Decorating with French Toile

Decorating with French Toile

(Photo source)

I’ve written about French decorating and French country style in the past. However, one element I’ve neglected to mention was how much I adore toile – a trés classic French country design.

About French Toile

Most often scene on cloth or fabric, toile actually means cloth in French. Toile is short for Toile de Jouy, which comes from Jouy-en-Josas, the location in north central France where the toile pattern was first made in the 18th and 19th centuries. The toile pattern is characterized by a repeating pattern – most often country scenes, but can also be street scenes, churches, people, and more. Toile is traditionally made in a single color – most often green or red –  on a cream or white background; however, I’ve seen modern toile in a variety of colors including brown, burgundy, black, and blue.

Decorating with Toile

Although toile can bring an elegant and sophisticated look to any room, the repetitive pattern can be quite overwhelming en masse. In other words, with toile, less is more. I recommend using toile in accent pieces, including:

  • Throw pillows
  • Shams, sheets, or quilts
  • Pottery or decorative serving ware
  • Select draperies and valencies
  • One wall in a small or large room

By limiting the use of toile, it truly becomes the most eye-catching design or piece in the room. Discover more ways to decorate with toile by clicking here.


PS. Thank you to my cousin David for inspiring this post!

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