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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

French Style Home

 If, like me, you adore French style elements in your home, and maybe like to mix it up with quality old items, a bit of chippy paint and some vintage lace, then here's a rough guide to adding a bit of OO LA LA.

Next weekend, from the 14th, it's the Arthur Swallow Fair at Loseley  Park and one of the best places to find lovely old French antiques and salvage. Here's a few things to look out for on your travels ..

Linen, and those big square pillow cases that we don't get in the UK, you can stuff them with a real French pillow or do as I do and put two normal pillows inside. Perfect for sitting up in bed and lounging in your boudoir.  My bedhead is old shutters just as I found them in a salvage yard. 


Another of my favourite things that I can only find from France are these long cotton crochet curtains. Made for those tall thin windows they have in classic French apartments. I use them all over the place, I've even replaced my bedroom door with them as the door just took up too much of the room. These old ones are far superior to new synthetic net curtains, often in a pale ecru and with beautiful patterns.



Here's a photo I took in Paris, showing again that shutters, shutters and more shutters, you can never have enough. Use them just as wall decoration, a headboard, a screen or a notice board, the possibilities are endless.



Old book illustrations, and lovely typography in French can make beautiful pictures or collages. 



Leather club chairs are found in abundance in France, some dealers specialise in nothing else as they are becoming so popular in the UK and the USA. I found it quite easy to repair myself, you can buy leather repair kits, a putty which fills holes and replicates leather when it dries. Stain it to match your chair and that old tatty armchair becomes totally useable again, with bags of character.






Religious statues and chandeliers, perfect finishing touches. 

We can't talk about French Style without mentioning Art Nouveau, so feminine and evocative. Look out for those curvy lines and floral motifs.



Who doesn't love a bit of kitchenalia. Keep an eye out for enamel ware in lovely colours, old coffee grinders and wire baskets and utensils. They look so nice you can keep them on display rather than hiding them in the units. Try open shelves in the kitchen rather than fitted cupboards, or an open fronted old cabinet. Useful and beautiful.





My recommendations for finding French style as seen in these photos;
The Loseley Park fair organised by Arthur Swallow is called the 'Decorative Home and Salvage Show" and has a particular French flavour. 

My old friends the Brocante Boys have tons of enamel ware and religious statues. They can be found all over the London area at markets and events and also the Milton Keynes Vintage Fair.

And if you fancy actually going to France and being guided by an expert then check out the September retreat organised by Bohemians France - Lush Getaways, which is a culinary experience, with wine and antique hunting. 

Keep a look out on my instagram feed from the 14th July to see more of me at the Loseley Park fair, and maybe see you there! Au revoir for now. 
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