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Thursday, March 27, 2014

I’m Feeling Country French!

Bonjour friends!  With springtime in the air (although we had more snow this week!) my thoughts are of the charming French countryside.


I’m trying to decide where to place this pastoral oil on board that I found in Normandy last Fall.  I like it in the kitchen for now.


It was such a neat experience finding and winning this piece at a respected French auction house.  This painting reminds me of the idyllic scenes in rural France and has me longing to return for more inspiration.


Being a country gal, I have a soft spot for pastoral scenes and animals in décor.

Cows anyone?  I found this painting at the same auction house.  (I realize you can see my reflection in the mirror!)


Looking at these paintings today has me in a giddy French Country mood as I prepare to return to France again in May.  I’ll share details about the trip later.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Antique & Garden Show Inspiration

Happy 1st Day of Spring everyone!  I’m most definitely behind on this post but I’m going to share it anyway. I’ve been feeling inspired after attending the Blue Grass Trust Antique & Garden Show a couple weekends ago.  There was plenty of antiques, designer room vignettes and garden ideas.
This was a killer French vasselier from the 18th c with a porcelain enamel clock face.

C'est magnifique with superb detail.  I’m guessing it originally came from a chateau or manoir given its large size.


There’s always a few Louis Philippe mirrors to be found.  They look so chic in a modern setting and are totally timeless.  This one was offered in designer Matthew Carter’s booth.  The vintage brass figures are still making the scene right now.


These deconstructed chairs had great bones and pretty lines.  They would also look handsome recovered in linen or velvet.



What about this impressive French grandfather clock?


I’m partial to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and found a couple great examples.
A Beswick England figure and…


a midcentury garden statue from France.  I wish I could have brought him home with me, but I didn’t.


Here I am taking a break from all the hard work of browsing the show!


Thomas Birkman of Kimbrel/Birkman Interiors was the designer of this room space.  He had a visually interesting color scheme featuring the new mauve.  His use of bold artwork was a nice counterbalance to the furnishings.


This room was done by Matt Carter of Matthew Carter Interiors.  He had a pleasing mix of antiques and contemporary décor.  I’m crushing on the subtle geometric design of the rug and the diagonally set ottoman in front of the coffee table. 


He had a stunning chair upholstered in chic real patent leather!


I knew it was going to be a good show when this was one of the first things I saw!


This was on the reverse:  Cool, eh?


I’m glad it’s finally officially Spring.  I’m dying to plant something outside, but I know better.  Every time I do before Mother’s Day I usually lose it to frost!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Simple Spring Project With A French Accent

I'm joining 11 other fantastic bloggers to share some great Ideas & Inspiration for our Simply Spring party March 10-11.  Please scroll to the bottom to find all the links from yesterday and today! 

Here’s a great way to freshen up your dining room…stamped placemats.


I got the idea from Joss & Main who were selling something similar to these but were printed on burlap.  I had a set of  cotton/linen placemats that I purchased from Pottery Barn a long time ago and hadn’t used much.


I retrieved my vintage rubber stamp set and voilà!


They didn’t take much time and didn’t cost me anything.


 I set an impromptu table for 4 on one end of the dining table and used cafe au lait bowls thinking it would be perfect for morning cereal.


A simple breakfast is made special with two-toned fading roses left over from a bouquet given to me by a dear friend.


My placemats had to have a French accent, but you could use any food, kitchen, or dining-related words.



The cow milk bottle is one of my all time favorite French vintage items.



I'm very thankful for Daylight Saving Time.  Now it's full swing ahead for Spring!


Please visit these other lovely blogs for more Simply Spring Ideas & Inspiration:

Dawn DeLand Cain's photo.

Adventures In Decorating ~ French Country Cottage ~ Home Is Where TheBoat IsPariscope Home ~ Sophia’s Decor ~ Top This Top That

If you missed any of the lovely features from yesterday please click on the links here:

 Dawn DeLand Cain's photo.

Creative Cain Cabin  ~ Eclectically Vintage ~ Housepitality Designs ~ On Sutton Place ~ Savvy Southern Style ~Stone Gable 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Fresh Ideas at the “Simply Spring” Tour

Join me and 11 other fantastic bloggers on the “Simply Spring” Tour today and tomorrow (March 10-11) to see lots of fresh ideas for your home and garden.


Click on each of today’s features here:

Please come back tomorrow for more great ideas and inspiration!

Dawn DeLand Cain's photo.

See you tomorrow,

Thursday, March 6, 2014

An Accidental Treasure

Don’t you love it when you find something really great that’s totally unexpected?  I sure do.


I put a picture of this Paris etching on Instagram a few days ago.  Here is what it looked like framed when I bought it at a favorite antique shop of mine a couple months ago.


At only $55 (marked down from $65) I knew the new frame was worth that price.  The owner wasn’t sure it was an authentic old etching, and quite honestly, I wasn’t either.  But with the Paris subject matter, it fit my criteria of what I look for and I thought it was a charming view from the Seine.   It’s hard to tell how old an etching is under glass, so my curiosity got the best of me.


As I started taking it apart, I realized the mats were glued together.  “That’s it”, I thought.  “It couldn’t be real or glue wouldn’t have been used on something important”.  Well it turns out that the etching wasn’t actually glued, but it was taped to the mat in a couple places. 


I about never got to it…I had to pry the mats apart!


And finally I retrieved the prize!


There was absolutely no question at this point that it was very old…the quality of the etching, the foxing on the paper, the “hand” or feel of the paper.  I begin researching the maker.


It was signed in the lower right corner “Eastgate Sculp”.  From my research it appears that this was an English printmaker (London) who was active during the late 18th century.  It was engraved for Barlon’s General History of Europe and it could have been part of a book.  Although it’s not worth thousands or even hundreds,  it’s definitely worth more than I paid for it and I love it even more.  If you’re ever skeptical about something, go ahead and explore the possibilities.  Don’t be afraid to take things apart!  From this…


To this…


The hand coloring/tinting is absolutely stunning in person and the detail is superb.  The Louvre is on the left and you can see the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame in the distance on the Seine. The pale blue/greys are so typical Paris!

The new frame?  Worthless compared to this find.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with the engraving yet, but I’m holding onto it as something really special!


I’m headed to the annual Bluegrass Trust Antique & Garden Show this weekend and can’t wait.  I’ll be at the Gala this evening.  One of the featured speakers is the renowned interior designer Thomas Jayne who is giving a talk on “Decorating With Antiques”.  Now that’s right down my alley.

Follow me on Instagram HERE as I’ll be posting some pictures from the show.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Master Retreat Musings & A Favorite Throw

I love the color orange.  I didn’t really know that I did before, but I have grown to appreciate it’s usefulness in decorating and fashion.  Orange seems to always maintain a certain popularity in Paris.


A highlight of visiting France is having the opportunity to go to the local markets. 


Market Day is always a fun outing, bustling with noise and alive with interesting people, smells, scents, and products.


It’s a great place to pick up local specialty food items, beautiful flowers, and fashionable clothing and accessories.




We had a wonderful time at the market in Deauville, Normandie last September on the Brocanting Tour.  I think all of us purchased something.


It’s hard to resist the temptations.  I picked up a lovely sweater cape which I’ve worn many times but my favorite purchase of the day was a vibrant orange cashmere blend throw.




You can get gorgeous soft cashmere blend throws at the French markets for 20-25 euros!  That’s a great deal considering you’d pay 5-6 times that or more here at home.  I think all of the gals bought one.  There was an array of beautiful colors but only one striking orange.  I knew exactly where I planned to use it.


My master bedroom is mainly done in neutrals, but I have pops of orange and yellow for contrast.


I keep the throw either at the foot of the bed or tossed over one of the chairs in the room so it’s handy to use on these chilly winter days we’ve been having.


I’m so ready for spring as we are having blizzard like conditions again today and ice topped with 4 inches of snow and temperatures in the teens.  Just a couple days ago it was in the 60s and much warmer.  This has been the craziest winter in a long time.


I’ve obviously had a lot of time “buried in” the house and I think the coziest room for me is the master bedroom.  It’s definitely my favorite retreat.

This is another look at the hidden-door bookshelf that I lined in toile fabric last fall.  It’s so simple but it speaks volumes to me and about me.


I styled it very simplistically…One because there can’t be too much weight on the shelves for when the door is opened and Two because I wanted the toile to be the highlight.


Some vintage muted red books, a Napoleon III box and a pair of antique Bavarian plates that I think look rather contemporary with their bright yellow color is all I used in addition to pewter votive cups.


One of my favorite paintings hangs next to the armoire and is by French artist Paul Lambert.  The colors in this Parisian street scene are soothing and almost sombre.  I think it actually captures the essence of those muted blue-greys that are associated with Paris.  It is very relaxing to look at when I’m in bed.


Where will you be this September?  Consider joining our Brocanting Tour to France.  You might be able to pick up a cashmere throw in your favorite color for your favorite retreat!  There’s only one spot remaining.  Click on the tab in the sidebar for more info.



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