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Thursday, November 29, 2012

I’m Taking The Plunge This Christmas {Or, I’m Re-Thinking My Christmas Tree…No, Really!}

That’s it.  No more lugging and tugging and lifting and dragging a very large  9 1/2’ tree.  Done.  I’m moving on.  I’m over it.  (You know I’m  just trying to convince myself I’m ready for this.  I’ll use empty nesting as an excuse.  The kids won’t mind. They’ll never notice the difference,  I’m sure!

After writing this post I realized Kim over at Savvy Southern Style is totally with me. Read about it here.  I’m in good company.


That’s decided.

Now what?


I’ll refer to one of my favorite books and authors, Mary Carol Garrity of Nell Hill’s.  She has always impressed me with her ability to use smaller trees in urns on tables and get away with it.  And, they look ridiculously great!  She has given the rest of us permission to actually do this at Christmas of all times.  Can I do this?  And go against all tradition?

Sure I can.


Throughout my relatively short long life, I have a history with Christmas trees.  I love them.  I’ve had multiple trees.  Trees in every room.  Themed trees. Trees in the kids’ rooms.  Large fat trees.  And, my latest, slim & pencil trees.  Foyer trees. Cute trees. Decorator trees. Trees with just the family ornaments. Every color of decorations trees.    Gingerbread trees, nutcracker trees, old world trees, nativity trees, Hallmark ornament trees, UK trees, musical trees…you name it, I’ve probably had it. 

Now there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s just that I’m at a point in my life where I want simplicity and classic elegance all in  one.


So here’s the solution:  Our main family tree becomes a 6’ tree in a killer French urn on an awesome French 3’ table (do the math…that’s 9’ all together….hey, it adds up to my big 9’ tree).  No one will know the difference.  HA!




Am I a Scrooge?  Have I lost the Christmas spirit?  Nah.  I’m just re-directing it.

Change is good.  Just ask me.


Joyuex Noël mes amis!


P.S. Don’t forget to enter my great French Country Christmas giveaway. The winner will be chosen December 7. Click here to enter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway–It’s French Christmas Themed

I can’t believe it’s been one year since I started blogging.  November 2011 was my first blogging month and I almost let this month get away without recognizing it.


The best part of blogging is YOU.  It’s unbelievable how many wonderful people I have met this past year through blogging.  I feel like I have friends all over the world.

The highlights of my year of blogging: 

The Haven Bloggers Conference in Atlanta in June
(just a few of the great people I met – Shirley & Kim, I don’t have a copy of a pic of us)


Meeting Cat Bude from Sunday Brocantes during my trip to France in September.


I would have never met all these great people in person had it not been for blogging.
What an incredible journey this has been.
I thoroughly enjoy all the correspondence with my newfound friends.  It’s my favorite part.

HERE is the first post that I wrote if you want to take the time to read it.   As the old ad says, “You’ve I’ve come a long way baby”.

Hopefully I have many more years of sharing and blogging.


In honor of all my faithful followers and readers who labor along with me and take the time to read my musings and make comments, I’d like to offer some French goodies in light of the holiday season which is upon us. All you have to do for a chance to win is be a follower of La Belle Époque and make a comment on this post.


I thought I’d make the giveaway a Country French Christmas theme since this is what I’m going with again this Christmas season. I’m sure you’re not surprised at the French theme!


If you’re the lucky winner, your gift will include these 7 items:

Bonheur (happiness) embroidered ornament
Pierre Deux Joyeux Noël ornament
Paris soap
Pierre Deux toile sachet set
Gianna Rose drawer liners
Antique French porcelain shield number
Hand-stamped (by me!) jute banner



Again, all you have to do to enter is to be a follower of Kimberly Hites’ La Belle Époque blog and make a comment on this post.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, December 7.   You have over a week to enter.



Also, Please, PLEASE stayed tuned for a very special announcement coming soon.  It’s something I’m very excited about and I think you will be too!


Again, I’d like to say THANKS to all of YOU!

Au Revoir,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Has Come Early At My House

After a short break from blogging the past couple weeks, I am officially back in the saddle.  My husband and I celebrated our 12th anniversary in Atlanta weekend before last, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week.


This has panned out to be a very Frenchy month for me much to my delight.  After receiving two gorgeous French baskets in the mail from Cat at Sunday Brocantes, my husband took me to a great little restaurant in Lexington where I had the most delicious traditional French la bouillabaisse.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s basically a seafood stew.  Our anniversary dinner was at Bistro Niko, the only French restaurant in Buckhead. (my husband obviously knows about me being a Francophile!)

But if that wasn’t enough, guess what was delivered the Monday before Thanksgiving?


Yep, there she is in all her glory. At 87” tall and almost 5’ wide, it is one honkin’ piece of furniture.


Finally, my French armoire.  My dream piece of furniture.  You may recall the story of me making an offer on it this summer, finally getting it early fall, then having it delivered to an antique furniture guru for touch-ups, then to the upholsterer for covered shelves.  Shew!  This process took almost 5 months.  But it was worth it.


It’s been authenticated as most likely a wedding armoire from Normandy and made in the late 18th century. It’s made of cherry on the outside and some walnut on the inside.


It has all the original hand forged iron hardware and is peg-joined.  It even has the original very large key which I am told is actually quite rare.  Lucky me !



It has the most beautiful hand-carvings.





The steel ferrures are gorgeous, too.


Wanna take a peek inside?


I chose a traditional black and cream toile for the padded shelves.


I think it turned out very nicely.


I really don’t need the storage, so I’m gonna style the shelves with linens and Hermes boxes.


Now I feel like I can finally finish my master bedroom.  My dad hung the toile cornices. 


Here’s my new modern chair by Barclay Butera that is covered in vintage French linen.  A friend of mine brought the fabric back with her on one of her shopping trips to France.  The orange linen pillow is studded with Swarovski crystals.  I love this combo.


I absolutely love the shape of this chair and it’s so wonderfully unexpected with the antiques.


I just ordered the Alexa Hampton swing arm wall lamps in dark nickel so hopefully they’ll be here soon.










Yes, that’s Murphy’s bed on the floor.  He gets to sleep next to the armoire.  He’s a Francophile, too!


Linking to:

WOW! Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Family Room Media Wall Reveal

Can you believe it?  I finally have something completed in my house!!!

ONE WALL… YAY!  (just 3 months, 4 major trips, and 2 college move-ins later)


I’m lovin’ this simple board and batten treatment (and so is the hubby).


I must give credit where credit is due.  This was not my idea.  I repeat. This was not my idea.  I got this idea from outrageously talented Mandi from Vintage Revivals when I visited her blog after seeing her on the Nate Berkus show back in the summer.  Click HERE and HERE to see her examples.  She also has the tutorial HERE on how to do this.  Thanks, Mandi!

I knew this would be a perfect wall treatment for my awkward “not-done-properly when we built the house” media wall.

So here’s the breakdown:

Blah wall that’s masquerading as a media wall.  Doesn’t it resemble a jigsaw puzzle?


The new wall color that you see on the top is Sherwin Williams Wool Skein and it rocks!

I had already pre-measured everything and had the lines drawn onto the wall of how I wanted it to look.  The pencil lines just don’t show up in the photos.


Beginnings of a transformation.  Already better.  No more jigsaw.  Much more continuity.


My excitement is building.


 I can’t even believe it’s the same wall.


The lead carpenter, Brad, did an awesome job.  (Yes, I used our contractor.  I’m a wimp when it comes to more than just spray or chalk paint!).  Brad even installed a hidden panel to access the wiring to the surround sound.


And, voilà!


Materials for my project:

Existing crappy built-ins
2 carpenters
MDF board
Wood filler, caulk, nail guns and such
Oh, and saws and sandpaper
2 painters
1 gallon gloss paint—Queen Anne’s Lace


Did I actually say “finished”?  Now I’m wondering if I should add some artwork or cool letters or something to the top squares.
Maybe some vintage frames like Mandi used.


I wanted some contrast and texture so I picked up these baskets at Target and added some different antique enamel number tags from my French collection.


I knew they’d come in handy someday.


I may have even gotten carried away with the number tags!  But I love them!


Some might even think I have an obsession with Hermes orange right now!  I’m not sure where I’m going with it yet, but I can’t seem to resist it.


Remember the bright orange tray that I spray painted week before last using high gloss paint?


Guess where it ended up?


How do you like my lacquered Hermes tray?  (Hey, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).

Another great French basket from my friend, Cat sits atop the table.  Please visit her Etsy shop HERE.


I’ve had this antique Provencial tile for quite some time.


Here’s a different view of the room.  (Bad lighting when you are facing windows). The half-finished part.  The old heavy drapes came down and I’m going to do simple linen side panels over the existing blinds.

I now have the original Levier painting over the sofa.  Read about it HERE.

Can you say Dark Brown?  I realize we have too much chocolate brown leather furniture in here.  It just sort of happened that way.  It’s Bernhardt so it’s not getting replaced and besides, it’s easy to keep clean with Murphy in the house.  I’ll have to lighten the room up in other ways.


Checklist of what’s left to do in the family room:

Linen panels for windows
Decide on additional artwork
Style the fireplace mantel
Change the ceiling fixture
More pops of color with pillows (obviously with orange since that seems to be the direction I’m headed)


But for now….right now….I’m happy with my new and improved wall.

Happy Decorating,

Partying at:
WOW! Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
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