Decorating with toile de Jouy fabric adds a touch of luxury to French interiors and French country homes. Here are decorating ideas & easy DIY projects for all rooms of the house!
If you have a specific decorating project in mind, use a link for tips & info:
Toile prints attract the eye with their vivid, elaborate, busy pattern designs. To show off the beauty of these fabrics, use them with zen-like restraint ... because overdecorating with toile is very easy to do. Exhibit A:
Highly patterned walls go in and out of fashion, and they can look great - but if you want to create a calm, soothing environment, there are other ways to use toile de Jouy fabrics and/or wallpapers to great advantage.
Too much toile = too much visual information. To avoid visual overload, focus the eye on just a few details - an exquisite accent pillow here, a stunning window treatment there. You'll get the best results with the following approach:
1. Combine toile de Jouy with simple geometric patterns, like stripes and checks (plus solids), and ...
2. Group no more than two color families (plus neutrals) together.
How to use (and not to use) Toile de Jouy in a bedroom: here are three illustrated bedrooms with toile.
I used black and cream toile fabric because it looks classy, elegant and grown up: perfect for a master bedroom (You can buy black toile here.).
#1: Toile bedlinen. This puts the black and white toile bedding center stage - all other surfaces are decorated in solid neutrals.
A simple black (or dark grey) headboard shows off the toile pattern to great effect. (Just paint a rectangle of black glossy paint on the wall!)
The two toile pillows add a 'sculptural' element to the bed and stand out against the flat headboard.
This would look good with:
♦ black and glossy bedside tables (repeat the headboard color);
♦ a crystal chandelier, and/or
♦ smart wall lights with black or grey shades (gold lining on the inside)
♦ a small piece of wall art (e.g. a wrought-iron ornament or a small picture) above the headboard. Some examples of this are on the French country bedroom page.
#2: Bedlinen AND headboard in toile? Not a good idea. You get a visual mess - just a fuzzy blob of pattern gone haywire.
The same would happen if you combined a toile quilt with
♦ toile bed hangings, or
♦ toile wallpaper behind the bed.
#3: Toile headboard & toile accent(s): this will immediately 'Frenchify' your bedroom to great effect - more examples on the page about French Provincial Decor!
Repeat the toile pattern somewhere else in the room, e.g. in a cushion, a slipcovered chair, or a blanket edging. See examples of this effect on the page about black and white bedrooms!
Decorating with toile can be done on a shoestring with bargain toile fabrics. And what better place to find a bargain than eBay? If you're looking for, say, a yard of inexpensive toile to experiment with, chances are you'll do much better buying a duvet cover second-hand on eBay and cutting it up, rather than buying a yard of new fabric in a dedicated store.