Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. William Morris



I have arrived at the stage where, if I buy something, no matter how big or small, I want it to be useful AND beautiful. Have you?


I will admit that once in a while, I come across something so beautiful, that I almost cry at the sight of it.

Yes, newborn babies are one of those things…but I’m talking about antiques here. When find an antique that practically makes me weep, even if that object isn’t particularly useful these days, if I can find a place for it in my collections, I do.



If you’re going to buy something, anything, even something small or completely utilitarian, why not have that be something you love?

Imagine your home filled only with accessories and other things you love.



Some of my favorite things that I love and use in the kitchen at FrenchGardenHouse, are wooden spoons.

I have gathered spoons from everywhere, some are ones my Mom used before she died {although not often, she was not really a culinary wonder} – others I have gathered over the years from antique dealers, flea markets in Europe, and auction houses.




My favorite spoon ever was actually one half of a salad serving set who had lost its mate over the years. I can’t show you a photo of that one because sadly I used it so much as a young wife that it literally broke in half and is in wooden spoon heaven somewhere.

My collection of wooden spoons sits by my range in a vintage champagne bottle cooler along with stag horn carving sets that I don’t use often. {see disclaimer.}

And a few in a collection of antique ironstone pitchers {another thing I almost never pass up!} on the narrow table.



Imagine my excitement {me, jumping up and down inside at the sight of antique wooden spoons!!} when one of my favorite French dealers told me she had unearthed some amazing antique hand carved wooden spoons she thought I might like?

Would I like to choose a few? Non, I wanted them ALL!  I am greedy like that, because I know there are more of you out there that adore old, old wooden spoons handmade in a village in France a hundred years ago.



Each one? Has its own personality and charm. Different shapes and sizes, and each one was used for different dishes, I am sure.

Some come from a chateau “sale” – oh! how I wish I could go to those, instead I live vicariously through my dealer friends in Europe – some from a simple country French hotel/restaurant, and some from French cottages.

Each one is hand made, and are a work of art, don’t you agree?



Now the only hard part is deciding which ones I will sell…because I am trying to not keep every single amazing antique thing I’ve found on my recent buying trips…

And…it’s only right to share with all of you.



My favorites are the ones all of them.





Do you have a favorite useful/beautiful thing you just can’t get enough of?


à bientôt



  1. Alice Genzlinger

    Recently the entire second floor was painted with new wide floor boards and new door handles. I loved the open space so much before redecorating that I just could not put everything back. I have gone with the Willuam Morris statement and wish I had done that years ago. One of the amazing things that was the outcome of that is that hubby is cleaning out the storage room in the basement. Yahoo.
    One of my favorite things in the kitchen is a small old chipped enamel teal colander. I don’t use it for its original purpose because of the damage. It wholes any number of things. Peaches, apples, pears, nuts are beautifyl in it and so it will not leave,

    1. Alice, your teal colander sounds so beautiful, and very useful for your fruit, too! So exciting to have a brand new start after purging a few things that may not “fit” anymore.

  2. P.S. I like you, have not been able to pass up a beautiful pitcher lately…and must say that I love the quote from William Morris….Need to keep that in mind when I do more purging!…it is the sentimental things that I am having a lot of trouble with!

    1. I adore that quote by William Morris…the problem is that there are so many beautiful things that are also useful, too! But selecting only those that speak to your heart is a good way of wading out the rest, isn’t it Shirley?

  3. I too only purchase items I truly love and can’t pass up. Too often we tend to purchase on a whim, no more for this girl. I think you appreciate your cherished items more.

    Our move to this home we built sealed the deal for us but truthfully me. I real know what I love now in decorating. I had five years of decorating growth so to speak

    Love your collection of wooden pieces

    Enjoy your day


    1. Cindy, it’s so exciting to really only surround yourself with things you love, isn’t it? It sounds like you are right there, and loving every minute of it.

  4. Yes, there are items that are such a ‘find’ that they are difficult to pass up. I try and tell myself that for each object that comes into the house, one must exit. Sadly, it is not working and my collections continue to grow…

  5. Lidy , were we separated at birth ?! So much in common
    One time found my figural napkin rings at such a great price , I couldn’t see anything else . I got dizzy
    And then when I got them at a better price than listed , that was it !! Have a great day ??? Chris

  6. Ginger Valdes

    Such a great collection, beautifully styled, Lidy!

  7. Ginger, thank you, you are so sweet and always so generous with your compliments!

  8. The fact that you claim your mother was not a culinary wonder would make her spoons even more endearing for me. My sister is just like you when it comes to spoons. She will run her hands over them and have us come look at how handsome they are with their patina, their hand chiseling, their burns. I do appreciate your love of the utilitarian things.

  9. gloria

    I have mentioned in the past that I have my brothers wooden spoon that he used all the time. He was a great chef and catered for many years. November will be the tenth anniversary of his passing. Every time I use the spoon feel him there telling me I am going to make a wonderful meal. It is amazing that a simple spoon can bring back memories and feelings of comfort. I am like you, I love all the spoons.

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