Deciding on Toile Wallpaper Over Stripes in the Dining Room…kind of.

January 11, 2022

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If you’re subscribed to our Love Letter, you’ve seen that I’ve been on a wallpaper journey last week. I had the downstairs back hallway (that connects the kitchen to the bonus room to the garages to the laundry room!) in mind when I ordered grasscloth wallpaper samples from Spoonflower (launching next month), but when the samples arrived, I couldn’t help but tape them up in the dining room! Here’s a picture of the back hallway for reference. To the left is a swinging door that enters into the kitchen, straight ahead is a garage door, the far-back right entrance leads up stairs to the bonus room, to the right of that is a storage closet, and to the right of that is a second garage door. This photo was taken standing in the laundry room!
I quickly narrowed it down to my favorite two: an elegant stripe, and an organic toile. Very drastically different to each other! The stripe felt very bold, masculine, classic and (if I’m being honest) safe. Toile, on the other hand is more feminine, organic, still incredibly classic and a bit more of a risk for me. I honestly thought stripes were the way to go, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this house was made for toile, and if not here in the dining room, then where??
The tricky thing about making a decision based on a sample is that I wasn’t sure how the pattern would look, repeated as a tile. My heart was leaning towards the toile, but seeing the pattern repeated could make or break it. Time to mock it up!

A Toile Wallpaper Mock-Up

toile wallpaper
Note: a mock-up won’t show shadows or true color, but Wow, wow, wow! I got excited about this idea. I’m not totally sure I landed on the *right* toile, but this makes my heart pitter-patter. I also feel more confident with the toile decision, when I picture all the hard, strong lines in the kitchen, as well as the geometric shapes in the neighboring living room–this room really needs some organic movement to soften the spaces.
The dilemma with this exact toile is the white space “lines” running through the pattern as a whole. I think the pattern needs to be tweaked so it’s more seamless, and also the color might be too strong for every day. Also, I can’t help but think of the seasons when I’m choosing wallpaper for a main space. How will I feel about this come the holidays again? Spoonflower said that the designer could make any tweaks needed. So I’m now deciding if we should move forward with altering the design a smidge, or hunt for a perfect paper toile.
Speaking of hunt, I couldn’t help myself and searched far and wide for MORE toile wallpaper and ones that lean more organic! Literally ANY of these would do. I’m excited to go down this road with you. My head is spinning with options, and my goodness, I can’t keep these to myself!

My Favorite Toile & Organic Wallpaper

organic wallpaper

1. Red Burkhead
2. Blyth Blue Toile
3. Floral Twine
4. Chinoiserie Toile
5. Scenic Toile
6. French Nightingale Blue
7. Seasons Toile
8. Inez Bird
9. Ludlow Ecru
10. Florencecourt
11. Pure Acorn
12. Marigold
13. Shengyou Toile
14. Snakeshead
15. Pure Strawberry Thief
16. Opia

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What do you think?

  1. Kailey says:

    I love the #5 Scenic Toile!

  2. Cathleen Partridge says:

    I am in love with the opia! I have to admit I am not loving the toiles. If perhaps you could find a toile with a tiny bit of a modern twist, maybe something in a non-traditional toile color or even with a dark background rather than the white. I know you will figure it out and it will be gorgeous. 💕Cyber Hugs from Lindon, Utah

  3. Kristie says:

    All gorgeous but I am absolutely swooning over #5 and would 💗 to see that one mocked up in your space. Can’t wait to see what you decide! It will be gorgeous no matter what!

  4. Jan says:

    8 and 12 for me!!!

  5. Kelli says:

    Hi Julia! I completely understand what you mean about considering the seasons when choosing wall coverings—I do that with paint colors. I get very nest-y around the holidays, but I worry if I will still like the cozy, wintry colors come spring when I’m craving light and bright!

  6. Ellen says:

    I agree with the concerns about the cultural issues surrounding chinoiserie. Might want to read this

  7. A.B. says:

    It’s good to be aware of how a particular toile represents the people in it. Many “chinoiserie” toiles and westerns depict people of Asian and Native descent in service roles, and were originally designed by a white person. Just something to consider, as there are now so many wallpaper options out there, you can easily find something that doesn’t represent or allude to colonialist/racist histories.

  8. Remo says:

    The wallpapers are so beautiful. Definitely getting them for my home.

  9. Sommer Ellis says:

    Number 2, 5 or 12 would be my choice, but all of them are beautiful!!!

  10. MK says:

    William Morris wallpaper every time for me! Would be a vision in there.

  11. 9, 10 & 12. This is super exciting to watch this fine tuning process. Thank you!!

  12. Donna says:

    I totally love toile and understand your fear of seeing the repeat in the pattern. Why not look at murals? It can give you toile feels, but will fill the room without the spacing of a repeat pattern. (I’m a huge red toile fan, just sayin!)

  13. Vicki Jane says:

    Lovely Julia, I love the toile look myself. I have purchased some from a British company that make their own. The company is called Sand and Sushi and their papers are STUNNING! I am sure you will find you are looking for, there are plenty around and they really change a room and set a feeling!

  14. Julie S says:

    I think you are right that an organic/toile style is perfect here, and also that this isn’t quite The One. In your roundup options I would love to see mockups of 2, 5, and 11!

  15. Brittany says:

    Sorry If you’ve already posted this in your list but have you seen Divine Savages wallpaper? They are British and they make a modern quirky toile (like people walking bizarre animals). If you’re looking for a twist to the classic!

  16. Vicki Williams says:

    The toiles is beautiful, for me i wish the pattern was more randomly placed instead of making squares or lined up. i never know how to say what i mean exactly. Will be beautiful. Could the stipe work with it? like on the bottom, maybe as a wainscoting? Just thought about it but maybe would be too much.

  17. Kristine says:

    LOVE toile! But I would avoid the chinoiserie ones – seems culturally, um, offensive. And agree that blue is overdone in styling. I also think the pictures now hanging are too similar to the toile paper. I would swap those out.

  18. JL says:

    They’re all lovely! With toile paper, it seems the first decision is whether you want the walls to tell a story (e.g. a colonial theme, #7). If so, then the pattern layout seems to be the most important detail. Otherwise, you appear to be leaning towards more dense patterns, where color is the primary call. Once you’ve narrowed it down to 3 or 4 options, would love to see a post or IG story with mock-ups for each.

  19. Erica says:

    oooh I’d love to see you use #12 the William Morris paper to bring in that red tone from your Smithsonian inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you do it will be gorgeous!

  20. Camille says:

    I have the Blythe Blue Toile (but black) in my baby boy’s nursery and I LOVE it! Such seamless flow in the pattern and soo versitile. I’m expecting it to grow up with him. From baby woodland to Sherwood forest to “I’m-a-teenage-boy-and-I-don’t-care.” 🤣

  21. Renee says:

    I love #9.

    There is a face in #15. #CantUnseeIt

  22. Kim says:

    Of course I love the most expensive #16 and I really like #11. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  23. Shar says:

    The Blythe is PERFECT!!!!

  24. Teri says:

    Any of those greens would look lovely and translate nicely with holiday decor. Blue is so over used in design, IMO. Toile ftw!

  25. Chelsea says:

    They’re so pretty! My personal favourites are #5 and #13.

  26. Andrea F says:

    How exciting! My faves 6, 9, 11 !!

  27. Jodi says:

    Wow wow wow 2, 5, 10 and 11 are stunning! I think a busy wallpaper with a more blended in, muted background is timeless!

  28. Irma Michelson says:

    Opia would tie your colors from your living room to the kitchen seamlessly and also allow your new chairs to stand out.

  29. Teresa says:

    Oooh 2, 5, and 10 are gorgeous! Excited to see what you pick!

  30. Catherine says:

    Ok, love them! But doesn’t #2 offer the perfect blending of your pantry and living room colors? With just a dash of family room blue? That one’s got my vote.

  31. Mary says:

    What about the red toile? It’s so cheery and I think after seeing the space you need a less busy one. One that has more solid background in it.

  32. Kelly says:

    #2 For Sure!!!

  33. Abs says:

    #13 + #14!! Love

  34. Sarah B says:

    I think Snakehead (Rejuvination) in the Indigo & Cumin colorway. I feel like it’s a beautiful contrast to the green island, and brings in some blue even though different than the blue in the pantry. It’s busy, subtle and completely timeless. PLUS I think that in the dining room with the Spoonflower grass cloth stripe in the back hallway would look GORGEOUS!

  35. Sarah B. says:

    If it were up to me I’d go with Rejuvination’s Snakehead in Indigo and Cumin. It’s somehow busy yet subtle and I feel like you need a little blue to expand on the blue of the pantry and it helps compliment the green of the island, with the touches of cumin contrasting beautifully.

  36. Laci says:

    I say go for the blue and white! I LOVE all my red/plaid Christmas decor with my blue Willow plates. It’s beautiful together.

  37. Doris says:

    I love everything you do so I know you will choose the perfect wallpaper. As for toile, my favorite is #5 Scenic Toile. Florencecourt is very interesting and it continues to draw my eye toward it. Also, I can’t stop looking at Opia. I can’t wait to see what you decide, but I know it will be beautiful.

  38. Cheryl says:

    That’s the thing about spoonflower and my big pet peeve about these computer generated repeats. They are always on a straight grid rather than containing the half drop… When I designed textiles back in the day, I always did the repeat by “hand” (using the computer) rather than relying on the computer to automatically do it for me. I think your other selections are so much more sophisticated! Good judgement on your part!

  39. Tanya Ricci says:

    I absolutely adore the wallpaper you used in your toilet closet in your last home. I think it would look fab here!

  40. Jenna says:

    #12 drew me in instantly – so lovely.

  41. Lex says:

    I know you have explained this before, but how do you do your wallpaper mock ups?

  42. Clare says:

    I voted for stripes in the original pole but holy cow the mock up with toile is so beautiful. So excited to see what you decide—whatever you go with will be beautiful!

  43. kathy says:

    #2, #5 and #16… goodness – those are GORGEOUS!

  44. Christine Clements says:

    Definitely toile all the way…SO pretty!! #9 and #10…gorgeous and neutral if you’re nervous about the blue for all seasons, but the blue is beautiful, too.

    • EP says:

      Yesss! When you were stuck between the two, I just felt it was because you hadn’t quite found the right one yet and should keep looking. I definitely love the organic/botanical(?) vibe for the space rather than a stripe (I’m not sure I’d call all of these toile but maybe someone can enlighten me.) I love 11,12,14 and 15 for your room.

  45. Victoria says:

    I love William Morris and I’m thinking of Snakeshead in that colourway for our living room when we move.

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