Sometimes inspiration comes from afar, and I often feel inspired by French fashion, antiques and decor. A trip to a Paris flea market would be heaven for me! Stumbling across French Essence the other day renewed my interest in all things French. Vicki has a knack for capturing and blogging about French style - as does authour and antiques dealer, Josephine Ryan. She has created a life from collecting antiques from France, sold in her shop in London. Here is another article about her.
Teamed with photographer Claire Richardson, (whose photos I blogged in an earlier post) Ryan has created a simply stunning book French Home, capturing beauty and light in elegant French simplicity.
A style of decorating which touts, and even enhances imperfections - 'benign neglect' - with all the complex subtilities of pale, chalky shades of blues, greys, whites, and browns. Its a style which uses old and new objects, updating, if necessary, with a 'lick of white paint.' Ryan describes a style 'that effortlessly embraces personal quirks, indulges refined preferences and rejects the sterility of soulless design.' Sounds like a bit of a criticism of modernism, non? At any rate, its a sumptious read, with an added bonus of French history bits thoughout. For example, Ryan notes that some of France's first chandeliers were made to light medival churches. When glass making developed to make lead crystal in the 18th century, more elaborate chandeliers were produced, as the scattering light affects of lead crystal became highly desirable.
Should you live on the 'other side of the pond' from Ryan's antique shop, and feel inspired to incorporate a French style or a piece or two in your home, The French Cupboard may have something you are looking for, or more locally, French Vanilla Home and Garden in Victoria, BC
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