FRENCH COUNTRY DECORATING with Antiquités de Cuisine

There is nothing more charming than a French Country Home. Where European elegance meets rustic, and old-world character and patina, to achieve that inviting, graceful and casually elegant style we love.

French Country style heralds from the charming villages in France, where the chateaus as well as the smaller cottages are intriguing! Striking the perfect balance of beauty and comfort, French country style easily fits into elegant chateaus, maisons and cottages.


Maison Manechal


What makes French Country style so beloved is the casual sense of luxurious comfort, that look of “always having been there” for centuries, classic French design. Antiques and vintage pieces, with that well-worn patina and plenty of bumps, chips and wear are such an important component of country French decor.  There is something instantly warm, inviting and cheerful about this style, don’t you think so?

Today I thought I would share with you some of the latest French Country antiques that just arrived here at FrenchGardenHouse for the shop. Most of them are antiquités de cuisine – I’ll admit that each one became my instant favorite all over again when I unpacked the carefully wrapped antiques from their French newspaper wrappings the dealer had shipped them in. But don’t be fooled, these beauties work in many different ways and rooms to bring that French secret sauce to your interior!



This decorative vintage French zinc bucket has such a gorgeous and graphic blue, yellow and white paper label.  This is shabby French Country at its best, I love this for anywhere in your home or garden!  Filled with a large bunch of snowballs, or empty, this brings all the charm of the French lifestyle to your home.




This vintage French yellow enamelware bucket was used long ago, to gather coal from the coal shed in the garden. This has wear and the bumps and bruises from decades of use. A great piece to display in your French Country home, with your enamel or garden collection, to hold walking canes by your front or kitchen door.

Or…snowballs! Sorry, my snowball in the garden is producing these huge, bright green flowers, so I just had to share them!  I do put a glass container inside the buckets for the flowers, most of these are not 100% water-tight. {The French seller told me they were 99% water tight, but that doesn’t work so great inside, does it?!}



It’s citrus time in Southern California, at least it is in our front and back gardens. We have lemons in the front garden, and oranges in the back garden.  And mandarins from the neighbors. I’m always searching for great antique and vintage French cutting boards, this small one has plenty of patina and personality! Has the original green paint on the sides. I love these, they really do add quite a bit of charm and personality.



Somehow this antique English confiture pot made it “across the pond” as the British say. It has everything we love about antique stoneware. It once held cook’s prize winning marmalade, with a bit of wax and cloth cover tied over the top. Before refrigeration, preservation was so important, heavy pots like this were cherished in country kitchens.

I have such a delicious and very easy recipe for Lemon Curd, I’ll share it in a few posts…you will love it!  My lemon tree needs to give me just a few more lemons before I can make it again.



When I do make the lemon curd, I ladle it in little French glass jars like this. Isn’t this such a fantastic paper label? Confiturerie des Ambassadors Pur Fruit – made with pure fruit and pure sugar. 🙂



I’m always thrilled when I can find beautiful French enamelware from France. This time, I found not only a beautiful collection of Japy white and blue pieces from a collector, but some exceptional collector’s pieces too. There will be lots of coffee pots and biggins, and some hand painted floral pots. Most are in fantastic condition!

This decorative French enamelware basket is the shabbiest one. There was something sweet about it, it adds a storied and shabby accent to your French country home. It has a soft light blue and white color…perfect for crusty country bread, fruit and everything else!



You might have seen a sneak peek at this charmer last week in Floral Friday’s post.  This one? A bit spendy, so only for the serious collector, or for you if you want to treat yourself to something rare and special.  This large water warmer was made by B.B. Freres, it has the most adorable pink sweet heart rose design, doesn’t it? It is in such beautiful condition, my heart literally skipped a beat when I spotted it!




I love the Antique French ironstone. When it’s decorated with pink rose garlands? Even better!

This footed tureen with lid was made in France in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. These old family heirloom serving pieces are getting rare to find in this condition. Large enough to serve your gourmet food, fine haricot vert, a collection of shells for display, or as an objet d’art on display in your antique hutch with your collection.




I wish I could have found 100 of these ironstone plates!  Perfect for displaying delicious cakes and macarons, these beauties were made by fine quality producer Creil et Montereau. The ornate design features ribbon bows, rose flower garlands and swags, and then acanthus leaf details. The color is so beautiful, a delicate rose pink in the palest to deeper tones on a cream ground.

Even one will make your home happy! Display it on a wall, or on your mantel with this year’s Eden roses – divine!





This is so pretty! This antique French Country ironstone bowl is huge, it has a gorgeous red floral design both on the inside and the outside. Spectacular in color and size, it’s a wonderful addition to your French ironstone and pottery collection.

Use this for serving huge fresh salads, for displaying the apples you grew in your garden {or bought at the Farmer’s Market}





This time of year, we use our antique French bottle carriers to tote drinks and glasses to the back garden. These are amongst the most requested antique and vintage pieces I get asked to bring back from France by you. We have a few, they always sell out immediately!

This one has six compartments for your favorite wines, or one special vintage and perhaps a few glasses. These decorative country bottle holders have classic style, and ages old worn patina that only the grace of time in France can give. AND, they have great personality, they’re a little quirky, if everyone thinks you picked this up in Provence, it’s okay, we won’t tell!



Another favorite from this shipment, these beautiful French ironstone footed stands or pedestal plates with the beloved blue and white floral design Campanule.  The flowers, sweet Canterbury Bells, are as much a delight on this server as they are in the gardens of the French countryside.

Blue. White. Antique. French. Flowers. Pretty much perfection!





Are you still with me?  There is so much…to fall in love with about French Country.  Each village has its own charm, and its own flea markets and antique dealers and shops. Each one a delight!

I am blessed in that I have made such remarkable connections friends with French antique dealers and “pickers” who know what my {long!} lists of what we want for our homes have on them!



Like small antique pot en gres pieces. Simple, hand thrown pottery pieces like this little one, below, that add so much to our homes.  This little moutarde pot still loves to hold mustard, but is really just as happy holding a single pink flower. really.



Last ones, I promise! Until we unpack another crate, which will be soon, because they have arrived and are all waiting!

I know you are a huge fan of the French glass jars with the labels. They are so decorative, can be used for so many things, in every room. I’ve used jars like this for the kitchen, on table settings for flowers. Smaller versions on our tables holding silverware. These canning or preserving jars, with labels applied by the French owners are impressive with a bouquet of beautiful flowers, or a collection of small objets d’art.

The decorative Citron features bold graphics and gorgeous yellow colors. Jars like this were used to preserve fruit with alcohol and sugar when the harvest was plenty!



Then there is this larger jar, it’s exceptional! Large and very heavy, this French apothecary jar is perfect for display, to hold your collection of wine and champagne corks or snacks on your bar, flower cuttings from the garden, or any quirky collection you wish to display with French panache.



Last, for all of you who asked about the antique French scales…more are coming! I was able to squeeze three in total in this shipment, and hope to get a few more on the next trip. Because, you are right!  An antique French scale adds so much flair anywhere in your home!



This black and gilt 19th century balance scale is heavy, and especially rare to find as it has both a round and a square metal platform, the square platform has a gold painted laurel wreath decoration. These were used to weigh ingredients for recipes such as dough so that each loaf or baguette would be relatively uniform in size. This scale has black and gold painted detailing, it is a 5 kilo scale made of heavy cast iron.


Wouldn’t this make any room at home look French and beautiful?  Thanks so much for joining me here while I wax lyrical about the French antiques I so love! I appreciate that you love them, too!! 



Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win Kristy’s new book and that sparkling bottle of wine.


à bientôt


25 thoughts on “FRENCH COUNTRY DECORATING with Antiquités de Cuisine”

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I hope that spring has arrived in your part of France. xo

  1. Mary Ann Johnson

    Lidy, you always seem to just make my day! Thank you for the comfort and charm that you bring into our lives. You never fail to inspire me and make me grateful for simple and beautiful things and the lifestyle that they offer. What a gift.

    1. Mary Ann, thank you so much for your kind words. YOU just made my day!

  2. Bonjour
    Beautiful happy pieces!
    I am leaving for France in 2 weeks and hope to take a look for a few treasures to bring home.
    You are an inspiration.
    I will be in the Brittany region for 10 days, in Normandy for 3 and to finish off the trip – in Paris for 10.
    Being surrounded by history, the sea, and delicious pastries will be the highlights and with any luck
    a few treasures to bring home.

    1. Carm, oh, you will have such a wonderful time! This sounds like such a relaxing, and beautiful trip. Have a GREAT time!

  3. Mary coleman

    Dearest Lidy, I was thrilled to see this pop up on my email! I am saving it to read with a cup of tea later this afternoon as my treat after a busy day! Thank you for all the beauty you send us! Xox,m

    1. Mary, I hope you love it! Always a joy to hear from you dearest Mary. xoxo

  4. Ginger Valdes

    Every single item takes my breath away! And you’ve styled them perfectly! Such a beautiful way to start my day 😉

  5. Thanks so much for your visit, Ginger, and your sweet words! Hope your day is beautiful!

  6. Thank you Shirley! I know you love your little fruit jar!

  7. The items are all so very nice! They will add so much charm to any home, just beautiful

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me today, Janet. It’s always the little touches that make our homes lovely, isn’t it?

  8. Ellen Shook

    This is probably a dumb question, but how does a Biggin work? I looked it up because I had never seen the term used before, but the method of making coffee in it was unclear. Maybe you could explain or demonstrate in a future post?

    1. Ellen, it’s not dumb at all! Biggins have a filter {the top part} where you put ground coffee. Then you slowly pour boiling water over that to make the best French coffee! Also, what a great idea! I’ll do a post about how to make French coffee in a bigger soon.

  9. Jean Van

    Hi, Lidy,
    Loved all the display’s and such sweet thing’s and I forgot is your House or shop in Washington? also is that your home on top or one in France??? I know that is what they look like there so was not sure but ohhhhhhhhh so nice, you have such beautiful thing’s. Thank’s again for sharing, have a Springfull week.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jean in Ca. P.D. Have my Victoria Magazine and love all the blue and stories about France, great stories to, just love my magazine.~~~~~~~~

  10. Sharon Crigger-Stokan

    Oh, Lidy, my heart just longs for a visit to France, especially after reading your posts…not to mention the beautiful pictures with your eloquent descriptions! My favorite line I think was this one at the beginning, “What makes French Country style so beloved is the casual sense of luxurious comfort…” Luxurious comfort…ah, that it is!

    1. I agree, Sharon, I’m rather taken with that phrase myself “luxurious comfort” – who wouldn’t love that?!

  11. Hi Lidy,

    Oh, such wonderful finds from the French Countryside. I loved the Antique French Ironstone pieces you have displayed, especially the plates with the garland of roses. The plates and tureen are so charming. The large water warmer looks like a rare find, and it is in such great condition. There is something about the French enamelware that gives you a feeling that it was a piece that served it’s owner well over the years, in fact maybe generations. I have two large bowls that I treasure, one is porcelain, and one is enamelware, belonging to my mother and grandmother. Everytime I use either one of them, I can picture in my mind, my mom and grandmother mixing up a batch of cookies, a cake, dumplings, or one of their favorite recipes by hand, with a wooden spoon.

    The French glass jars, with the bright colored labels are such great accent pieces. Looking at the old wooden mixing spoons in the pottery jar, makes me think about how they were used to make some wonderful French meals like Burgundy Beef Stew, or Coq au Vin.

    I will be looking forward to your Lemon Curd recipe. How wonderful that you have your own Citrus
    trees in your front and back gardens. I too, enjoy picking lemons and oranges off the trees, when we are in Florida for a couple months during the winter. The house we rent has citrus trees in the backyard.

    Thank you Lidy for sharing all the wonderful and charming treasures of the French Countryside with us.

    1. Janice, isn’t that why we love antiques? Not just for their inherent beauty, but for all those lovely memories they stir up!

  12. Sharon

    Love everything but especially the scale!
    Have a great day!

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