Decorating terms you need to know
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Learn the Lingo1 of 9
By Andie Huber
You've probably heard terms like "étagère," "chintz" and "chinoiserie," but their precise definitions might still be fuzzy. For a crash course in decor-speak, we've compiled a list of our favorite interior terms. Learn their meanings and find out how to put them to good use in your home.
Toile de Jouy2 of 9
Also known as "toile" for short, toile de jouy is a print that typically depicts idyllic pastoral scenes in red, blue, green or black on a white or cream background. The imagery can be found on everything from jewelry to beanbags as well as wallpaper that depicts modern-day cityscapes like London and New York.
Demilune3 of 9
Another word borrowed from the French, "demilune" means half moon and is a small half-circle table. Its space-saving shape makes it great for entryways and hallways.
Chintz4 of 9
In traditional decorating terms, "chintz" refers to a patterned or floral fabric that has been glazed and is traditionally used for curtains and upholstery. Today, "chintz" is used to describe any classic floral pattern and can be found on various pieces, including china and other home accessories.
Slipper Chair5 of 9
An armless upholstered chair, a slipper chair is smaller in size and lower to the ground than most regular chairs. Because of its small size, it can easily accommodate playful upholstery choices without overwhelming a room.
Trompe l'oeil6 of 9
This French term (best pronounced with an exaggerated French accent) is an artistic technique that creates an optical illusion of a three-dimensional image on a flat surface. Today, most trompe l'oeil examples can be found on wallpapers and wall murals.
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Chinoiserie7 of 9
A fancy French word that translates to from China,"chinoiserie" is used to describe whimsical, asymmetrical and elaborate bold-colored imagery with Asian motifs. These designs typically include birds, pagodas and bamboo and are found on porcelain, furniture, textiles and wallpapers.
Étagère8 of 9
Unlike your run-of-the-mill bookcase, this delicate stand-alone piece offers open-air shelving. Display favorite knick-knacks and collectibles to keep the unit feeling light.
Wainscoting9 of 9
Originally made of wood and used on the inside walls of a home for insulation purposes, wainscoting can be purchased in pre-fab boards or panels and used as a decorative element to add architectural interest to rooms and hallways.
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