The Inside, explains that the trend is a reaction to the all-minimal interior that has been so prominent over the last decade. “Toile is an 18th-century textile that was traditionally used in upscale decorating, but it’s now being reinvigorated with modern appeal,” she explains. “Designers and consumers are increasingly looking for new ways to bring color and pattern into interiors, and because toile is typically a one-color pattern, it’s fairly easy to digest and incorporate into any design scheme.”
Toile patterns depict happy scenes of country life, such as picnics and garden parties. People today—young and old alike—are seeking an escape to a simpler, more cheerful time
“Toile patterns depict happy scenes of country life, such as picnics and garden parties. People today—young and old alike—are seeking an escape to a simpler, more cheerful time,” Elizabeth, who helms the popular interior design blog Blue and White Home, explains to MyDomaine.
Lemieux explains that toile works similar to chintz in bringing depth, texture, and soul into interiors. “Across the board, we’re seeing all of these historic decorate moments come back into style—toile, chinoiserie, florals, statement drapery, and window treatments—as a reaction to stripped-down, very mid-century modern interiors that have consumed the majority of the imagery that inspired us over the last decade. Everybody from interior designers to decor enthusiasts are looking for new ways to approach their spaces.”
On how to integrate toile into your current space, Avery McMahon, the interior decorator and owner of Philadelphia area high-end consignment store The Velvet Shoestring, suggests to “Mix your blue and white with contemporary accessories and occasional pieces to make an updated look."
If you're searching for great ways to freshen up the classic style, look no further. Here are a few ways to incorporate toile into your modern home design.
An Upholstered Bed
“Compared to decades ago, toile today is a deliberate accent,” Lemieux explains. To embrace this, anchor your primary bedroom with a gorgeous toile upholstered bed. This updated and unique “Blue Aviary by Scalamandré” toile-inspired pattern is available in pretty much any piece of upholstered furniture or accessory The Inside has to offer—and it is seriously toile die for.
The term “Primary Bedroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
Try a More Subtle Toile
Your grandmother may have decked out her entire living room in head-to-toe toile, but the latest revival is much more subtle. We love the idea of a toned down toile settee, which makes the perfect accent piece for a neutral living space.
Dress Up Your Bed
If you aren’t ready to make a serious commitment to the toile trend, consider dressing your bed in the classic pattern.
Or Toss Throw Pillows on Your Sofa
Adding a few toile pillows to your sold-colored sofa will instantly adds a touch of toile to your living space.
Paper Your Walls
“Toile wallpaper can make a fabulous statement when used in a tiny powder room,” says Elizabeth.