Monday, August 25, 2008

extrodinaire d'artiste

Extraordinary Artists
Some people just have a way of putting things together!
Feast your eyes on the work of Frédéric Tabary. Frédéric is an Interior Architect and Designer living in Nantes, France. I find his work absolutely amazing and I think you will too!
He salvages the old and gives it a unique new life.
Zinc, iron, rusted metal, urns and old windows never looked so good!
Sections of conservatories installed indoors, vanities
created from salvaged wood, kitchen sinks from
fountain bases, definitely the unusual.
Visit his blog Une Maison a Nantes

These are photos of his home.
Now we are talking French here!!

Click on the Diaporama's in the sidebar of his blog and
you can view some of the amazing spaces he has created.
Love these old doors in his kitchen and the zinc counter tops.
Next, you can visit Sweet Paul, the blog of Paul Lowe.
Paul is a Food and Interior Stylist living in New York,
originally from Norway.
His styling has that creative, European touch.
Photo by Colin Cooke
I love this photo with the beets he designed for Interior
magazine, but who would think of something like that?
Makes you appreciate the beauty of nature doesn't it?

Photos Frances Janisch
I've never been fond of doilies, but.......
I love that pillow and the curtains!
After seeing what Paul did with these, I'm having second thoughts.
This was from a project he did for Country Living.
Hope you pay them both a visit, you will enjoy your
time there.
Also, if you feel like a promenade, check out
Walk 2 Web. A delightful way to surf the web.
It is much easier to see images and I KNOW you
like pictures!!

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?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


What am I doing?
I am trying to take all those wonderful experiences I've
had in France and translate them into something
meaningful this side of the Atlantic, for my clients.

My shabby chateau is my book. My rooms become
my pages. The French antiques become the words.
When I design the pages, I want the reader to become
immersed. I want them to experience France and
the "joie de vivre".

Will they walk into this room and feel France?
Will they become a character in my book?
Can I translate for them how to use that single
surviving piece of architectural iron?
What about the zinc door jam?
Should I turn it into a full length mirror?
For now, it fits my window perfectly.
I may have to re-write this page in the future.
My book is never finished.

Sometimes when I write, the words come slowly.
(Usually a glass of creative juice takes care of that).
I actually wanted this page to be double-spaced,
but having a limited number of pages in my book,
each page needs a lot of words.....
These are my blank pages.

I still need some punctuation here and then a good
proof read.

I did want to show you these wonderful botanicals.
I decided to float them in gilt frames. They are all dated
1933 and I have 16.

This is a tiny kitchen downstairs. I have three kitchens
at the chateau.

These are some close ups of the accessories.

I will have more photo's, but guess what I did?
I had my camera and the tripod, but forgot the piece
that connects the two. I think I am tired.
So, next time I'll show you more pages from my book.

Have a great weekend everyone and hope you
like the pages I've re-written.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

le besoin de se focaliser

Need to focus
Today I am going to focus on photograph's in focus!!!
That tripod is necessary!

I was really hoping to post photo's of the shop after
our long week of painting and tearing out drop ceilings,
but they did not turn out too good.
So today, I'll try again.
I love tearing out those ceilings because I have this
thing about hanging chairs from the rafters.
I need all the space I can find!!!
These are some Louis XVI style chairs I did not
have room for on the floor.
I am normal in some ways, that I hang chandeliers from the ceiling too.
That is a French iron, cream and gilt, to die for, chandelier.

One photo in Focus :)
I have a pair of these Louis XV caned chairs that have
a beautiful patina! The bottoms are caned also, under
the pads.

At least you can see the wall color here. We used
Benjamen Moore minced onion. I really, really
love the color. It is a dusty white with just a hint of green.
It has that Country French maison look and feel.
We sprayed the ceilings a dark chocolate to make
them disappear.
I will post more photo's tomorrow, so check back.
If you have any photography tips, please share!
Have a great day and wish me luck that I am not there
all night!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

un autre bon fatigué

Another Good Tired

It has been a busy week at the shop. We took out a drop
ceiling. Now we are painting and re-merchandising 14 rooms.
Just keep striving for that French Romantic look!
Hopefully be able to post some photo's next week.

I did want to share two blogs with you from Poland.
Villa Vintage (beautiful photograph's and her
house is to die for) and Ewa in the Garden
(really creative idea's).
You will have to use a translator at
Villa Vintage, but Ewa writes in English.
You will enjoy them.

It is back to work for me!

Have a beautiful day! Bisou

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Les Vacance

The Vacation
In August, most people in France go on vacation.
It's not unusual for shops to close for the entire
month so the patron can head for the Sud.
So, shall we go?

....We just have to decide where to go.

Do you prefer a French Guesthouse in the country?

Aperitif's ici?
We should sip Champagne and share a baguette
with a bit of fromage here.

Can't you picture us having déjeuner on that terrace.

Love the soft colors of the stone. Iron beds on terraces are second nature to the French. Seems like all my friends have one.

Love the simplicity of this. Have you noticed they also like ball shaped topiaries?

And intimate spaces for two
Don't know about you, but I'm liken the Guesthouse in France idea.

Or we could choose the Tuscan Palazzo.

Several weeks ago I received this email from Sharron, a reader.......

I just want to thank you for your heartbreakingly beautiful blog. It inspires me and it feeds my soul.
I found it just as I needed both. I have just bought a wonderful French Country contemporary house (20 years old) in Quebec, having lived for the last 25 years in an urban Georgian with endless dark oak and Victorian trimmings. When looking for a house I thought I was scaling down and staying urban. Instead this modest from the outside, brilliantly lit and composed larger home took my breath away and perhaps my mind.
It is on a street called Champetre...has rough plastered kitchen walls, thick wood beams atop fireplace mantles and many of the markers of country french. So now I have to wrap my head around how to decorate and redesign gardens (pauvre moi). And so I linger over your site, feed my creativity with our beloved circles and serpentine lines (you aren't the only one ) and stoneworks. So thanks again. Once I've lived in the house a bit and I know what it wants, you will probably hear from me again.

Loved that email from Sharron, Not just the fact that she loved my blog BUT
that she is going to listen to what the house wants.
When I saw this place, I thought about Sharron.
These people definitely listened to the house.
The colors are magnifique!

Easy to spend some time here, don't you think?
All the rooms have names like Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini,
because opera music was her design inspiration.
This is marriage of souls where only one is human!

Our third choice..
A Ryad in Marrakech..

We could basque in the sun while listening to dessert blues.

Spend the afternoon at the souk and enjoy tangine at sunset.

All photographs are from the Belgium photographer Verne.

So which do you prefer? I say we cave to the French influence and spend the month! Start packing!!

Just a side note here too..European Antique Market will be closed August 4 - 11 th. We will re-open Tuesday, August 12 our normal hours.