What do Murphy, Zoe, Riley, Darby, Nicholas, Ruby, and Lila all have in common?
They’re all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who so happen to own humans who love French Country décor or who are decorators in the French Country style.
There’s just something about Cavaliers that seems to say “design dog”. They have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them the perfect decorating accessory. You see lots of photos of these canine companions in home magazines perched upon French chairs with luscious fabric. They must have exquisite taste as they always choose to sit upon the finest furnishings. I guess they are showing their royal blood, and no other breed is the epitomy of a lap dog as much as the melt-your-heart-with –their-eyes Cavalier.
Let me introduce you to these cute doggies…
Riley, owned by Debbie Chamblin of Belle Maison Antiques
Darby, owned by Debbie Chamblin of Belle Maison Antiques
I fell in love with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when I met Riley, a gorgeous blenheim Cavalier owned by my good friend, Debbie Chamblin, owner of Belle Maison Antiques in Lexington. I’ll never forget the first time I met Debbie and visited her shop. Riley was sitting ever so regally by the large glass front doors and I gasped when I caught sight of him and I kept saying to my husband as we approached to enter, “Oh, honey, it’s one of THOSE dogs…THOSE dogs that I have only seen in pictures, one of THOSE dogs that reminds me of France (even though he has English origins!), one of THOSE dogs that I would love to have…and blah, blah, blah, I kept going on about him all the way to the front door. And, he didn’t disappoint. With his sweet disposition, it was love at first sight. I now consider Riley a doggy friend and he has since been joined by a sister, another blenheim named Darby. Together, they make great store mascots, who are always ready to greet customers. Debbie says some clients stop by regularly just to visit with Riley & Darby. Now these dogs know how to make friends and sell French antiques!
Here are Riley & Darby outside the shop this spring showing off the Fermob line of outdoor furnishings from France.
And, they always model the latest fashions!
Then, I met Shawn Stucker, owner of European Antique Market in Louisville and she too has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Hers is a beautiful Ruby, named Zoe, who also hangs out in the French shop. O.K. there’s something to this French thing and Cavaliers!
Zoe, owned by Shawn Stucker of European Antique Market
Lucky dog, Zoe, getting to lounge around on all those great French pieces!
Zoe just seems to go with fabby French pieces and makes a wonderful advertising dog.
And, can you believe it? Shawn and I got our Cavaliers from the same breeder in Tennessee when we begin to compare notes. Nope, they don’t have the same parents, but they sure do resemble each other!!!
And, then, there’s my good friend, Charles Faudree, (O.K. I could be stretching that statement a bit, but I did get to meet him in person at Keeneland in Lexington a couple years ago, and he is absolutely charming!). You know, Charles Faudree, French Country designer extraordinnaire and author of several decorating books. It’s not surprising that he loves Cavaliers, and has 3 of them. You can see them throughout his books in photographs of lovely interiors and on the covers of some of them. Their names are Nicholas, Ruby, and Lila.
I highly recommend all of Charles’ books! That’s another post.
They’ve even been featured in an ad for Charles’ fabrics by Vervain. He also designed a Cavalier Toile, but I couldn’t get a good clear image of it.
And, here is my canine baby, Murphy. I love his big soft floppy ears
He does look a lot like Zoe.
Melt your heart eyes
He’s the official mascot at La Belle Epoque.
What about you? What is your decorating dog mascot? Any of you out there have Cavaliers?
The French love their “chiens”. Maybe everything is going to the dogs!
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