Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bowood in the Bedroom

A few years ago, Southern Living declared chintz is back in bloom and slowly but surely, I have seen it blossom back with grand flourish. As a child of the 80s, the nostalgia of chintz makes me very happy, and I could not be more thrilled to see it return in a fresh new way.

One of my all time favorite prints is the iconic Bowood by Colefax and Fowler. Bowood is named after a 19th century fabric the legendary decorator John Fowler found at England's famous Bowood estate, which he then had manufactured.  It has been in production since *1938 and is considered one of Colefax and Fowler's most enduring classic prints. Fowler adored chintz because he wanted "the garden to spill into his rooms," and I could not agree more. One day, I plan to ensconce our guest bedroom in this delightful floral print, and for inspiration I have pulled some of my favorite Bowood bedrooms...

Justine Cushing loves Bowood so much, she used the fabric throughout her entire Southampton home! You can see it in House Beautiful here, and read an interview with Justine here

Of course, Bowood is beautiful anywhere in the home... and it is also available in two colorways - green and grey (my preference) and red and blue... 

Kim Gieske

Bowood in red and green, which has been discontinued and replaced with red and blue...  

What are your thoughts on decorating with chintz, and are you happy to see it return? Do you have a favorite print? The Daily Mail (U.K.) suggests using chintz sparingly to avoid an 80's overload... and while I generally agree, when it comes to Bowood I am particularly drawn to bedrooms ensconced with coordinating fabric and wallcoverings. It is just so soft and pretty.

"Enough with the plain. I think people want pretty, and I predict a surge in demand for classic fabrics like Colefax and Fowler's Bowood." — Leta Austin Foster 

"My favorite chintz... is Bowood in grey/green by Colefax and Fowler (cowtan.com). It reminds me of a fabric that could have been in a ladies’ locker room at a country club." — Ruthie Sommers

*I have read conflicting reports on the production date of Bowood. Some say it was introduced in the 1950s, but according to the book John Fowler: Prince of Decorators (pg. 114), it began production through Lady Colefax in the 1930s, and The Daily Mail reports 1938 as the production date. 


  1. Lovely! Just got Leta Austin Foster's book and spent a blissful few hours by the fire enjoying it. Pretty is coming back, I'm pleased to say. I've been greiged to death for long enough, and am ready for welcoming and warm, rather than boring and neutral. Great post!


  2. I just got this book, too, and am loving it. I have been reading it some every day since it arrived. I am sick of grey and neutrals, and I think everyone is on overload, too. I prefer "Pretty."

  3. Very thorough posting!
    Have always loved chintz, and while I was never dubbed The Prince of Chintz, as dear Mario was, I still love it and have ordered thousands of yards of it over the years.

  4. Bowood has long been my favourite too. It is perfect with antique furniture, especially mahogany and cedar. For some reason though I don't think that the red colourway works as well as the grey and green. Thank you for this visual feast of my No 1 chintz!

  5. Thank you for this lovely post- I could be happy in a Bowood room forever :-)

  6. Love Henry & Co's room its wonderful!!


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