Friday, January 26, 2018

~~ Six Ways to Add French Soul to your Kitchen ~~

Many of us who love the ease and warmth of French Country style would like
to enhance that feeling in our kitchens -- the heart of our home.

So, here are six simple ways I add some warm and welcoming
French soul to my kitchen.


1. Mixing textured and smooth surfaces, vintage and modern, old brick and stone, wood and tile all contribute to a rich depth in the kitchen.

Marble countertops look beautiful but stain easily and require maintenance so you could consider white quartz or butcher block. I have a slab of marble on top of a wooden cabinet that satisfies my "marble envy" without having to re-do my countertops. 


2. Most authentic French Country kitchens do not have built-in cabinets. Rather they incorporate stand-alone furniture such as hutches, armoires, cupboards and open shelving.

This small cabinet gives my kitchen a curated-over-time feel and adds the warmth of natural wood as well as extra counter space. 


3. Color plays an important role in the soul of a French kitchen. Soft, muted tones bring the feeling of country to the kitchen. If you have an island, you could consider painting it a different color than your cabinets for contrast and to enhance that feeling that it was collected over time.

My walls are painted a pale buttery yellow and my cabinets are a creamy white. It's interesting to note that yellow is considered by the color experts an uplifting color, offering hope and happiness and giving warmth even on a cold, cloudy day. White opens our minds to create and appears fresh and clean, both appropriate colors for a kitchen.


4. Although the most critical things in your kitchen are probably your appliances, I think a farmhouse sink with a French-inspired faucet adds tons of French soul. A farmhouse sink is definitely on my wish list.

Note the beadboard backsplash that gives the kitchen a French farmhouse flavor. Old black and white Parisian postcards and a market basket rev up that French soul mood. 


5. What French Country kitchen would be complete without accessories? Accessories are a fun and inexpensive way to add warmth and charm to a room that can feel too sterile. Whether it's copper pots and pans, fresh flowers, an ironstone collection on display, or a strutting rooster, accessories complete the story.  

Baskets for storage, rush seats on chairs, or fabrics (toile, lace, ticking) on window treatments
or skirted under your sink all add more texture and age.

Use old pitchers or crocks to hold a bouquet of cooking utensils and old wooden spoons. 


6. And finally, my number one way to add French soul to your kitchen is, ta dah, . . . a chippy old farm table! If you have room in your kitchen for an eat-in space, a worn table and chairs will make your friends and family feel like they've stepped into an old-world French farmhouse oozing with soul and character.

Because my kitchen is so small, I placed my farm table and chairs in my adjacent sunroom but it works just as well. Note the contrast of the distressed table with the elegant candelabra (purchased at the Vintage Whites Market in Denver!)

There are many more ways to add a little French soul and style to your kitchen 
such as artwork, white dishes, farm animals (my personal favorite), or lighting.

I hope this post may have given you a few ideas to try
that could add some French soul to your kitchen.


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Friday, January 19, 2018

~~ A Post on a Post ~~

A post on a post? Why not? 
You won't want to miss this post . . . I didn't!
Find out why I went dumpster diving for a little piece of history. 

It all started when contractors started to demo an old house on our block.

The housing market in Denver has exploded recently and many of these lovely small bungalows 
are being scraped down to the ground or are popping their tops to add more square footage. 

The next few photos are about five minutes walk from our house in an old neighborhood. 
Such a dramatic change. 

Usually,  a modern structure that doesn't fit with the character of our old neighborhoods 
is hastily constructed where a lovely little bungalow once stood. 
Or a block of cracker-box "slot" condos that house too many people, increasing traffic 
and taking up limited parking spots, changes the vibe of these turn-of-the-century streets. 

It makes me sad to see the character of our historic city being overly-modernized,
especially when it happens on my street. 
These boxy condos are everywhere you look. 
How'd you like to live right next to the new lite-rail/noisy freeway?

So, back to my story.
This pretty Victorian on our street that was being demoed had lovely stained-glass windows 
and white columns on the front porch supporting a balcony. 
We kept an eye on the pillars the workers had leaned up against the house. 
I have been known to "rescue" alley finds 
but I restrain myself from actually taking anything from someone's property.

Then came the day when an enormous truck arrived to remove the full construction dumpster. 
I watched out my front window as the truck backed up to hook onto the dumpster.  
That's when I saw a white column sticking out of the top of the dumpster. 
I called Ron and we rushed outside and approached the workers in front of the house.

"Could we have that white post in the dumpster please?" we asked politely.

"Sure, but make it quick before he drives off."

We ran to the truck driver and asked if we could have a minute to rescue the column. 
He nodded and said the boss had told him to wait while we got it. Such a nice bossman!

So, we tugged and pulled until we were able to remove the pillar from the dumpster, 
thanked the driver, and scurried home with our treasure.
I didn't know what I was going to do with it but not only was it part of our neighborhood history, 
it was chippy and white and I loved it. I knew I'd find a home for it somewhere. 

Ron set about removing rusty nails from the top.

Inside, I tried it here and there and finally found the perfect spot for it in my "attic" office.

The top piece of the post was missing so I put an old plate on top 
and nestled a spider plant on it in front of the window.

That plant has a fun story as well. We were leaving an estate sale and saw a man loading a big spider plant into the back of his truck. That's when I saw a baby spider get torn from the mother plant. 
After he left, I ran over and retrieved the little baby from the sidewalk. 
I plopped her into a glass of water when we got home and she immediately grew some healthy roots. Now she's potted atop my rescued post and sending out more babies.

So, this story ends well for everyone.
The orphaned spider plant has a home, the rescued post adds a dilapidated grandeur to my office,
and the history of our old neighborhood has been preserved.

The End (or is it?)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Let There Be White!

After the exuberant stimulation of festive holiday decor,
I'm craving something calming and simple like white.

White is so easy to live with. It calms a chaotic room and soothes our busy minds.
This simple bookshelf turned china cabinet holds some of my white ironstone
and is a restful focal point in the dining room.

I moved the old clock that had been on the top shelf to the living room mantel, 
making room for a large ironstone pitcher.
Because the pitcher had a tiny crack in the handle, I got it for just $25!

White goes with any style from Farmhouse . . .

. . . to Frou Frou.

It adds a touch of elegance to a simple vignette

and is the perfect foil for highlighting a few special pieces.

I love how white contrasts with dark wood.

A unique piece like this garden statue really stands out among white objects and old mirrors.

This statue was a wonderful surprise Christmas gift from Ron. 
I'd raved about it when we saw it in an antique store 
and he sneaked back to buy it for me. I just love it.

My china cabinet seemed to be overflowing with white ironstone
so I thinned it out a bit, letting each piece shine on its own.

I love how it looks through the leaded glass doors.

Here's where that vintage clock ended up.
The dark wood of the clock looks rich against the white mantel.
I also like the empty space at each end of the mantel, 
allowing some breathing room for the wall sconces. 

White decor makes me dream of a snow-frosted meadow in the Rocky Mountains --
a calming place where I can catch my breath and feel at peace.


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Linking with:
Shabby Art BoutiqueBlue Willow HouseLittle FarmsteadDwellingsThe Dedicated House,
Between Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmStone GableA Stroll Thru Life,
Savvy Southern StyleDesignthusiasmA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,
21 Rosemary LanePetite HausFrench Country Cottage

Friday, January 5, 2018

Favorite French Country Posts for 2017

Slipping into a new year, I thought it would be fun to look back at 2017 
at some of my favorite French Country posts.
So, please join me as we view my Top 10 picks from the year of 2017.

To read more about each post, just click on the link.

A romantic home has a feeling of being transported to another era.

Ironstone is the perfect accessory for a French Country look --
that timeworn feeling of simple comfortable elegance.

Who knew this French wine went for up to $3,500 a bottle!
Definitely one of my favorite finds!

This white rooster . . . love at first sight.

Before & After -- a private French Country retreat.

My June garden is so pretty, it's blushing! I'm yearning for Spring.

Here are some simple tips to set a romantic mood.

Inspiring Fall touches to quietly complement the season.

That rusty patina captured my heart!

A simple French Country look for Christmas without a tree!

Looking back recaptures fond memories and teaches us a few lessons along the way 
while looking forward brings exciting new challenges and fresh ideas. 
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog this past year
and hope you stay tuned for a fun year in 2018.


If you enjoyed this look back, I hope you'll follow me in 2018.
Just subscribe (it's FREE) in the upper right column of this page.
You can also follow my Pinterest boards to see all my favorite photos.
Thank you for a wonderful year and I wish you a happy and peaceful New Year.