(laughing) Oui! Just what everyone (and her sister) was dying to know (not!). Well, without further ado, voila!:
(teehee. notice how i copied the book jacket’s book on a chair idea for my photo?)
“Bringing It Home France” is my favorite book on how to incorporate French style, realistically, in one’s own life. It is the only book on the subject that I have come across that presents the French lifestyle and decor in an attainable, authentic way. I have perused many, many other books on French decor and most have left me feeling at most slightly inspired and more often–empty (never Betty Lou me). While beautiful, they are just too much fluff and over the top for me with impossible to achieve looks unless I am a millionaire.
“Bringing It Home France” (from here I will abbreviate it BIHF) was written by Cheryl MacLachlan. She actually wrote a series of “Bringing It Home…” books which include England, Sweden and Italy. BIHF has a mix of aesthetics–from the lavish to the more eclectic, humble interior. But with any interior, how it is achieved is explained; the different kinds/uses of fabrics in decor (from table cloths, to curtains, to bed linens), how to decorate walls (whether with art, pictures or trompe l’oeil), the origin of different porcelain, the different periods of French furniture, entertaining customs, dining menus and so much more. This book really has it all and I have referred to it over and over. Recently, I did so again before choosing new curtains for my living room.
You may recall in this post that I discovered a rather large hole in one my sheer panels in the living room. For a very brief moment I was disappointed but then I was overjoyed because it meant I could get different curtains in the living room (just ask my friend Diane about my reaction because she was there when I first saw the hole). Yay! Before I started shopping (online of course) I remembered seeing what I liked in the “BIHF” book. Out it came once again so I could have a refresher on French window dressing.
Now you have to know a couple of things about me. I am not big into window dressings… period. I would almost prefer no curtains, blinds, valances before anything else but there is the issue of privacy and the need to avoid questions by puzzled friends (“where are your curtains?” “why are your windows bare?”). So I tend to go with simple which is why I never changed the living room curtains that were here when we first bought our house three years ago. This is what was up and it was fine…they worked:
After my refresher with “BIHF”, I decided I wanted to maintain the simple look but add a little flourish. I wanted “silk” panels that pooled (or puddled) on the floor. With this in mind, I started my mad hunt on Etsy and Ebay for vintage (of course) silk panels–four of them…in champagne. Totally unrealistic and a huge waste of time. Why I thought I could find something like that in a quick time frame is beyond me. I had to resort to buying new. I searched for “the perfect” panels at many stores until I found an affordable answer to my ideal. Thank you, “World Market”. OK, so they aren’t real silk (which are expensive–Pottery Barn had real silk, similar style, at about 5x the cost) but they do look it. And the color is exactly what I hoped for:
Working on the pooling…
Rockefeller digs the new French feel of his favorite corner:
I was totally inspired by my beloved book for this new look in the living room. I plan on keeping these panels until another hole forms in one of them. I wonder how long it will take for that to happen.
As for my book, I think I am going to keep it out so I can re-read it encore.
Go find your inspiration. : )
PS Viveka has a great post about curtains too. Check it out.