Rejuvenated Interest in Toile Wallpaper
DATE: September 2001
Stacy Senior Allan 800 223 0704 x 111
Press Mailing Contact
Debra Fedasiuk 480-694-7597
Newark, NJ – Searching for a fresh wallpaper idea? Try an old one: Toile. Dating back to the late 17th century, French toile patterns—typically one- or two-color fine-line illustrations or etchings of romanticized landscapes and lyrical pastoral scenes—once served as record for historical events and mythological stories. They grace the walls of historic estates throughout Europe and the U.S. Over the years, toile has remained fashionable among those seeking an antique or country look, and has been a favorite of interior designers. Today, toile has become increasingly popular as more consumers are turned on to its benefits and ease-of-use. Wallpaper manufacturers are further enhancing the trend by offering more color options and styles that appeal to a variety of tastes and work in newer as well as older homes.
For example, “Toile Resource,” a collection from Thibaut, offers a traditional color palette including basics like blue on white and red on cream, but also inspires consumers with fun combinations like raspberry and ivory on French blue, and crisp green on yellow. Some designs have interesting backgrounds that are illustrated to resemble cloth, linen, and other fabrics, and many designs incorporate neutrals and earthy colors like sage and olive green, charcoal, bronze, wheat, dark gold, and burgundy, which coordinate with popular cabinetry, flooring, and countertop materials found in newer homes. Fabrics accompany the designs in this collection and can be used for window treatments, table linens, pillows, slipcovers, and bedspreads.
According to Thibaut, which is one of the oldest operating wallpaper firms in the U.S. and a leader in the production of toile designs and historic patterns, the growing interest in toile is not surprising. “It’s a great problem-solver for hard-to-decorate areas,” says Stacy Senior, marketing manager. Thibaut design experts, in fact, use toile readily in their own homes. They point out the following features and benefits:
Toile adds fine detail and color in a very subtle way. “Homeowners can be fearful of bold colors and strong patterns,” comments Senior. “Since toile is drawn with fine lines and consists of only one or two colors, it adds color and pattern without taking center stage in the room,” she explains. “It coordinates easily with other designs in the room and throughout the home,” she adds.
Toile patterns are gender-neutral. “Many couples have a hard time deciding on a pattern, especially when it comes to shared areas like the master bedroom or bathroom,” says Senior. “Men can have a ‘fear of floral,’ and women often shy away from masculine plaids or paisleys. Toile is a compromising solution as it adds texture and a type of architectural detail that is comfortable for both parties,” she explains.
Toile works well in large spaces. “Today’s new and remodeled homes feature a lot of wide, open space—big rooms with high ceilings and lots of wall to decorate,” comments Senior. “Homeowners can be unsure of how to use all this space,” she adds. “Toile can be a great option as it fills the wall with pattern, but offers a subtle effect. This allows for the addition of mirrors, pictures, shelving, window treatments, and other decorative accents. It helps bring warmth to spacious areas that might otherwise appear empty and ‘under decorated,’” she points out.
Toile instantly adds “aged charm” to a new home. “Because the designs are based on antique samples, toile can create a mature, elegant look in a bedroom or bring old farmhouse charm to a kitchen,” states Senior, “thus giving rooms character and personality.”
Toile suits either casual or formal environments, and works with many styles of décor—Traditional, Country, Victorian, etc. “The designs create a refined appearance that always looks fantastic,” says Senior, “and there are numerous motifs to choose from,” she adds. Although many depict countryside life, some tell stories about travel through Asian or African lands. Scenes typically show people at rest or play, doing chores, or journeying through villages. The scenery is usually embellished with provincial animals and birds—sheep, pheasants, or more exotic animals like elephants and giraffes. Designs can also capture a more dreamy, fanciful look, featuring cherubs, muses, scrolling vines, and ornate pillars and fountains—or be more simplistic, showing etched floral patterns interlaced with vines, fruits, berries and other foliage.
For more information about toile wallpaper designs, contact Thibaut at 800-223-0704. “Toile Resource”, “Toile Resource Volume II”, and other Thibaut collections are available through interior designers and fine wallcovering and decorating stores.