Then&Now: The Romance Of Chintz

I remember chintz fabric quite well. When I worked for Laura Ashley in the mid to late ’80’s, we were one of the leading distributors. Chintz is a cotton fabric that can be either a solid color or a beautifully printed floral or stripe. But what makes it desirable is the finish which allows it to be wiped clean. In the 1980’s everyone wanted the English Country look with rooms filled with it. Laura Ashley sold millions of dollars worth of the fabric! But like many good things, its appeal came to an end…until now. It’s back… with restraint.

Then- Here’s a quintessential English Country bedroom as done by Laura Ashely. Chintz covered almost everything- the chair, pillows and bed cover.

Now- Instead of the cluttered look of the English Country bedroom, a chintz coverlet is showcased against a mostly white bedroom.

Now- This time chintz is used as a wall covering. The pattern is balanced with the white and pale blue linens.

Then- We Americans filled living rooms with chintz. Notice how one print was used throughout the room- furniture and curtains!

Now- This living room has chintz in one print, too, but it’s updated with a zebra rug, limited accessories, and no wallpaper.

Then- The setting here was busy with a chintz covering the sofa, matching pillows, and a peach-colored wool throw. And let’s not forget all the accessories- books, pictures, figurines and pottery!

Now- Chintz is used as an accent in an otherwise neutral decorative scheme with less stuff.

Then- Laura Ashley designed these popular plum chintz fabrics. The dark color and the traditional setting leave a heavy feeling.

Now- Chairs covered in a dark floral chintz add a traditional touch to the more modern feel of white walls, white desk, and naive painting.

(Photos- Laura Ashley Home Catalog, Canadian House & Home, Domino, House and Garden, House Beautiful)

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5 responses to “Then&Now: The Romance Of Chintz

  1. I dunno… If anyone can sell it, you can ;)

  2. Fun post! Chintz is sort of scary but I was a big Laura Ashley freak way back when and so I still love a little bit of it (loved the domino story last year). That is cool that you worked for Laura Ashley!

  3. So cool that you worked for Laura Ashley. I have about 8 yards of this incredible floral chintz I got at an estate sale, I wanted to turn it into a duvet cover (of sorts) for my daughter’s room, but now that she’s 5, she says it’s not her style. Thanks for the inspirational photos, hopefully I’ll find a use for it yet!

  4. The “old” versions are much more appealing — and livable. All white on the bed? With a dog and kids?You jest….!!!

    I am looking for discontinued Waverly fabric — specifically “sweet violets.” Any suggestions as t where to go? no luck on ebay.
    Smiles,
    DeDe

  5. Hi DeDe-

    Ebay is your best bet. Have you tried googling ‘discontinued fabric source’…?