Collecting Antique French Kitchen Linens

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Collecting antique French kitchen linens is addictive. Bright, sturdy, beautiful, and oh so usable, I personally have never met an antique French towel I didn’t love. The ones I love date to the late 19th century, were hand spun from linen or linen and flax, and have neatly embroidered “marquettes” {laundry initials to identify owners at the village laundry} or monograms on the front.

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Antique kitchen linens are a wonderful French antique collection to begin right now. Over the last few years, with France’s younger generation inheriting their grandmother’s or mother’s hand made trousseau, pieces that were seldom or never used have become available. While a pristine towel isn’t that common, many of these antique textiles are in very, very good condition for their age.  The towels we just recently unpacked were all from family trousseaus, and have such gorgeous “hand” {how a fabric feels} and then there are the hand embroidered marquettes or monograms. Usually in red, although some of the rarer to find pieces I was able to acquire have initials in blue or lavender.

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A fantastic way to connect to the history of France, and the women who spent years making and then embroidering their towels for their wedding trousseau. Please check out our latest collection of antique towels {at the bottom of the page and the next page} , I know you will fall in love with these decorative antique textiles! I have to admit, that each time I unpack another box, a few end up staying in our kitchen here at home.

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I’m excited that our very popular Organic Country Soap is back in stock, even prettier than before. Handmade in small batches in a 19th century country farmhouse using only the finest pure, natural ingredients. Wonderfully fragrant and moisturizing, rich with natural oils and fats and the deliciously subtle fragrances. Each rustic 4 oz. bar is hand cut and long lasting. Beautifully hand wrapped with French Country papers, ribbons & tags, exclusive to FrenchGardenHouse. A luxury hostess gift, if you can bear to part with these lovelies once they arrive chez vous.

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We are in the midst of rebranding and making a totally new and improved website this month. Thrilling, but quite a lot of work, {not to mention lots of thinking} making for a long day every day. I truly look forward to arriving in my kitchen each evening, cooking a lovely meal, at times with a glass of merlot in hand.  I love our kitchen, and cherish my own collection of antique French towels. A pretty soap by the sink, and all is well with my visual cuisine world!  I’ll keep you posted about the new website, and once it’s up I hope you will give me your thoughts and feedback.  In the meantime, from my kitchen to yours, I wish you Bon Appétit!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

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Summer Entertaining Must Have’s

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Great friends, good food, warm weather and wine — isn’t that all you need this time of year? This week, I’m excited to show you what’s new in our summer collection for entertaining and your kitchen at home. Thank you for looking at our summer collection of entertaining must have’s.

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Each season, I love nothing better than to get a few new dish towels for our kitchen. Somehow seeing a fresh, decorative towel hanging from my farm sink or Wolf range makes me happy, it helps me to “celebrate” the season in the kitchen in a small way. The French La Brasserie Bleue Kitchen Towel Set is a favorite. Two are crisp white with blue logo, the other is a light blue gingham check. They instantly made the kitchen feel refreshed and clean, and gave the whole room a little lift.  I use these as oversized napkins too {see this blog post.} They soften up beautifully when washed, so they really are meant to use to dry your collection of French dishes, too. They come in a set of three, for 30.00.

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Another French dishtowel that is graphic and pretty enough to frame is the Pastis Canvas Cotton Towel. A little heftier than the set of three,this sturdy, 100% cotton towel is oversized, and printed with eco friendly colored ink, will shrink 2~1/2% and soften when washed. Featuring the exotic aperitif label for Pastis de Marseille, this torchon is perfect for your kitchen, bar or the perfect gift for your hostess or wine steward. Would look great framed and hung in your kitchen filled with your collection of cuisine antiques. Made near Paris by our friends Torchon et Bouchons, machine wash & dry. The price for this superior towel is 26.00 ea.

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What would summer entertaining be without drinks on the veranda?  Our Antique French Bottle Carriers are the perfect way to tote a few bottles outside. Each has led a storied life en France, each is different, but every one we sell promises to hold your favorite vintage with care. Always in high demand, these make a luxurious gift for a host or hostess with your favorite vintage, too. They range in price from 80.00 to 165.00.

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Of all the “finds” from Paris, these authentic handwoven French “Panier de Boulanger” Baskets, used in a French Hotel bakery for decades to “proof” the baguette dough for rising, then put back in basket to cool have remained exceptionally popular.  {It was a thrilling find for us, and we were so excited to purchase each and every one of them available!} The bannetons can be found in the kitchen category. Hotel Bannetons range in price from 85.00 to 125.00.

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Back in stock, these French C’est la Vie Glasses are a great favorite, I think every one of our clients has bought these at one time. Lovely size, a perfect gift for someone you love, we use these for French Citron Pressé, but I have been known to drink a light, fruity wine out of one of these, too. They are 24.00 for a set of two.

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Also back in stock for summer, our Chalkboard Menu Paddles. After these were featured in a story about Entertaining French Style in our back garden, they flew out! For those of you waiting, they are back. Great individual Menu Chalkboards, to announce what your personal chef has prepared for dinner chez vous. Meant to look slightly vintage and aged, with a wooden frame, shaped as a “paddle” so that you can hold it easily, or hang on the wall of your cuisine. Each has a hole to string a French checked ribbon through, or to tie a sprig of Lavender on with twine. Perfect to place on the plate at each place setting with a special quote, or conversation starter, too! Sold in a set of 4 for 36.00.

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Perfect summer bowl from morning to night, this Gingham Cafe au Lait Bowl has the fresh, modern look of French Bleu Gingham, with a nod to the past. Start your day with coffee from your bol, as the French do, then this bowl will be just as happy holding your summer salads, small champagne grapes, even ice cream. Set your prettiest summer tables for every day, or special occasions. Easy to mix and match with the other pieces in this line, glorious for outdoors!  The bowls are 30.00 for a set of 2.

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Technically not for summer only, I love the Vintage Silver Placesettings all year round. Thoughtfully selected, and fantastically fun ~ these silver ware sets are gathered from antique and estate sales. Silverware is the most important thing you put on your table, it’s what your guests hold in their hand, tactile and unique.  Always a favorite, with the elegance of silver and the casualness of mix and match patterns, these are real conversation starters. A set of five is 39.00.

ablueapronfghLast, but not least, our darling French La Brasserie Bleue Apron. Absolutely adorable that’s you in your French La Brasserie Bleue Apron.  Made of cotton with a Bardot Light Blue Gingham Check pattern, and the logo La Brasserie Bleue printed in Navy. Keeps your designer white shirt clean while you add a soupçon of vermouth to your luxurious lobster bisque. The perfect hostess gift, too, should you wish impress your hostess and be asked back!  The Gingham Apron is 30.00.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing some of our latest summer must have’s, along with a few all time favorites back in stock. I wish you plenty of breezy summer days, enjoying a drink and a delicious healthy meal outside with your family and friends. For some wonderful summer recipes see my post about the ladies at Glamorous Bite Here {their Santa Barbara Chicken is divine!}

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

Posted in Entertaining, What's New | 2 Comments

Glamorous Bite: Food, Wine and a food blog to love!

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I am so excited to introduce you to the ladies of Glamorous Bite , a mother and daughter team who live in Santa Barbara, California.  Judit {the mom} and Corina {her daughter} enjoy sharing healthy and indulgent foods infused with a touch of wine. Their recipes are easy to follow, good for you, comforting, and reflect the taste of the region. On their gorgeous food blog they take us on a culinary journey with stunning photos, wine pairing suggestions, reviews, and videos. Their passion for cooking with wine is inspired by living near the California wine country and ocean and from their many travels throughout Europe. I have been a big fan of their site and their delicious recipes for a while now, and I am certain that you will be too!

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Judit and Corina were kind enough to give us a peek into their delicious world, I know you will enjoy meeting them if you haven’t already!

 

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Judit is the mom and Corina the daughter behind the food blog called Glamorous Bite . We bring a little of both of our personalities and flavors to each dish. No matter where we lived, our life always centered around good food. We find joy in preparing meals with fresh local ingredients and sharing that with family and friends. Our family has always been interested in good wine and food and finding great pairings still completes our meals today.

2.When did you realize you wanted to write a food blog together?
We are so excited to share our recipes on GlamorousBite.com because eating foods that are good for you should be joyful and fun. We add a touch of wine to many of our dishes because wine gives an extra layer of flavor. Our love for the Santa Barbara wine country brought us to the region and after we were invited to give several cooking classes together we discovered how wonderful it is to teach people how to live more deliciously.

3.What other jobs did you have before that?
Judit: In Germany I worked as a Commercial Graphic Designer and after moving to Scottsdale, Arizona as well as in Santa Barbara I was fortunate to combine my two great passion for home design and home sales as a Real Estate agent.
Corina: Web Design and graphics for an International software company. I love being creative in an artistic way and designing out of the box.

4. What inspires you?
We are inspired by fresh local ingredients and just completed our free eBook E Cookbook that has a variety of indulgent and healthy recipes. It is alright to sometimes indulge in moderation! We are also working on our next book, where we share more healthy alternatives and a better way of eating right, that we hope will inspire others to eat more consciously.

5. What are your three “go to” recipes?
Good food & wine makes a every day special and if it is easy to prepare well then we even look forward to spending some time in the kitchen. Our Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara and  Pea Tendril Salad are easy and good for you and the Meringue Tart with Wine Poached Pears makes a lovely finale to any busy or hectic day.

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Please Give us a peek into your life, loves and inspirations:

1. My favorite colors are:
Judit: Mostly natural harmonious colors because it is very soothing for me. For accent colors I love to use red or pink and a touch of gold, which transforms everything to glamorous.
Corina: Magenta, blue, neon green, violet. Bright vibrant colors make me happy and I like to combine them uniquely.

2. Right now I’m reading:
Judit: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
Corina: The Golden City, a historical fantasy novel.

3. My favorite place is:
Judit: Now this is a difficult question, because I love to visit places filled with beautiful architecture and old world charm. Right now top of my list are Salzburg, Oslo, Geneva, Villefranche-sur-Mer and of course Santa Barbara. Sorry, but perhaps I should have mentioned Florence as well. So many beautiful places and so little time…
Corina: There are many favorite spots and I do love to travel and learn. In general I like to be out in verdant nature or exploring an architecturally exciting city.

4. I can’t live without:
Judit: Champagne. It does make me feel more glamorous!
Corina: Gelato! I can simply have it daily in Europe.

5. FrenchGardenHouse items I love:
Judit: Your French Garden House shop is filled with the most beautiful and authentic items that makes it very difficult to select just a few. As a proclaimed Francophile I love the gorgeous ELOQUENCE St. Remy French Reproduction Tressel Table with the ELOQUENCE Provence Linen Dining Chairs because they are absolutely glorious!

Corina: Do I have to choose just one? I adore the Hand Painted Enamel Portrait Bonbonniere, it is an item to be cherished. The Vintage Filigree Ormolu Perfume Bottle has such delicate detail and the 19th Century Silk Champagne Blonde Floral Lace Shawl would tempt me to wear it. For a daily touch of France, your L’amour C’est la Vie glasses would be perfect to grace an antique table setting.

 

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Thanks so much, Judit and Corina, for sharing your loves, favorites and delicious recipes. For more glamorous bites go to Glamorous Bite and sign up to receive their free ebook here filled with 20 yummy recipes. Bon Appetit!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

Posted in Be Inspired, Food to Love | 7 Comments

Floral Story: How to lift up your interior….Instantly!

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Whether gracing a table for a party or simply adding a bit of color to your bedside table, floral arrangements will breathe new life into any room. There is nothing quite like a gorgeous, fresh bouquet of flowers in a stunning vase to freshen the look of your interior, and to make you smile each time you walk by.

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Flowers are a staple in our home, I’m from Europe, I just couldn’t imagine not having a beautiful vase filled with flowers in our home each week.  In the spring and summer, I’m lucky enough to be able to cut them from our own garden most weeks.  Here, a graceful bunch of lilies give this dark corner life, and just enough contrast to make everything doubly interesting!

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In this living room the soft pink of the drapes is echoed in the pink hydrangea arrangement on the coffee table. Flowers add organic shape to this interior, and bring the outdoors in, softening the edges of the mostly angular furniture and decorative elements.  Sometimes, clients have problems keeping fresh flowers in their homes.

This is where beautiful faux arrangements are a life saver!  These work well for areas where there is not enough light for real flowers, or for rooms that would look lively with a floral arrangement but you don’t have the time to keep fresh flowers and changing the water regularly.  At FrenchGardenHouse, we create a small collection of silk arrangements for each season in our own studio.

Our specialty is designing quality, high style classic floral designs using unique antique and vintage containers, one of a kind inspiring accents for your home that will be the center of attention in your decor. We use only the finest floral and botanical silk flowers, in life~like colors for our discriminating customers.

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Our collection of faux flower arrangements are designed to look very realistic and botanically-correct. Spectacularly arranged in a vintage Metal Trophy Urn, {1940′s} this soft and luxurious centerpiece is resplendent with creamy White Roses, Blue Hydrangeas, Pink Stock and Waxflowers, French Purple Fieldflowers and vividly contrasting green leaves. Exuberant and expressive, this one of a kind arrangement will welcome you home in your entrance hall, set a stunning table in the dining room, or light up our guest bathroom.

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Large Garden Roses in luscious Lavender Pink, deep Purple Hydrangeas, Chartreuse blossoms, White Ranunculus, and charming Blue Berry clusters fill this Black pot to overflowing. The pot is hand painted, and decoupaged with a hand colored Cherub image just for this design. This is a perfect arrangement for now, and all the way through the year.

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Like heralds of a luxurious vacation, this Rose and French Ranunculus arrangement ~ with its vibrant, hot house colors ~ brings a promise of lovely, sunny days spent exploring the streets of Paris. Painstakingly detailed, from the delicate flower stamens to the texture of the foliage, it’s presented in a classic black metal urn. Beautifully arranged with Chartreuse Green Viburnum and Cerise Pink garden favorites, these blooms will keep their garden freshness even throughout winter.

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If you love Lavender Roses, you will adore this urn filled to overflowing with faux roses, lisianthus, and hydrangeas.  Nestled in our grey~green square urn, this is a “just right” decorative accent for those places where live plants don’t do well, or until you can get flowers again from your florist.  Large Garden Roses in luscious Lavender Pink, deep Purple and Pink Hydrangeas, Chartreuse Green Wildflowers and a variety of foliage fill this stone aged Urn. Designed to appear to be an arrangement of flowers cut from your garden.

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Large Garden Roses in velvety Red, deep Purple and Red Hydrangeas, Orange and Apricot Roses, Russet Mums, Chartreuse fuzzy wildflowers, and a variety of Berries and gorgeous leaves fill this Antique Quadruple Plated Silver Urn. The urn has a fabulous patina, it was made by the Adelphi Silver Co. in the early 1900′s. Part of our new Autumn in France Collection.

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Our French Auberge Hotel Rose Floral Arrangement is filled with large velvety deep Red Roses, deep Russet Hydrangeas, bright Orange garden flowers, and charming Autumn Rosehip clusters in a black terre cuite pot. The pot is hand painted, aged by hand and then stamped with a French design just for this arrangement.

 

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Finally, start a French country sensation with our exuberant purple anemone and field flower arrangement. Presented in a vintage French pottery pot, the vibrant purples, greens and white colors and relaxed informality of the design are perfect on your garden table for alfresco dinners or long gossipy lunches. Stunning as a table centerpiece, as an accent on a sideboard in the dining room or showered with sunbeams in a bay window, it will bring cheer that may put your garden to shame.

As you can see, all of our silk arrangements are one of a kind, one may be just the thing to bring some welcome color to a room of your own. You can see all arrangements currently available by entering arrangement in our search box. Thank you so much for looking at my collection of seasonal floral arrangements for your home!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

top 3 images via FrenchGardenHouse Pinterest Follow for stunning images!

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Summer Entertaining: Great Tips, Tablesettings and Recipes

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The sun is out, it’s a gorgeous time to entertain outdoors. Need some tips to make it super easy? Here are a few of my favorite tips, tables and recipes for summertime.

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Set up an easy, no fuss self serve summer bar on a tray. This Mimosa Bar {courtesy of Colin Cowie} is easy, guests can serve themselves. The summer fruit adds a pretty, colorful touch to each glass.

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Serve an appetizer that can double as part of your meal.  Beautiful, this fresh summer platter combines all the best flavors, make it ahead and let guests serve themselves on salad plates.  Stacked on a cake pedestal, these add interest to your buffet or table set up, too.

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Super Easy Heirloom Tomato Salad

Gather:

Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes {at farmer’s market if possible, or grow your own!}
Assorted Cheese
Balsamic Vinegar {more than one for extra fun!}
Olive Oils
Fresh Basil, Oregano & Thyme
Crusty Baguettes or Rustic Fresh Baked Bread
Salt and Pepper

Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a platter with the cheese and herbs.
Serve with the olive oil, vinegar, and bread on the side.  Sprinkle salt and pepper as desired.

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Make one great summer salad and serve in our French Checked Bowls. For salad recipes, check out our SALAD Pinterest Boards.

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Still a favorite at our house, our Pesto Chicken on the grill gets rave reviews each and every time! Try it, it’s easy, and oh so good.  With a super easy meal like this, go ahead and go all out for dessert. Serve up an ice cream bar {several flavors ice cream and toppings including fresh fruit, sprinkles and nuts etc.} or just buy a wonderful fruit pie from your favorite bakery to end the meal with summer’s deliciousness.

 

Inspirational Summer Tables:

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Go Natural: Set a casual, French style table outdoors with our Linen Tablecloth in natural. For two, or 8, a “real” cloth brings a touch of elegance and luxury to any outdoor setting.

Add a string tie and a little snip of rosemary from the garden to our Linen Napkins, and the table is set and good to go! How easy is that?

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Here are a few more inspiring tables outdoors I love:Bsummertable

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All Tablescapes from Our FrenchGardenHouse Pinterest Board HERE please follow us for beautiful pins!  Summer is here, it’s the perfect time to gather those you love outside to share a delicious meal and plenty of laughter!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

 

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What Every Room Needs : How to Decorate Luxuriously

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What does every room need to make it spectacular? It’s a question I get asked often by clients, here are a few of my tips for decorating your rooms luxuriously.

1. Create meaningful decor. What do I mean by that? Your home should tell your story, with things you collect over the years, art, collections, books you love,  and things that have meaning and memories for you. Your rooms should have personality, you should have a sense of who lives there when you enter the room. The worst thing is for your home to be “matchy” like a furniture showroom.

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My collection of antique Red Transferware displayed in the French armoire in our family room.  Although this armoire’s contents changes often, I do always add quirky things to every display, like the worn Victorian Scrapbook nestled in the sauceboat. {the doors are mostly closed, this shot was for a designer who used the picture on his t.v. show about transfer ware.}

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2. Antiques.  Every room should have at least one Antique statement piece. No matter what your design aesthetic is, an antique or rare decorative object gives your  space an inviting, luxurious feel and instant character.

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One of my all time favorite finds, this 18th Century Italian Processional Madonna.

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3. Family Photos. A series of framed family photos tell your story and the story of those you love.  A group of pictures in antique French frames on a side table, your mantel, and your walls bring interest and warmth to your rooms.

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4. Living Flowers and Plants. Nothing transforms a space more than a bouquet of fresh flowers from your garden, or the florist shop down the street. Even one perfect bloom in a glass bottle on your mantel will bring life to your interior.  A few green, healthy plants add a bright, fresh pop of life and color to your room, too. {I do sell “faux” florals, for those areas in the room where a live plant or floral bouquet won’t work.  Some of our clients purchase faux for their vacation homes, and they look gorgeous.} But there is nothing that compares to the real thing. nothing.

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This tall bunch of tulips adds just the right wow! to the serene Blue & White library above.

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Really the only color in the room, above, see how the simple tulip arrangement lift this room from ho hum to stunning?

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5. A Sense of Order.  We all have personal styles of order and neatness, and a family home doesn’t have to look like a showcase. You live there, but a room should have a sense of organization, books neatly stacked or lined up on shelves, some balance in how objects are displayed, magazines on your coffee table corralled by a tray. You can have a glorious clutter, if that’s your style, but not out of control messes.

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This bookcase is styled neatly, but with personality, I love how this does double duty as a bar, all neatly set up on trays, which can be picked up and taken anywhere the party is happening at a moment’s notice.

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An ottoman becomes a coffee table with the addition of a tray, and the flowers, magazines and decorative object are neatly placed for visual rest and impact.

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Another example of how putting accessories on a tray unify them and give restful impact.

6. A Touch of Black. Every room needs a touch of black, to ground it, and add contrast. Black adds impact and drama, and is both refined and elegant.

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7. Good Lighting. Good lighting makes everyone and everything look better. Invest in a dimmer switch for your chandelier, that way, you can turn the overhead lighting down, light candles and enjoy the soft romantic glow when appropriate. Make sure to have great, bright task lighting in areas such as your kitchen and closet {often overlooked!} so that you can see what you need to.

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Love how these large lanterns light up this dining space.

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A little touch of color on an antique chandeliers makes a statement you can’t deny.

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8. A pop of unexpected color. Every room needs a bit of the unexpected, a little tension to make it pop. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a few colorful pillows, or a footstool in a bright, slightly “off” color is all it takes to take your room from boring and dull, to exciting and filled with energy.aorderpop

Clean, casual colors and design, with a wow factor of coral fabrics make this such a welcoming spot.

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This room combines soft, muted neutrals with pops of pink and purple, and a stand out bouquet of chartreuse green flowers for visual POW!

 9. Tender Loving Care. Once your rooms look personal, beautiful and comfortable, they need care. Fluff your pillows, straighten a rug, add clean water to your floral bouquet, these all make every room in your home look cared for. An open window, a lit candle, a bowl filled with apples, these all add to ambience and say “someone lives here who cares.”

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Our living room, above, for a photo shoot for French Country Style Magazine. It’s a combination of colors I feel good with, elegant and casual style make this a room for family, friends, children and dogs. {and yes, it’s changed since then!}

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More than anything, the things you love, that are meaningful to you, create a luxurious, inspiring place for your family to live life. Adding colors you love, textures and objects that speak to you, one layer at a time, even scents that you adore, transform your home into a beautiful,  luxurious and graceful one that you love to come home to.

 All images: FrenchGardenHouse Pinterest Boards. Click to Follow!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

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Favorite 4th of July Tablesetting and Recipes

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The 4th of July is a great opportunity to enjoy time outdoors, the company of family and friends, and to set a beautiful, casual outdoor table.

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While it’s by nature a casual holiday, it’s fun to dress up your home just a little.  See some great last minute Red,White & Blue decorations you can add to the festive look of your home HERE.

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Our own beautiful outdoor table setting using my favorite Red White & Blue Checked Dishes. I just love how fresh and all American this table looks, and since the French gifted the Statue of Liberty to the US, it’s appropriate to mix in a few French pieces.

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Now for some fantastic recipes I want to share.  Start the day off right with my delicious Gluten Free Pancakes!  Topped with fresh strawberries or blueberries, and a little dollop of whipped cream {if you must, after all it’s a holiday!} these are not only delicious, they offer a powerhouse beginning to your day 28 g of protein, at 288 calories.

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Instead of offering sliced watermelon at your table, why not try this delicious Watermelon Salad?

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An alternative to burgers, these Honey Chipotle Chicken Sandwiches taste like they have been slow~cooked on the barbeque, but are ready in no time. They require last minute time in the broiler to toast the bread, or you could just add them to the top rack of your bbq if you are already making traditional hamburgers. Delicious!

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Who doesn’t love Blueberry Shortcake? This Gingered Blueberry Shortcake is not only delicious, it’s a snap to make.

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For variety, try these mini treats, festive to look at, and a delight to your tastebuds! Strawberry Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Treats. We will be enjoying a BBQ and plenty of sunshine in our garden on the 4th, then watching fireworks on our street. I hope that you have a relaxing, fun filled and safe Fourth of July!

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Luxurious Hotel Ritz : The Sidecar Cocktail

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Claimed to have been introduced right around WWI by the fabulous Ritz Hotel in Paris {and their Bar Hemingway bartender mixes up a exceptional one!}, the Sidecar is refreshing, and just perfect for sipping on the terrace at the famous Parisian hotel.

The claim to fame of the Sidecar is not an exact science, as historically others attribute it to the invention of an American army captain on leave in Paris, still other cite a British inventor.  It achieved fame at Harry’s Bar in Paris, and is still a classic, refreshing drink for summer.

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The French Classic Sidecar:

1 1/2 oz Cognac or Armagnac, or bourbon
1 oz Cointreau or triple sec orange liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

Sugar for rimming {optional, but makes a beautiful presentation}

To Make:

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar.
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
Shake well.
Strain into the prepared cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Et voilà ! Enjoy this classic French Cocktail.  We are on a buying trip this week, and hope to enjoy at least one of these classic cocktails after searching the country side for beautiful French Antiques. Vive les été!

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

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Summer Collection: Set a RED WHITE & BLUE Table Outdoors

What I love about summer most? Gathering family and friends outdoors to celebrate summer around my outdoor table. I love to entertain, and in the summer, I think of our garden patio as another room of our home.FrenchFourthFrenchGardenHouse

There is something so relaxing about eating outdoors.   I have so many  fun new things in the store for you that I’m really excited about. Thank you for taking a look through our newest collections.

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I layered our old long wood table with a vintage matlasse coverlet.  In the center, our new French Urn & Platform, don’t you just love the scale of it?  Each time I use this, I love it more.  Here I just added a blooming hydrangea in the urn, but you could put a great big pile of shells, moss balls, a draping ivy plant, or even nothing but a tangle of clear twinkling lights {the battery operated kind} for evening. The urn is separate from the platform, so that you could use the platform to display a plate of appetizers and still use the urn as a centerpiece, too, for a different look for your table.

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Our La Brasserie Bleue Bowls are perfect to mix with our Red & Blue Checked French Country Plates.  Don’t you think the little pop of the Red Plates on the Blue is just perfect?

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1.Medium French Checked Plates. Set of 4: 40.00

2.Red & Blue Checked French Country Plates. Set of 4: 72.00

3.La Brasserie Bleue Bowls: Set of 4 : 38.00
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The French Country Checked Bowls are so great for everything, I use them for cereal, soup, snacks, fruit, ice cream {a particular favorite!}, I’ve even marched them down the center of the table filled with a few flowers as centerpieces.  Just a few of them make your classic white dishes take on the holidays and special occasions with a whole new style!

French Country Checked Bowls: Set of 4: 59.00.
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Each season I get new towels to refresh our kitchen at home, and more often than not, at first, they will be used as oversized napkins for a tablesetting.  These new Le Brasserie Bleue Towels are wonderful to use as large napkins. They soften beautifully when washed, and look pretty darn cute at the same time, too!

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1. La Brasserie Bleue Bowls Set of 4: 38.00
2. Le Brasserie Bleue Towels Set of 3: 30.00

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Another shot of the gorgeous urn. It really takes this table to the extraordinary, don’t you think?

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Here is a view of the urn without anything in it. Love it even “au naturelle”!  Large French Metal Urn & Platform 130.00.

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At one end of the table, our French Country Checked Cake Stand works perfectly to hold French baguettes and a little butter.  Dressed with a few sprigs of rosemary clipped from the border, it elevates the simple bread to something special.

FrenchUrnFrenchGardenHouse3French Country Checked Pedestal Cake Stand 65.00

I think this table setting would be wonderful for the Fourth of July, a family BBQ, or a luncheon for your garden club.  I hope you are inspired to set your outdoors tables for meals, not only for entertaining or special occasions, but maybe every night family meals, too. Eating outdoors creates magic memories!

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Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

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Luxury Office Design

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What makes a luxury office space? I’ve been working with a client sourcing gilt French chairs and tables for a doctor’s office in Texas, as well as another client who is a young purse designer who has a true love for blue & white this month.  Both projects, as different as they are, are no doubt going to be stunning spaces filled with luxurious antiques.

Office space says so much about your company, but it’s also where your clients as well as co workers {and YOU!} spend time. Creating a work space filled with beauty that reflects your company’s brand and your own taste as a business owner is high up on the list of “must haves” for an office space.

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I am completely awed by the corporate office space of By Malene Birger, a Danish designer whose brand ” is an international designer brand bringing an artistic angle to contemporary classics.”  Each room has a luxurious palette of black, white and greys, each space is infused with luxury.

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While a bit more contemporary than both office spaces my clients are creating, I think the offices in Copenhagen are just gorgeous.  Bright, light filled, and personal, who wouldn’t want to come to work here?

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Stunning waiting area, the lesson to be learned here is that this room has lovely, luxurious details, and plenty of textures ~ plush carpet, soft velvet, rough wood, and sparkling shiny mirrors and mercury silver accessories.

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Love the repetition of the black light shades in this hallway.  And the personal detail of the white tassels on each door, just because it’s a “work” space doesn’t mean it can’t have style and personality .

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Conference rooms should all look this good!

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Personally I love office spaces with more of a mix of antiques and contemporary pieces {of course, I am an antiques dealer, after all!} but I love good design of any kind.  I have been inspired by this office design, and hope that you are too! Malene Birger’s design book is called Life and Work. It’s filled with gorgeous images of her homes, which are all mostly decorated in this limited palette of black, white and greys with antique woods mixed in.  If you are looking to bring some life into your office space, either corporate or your home office, I’d be happy to help source some antique or vintage chairs, and decorative objects.

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Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours.Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

Posted in Decor | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment
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  • Meet Lidy

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    Lidy is the owner of FrenchGardenHouse, a company that sells luxurious antiques, furniture, decorative accesories for home and garden and gifts. FrenchGardenHouse is based in southern California.

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