As a self-proclaimed grandmillennial, I’m instinctively drawn to classic fabric & wallpaper like a hound dog is drawn to a fox. It’s essentially my nature to spot them from a mile away, through a poorly taken facebook marketplace photo, or in a well-known designer’s latest room featured in AD.
What makes a pattern important enough to be considered legendary?
Is it the long history behind it? The high price tag? The fact that design icons like Mark D. Sikes or Bunny Williams have used it in their rooms? Or are these patterns really just so breathtakingly gorgeous that people will never stay away from them?
‘Twas was a rhetorical question, but I think it’s a combination of all of the above.
Whether used via wallpaper or textiles like pillows, curtains or upholstery, I’m sharing a roundup of what I believe to be the most classic, legendary & luxurious patterns that will never go out of style – along with some inspiration photos and where you can buy these patterns too!
Via The Glam Pad: Bowood is named after a 19th century fabric the legendary decorator John Fowler found at England’s famous Bowood estate, which he then had manufactured. It has been in production since 1938 and is considered one of Colefax and Fowler’s most enduring classic prints. Fowler adored chintz because he wanted “the garden to spill into his rooms.”
Via Libby Cameron
Via Tori Alexander Interiors
Via Caroline Gidire
Via Justine Cushing
I am dying to use Bowood in our home. TBD on where LOL
Hollyhock is a hand-blocked chintz that dates back to the mid 1800’s. Today, it’s available in several colorways as a linen or a cotton chintz.
It is an absolute masterpiece and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this is the mother of legendary patterns.
Via Alex Kaehler Design
I can’t get through a blog post on classic patterns and not include my Althea drapes, which is the coordinating (less expensive) print to Hollyhock:
From Sandberg’s Raphael product page: The inspiration for this pattern was partly taken from Central Park in New York – a leafy park surrounded by glass-and-concrete skyscrapers and a beautiful contrast to the bustling city. The pattern is also inspired by antique tapestries, where stylised leaves are often shown in fields of light and shade.
Lately, this Sandberg wallpaper seems to be a trending pattern, but I think it’s a true classic!
Via Erin Gates
Via La Dolce Vita: Based on an 18th-century document, this striking ikat pattern is often used in very traditional applications such as upholstered walls, draperies, and upholstery, oftentimes all at once the way that Chintz has been used in the most traditional of settings.
Via Aerin Lauder
Sister Parish was founded in 1933 in Far Hills, NJ and AD noted in 2000 that the partnership between Sister and Albert Hadley influenced American decor for more than three decades.
Creative Director of Sister Parish, Eliza Harris.
Via The Glam Pad: When selecting prints for my home, I tend to be drawn to the “story” or history almost as much as the aesthetics. I am a lover of history, and it makes me happy knowing I’m surrounded by one of the favorite prints of the legendary Sister Parish, the Grand Dame of the grande dame of American twentieth-century decorators. Dolly is truly a timeless classic that will never go out of style!
Via Cameron Ruppert
Via Amy Berry
(I almost used this pretty purple color in the hidden cabinet in our bathroom)!
Via AD: Brunschwig & Fils introduced a graphic, spotted fabric called Les Touches in 1965, and the design world went into a tizzy. Its origins, though, are as murky as the pattern is crisp. Handwritten records state it was inspired by “a portfolio of French black-and-white photographs.”
Another source traces it to a 19th-century textile reimagined for a modern audience. Whatever the truth, Les Touches, which resembles an abstracted animal print, delivers a visual jolt while remaining “classic enough that you don’t get sick of it,” says AD100 decorator Michael S. Smith.
Michael S. Smith
Les Touches in our recent bathroom renovation
This chintz was first used by preeminent American Designer Albert Hadley in 1962 for his client, Nancy “Princess” Pyne. The original chintz fabric can be found in the book “Influential Interiors” and the July 2009 issue of “House Beautiful”. Mrs. Pyne has graciously lent her faded vintage fabric to Schumacher to interpret anew as a table print.
My friend Lauren of Studio LaLoc used Pyne Hollyhock her recent dining room makeover. It’s divine!
This beautiful pattern is an adaptation of an English textile made in 1785 and is still popular amongst designers today.
Via Tory Burch’s home in AD
Designer unknown (if you know the designer please share)
Via Alexa Stevensen
I chose Bird & Thistle for my office and have no regrets.
It turns out that a lot of high-end brands make a “Le Tigre” fabric. Quadrille, Lee Jofa…the list goes on. But I believe Scalamandre is best known for their silk velvet Le Tigre (and Leopardo)!
Via Linda Ruderman
Bowood & LeTigre, a perfect combo! Via Caroline Gidiere
SHOP THESE CLASSIC PATTERNS:
My favorite non-trade sources for purchasing designer wallpaper and fabric are eBay, Etsy and Decorator’s Best. Decorator’s Best would be my last choice because they have a pretty high markup, so I’d check eBay first, then Etsy 🙂
More Best of Classic Design posts: