Sunday, September 28, 2008

anglais et français

In the early 90's I was driving through the winding hills
of Lancashire County, England, in search of the
village, my ancestors called home. Traveling the
pastoral landscape, I understood why they chose
Kentucky for their new home, in America.
There is a remarkable resemblance between
the two landscapes.
A twenty minute drive east of Louisville, you
find yourself surrounded by rolling acres of
pastures covered in bluegrass, an area
known as the Equestrian Capital of the world.

The horse barns are fit for the Queen's mares and
rightfully so, since Queen Elizabeth II's mares are
sired in Kentucky.

The life and scenery resembles that of the English
countryside and you feel like you have walked into
the world of Ralph Lauren. There is probably even
a fox hunt or two, taking place in the woods.

The quaint little town of Shelbyville, aka the Saddlebred
Capital, sits between Louisville and Lexington.
A picturesque town of civil war era homes and Victorian
storefronts line Main Street.

Shelbyville is a place where barley twist and
Staffordshire are hunted like fox, fireplaces are
flanked in wingchairs, and mahogany rules.

There is a fabulous Fine English Antique dealer in
town, Wakefield Scearce located at Science Hill,
which was once, one of the nations most prestigious
girl's preparatory schools.
Tourists come by the bus loads, especially during
the holidays, to view the rooms decorated in
period pieces and visit the basement vault, overflowing
with silver.

Well, the time has come for this lovely little town
to know some "Joie de Vivre".
My cousin recently purchased this building on
Main Street and will open the "Antique Market"
in late October.
European Antique Market will have a large
presence there and I hope to acquaint the town
with all the Louis's!

With the freshly updated facade, its now time to move inside. Tomorrow we start the "morning till midnight" merchandising. I'll be posting photos of our progress. We sit in between two other malls that offer mostly English and American primitive, so it is exciting that we will be a bit unique with our French antiques and brocante.

You can see it is pretty much a bare shell now. It will be an antique mall, so any dealers interested in renting space, feel free to contact me.

I might have to leave a bit early one day and drive a bit further east, to Versailles, as Keeneland opens October 3rd. I try to visit Churchill Downs and Keeneland at least once a year to participate in some Bluegrass culture. Keeneland makes for a wonderful way to spend a nice Autumn day, as it has to be one of the most beautiful turf racetracks in the country.

I even have my new outfit picked out. Ralph Lauren of course. Derby is about hats and the Keeneland fall meet is about boots!

All I need to do is add the French scarf and the
Louis Vuitton purse. :)
I think the English and French look go together quite well, don't you?
I just hope Shelbyville thinks the same!
Bisou and have a wonderful week!


sandra/tx said...

You will look smashing in that Ralph Lauren equestrian outfit.

What a fun trip through your part of the country! One of these days, I really need to venture east and check out your store and the others you mentioned.

Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese said...


What a delightful documentary. L´anglais and le Francais - the perfect match. Enjoy the derby and the Bluegrass!
Expanding markets - Al bocca in lupo! Bacione, Ingrid

Love Your Homes said...

Ma chère Shawn, what a breathtaking post for antique fanatic such as me.
I would kill to be there on the opening.
I will watch out for your pictures, please keep us updated....have a great time, Ingela

Villa Anna said...

Oh Shawn you paint such a pretty picture. Shelbyville looks stunning! What an exciting adventure your cousin is embarking on. Someday I will do the same. Yet another mark on my map of the world for places to see in my lifetime.

Anna :)

p.s Those boots are divine! I've always wanted a pair of riding boots even though I don't ride lol.

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

WOW! What stunning houses!! I think I want to live there. RIght now. And I want to ride horses. THAT horse to be exact

Millie said...

Just a delightful post Shawn! You do amaze me with your constant energy for new & exciting ventures. Looking forward to seeing the photos as you transform this new space with your inimitable style. I'm a long-time RL fan too - he is the King!
Millie ^_^

Jen r. said...

That is so funny, when i drove down through very boring Illinois and we crossed into Kentucky, I remember remarking to my mom how much it looks like Scotland or England! I hope some day I can make it back and see your store and now your cousins store!

ColonialEast said...

Loved reading this post! Would love to visit this new store. Hopefully I will be int he area some time soon. Good luck with the business!!!

bayou contessa said...

Such a delightful way of sharing your adventure with all of us! I'm looking forward to seeing how the new business comes along. Keep us posted

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

Oh, I want to move there right now!!!! And I want to wear that outfit!!!


Miss Kris said...

Love your post! In college I worked at a small track called's nice but nothing compared to Churchhill especially during Derby Week. What a magical place! All the beautiful rolling hills and the black fences. Now I must put England back on list of to dos & toss that hat and get those boots! he he

Visual Vamp said...

This is a fantastic post!
I wish I were there to help you set up the shop!!!

manon said...

vous aimez la france!
I love USA....

June Parrish Cookson said...


Fantastic journey! Makes me want to move to Kentucky. Of course to live in Britain would be equally rewarding.

Have a great week. And thanks for your comment.

Frippery said...

Thanks so much for making me realize what a gem we have sparkling less than two hours from Cincinnati. I am going to plan a weekend visit. I appreciate the lovely tour. Pam


Classic look Shawn. Can't wait to hear of your adventures. Sounds like a lovely trip. That little white pony is just precious by the way.
Lisa & Alfie

Donna O. said...

Only YOU could get me to even consider getting on top of a horse with these fabulous photos. Giddy up.
Can't wait to see more of the new space pics.

Mélanie said...

Have a great show ! Can't wait to see your pictures ! I love mixing , so english and french ...JUST PERFECT

MARIA said...

Dear Shawn
The horsepicture is just lovely. Thanks for the beautiful tour in your neighborhood.
Good luck! Nice to have a project to follow for a change instead of doing.

Barb said...

As a kid I was a horse fanatic. My favorite road trip was to bluegrass country. What a beautiful part of the country you live in.

I'm excited for your cousin. The store will be a smashing success.


Alice W. said...

I have never been to Kentucky...but the photos here make me want to go! I can't wait to see the progression of your antique mall!

Italian Girl in Georgia ~ Suzanne MacCrone said...

Definitely a great combination ~ the French and English. I have both in my home, furniture that is...your Kentucky is lovely. I have always wanted to see that state, now more than ever!

Ciao amica,


Di Overton said...

Kentucky is strangely like Lancashire. I always think the East coats of America is like Ireland, you can see why so many Irish settled there - a little bit of home.
That shop looks great - good luck to you both in your new venture.

Siobhan said...

Oh wow, how very exciting for you...I can not wait to see more updates!


Terri Conrad said...

We've relaunched an all new blog at

and have linked to the beautiful Country French Antiques.

Please visit

TheDecoDetective said...

I too was a horse fanatic like Barb when I was a kid. Could you bring the mare with you next time you're in Europe? Thank you for this lovely post, posts like these are a lot of work! Good luck with the shop! Trudi

VINTAGE HOME lifestyle said...

What a fabulous post...thank you so much for the tour. I just have to visit that part of the world someday. BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS...

Cathleen alyce

Bethany said...

Love that outfit! And the architecture of the area is stunning!!
So glad for you for the new venture...sounds exciting :) Can't wait to see the result which I'm certain will be gorgeous!
Oh My Gosh that mare and foal are so beautiful...have had a serious horse adoration since my thanks for this breathtaking photo to gaze at :)

Kathy said...

Congrats on expanding into a new adventure! yeah you!!! Love RL (we just supplied a bunch of mannequins recently to the Bev Hills store and they gave me a scarf...I have worn it every day that I know I won't see the same people!! haha) The horses take my breath away, and I so loved seeing your neck of the wood.

pinkstilettos said...

Hey- Shelbyville is my hometown but now I love in Louisville. That is so funny that you did a piece on it. When I first saw the big brick house I was like that looks so familiar. Where is that home? I couldn't figure it out. Daisy~

diana said...

that's just great..l'anglais et le francais-the duel class and style in terms of antiquities. fabulous staging.