modern monday: favorite modern (nouveau) toile wallpaper

About 4 years ago I came across some photos from the then-new Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The design was incredible, the anchoring restaurant looked terrific, but what really caught my eye was the custom wallpaper: a nouveau toile (designed by Dan Funderburgh) featuring illustrations that paid tribute to the industrial past of the historic hotel's structure. That was the beginning of my obsession with modern toile (and in case you're wondering how to say toile, it's pronounced twäl)

Toile, or really Toile De Jouy, literally translates to a cloth from Jouy-en-Josas, the French town where the printed fabrics were first commercialized. The pattered style of linen or cotton, which became in vogue during the 18th century, usually featured a bucolic country setting, pastoral scene or contemporary mid-1700s life. The toile could have floral motifs, maidens or heroes in typical landscapes, and the colorways were often limited to red, blue, black or green.

Today the narrative of toile fabrics and prints has grown. While there are still many contemporary companies who favor a more traditional pattern, increasingly there are modern designers putting a twist on the classic look. In the modern toile, the landscapes have been updated, the colorways have expanded, prints incorporate more inclusive depictions of city life, and some have even woven powerful social commentary into their work.  

Toile is even inspring digital installations at LACMA!

Here are some of my favorite toile, y'all!

Sheila Bridges' "Harlem Toile De Jouy" - a satirical piece that lampoons (some of) the stereotypes deeply woven into the African American experience.

Bay Area Toile by Matt Ritchie and JormaTaccone
 featuring Too $hort, Humpty Hump and Mac Dre, Alice Waters, Joe Montana, and Angela Davis. 

I FLIPPED out when I saw this custom wallpaper at the Henry Howard Hotel in New Orleans. I lived in the city for 6 years and fell in love with this design faster than beads fly off a float during Mardi Gras! Here, take a closer look:

It was designed by Kathleen Fitzgerald and Lauren Kolesinkas.

Peacock Toile available through Anthropologie

London Toile from Timorous Beasties

And more toile-centric design here:
Hazelnut New Orleans offers New Orleans-centric fabrics like Magnolia and Cafe au Lait! 
Spoonflower for more toile options at varying price points.

modern monday: concrete + cement

Concrete (that durable composite material made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement, and water) and cement (the main ingredient in concrete) have been popping up everywhere in the design world...from lighting to tiling to jewelry, and even inspired wallpaper.

Recently I won a fiberglass-reinforced concrete Kreten Candelabra from Souda (thanks Instagram contest!). It's a strong statement piece which sits on the mantle in our living room, and it provides a nice contrast from my other tabletop and décor objects, which tend to be softer and lighter. The Kreten is always a topic of conversation, so naturally it sparked a new interest in concrete.

Here are some designs I’m really fond of right now. Got any favorites? Feel free to share them.

Happy modern Monday!


Top Row (L to R):
Concrete Earrings from Konzuk Shop 

Middle Row (L to R):
Rainbow Shades from Julien Renault Objects 
Edgy Tiles from Kaza Concrete  
100% Sand from Anabella Vivas

Bottom Row (L to R):
Vases from Seung Yong Song 
JWDA Concrete Lamp designed by Jonas Wagell for Menu 

friday favorites: wallpaper, 2.0

Our home is an historic structure, built in1895, the year Grover Cleveland was President and serving out his second non-consecutive term. I often find myself thinking about the people who lived here. I wonder about the Colorado women of the 1890s who occupied our space. What did they read? Did they spend time in mountains over long weekends? Did they cook? Enjoy cocktails? Gather around the fireplace? Look up at the stars? Garden or discuss politics? Raise a family here? Love wallpaper as much as I do? The list goes on…

Not that long ago, our home had been carved up into apartment units before being re-converted into a single-family residence, about a decade ago. Lots of historic details remain, but the personal style of the home's original inhabitants has long since been removed. When we bought our house about 2 1/2 years ago, all the plaster walls had been painted a neutral off-white/cream color. But I've been working hard to give the rooms a bit of color, pattern and a touch of us…mostly, in the form of wallpaper.

It's been about 35 weeks since we put Hygge & West in the entryway, and over a year since we hung fig wallpaper from Miss Prints in the kitchen. I've been pacing myself and saving up for a new project. I think it might be time to consider something for the bathroom or bedroom! (Maybe an early birthday present?) I'll keep you posted. 

Here are some of my favorite wall coverings right now. I started off with a design from Badgers of Bohemia that I spotted while working at ICFF. I mean really, a sloth smoking a hookah!? Need I say more?




Click here for my first wallpaper round up. 

Note if you're in the Denver metro area and looking for someone to hang your paper, my recommendation is Tony of Corbell Interiors

Top row L to R:

Middle Row L to R:

Bottom Row L to R:

Entryway, before (and before) and after (and after):

The kitchen...