All About Bowood

A staple of grandmillennial design, Bowood by Colefax and Fowler is hands down my favorite fabric. I like that it’s feminine, but relatively simple. It’s a great chintz for people who don’t like chintz. It’s also very versatile. Bowood looks equally pretty in relaxed and formal rooms. It also effortlessly transitions across decorating styles.

Bowood fabric swatch union green grey
Bowood by Colefax and Fowler
Cameron Ruppert Bedroom with Bowood
Cameron Ruppert Interiors

Bowood is as historic as it is iconic. It has been in production by Colefax and Fowler since the 1930’s. However, its origins date earlier. The story goes that John Fowler discovered a scrap of Bowood fabric inside a house built circa 1780. The house, aptly called Bowood House, is located in Wiltshire, England and is still standing today. The print being produced by Colefax and Fowler is John Fowler’s interpretation of the pattern on that scrap of fabric.

Below is a photo of the Bowood House. Can you believe how beautiful it is?

Bowood House
Bowood House

The house was originally commissioned by the 1st Marquess of Landsdowne, William Petty, in 1762. The original cost was “30 guineas.” Guineas are no longer in use, so estimating what that would be worth in today’s dollars with inflation and such is difficult. And trust me, I tried. However, if we were to pay 30 guineas for a house today, we would be paying about $14,000 with current gold prices.

Bowood House
Bowood House

If you’d like to learn more about the history of the Bowood House, House & Garden has a lovely article here.

Examples in Design

Bowood is a versatile print. It looks right at home in a range of design styles.

Maddie Hughes Bedroom with Bowood
Maddie Hughes Designs
Henry & Co Design bedroom
Henry & Co Design
Anna-Louise Wolfe bedroom with Bowood
Anna-Louise Wolfe

Even fashion designer Tory Burch is a fan of Bowood. Here it is on the sofas in her Southampton home.

Tory Burch living room
Tory Burch

While they grey/green colorway shown above is my favorite, Bowood can be found in a few colors. Below is a wonderful example by Mark D. Sikes.

Mark D. Sikes living room
Mark D Sikes

Beautiful and historic, what isn’t there to love about this iconic fabric?

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Shop Bowood

Bowood chintz fabric

I’m kind of dreaming of a skirted table in the Bowood print. If you are, too, you can buy fabric by the yard here.

Bowood Pillow

If a pillow is more your style, you can find them here.


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