France’s gardens are some of most beautiful in the world, and now bringing this look to your home is a cinch with Cole & Son’s brand new Folies wallpaper! The collection draws inspiration from follies, architecture and statues from lush renowned French gardens from both the past and present. Check out the original spots that inspired the line and how to recreate the look:
The Royal Menagerie at Versailles
The Royal Menagerie at Versailles, under Louis the XIV’s reign, was a special garden that displayed his exotic animals like elephants and rhinoceros. (Fun Fact: His son’s rhinoceros, which was one of the first of its kind to be stuffed, can still be seen today at museums in France.) Cole & Son modeled their pattern Versailles Grand on menageries like these. This panoramic pattern depicts colorful and curious creatures in a scenic royal garden. Their Rousseau wallpaper, named after the artist himself, and border print also feature painterly forms of menagerie.
Versaille Menagerie during Louis XIV’s reign, by D’Aveline
Louis XV’s Rhinoceros, stuffed
Original painting of Rousseau pattern
Palace of Fontainebleau
Located near Paris, the grand Palace of Fontainebleau is one of the largest in France. The gardens on the premises were actually modeled after the Italian Mannerist style, featuring work from famous artists that King Francis I appreciated, including Michaelangelo’s Hercules. Cole & Son, after finding a French document pattern that was in fragments, used their imagination to fill in the gaps, recreating a dramatic floral and bird pattern that they named after the palace.
Palace of Fontainebleau
Chateaux de Villandry
The Chateaux de Villandry is considered to have one of the most beautiful gardens in France. The palace was built in the 14th century and was held by different rulers throughout the years, including King Francis I & Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Renaissance, the estate featured elaborate water, ornamental flower and vegetable gardens. Inspired by the chateaux, Cole & Son named their toile de jouy style pattern after it, which showcases a pastoral landscape of parklands, waterways and follies.
Chateaux de la Bourlie
Chateaux de la Bourlie, a castle on a sprawling landscape of gardens in Urval France, features topiaries made of of linden and yew trees. Although Cole & Son named their pattern Bourlie after this estate, the print is actually based on one from their archives. It features recolored trail designs of rhododendrons, a flower often found in French gardens, that have been vibrantly recolored.
Artist painting in missing elements of original Bourlie document pattern at Cole & Son
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