Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Balader en France

I am wandering France today.

Pulling out my old stacks of Art & Decoration, Marie
Claire and Côté Sud magazines, dreaming.
I've decided I am going to add a rose tree to my
landscaping next year.

Admiring the architectural details of this Paris apartment. The window looks as if it has an ornate frame around it. If I had French windows I would frame them too. It is next to impossible to find windows that open inward in America. I've never quite understood why.

Something romantic about the statue, Venus de Milo, standing silent in the corner of the stairwell against those aged plaster walls. You know it was a French navy ensign stationed on Melos (an island between Greece and Crete), in 1820, that discovered the original statue. He was watching local farmers dig for construction stones when she was uncovered. He bought the statue for France and she now resides in the Louvre. The love goddess's arms were never found.

The arched entryway really softens that stone surface doesn't it? Of course the curved form of the statue does her share too. I can't begin to tell you how many marble top bistro tables I see in French homes. They are kind of like busts. No maison would be complete without one.

Photo from Stephen Shubel
Oh these walls! Filled with plaster fragments, 18th century mirrors, gilt frames, architectural prints and objects. Parisian Flair with casual Country French. Walls just seem to come to life when three dimensional objects are used. The seating looks like mattresses covered in ticking on boxed frames. Genius I do say!

I've always loved using antique store display pieces in a home. They are great for storing barware, tableware, linens or to use as bookcases. I have more than a few in my house. You just can't go wrong with Louis XVI bergere's. Upholstered in jute sacks or the finest silk, they are going to be show stoppers! Louis XVI style happens to be my favorite! Just a touch of femininity, but casual.

Another store display piece used to house white ironstone and crystal. I also like the formality of the tailored tablecloth and the casualness of the mix-matched chairs. The feminine slipcovers seem to unify the look. If you want to just slipcover the chair backs, French monogrammed linens are great to use, due to their large size.

Here is a fabulous Country French kitchen ! Complete with terra cotta flooring, a marble top farm table, white ironstone, tart boards, a bottle drying rack, bull's head, vineyard hopper and woven baskets. I love these monochromatic colors. So so French! Also, just FYI, we have these accessories at European Antique Market. If your interested, give us a call!
A wonderful terrace with a Mediterranean flair.

I had to include a photograph of this salon from Art & Decoration. That is a store facade attached to the wall. Fabulous idea! A painted Draper's table is in the center of the room. Draper's tables make wonderful consoles or kitchen islands! Did you notice the wine tasting table surrounded by the Louis XV chairs? Wine tasting tables are great because they have flip tops. We do have a gray painted wine tasting table if you need one. Oh, by the way, we also have a beautiful original cream painted draper's table AND a store facade should you be interested!

A close up photo from the first salon that shows the mattress detail on the seating. Those French just think of everything!
Many times, Melanie from Le Petit Cabinet de Curiosite's, features her father's work. He is an upholster in Provence. He does such a beautiful job with mattresses and I have often thought, what a shame to hide that talent. Voila!

Just can't get enough of those 18th century mirrors! I think I would have a house full if I could!

Don't you love the display of old collars?
For more luscious photographs visit
It never ceases to amaze me, the natural sense of style the French possess. They have an inherent ability to blend antiques into everyday living in the most practical ways. The end result always pops of personality! Just a part of their culture. I want dual citizenship, how about you?


Lori said...

You just solved a big "empty wall" delimna for me!!! Thank you for the idea.


ColonialEast said...

Lovely pictures as always!

No, we wont sleep under the stars - I hope .... We have a section of our house that will not be touched during our building process so we hope we will manage to stay there. But it will be tough!

Porchlight Interiors said...

I always feel like I've spent the weekend in France after looking at your blog...what a gorgeous escape!

Barb said...


What a treat! Your posts are always so inspiring. I too feel like I have traveled back to France after visiting. I may be giving you a call for some prices in the future. Actually, I would love to visit in person.

Have a happy weekend.


my dear new friend,
thank you very much for your kind words in my Paris street style blog.
All what I want is to humanize fashion by showing that real life is more beautiful than the artificial fashion shows and that real people are more beautiful and generous than anorexic top models.
Your visits, your comments, your links on your blogs and your buzz are my best salary.
I’ll do my best to please you again and again.
Cheers from Paris



Wonderful photos and so inspiring! It all looks so serene. Thanks!


ParisBreakfasts said...


Karen said...

At the moment we're renovating our bathroom.Every time I start to stray from what I really like, I look at your blog and realize it's all about having your own style not about fashion. My style is imperfection not show home perfection
Thank You

Alys said...

Oh My...these pictures take my breathe away! gorgeous!!!

Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese said...


Thanks for your latest gallery. The French country kitchen and the garden terrace particularly appeal to me. Lovely pictures! It is very true the French have a natural flair for decoration. They dare express their personality.

Bacione, Ingrid

lily-g said...

If I could I would move to France tomorrow and yet I have never been there sure I would miss Australia but I agree their sense of style is nothing more than stylish and very special but what I love most every piece tells a story a liitle like you and your gorgeous blog, for-ever inspiring and always leaves me wanting more!

sandra/tx said...

You always have the most gorgeous pictures. Love your blog, as always!

Millie said...

Just perfect dear Shawn! I just love the glass display cupboard featuring the shirt collars to the moon & back!
Millie ^_^

Anonymous said...

beautiful photos! I love your blog, its so inspiring!

Jen r. said...

What amazing pictures! I love the comfort and elegance of it all! Thank you for such a treat! JenR

MARIA said...

Hi Shawn
I just love every pics you show. They land in my heart with this well needed breathtaking sigh. And the text you put into them is amazing.
Thanks Maria

My lovely cottage said...

wow again you've treated us to the most gorgeous photo's. that appartment, the stairwell hmmmm all so gorgeous!
I've got something for you on my blog which i hope you appreciate.
take care.


fredrika said...

My good what a beautiful blogg! I just love it and thanks for the inspiration - I'll hang around for a while and come back later. Sooo much to look at!

June Parrish Cookson said...

Hello Shawn,

Gorgeous! I love Stephen Shubel's mastery of design. Have countless tear-sheets of his style. One particular favorite are the rooms featured in August 1998 House Beautiful issue. Looking forward when the decorative plaster collection is up on his site.


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I bought a lot of old collars a while back and can't wait to see what I'll do with them. Beautiful pictures as always!!