This classical, European-inspired wall decor is back in style for 2024 – designers love its elegant appeal

Bring some antique charm to your space with this traditional decor idea

toile wallpaper ideas in living rooms and bedroom
(Image credit: Mind the Gap, Brittany Ambridge, Jacob Snavely)

As with many interior design trends, styles come and go over the years. That's certainly the case with toile, a classical decor feature that may be having somewhat of a resurgence in 2024.

Derived from centuries ago in Europe, toile refers to a patterned fabric that features intricate and feminine motifs, typically in soft colors that promote a whimsical look. While wall decor is certainly not the only way to channel toile, it can indeed be an incredibly effective way of embracing this antique look for those drawn to traditional decor styles.

To bring this aged style into the present day, lots of wallpapers and wall murals take inspiration from classical toile fabrics, allowing homeowners to bring a sense of grandeur to their space. To learn more about this elegant decor idea, we spoke with NYC-based interior designer Kathy Kuo, who explains how to best channel this look into your home.

'Toile-inspired wall coverings are a really subtle way to add visual interest into any space,' explains Kathy. 'When rendered in soft muted earth tones toile prints read as almost neutral so they're easy to mix and match with existing prints on your furniture and with any number of color combinations. Because they also feel quite traditional they also automatically add elegance and panache to any space they're featured in.'

Mind the Gap fall wallpaper

(Image credit: Mind the Gap)

Since toile prints are rooted in tradition and present an undeniably classical look, there are certain interior styles that they're best suited to. While these whimsical prints can risk looking out of place in modern homes, they work incredibly well in traditional spaces, alongside other styles as Kathy explains: 'Toile-inspired prints work well with design styles rooted a bit in tradition – French country, cottagecore, and grand-millennial all come to mind as overall styles that easily work well with toile.'

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

In addition, Kathy suggests that toile wall coverings are best paired with natural materials that further establish an age-old look, crucially avoiding anything overly polished or new, which can again appear out of sync with this classical piece: 'In a space with toile-inspired wall coverings, I love the idea of bringing in furniture and decor made from reclaimed wood, burnished brass, and natural stone for a look that has a bit of natural charm as well as an antique feel.'

entry with blue toile wallpaper, mother of pearl console and Venetian mirror

(Image credit: Jacob Snavely)

And lastly, it's crucial to consider how a toile-inspired wall covering fits alongside the rest of your wall decor. Kathy explains that for a balanced look, you will need to carefully consider where artwork and mirrors are displayed to best complement the intricate pattern:

'With any wall covering, you'll want to consider your configuration of wall art and wall mirrors – gallery wall motifs that may have worked well on a solid color may not have the same effect on patterned wall covering. You'll want to think about where it makes sense to hang art and mirrors that you love without breaking up the toile pattern in an awkward way.'

Channel a toile-inspired wall covering in your home

Feeling inspired to create an antique and whimsical feel in your space? Below, we've rounded up some of our favorite toile-inspired wallpapers and wall murals which you can shop to recreate the look. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.