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Using Toile in Interior
by Nikki Willhite
Toile is decorating pattern that has been
around since the 1800’s. It is a classic. It is good for the frugal
decorator because it never goes out of style. Right now it is extremely
The Toile design came from the
French. If you’ve never heard the word spoken, it is just one syllable
and sounds like "twall".
Using Toile is like using a floral
print, but is not as easily dated as a floral print. You can always
recognize a vintage floral print. They are very abstract. The flowers
are not as real looking as they are in today’s prints. The pinks are
peach, and the blues lean toward aqua.
Most Toile fabric is only
two colors. The background is usually white or cream, and the design is
printed in blue, white, black/charcoal or red. These limited colors help
keep the fabric from looking dated.
Toile is often made in a very soft
fabric so that it drapes well. At first it was used for draperies and
bedspreads, but now you will find it on all types of furniture,
accessories, and even clothing.
Toile is considered an elegant and
romantic fabric. You can decorate very dramatically with Toile by
painting your walls a vibrant color and then using nothing but Toile in
your room. This is often done with red walls and a black and white toile
Toile fabrics picture scenes from
daily life, from peasants working in fields, to exotic landscapes and
cherubic angels. American Toile often depicts historical American
patriotic events and symbols. The scenes depicted on the cloth are meant
to tell a story.
There is a lot of rhythm on the
fabric, as the scene is a pattern repeating all over the fabric. Toile
has a lot of curved lines, which is why it is treated as a floral. It
goes well with stripes and plaids.
Toile designs are suitable for both
formal and informal rooms. At one time, they were used extensively in
almost every formal room.
Toile blends wonderfully into a shabby
chic room, giving it a sense of age, which people try so hard to get by
You will find Toile prints for
upholstery, drapes, bedspreads, wallpaper, and even on dishes.
If you want to add a touch of elegance to your
home, think about adding some Toile fabric. Start with a pillow. It doesn’t
take much fabric to bring a little elegance and sophistication to your home.
About the Author: Nikki Willhite,
mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing
articles on the topic of
frugal living for over a
decade. Visit her at
- where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal
Happy Families- more than just money!
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