With spring on the way, a last weekend ski trip to the Berkshires was in store.
I went to a place I had never visited and was pleasantly surprised to take a step back in time to the little town of Stockbridge. I was excited to explore the Norman Rockwell scene. Plus, if you ask any interior designer, the mind never stops working from a design standpoint.
This getaway took me back to the days when wallpaper was popular as I visited the famous Red Lion Inn. The landmark inn reminded me of the days when Waverly and Schumacher wallpapers were the design rage and every home you walked into had mini prints and cabbage roses on wallpaper and window treatments in their bedrooms and bathrooms.
Toile was right alongside these trends and still is considered to be a traditional timeless style today. So much to take in, I focused on the toile wallpaper in the ladies room.
Toile originated from the French "toile de Jouy," sometimes shortened to simply "toile," which is the 18th-century French scenic pattern usually printed on canvas or linen and in one color.
Originally manufactured in Jouy-en-Josas, a small French village south of Versailles. The toile pattern was a way of early travelers to tell their story of family journeys and exploration and adventures usually during holidays. Tales were told through printing on fabric. Most toile patterns are usually one color printed on a solid color background.
In the world of modern and mid-century trends, it was refreshing to walk into the lady's room at the Red Lion and see a multi-color toile wallpaper installed above white wainscoting on the walls. Not only was this space very large, the one-inch octagon penny tile installed on the floor in white and black accents was also interesting and fitting for the space as this tile is in style today.
Keeping with the inn's traditional style of the 1772, a vintage light fixture in brass with pink and white glass globes was the perfect accent to the space.
The original bathroom stalls were preserved, which gave the space a nostalgic feel. A softness was added to this large space with white cotton curtains, another trend of current styles, with pompom trim embellishments.
Eating in the dining room also took you back in time. With utensils of fine sterling silver and a paper placemat printed in black and white with an etching of the Red Lion Inn. The figures in the etching were sketched by Rockwell of the inn founded by Douglas McGregor. Because Rockwell lived his last 25 years in Stockbridge, a dedication of the Norman Rockwell Museum is also located in Stockbridge.
The visit to Stockbridge was a first for me. A return is likely this summer for the many missed sites, which will include concentrating on the antiquing scene.
Debbe Daley is owner and principal of Debbe Daley Designs LLC with offices located in Lowell, Boston and Portsmouth, N.H.