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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 2

Friday, January 20, 2017

F R E N C H   D E S I G N 
on Friday 

~  Textiles  ~


T O I L E 

Is there any doubt toile is one of the quintessential fabrics that defines French style? 

These bolts of toile were found in Marche Saint Pierre last fall while visiting Paris. 

Toile (twäl) began in Ireland, and after becoming popular in France in the late 18th century, was produced in Jouy-en-Josas, a small town on the outskirts of Paris. Toile de Jouy means cloth from Jouy-en-Josas. 

To be considered toile, a fabric's pattern is usually a two-toned complex pastoral scene. Scenes of farm life, picnics, flowers, animals, or people in pastoral settings are distinctive toile patterns. One color with tonal variations often has a white or ivory background like the red, green, and blue fabrics shown. 

However, other color combinations have become popular in home decorating. Examples are the beige and brown fabric at the bottom of the photo and the red with vibrant yellow background fabric barely visible at the top of the photo. 


Doesn't this toile pattern just make you happy and make you want to dance? Even the dog is joining in the Maypole festivities. This Pierre Deux Delice de Quatre Saisons pattern is one of my favorite toiles. Another scene in this pattern shows a winter sleigh pulled by one horse. 

Every Christmas, I regret not buying some of the Pierre Deux Delice de Quatre Saisons toile. The sleigh scene would make beautiful holiday placemats. Since Pierre Deux went out of business a few years ago, the only places to find this fabric are through eBay, Etsy, or antique stores. 


If you like French Country decor and want to add the look to your home, use toile fabric pillows for a quick infusion of French Country.

The lamps in my master bedroom are traditional style brass, but when combined with the blue and white toile pillows and the blue and white impressionist print, the lamps also look French country with their curved edge backplates.


Toile coordinates beautifully with solid colors like white, with scalloped embroidered edges, with small checks, with buffalo checks, with stripes, and with small print florals. Add a toile to any of these others and the decorating style becomes French Country.

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F R E N C H   D E S I G N 
on Friday 

Come back each Friday for another post in a design series that shows 1] a photo taken in France that illustrates French design and 2] how that design translates into our homes. 

How do we know what IS French design? When selecting furnishings, lighting, and accessories, how do we decide what to use? Botanic Bleu will be providing examples straight from France through photos taken by me. Together we will study the photos. 

For those wishing to have an authentic touch of French style, visit Botanic Bleu to go to the source through snapshots of French architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes... and discover inspiration for creating 

a French-inspired garden and home. 

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For French Country Design from others, see Botanic Bleu's Pinterest board, French Country Design, and a group Pinterest board to which Botanic Bleu contributes, French Country Decor Ideas

For more French style straight from the source, click on the French Inspiration links in the sidebar to read sites devoted to French joie de vivre

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Did you get any ideas to make your home's style  
French Country?