Archive | August, 2016

History of Toile De Jouy

31 Aug

Toiles de Jouy are the most European of fabrics.

Toiles are still a popular fabric in some homes. We thought we’d share a bit of the interesting history of Toile de Joy (or Jouy).

Inspired by an Irishman, advanced by the British, and refined to an Toile1art form by two German brothers who moved from Switzerland to France, these printed designs capture the romance of 18th Century Europe and remain some of the finest fabrics ever made in the west.

They were originally printed with wood blocks or copper plates with designs that were often based on engravings by well-known artists of the day. These fabrics depict pastoral and genre scenes, neoclassical motifs, historical events, chinoiserie, birds and florals.

In 1760 two German brothers, Christopher-Philippe and Frederick Oberkampf Toile2emigrated from Switzerland and settled in the town of Joy-en-Josas outside of Paris, where they built a factory. Their name soon became synonymous with monochromatic copper-printed textiles and their standards of excellence are responsible for Toile de Jouy’s lasting appeal.

When printing first began for Toile, only wood blocks were available. Unbleached cotton was washed in the water of the river, beaten, dried and smoothed through a a rolling press. Printers applied mordants (substances to fix dyes) to the cloth. After mordants adhered to the fibers, the fabric was washed again and boiled in a toile3madder solutions, or dye bath, creating a chemical reaction between the various salts and mordants. Color appeared where the mordants had been applied. Rolls of the fabric were stretched out in the meadows and leached by the sum to eliminate background tinting, and then were subjected to more washing and soaking in chlorinated water. Details and highlights were painted directly on the fabric by hand.

After 1770, copper plates allowed finer detail, and the Joy factory began producing more complex compositions, many of which depicted people in a landscape. These toile4ranged from scenes of contemporary events (hot air ballooning, Napoleon’s victories) to those from literature, theater and mythology.  Marie Antoinette decorated every possible surface with toile de joy. Although it is these vignettes that are most identified with the Joy factory and are most coveted today, the factory always produced more florals than pictorals. Sales and profits at the factory were immense, and it heyday, 1,500 employees produced 5,000 meters of fabric a day! Now that’s a lot of fabric to produce in one day!

Today’s uses are still in fabric and also in wallpaper. It’s a classic that will never grow old.

A beautiful bathroom helps you begin and end your days in luxury and comfort.

10 Aug

A beautiful bathroom helps you begin and end your days in luxury and comfort.

Make this important room into a personal retreat.

Most of us think about bathrooms in terms of function. And that’s the first need! In addition, consider your bathroom as a room of beauty and comfort! It’s not hard to change a drab bathroom into a luxurious cocoon.

For a calm, serene look and feel, use neutral colors, like white or off-white. If you’re looking for energy, select bold and bright colors, and consider coordinating an en-suite bathroom color scheme with the bedroom color.

Delux Drapery window installations - North Stonebridge Drive. 11-9-15

Some obvious places to start your bathroom plan are:

  • A paint color that makes you feel pamperedbathroom3
  • An elegant vanity, maybe even a vintage table that’s repurposed
  • New countertops, backsplashes and sinks
  • Updated hardware, including faucets, pulls and handles, available in a variety of styles and finishes
  • Beautiful framed mirrors, instead of frameless wall-to-wall mirrors
  • Layered lighting that’s beautiful AND functional, and maybe even a skylight to bring in natural light


Redoing the shower or tub is a bigger project, but how much fun to create a luxurious bathing experience. This is a good place to spurge on finishes and hardware since you’ll enjoy them every day of the year.

Function is also key when updating a bathroom.

  • Use slip-resistant flooring.
  • Select finishes that are easy to clean and resistant to water, especially if you live in a humid environment.
  • Plan for as much storage as you need, so the bathroom never looks cluttered.
  • Include plenty of towel racks, so towels are easy to reach and have a chance to dry.  
  • If you have space, include a place to sit, whether it’s a built-in bench or a movable chair or stool.

Are you ready to have a luxurious new retreat in your home? Focus on remodeling your bathroom this season!

Layering is not just for cakes or the newest outfit in your wardrobe.

3 Aug

Layering is not just for cakes or the newest outfit in your wardrobe.

Layering is a beautiful decorating strategy.

layers1We think of layering when we decide what to wear – putting on a shirt over a camisole, then adding a scarf and necklace. Layering for your home is similar; it adds richness and depth, and keeps your home warm in feeling and mood. There are so many surfaces you can layer in your home.


Add layers:

  • To your walls with wainscoting, stenciling, wall coverings and crown moldingslayers2
  • To your floors with rugs and carpets over hard wood, tile and stone flooring
  • To your window coverings by pairing soft window treatments with blinds and shades
  • To your bed with layers of sheets, blankets, duvets, comforters, throws, pillows and more
  • To your furniture with slip covers, embellished pillows and cuddly throws
  • To your lighting by combining functional task lighting with interesting lamps, chandeliers, wall sconces, spotlights and even candles
  • To your dining table with tablecloths, runners, placemats, chargers and dishware



Layers can be achieved with color, by using multiple shades within the same color family or by using complementary colors, such as deep red accents in a sage green décor. Think of color layering during the holidays too, with accents in gold, silver, red and green, or blue and silver.

You can also layer with patterns, using several patterns in a decorating scheme or using the same pattern in slightly different colors or a different scale.


Just be careful with too many patterns, so you don’t create chaos!  Consider layering with textures too, combining soft rich fabrics with crisp, clean linen and even tweedy, rough wools.


Think multidimensional about your rooms this summer, and add a little layering for depth and engagement.

%d bloggers like this: