Tuesday, January 7, 2014

French Toile De Jouy....la vie est belle!

A French inspired home is both comfortable and beautiful.  Furnishings in a French home are usually inherited or found here and there at a second hand sale called a Brocante!  The French are famous for their brocantes!  One of my daughters and I happened upon one three years ago in Chateaunuf du pape in southern France.  I still vividly remember the day....... and what I most remember about it is, that I drove there!  We had rented a little French car upon our arrival in Avignon, France via the TGV Train from Paris.  My first venture was realizing the car was not an automatic but a "stick shift"  and SHOCK overcame me quickly!  It had been years since I had driven anything but an automatic but somehow on that fateful day, I remembered how to shift gears! Yes, Divine Intervention!  Directions were all in French, so YES it took a while for the arrival into the walled town of Avignon.  But, we made it and waited another day before I was brave enough to drive to the areas my daughter and I had longed to visit in Provence.  Our destination was a winery for Kara, as she had desired to purchase a vintage wine, in France, for her first wedding anniversary of marriage to Phil.  We enjoyed our drive and laughed and marveled that we were seeing France from a car and I was actually driving!  As we drove into Chateanuf du pape, we noticed a SALE of antiques, which would become our first brocante!  The items for sale were beautiful!  Gorgeous monogrammed linens, stemware, furniture, handmade French sewn layette items and beautiful paintings in beautiful frames.  So much more......one of my treasures that day was a French hand-sewn baby bonnet, which has become a treasure for a future grandchild!

It was there and at that point that I decided that someday, my home would evolve into a French home.  It has been easy, and a comfortable decor' has evolved in our home.  Parts of the things we have found have been accidental and most have been inexpensive.  We purchased a beautiful French sofa and had it totally redesigned.  The sofa was the perfect anchor piece for the setting room.  We framed photographs we had taken on our visits to France and picked up limoges here and there over many years of collecting small items. I love books, so who can ever have enough books about France!

This past year, we became a bit more serious about totally changing out the room with our love of France!  I made French silk drapes in a simple pleated style with buttons at the base of each pleat.  We found two Louis XV chairs at a second hand shop and then I searched and searched for the right fabric.  I decided upon a linen Toile du jouy fabric, which I found on sale.  Again, I waited and interviewed three upholstery professionals before I made my decision.  Waiting eight weeks, finally he was finished.  The room is complete now. The way it has all come together is as important as each individual element found in the room.  Everyday, I am reminded of my love for France and truly....all things French and my love of sharing with others this beautiful and inspiring country and way of life!  Now.....I may just have a Croissant!  la vie est belle! 

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