10 (MORE) Home Decor Words You’re Probably Mispronouncing

Percale sheet set bedding in white

Our last post on the subject, 10 Home Decor Words You’re Probably Mispronouncing, spurred quite a bit of conversation, and many of you asked for more. So here are 10 more home decor words you just might be mispronouncing. No worries, though. They’ll be rolling off your tongue in no time — and you’ll impress even your most highbrow friends.

1. Percale: (French) per-kale

A tightly woven fabric with a fine texture and finish used especially for sheets. A common mispronunciation is: per-cal.

Japanese dying technique of shibori looks like tie die -- we love it on our Milos Bedding

2. Shibori: (Japanese) shih-bor-ee

A traditional Japanese resist-dyeing technique that produces distinctive patterns on fabric. The process typically involves binding, stitching, folding, twisting or compressing cloth before dyeing it to achieve a certain pattern.

Verdigris patina on light fixture from Ballard Designs

3. Verdigris: (French) ver-di-grees

A bright bluish-green patina that naturally forms over time when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater.

Matelasse bedding from Ballard Designs

4. Matelassé: (French) mat-luh-say

A weaving or stitching technique that yields a raised quilted or padded design.  A common mispronunciation is: mat-uh-luh-say.

Spa blue chinoiserie wallpaper with velvet Louis chair and demilune table

5. Chinoiserie: (French) sheen-wah-suh-ree

The interpretation and imitation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture. A common mispronunciation is: chin-o-ser-ee.

Black etagere from Ballard Designs

6. Étagère: (French) ay-tah-zhair

A piece of furniture with open shelves for displaying decorative objects and other small items. A common mispronunciation is: eh-tah-zhair.

Art giclee print from Ballard Designs

7. Giclée: (English) zhee-klay

Fine digital art prints made on inkjet printers. A common mispronunciation is: jih-klee.

Atelier antlers from Suzanne Kasler's collection for Ballard Designs

8. Atelier: (French) at-l-yay

An artist’s workshop or studio. A common mispronunciation is: at-uh-lee-ay.

Trompe l'oeil painting technique looks like plaster

9. Trompe l’oeil: (French) trawmp-loi

A painting or design intended to create the illusion of a third-dimensional object. A common mispronunciation is: trawmp-low-eel.

Bedroom with soft color palettes and toile bedding

10. Feng Shui: (Chinese) fung-shway

The Chinese art of creating harmonious surroundings by defining how the placement of objects within a room affect the energy flow in that living environment. A common mispronunciation is: feng-shwee

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    March 13, 2021

    Merci beaucoup!

    I will never look at my étagère the same way again.