Chintz Is Back!

January 24, 2018


Vogue recently asked some top interior designers for their 2018 design predictions.One of them was the return of chintz. (Link here)


If chintz has you thinking  stuffy, overdecorated rooms from the 80's, think again. From classic chintz patterns to more contemporary options,chintz can be found just about anywhere these days. Trust me all the cool kids are doing it!



Here's what you need to know about chintz:


1- A glazed calico that was originally wood  blocked from India, chintz became very popular in the 16th-17th centuries. Dutch and Portuguese traders originally  brought back small batches of Indian blocked prints, but during the  mid 17thcentury English and French merchants began sending back large quantities. Chintz became so popular in the late 17th century that it threatened the economy and survival of the  local mills. So much so that it was banned from France and England (of course the courtiers at Versailles didn't have to play by the rules and thus continued to wear chintz).


                              ( image via V& A Museum: chintz from the Coromandel Coast 1710-1725)



English and French mills  quickly started producing their own versions and one of the most iconic prints Toile de Juoy was manufactured in Juoy, France between 1700 -1843.


 2- A crucial aesthetic that promoted chintz was the English Country House Style (a style that was much sough after in the early 20th century).  Mixing period furniture with humble pieces, rich damask and velvets with faded chintz, this particular look was made very popular by the dynamic  duo  John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster of Colefax & Fowler.  Ironically , this design aesthetic came into being out of frugal necessity.


        (Nancy Lancaster by Cecil Beaton)


The new economic realities faced by the British upper class after World War One forced many to adopt a make -do and mend style highly championed by Nancy Lancaster.This style preserved antique or estate pieces while mixing in more affordable items such as the humble chintz .




 (image via Antiques Diva)



                (The infamous  yellow drawing room at Colefax and Fowler) (all images and info via                              


              You can read all about John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster here and here .


         3- Another key player in the chintz story is Mario Buatta nicknamed  Prince of Chintz. Mario is known  for his signature style of richly glazed walls, four post beds and yards and yards of chintz . He considers Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler yellow room as one of his big style influences . Some of his most note worthy clients include Barbara Walters, Mariah Carey and most recently Patricia Altschul ( the grand dame of Southern Charm).










             (all images via  Architectural Digest except second image via Rizzoli)



                 One of the most iconic chintz prints is Colefax & Fowler's Bowood.This pattern was based on a                  document John Fowler found at the Bowood house.You can read all about the Bowwod house  here.






                    (image via The







 (Tory Burch's Hampton home via AD)



      (image via


    (image via Vogue)



                    (image via house & Garden UK)


                             (image via 


 (image via Mark D Sikes)



Stay tuned for Part Two!


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