Modern Toile de Jouy

While my personal design aesthetic tends to be more modern than traditional, I have always held a place in my heart for Toile de Jouy wallpaper.  The pastoral scenes repeated on wallapaper are generally a single color on a lighter background and they depict tranquil moments  – a couple picnicing, friends gathering wildflowers and picking fruit in a garden, listening to music in an orchard, and other moments of relaxation.

some classic examples of Toile de Jouy Wallpaper

Because the format of toile is so readily recognizable and understood a great thing has happened to it.  Designers have taken it and started to play with it – making a classic Victorian statement into a modern and often subversive one.  When seen from a distance the new papers look much like the classics, they are repeating scenes depicted in one color on a neutral background.  When you get up close to them, however, you realize that what you thought you were looking at is actually something very different than what it really is.  They are often ironic and can also be a timely social commentary.

Wallpaper for restaurant Alison Eighteen

I always thought that modern toile wallpapers would make a great blog post and then I read this short article in the New York Times by Julie Earl-Levine a couple weeks ago.  Alison Price Becker  is opening her new restaurant Alison Eighteen and has had a wallpaper designed for the restaurant’s interior that highlights some of her favorite things:  a dog reading Page Six, markets, food, flowers, etc.  Everyone loved the old Alison on Dominick so I am looking forward to both the wallpaper and the food!

Here are a few other “modern” toile papers on the market now.

South Beach Toile by Jessica Smith and Harlem Toile by Sheila Bridges

Have you seen any new and interesting versions of this classic?

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