Sep 18, 2008

French fabrics become fashionable

During the 1890s, Elsie deWolfe, America's first interior decorator, started spending her summers in France. She fell in love with the architecture, the gardens and the decor of sophisticated French homes.

Once back at home on Irving Place in New York, she decided to redecorate her house in the French style. The transformation of the home from a dark, cluttered Victorian-style interior to a light and cheerful interpretation of a French 18th century manor created a sensation amongst the fashionable and artistic New Yorkers who were often invited to Elsie's home for a Sunday afternoon Parisian-style salon.

Elsie deWolfe was always a trend-setter. Her redecorated rooms were imitated by chic New Yorkers and created a taste for all things French. Elsie's new decor included pale florals, chintzes and scenic toiles. The passion for French style still influences the decor in American homes. Below is a photo of Elsie in about 1920.

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