Home Provincial - Decorating

Provincial - Decorating

Provence Decorating: HOW TO Decorate With Green

dining room at an 18th century manor house in burgundy. The World of Interiors, Jun 2005

18th Century Manor House –  The World of Interiors, Jun 2005-Seen on Genus Loci Blog

The color green is one of the most popular colors to decorate a French home around.  A cool green can can create a cool, calm, soothing atmosphere to feel refreshed in, while a darker greens can create warmth and comfort.

1.  Mix Your Shades

Pick out your wall colors first, then introduce other shades of green elsewhere.  If everything is one hue, it can be a bit drab, consider pairing strong greens with mild ones.  Consider brighter colors with darker colors.  Dark shades of green look great with punches of lime, or yellow.

2. Bring in Natural Wood

Natural wood and white accents do a good job of balancing brighter shades of green and keep them from becoming overwhelming. To keep the room light and airy, paint ceilings and trim white, or a lighter color tone of your wall color. Adding raw wood, such as a desk, or side chairs can level out the color. Consider adding in painted black accessories or furniture to add contrast. Stainless steel, tile and wood will give your room a balance against pastel colors.

3.  Use The Brighter Shades on The Ceiling

Who says the ceiling is off limits?  Are lighter colors more you?  Making a dramatic statement, by painting the ceiling the vibrant color you want, but feel doesn’t belong on the walls.  Consider painting the wall colors a really soft shade of light green that is border line white, and punch up the ceiling with a brighter tone of the same shade.

Color Combinations:

 Green + Shades of Purple

Green can blend with a variety of colors and looks wonderful with opposites. Pair green with lighter lilacs, and darker eggplant accents.  Shades of mauve, periwinkle,  amethyst and lavender-based colors can be paired with lighter shades of green.

Lavender is the color and scent of Provence.  The history of lavender stretches back more than 2,000 years.  In France, lavender grows in both cultivated fields and wild along the side of the road, so it was no wonder that it became a popular interior color.  Chefs have used the flower as a herb in sweet and savory dishes and its nectar to flavor honey, cheese and sugar.  Lavender is a light tone of violet.   The name comes from the flower of the lavender plant.  The color of the flower is still the standard for lavender but there are many other tones of light or medium violet now called lavender also.  Their are shades of lavender can range in hue from pinkish purple through violet to blueish-indigo. They can also range from light and pale to medium and greyish shades.

Green + Bright Yellow

Green also pairs well with brighter colors.  Think about bright sunshine yellow paired with this gray based green.  Green also works well with brown combinations which can bring a sense of coziness and tranquility.  Bright yellow actually gives a punch of color in a room based around a gray toned green.  Consider adding in black painted furniture with brighter yellow upholstery for contrast.

 Green + Kelly Green + Green Blue

Play several like ranged colors together.   When combined with vivid jewel tones such as Kelly green, and a green-blue range suggests a tenderness.  Light green and sky blue can be enhanced by white for extra freshness.

The trick to green in French interiors is the gray undertones.  Whether they are pale or strong, there is always a gray or black in the background.  Subtle interiors were a mark of the Provence style interiors.

Green Color Palette

Colors To Pair With Minty Green

Patina Style by Brooke Giannetti and Steve Giannetti

Patina Style by Brooke Giannetti and Steve Giannetti

Country Styled Home in Lourmarin, Provence

This serene house located in Lourmarin, south of France, belongs to Marie and Frédéric who fell in love with the home and the lifestyle they found in Provence.   The house was renovated with help from the locals, and most of the furniture for the home was also made from a local carpenter which added a  personal touch and a connection to the region itself.  The interior of the home was designed around the Provence style found in the countryside of France.  Concrete walls, metal window frames, stone tiled floors which were complemented with stone colours such as purples and pinks.  You won’t find anything unnecessary in this home; the furniture and decor has been well thought out.

This house was abandoned for decades before it was lovingly restored. The owners did a great job keeping the old features of the house authentic to the region.  Exposed brick walls, old wooden beams and stone floors added the elements found in old world France.  By adding a few modern architectural elements such as the staircase and plumbing, allowed this home to functional.   The muted colour palate which revolved around sand colours such as light blue, greens, greys and pinks worked with the authentic colors found in Provence.

Consider the color palette for your own home. Combinations of dusty pink and mauve work quite nicely with mink, grey, cream and milky coffee shades.  These tones can add warmth in a home decorated around the rustic elements found in the countryside of France.  Neutral tones and natural materials, such as stone and wicker add that country element, while the modern furniture give this home a happy mix of the new and old.


Photos from Cotemaison.fr   Photo: Nicolas Mathéus


25 Ideas Of How To Incorporate Orange, Pink and Coral Into Your Home

When we think of French interiors, we think of pale blue, gray and white, yet French decorating isn’t just one a one-color palette. Pink, salmon, and coral are often associated with the Rococo period and was in fashion until the end of the 18th century. Today we don’t see many interiors based on these colors alone, and I ask myself why? Pastels are some of the most beautiful colors that a person can work with, and yet most of us gravitate towards the neutrals such as the gray and beige tones. I think for the most part, many of us are scared to use color, because we don’t know how to incorporate color.

The Rococo developed in the early part of the 18th century in Paris, France as a reaction against the grandeur of Baroque where most of the pastel tones came into fashion. If you enjoy the bold shades of scarlet, cerulean, pacific blue, or shamrock green, consider working with the sibling colors such as seashell pink, peach, sea green, mint and sky blue as your main color shade in your home, while incorporating the bolder colors with accessories. The combination of pale blue and coral are great matches for one another.

-In this picture we see a combination of a pastel pink with an ice blue.  Both colors look terrific together.

Fushia table cloths are paired with cinnamon and  saffron in a French Provence cafe

-Menton Provence shows wonderful architecture in shades of coral and pink.  Shades of blue in the sky and ocean work so beautifully together.

-Ceiling arches in the Royal Arcade in London. Brighter orange is paired with peach and gray ornaments. The look is amazing. Go Statue On Ebay is the number one place I purchase my molds. I have found so many great designs that could work on the wall from this store.

-A Courtyard with a fountain in Aix-en-Provence, France shows a building painted in shades of peach with sky blue shutters.

-A village in Provence shows beautiful colors of orange and blue in the architecture.

Vibrant pinks are seen in the street of Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France

-Take some color combinations from nature.  Combine earthy oranges with punchy greens in your interior color choices.

-Here is an excellent example of using three base colors in a room.  The rule many designers go by is using no more than three main colors.  In this photograph we see that rule play out nicely.  Earthy orange is used as a base coat, followed by a sky blue, and a vibrant shade of orange is used as the second accent color.

-Here we see an unusual combination using pink as the base color, and blue as a secondary color.  Emerald green is chosen for an accent color, nicely fitting in with Provence style.

-Here is a beautiful combination of colors.  Here we see a chapel with lavender field. The chapel is painted in a light peach color with a vibrant color of orange for the roof.  In this instance, lavender and green are accent colors to peach and orange.

9 Homes Decorated Around The European Old World French Styles

“Gerard Tremolet’s chateau in Normandy, France. 

French provincial color palettes are usually inspired by hues found in the countryside of France. Brick red, dark brown, forest green, cornflower blue and weathered white are all good candidates for the wall colors in a French provincial room. Muted shades, or those colors that have a bit of gray added, are best, as they amplify the time-worn appearance of the architecture often found in France. For an authentic look and feel, use a faux finish, such as color washing, to give the walls added depth, dimension and texture. The end result will be walls with an Old World appeal.

Add the classic look found in France by incorporating an armoire, or large carved storage cabinet. Armoires are often painted and distressed showing darker weathered wood. Use storage pieces to show off dishes, bedroom linens, jars, metal objects and plaster carvings.

Ladder-back chairs have also been quite popular with natural, rush seats for a country style French appearance.  Work with tufted, upholstered piece to accent the design style.

1. Marie-Lise Dulac Fery’s Apartment in Lyon

The apartment is located in the 19th century old building in Lyon, it’s been completely renovated and redesigned. The long corridors were removed as well as the walls. Only the large and elegant arched windows and old doors were preserved. The owner, Marie-Lise Dulac Fery, is a young antiques dealer and decorator.

2. Monique Waque’s Country House In Germany

Canadian Monique Waque’s picturesque cottage seems like it comes straight out of a fairy tale. It was renovated by the previous owners and she re-decorated using the colors that evoke the French / Scandinavian style.

3. Gerard Tremolet’s chateau in Normandy, France.

This home was featured in Elle Decor October 2012.  The walls and curtains are of a Thevenon toile de Jouy, and the bed’s alcove is covered in taffeta, the armchair is Louis XV,and the rug is Russian.”  You won’t see a more classic French style home.

4. Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale, completed a careful restoration of 17th century chateau – Pau, South of France. The owners found gorgeous antiques in Parisian flea markets and every room is tastefully decorated in the French style.  The home has gorgeous stucco ceilings, original floors, a large kitchen with an impressive fireplace from the 1600s. In the dining room, a rustic table of chestnut planks is where the family has their dinners.

5. Nicky Haslam’s Home

Your going to love the wallpaper in this home.  Fowler installed an over-sized Mauny wallpaper in the hall, staircase and second floor landing. Eventually it became so old and fragile, that Nicky asked Mauny to remake the discontinued print just for him – which they did.  WOW!

Chateau de Gizeux in the Loire | Yohann Legrand

6. Chateau de Gizeux in the Loire

Ivy Clad featured remarkable pictures of Chateau de Gizeux, which originally was featured in the October 2012 World of Interiors article. The grand salon, as well as other rooms and corridors, were vandalized or fell into disrepair through lack of maintenance. In the Mid 16th century, the walls were elaborately painted by Italian artists to suit the tastes for courtly life favored by the then-owners. Visit the site HERE for more beautiful shots of the chateau inside and out.

7. Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

Since 1961, Yves Bosquet, sculptor and painter, resides in Waterloo, just outside Brussels, on an old farm, which in the past was used by Napoleon during his last defeat in 1815, to prepare and conduct the famous battle. The house is filled with a collection of precious objects. When Bosquet bought the home, there was enough space for a comfortable studio with a kiln. Over the time the owners, Bosquet and his wife, renovated the house and garden and added to it in the French country style. {corriere.it}

8. 11th Century French Property-Perigord, France

An 11th century French property is located in the Cognac Vineyards. The home is currently run as a hotel, with it’s 11 suited bedrooms, and would be the perfect weekend getaway to the French countryside. Keeping with the French theme, this house has kept it’s historical integrity throughout and immaculately maintained.

9. 17th Century In The Old World Style Home in Perigord, France- 

This home rests on 3.5 hectares of riverside grounds and parkland. The main house features 4 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 9 bedrooms (7 with en suites) & 2 studies. Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes


Antique French Louis XV Style Finely Carved Walnut Adjustable Vanity Chair Stool

Antique French Louis XV Style Vanity Stool, Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Nice Pair Vtg Petite French Louis XVI Style Carved & Painted Bergere Arm Chairs

Petite French Louis XVI Style Carved & Painted Bergere Arm Chairs, Quality Is Key On Ebay

Marie-Lise Dulac Fery’s Apartment in Lyon

Marie-Lise Dulac Fery’s Apartment in Lyon

Country House In Germany

Gerard Tremolet- Seen In elledecor

Gerard Tremolet- Seen In elledecor.com

Set of Louis XV Cane back ChairsSet of Louis XV Cane back Chairs, Jacques’ Antiques

Country House In Germany

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Gerard Tremolet- Seen In elledecor

Gerard Tremolet- Seen In elledecor.com

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

French Settee Painted In White From Lisa Liby RyanFrench Settee Painted In White From Lisa Liby Ryan

French Side Table with Antique White Painted FinishFrench Side Table with Antique White Painted Finish, Judy Frankel Antiques

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale


Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Nicky Haslam’s Home-  nh-design.co.uk

C 1850s Lovely Original Paint French Bench Dearing AntiquesC 1850s Lovely Original Paint French Bench Dearing Antiques

Nicky Haslam Seen In Lonny Magazine

Nicky Haslam ~ sentimental accessories from his home: self-portrait of Cecil Beaton, a David Hockney wax sketch, French candlesticks, a Lucian Freud engraving Lucian brought to lunch as a gift and plans for a palace for the Duke of Waterloo to rival Versailles which the Duke turned down Found on pictures.lonny.com

Vtg Italian Carved Green & Gold Gilt Wood French Neoclassical Style Wall Mirror

Vtg Italian Carved Green & Gold Gilt Wood French Neoclassical Style Wall Mirror

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Chateau de Gizeux in the Loire

Chateau de Gizeux in the Loire

Chateau de Gizeux in the Loire

Provencal Armchairs -Maison de Provence - New OrleansProvencal Armchairs –Maison de Provence – New Orleans

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

French Paper Back Books From English Country Antiques In NY

French Paper Back Books From English Country Antiques

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

A Pair Of French Louis XVI Style Open Arm Chairs

A pair of French Louis XVI style open arm chairs with carved beechwood frames painted gray, the leaf and floral motif detailed frames having tapering fluted legs and ribbon carving. Upholstered seats, back, and armrests covered in blue velvet.- David Duncan Antiques

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

Old Farmhouse of Sculptor Yves Bosquet

Vintage French Louis XV Style Carved Walnut Oversized Bergere Arm Chair Settee

Vintage French Louis XV Style Carved Walnut Oversized Bergere Arm Chair Settee

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Antique French Louis XV Style Carved Wing Back Settee Sofa Jansen Style Vtg

Antique French Louis XV Style Carved Wing Back Settee Sofa Jansen Style

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Antique French Louis XVI Style Carved Wood Fire Side Arm Chair Jansen Style Vtg

Antique French Louis XVI Style Carved Wood Fire Side Arm Chair Jansen Style Vtg

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Chateau de Gizeux

Chateau de Gizeux 

Elizabeth Pash AntiquesElizabeth Pash Antiques

18thC Provincial Pine French Table With Coral Marble

18thC Provincial Pine French Table With Coral Marble

Parc Monceau – Home – Atlanta, Ga

Country French Interiors In Dallas Texas

18th Century Painted Cabinet from Provence- Country French Interiors

11th century French Property located in the Cognac Vineyards.

11th Century French Property-Perigord, France

11th century French Property located in the Cognac Vineyards.

11th century French Property located in the Cognac Vineyards.

17th Century In The Old World Style

17th Century In The Old World Style featuring a home in Perigord, France which rests on 3.5 hectares of riverside grounds and parkland. The main house features 4 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 9 bedrooms (7 with en suites) & 2 studies. Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes

17th Century In The Old World Style

Perigord, France 17th Century Home

Pair of Vintage French Louis XV Style Cream Distress Painted Tufted Settees Sofa

Pair of Vintage French Louis XV Style Cream Distress Painted Tufted Settees Sofa

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

Antique French Louis XV Style Painted Marble Top Occasional Coffee Side Table

Antique French Louis XV Style Painted Marble Top Occasional Coffee Side Table

Seen On Quality Is Key On Ebay

17th Century In The Old World Style 3

Perigord, France 17th Century Home

17th Century In The Old World Style 5

Perigord, France 17th Century Home

Set of 3 Napoleon III Period ChairsSet of 3 Napoleon III Period Chairs- Jacques’ Antiques

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale

Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale


Book Review: Provencal Interiors By Betty Lou Phillips

Betty Lou Phillips

If you are thinking about redecorating one room, or refreshing your entire home, and are looking for a more of a french provencial feel, Provencal Interiors: French Country Style in America may be the book for you.

New, this book cost close to $40 dollars, but you can get it from Amazon used from a staggering $1.50.  With 18 reviews of this book,  most site the book as very helpful for building ideas for their upcoming french provincial decorating projects.

While a few claim the book is far off base from genuine Provencal interiors, the pictures are stunning and quite inspiring.  The negitive reviews come from overly critical obvious designers which claim that the genuine interiors of Provence are NOT made up of wealthy and purposefully decorated rooms.

What I find refreshing about this book is the author guides the reader to find their own style; being either being formal or country, she provides the overall building blocks to french style.  For the vast majority of Americans, most are interested in the high end styles, than the peasant country interiors, this book applies to the majority of the public.

Phillips provides a range of inspiring pictures from both formal and informal.  The book consists of 144 pages and even goes to the trouble of adding a lengthy 204 contact list of designers who specifically sell French furnishings in the USA.

A review from Paul Johnson says it has been helpful for him while he was in the process of building a French Chateaux house.  The pictures in Phillips book allowed him to gain valuable insight for his decisions with colors, fabrics, moldings, furnishings, trim, cabinetry, and paint colors which he was able to present to his builder.

Provencal Interiors: French Country Style in America does give you great example of color schemes and architectural design which works together to create an overall great design.  The contents of the book are broken up into 12 sections.

The first and section section reviews color choices, scale, texture, with many inviting and vivid photos.  Section 3 talks about essentials in making a grand statement in a home.  I particularly enjoyed her review of plaster walls on page 33 which can essentially transform a room all on its own.  Brick, plasters faux finishes, old plank floors, glazed walls, and the charm of old craftsmanship can go a far way in designing a french inspired room.  Section 5 – 8 reviews in depth the ideals of furnishings and textile choices, to bedroom and bathrooms.

Phillips tells us there is no right or wrong way to decorate when approaching the french style.  Humble or grand, interiors are unpredictable and highly individual.  The spaces photographed in her book have a strong sense of beauty, but all classify as well- designed.  On page 44 Phillips suggests to buy the best you can afford, which I couldn’t agree with more.

Phillip states ” don’t forget about the well made, well-worn second hand reproductions that are superior to what you could purchase new, or vintage pieces that would look better painted

Many of us, including myself cannot afford genuine french Provencal furniture, so I opt for the reproductions which are affordable in my price range.  I collect them over time, and with the availability of paint and upholstery, it saves me thousands, and I can still attain the professional interiors featured in her book.  Collecting over time makes it affordable, and allows you to switch out your furniture for better quality as they years go by.

She begins by saying that a well planned room that is prioritized is essential.  If the plumbing and electrical are all in place, the furnishings, fabric and paint would be the prime considerations for a room.  Often times if existing furniture will work in a room, a new mirror, rug, or collectibles could alter a rooms character.  It is important that editing a few objects and focusing on the necessities  that have special meaning can start the rebuilding process.

Color is one of the most powerful elements in design, and when used in the right way, it can raise ceilings, lengthen walls, draw your eye to architectural details, and hide flaws.  Color can influence the atmosphere from a feeling of rest to refreshment.   Not everyone feels confident when working with color, especially when there are such a wide variety of choices to select.  Many people take rest in neutrals while wanting to venture into color, but just don’t know how to properly execute it.

Phillips suggests the first step to take is to identify the colors which are attractive to you or the client.  This is relatively easy to begin with.  Another starting point is to start around a favorite piece of furniture, such as a painted chest, or art work and work from the standpoint of picking complementary colors and additional furniture centered around one favorite focal point.

A general rule of thumb is to keep a color scheme to 3 colors and no more than 4 which unite the elements.  It is not necessarily to stick to the same three colors through out the home, but if a complementary color can be determined which links one room to another, an overall flow can unite them together.

A color wheel has been every decorators best secret, as it is a tool that can combine different color combinations for the best impact.  The color wheel is broken down into categories (monochromatic, analogous,triadic, and complementary) which can give a designer or homeowner an overall sense of direction.

Some tips from Betty Lou Phillips:

– Take advantage of what is already in your home such as baskets and greenery which most people own which has a french feel.  Consider existing fabrics that suggest a European influence.  Painting existing furniture can be a way of making a new statement.

– Arrange a similar mix of objects on a commode or dresser.  Arrange an uneven mix of groupings, such as three plates on stands, a stack of three old wooden boxes together which make a bigger impact than 2 or 4.  Consider grouping things together than staggering them around the room.

– Edit your belongings.  Having too much clutter will only subtract from a well designed room.

– Improve a chest with some paint.  The antique white, gray, green and soft aquamarine blue painted furniture.

– Consider fabrics as the second most essential ingredient to a French Provencal room next to having french furniture.  Layering rooms with french fabrics, specifically florals, stripes, and checks which all work together.  Gingham checks, and florals often balance each other out.

– While Americans tend to hide their clutter in the pantry, in France, wire baskets were used to store eggs, breads and utensils.  Old heavy copper pots, bowls and tin molds are very common in french styled homes.

– Fine damask table cloths, and linen are draped over tables.  Mixing patterns is common in french interiors.  Over-sized wine glasses are not reserved for special occasions, but used even for table water.

-Seagrass, and jute throw rugs loosen up formal looking sitting rooms making them less stuffy and more inviting and comfortable.  While some prefer bare wood floors, others like the ornate appeal of oriental rugs.

-Slipcovers can be one of the most useful ways to clean furniture especially with a growing family.  They protect luxurious fabrics, but can also be an inexpensive way of improving a french chair bought second hand.  Upholstery takes time and energy, and slipcovers can be a quick update instead of the expense of upholstering.

-When it comes to upholstery, nail heads can sharpen up a piece of furniture giving it more richness and elegance.  French are quick to note that Americans often space their nail heads too far apart, throwing the most perfect chair’s proportions out of balance.

– Common french elements are framed family portraits, stunning flower arrangements,memory photos in frames, well read antique books, framed old maps, decorative throw pillows, reading lights, warm throws,alcohol decanters, tole lamps, tole trays, and transferware hung on the wall.

We hope that Provencial Interiors By Betty Lou Phillips will be as inspiring as it was for me.

Nicky Haslam’s Romantic Country House

Nicky Haslam’s Folly de Grandeur: Romance and Revival in an English Country House’, is Haslam’s newest book on authentic, English country style decorating.

Haslam shows interiors with carefully mismatched antique and vintage furniture, with color palettes of warm welcoming tones.   From vignettes, to getting the most bang from your hallway, Haslam gives away a wealth of visual interest to the reader.  Learn how to incorporate art, accessories and furniture for a home which is comfortable, yet strikingly beautiful.

Haslam shows off his own 1720 house in Folly de Grandeur.   Floor plans and diagrams illustrate the homes detailed history, as well as the traditional garden, furnishings, and the details of the conservatory.  Images of the house through the seasons shows his true love and attention for the home’s details.  Images of his collecting from flea market finds and treasures from boot sales are captivating.   He shows off upholstery, curtains, chair backs, improvised lampshades and slipcovers.

Interesting Links:

– Nicky Haslam -British Interior Designer’s Website

-Nicky Haslam’s Country House – WSJNicky Haslam, renowned interior designer and London man-about-town, calls a 16th-century royal hunting lodge in the English countryside his home away from home—rose chintz sofas, portraits, flourishing garden and all

-NOW AND THEN: Dreamy English Country Cottages by Colefax and Fowler- Decor Arts Now

-1stdibs Introspective – Nicky Haslam- 1st Dibs

-Interview: Nicky Haslam- House & Home Magazine

-Oh, Nicky, You’re So Fine, You Blow My Mind, Hey Nicky! The Style Saloniste

>Other Design Books Featuring Nicky Haslam:

Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living –Personal Reflections on Stylish Living presents the personal living spaces of fifty distinctive design leaders, including Charlotte Moss, Celerie Kemble, Ashley Hicks, Barry Dixon, India Hicks, Vicente Wolf, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Kevin Sharkey, Suzanne Rheinstein, Rose Tarlow, Jay Jeffers, Michelle Nussbaumer, Jan Showers, Alex Papachristidis, Madeline Stuart, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Colette van den Thillart, Malcolm James Kutner, Ken Fulk, Scot Meacham Wood, Bunny Williams and more. These select dwellings range from chic apartments and luxurious estates, to charming country homes.

Sheer Opulence (Decor Best-Sellers) by Nicholas Haslam


By L. M. Keefer

You will savor every word and image in this book as Nicky Haslam takes you on a remarkably personal tour of his folly of an English home which he describes as “quite simply the prettiest small house in the world.” Formerly the home of renowned designer John Fowler, Haslam fell in love with its “fairy-tale facade”, as Fowler did shortly after the end of WWII. Haslam describes seeing the folly for the first time: “History does repeat itself. And so it was that, some thirty years later, I turned the last bend in the rough lane through these woods, came to a clearing by a lake, and, turning, saw this rose-pink, brick-gabled folly glinting in the evening sun.”

Haslam recounts, “I like to think of him (Fowler) standing in the doorway as his celebrated clients like Debo Devonshire or the Pembrokes drew up to be greeted by his quizzical smile and promise of a nifty Blood Mary. One of his early assistants, Nina Campbell, told me recently that, even before he came to live here, John’s nickname was ‘Folly’ Fowler….”

Situated on the hunting grounds of King Henry VII, the home has a rather magical past before Fowler. It was on these grounds that Catherine of Aragon first set her black Spanish eyes on King Henry’s son Arthur, Prince of Wales, to whom she was betrothed. You may sense a certain magic pervading the house, or maybe it’s Haslam’s unabashed affection for it. In its Tudor beginnings as a refuge from hunting, it was a humble three rooms. Around 1720-40 a fanciful Jacobean facade was affixed to the front, and it was expanded.

Describing his first walk-through after Fowler inhabited it, Haslam allows us to see it through his eyes: “There was no furniture inside the house the first time I saw it…. But in each of the tiny rooms – not one is more than 12 feet wide – the walls were beautiful…. Shabby drapes, some edged in fading hand-painted borders, fell forlornly at dusty windows. Le Grand Meaulnes and Miss Havisham had nothing on this sleeping timeless Wunderkammer. And, strange as it seems now, I knew then that I must retain an echo of this delabre atmosphere; it seemed an essential element of the building’s magical being.”

You may feel you are in the midst of an E.M. Forster novel as you read this, complete with iridescent photos by Simon Upton, to accompany the descriptions.

Leaving much of the home the way Fowler left it, Haslam brings fresh life and luster to it with his original and fresh style. He says of his style: “It would be hopeless to pretend that my style, at home, is anything but a hodgepodge of the things I love….And the house’s soul doesn’t seem to object to the hodgepodge.” It seems every room and piece in the home has a story, and Haslam is happy to tell them in his colorful and amusing storytelling style. His storytelling matches his decor: charming, lighthearted, insouciant, droll and sentimental.

You may find yourself raptly reading every word and studying the pages as Haslam chats about the house and its history, walls, soft furnishings, curtains and drapery, and furniture. Then he takes you on a grand tour of the rooms: the old hall, the staircase hall, the library, the dining room, the kitchen, the flower room, the guest rooms and master bedroom and John Fowler’s old bedroom, which, surprisingly was one of the smallest bedrooms in the home.

Along the tour, Haslam sprinkles his design admonishments: “Increase the scale of wall coverings in small spaces.” And “I never buy anything purely for its monetary value. I like possessions that smile back at me.” Then there’s: “Edging chintz in a solid color is an essential touch.” (This book may make you wonder if it will be the catalyst for reviving the classical appeal of chintz in a major way.)

You will get to stroll outside, too, and view the terrace, the conservatory, the lake and the unique Garden Room. You may feel you have stayed for a pleasant weekend as Halsam’s guest.

This is already one of my favorite of the many decor and design books I own. It should become a classic in design libraries. If you like florals, stripes, painted walls and furniture, tole and hurricane lamps, ruffles, chinoiserie, slipcovers, skirted tables, leaded glass, carved mantels, flagstone, portraits, architectural engravings, busts, books, flowers and rooms that look like they have evolved for 30 years – because these did – you should adore this book. If you enjoy English, cottage or European country styles, you should have this book in your library, or on your ottoman to peruse over and over again. Because you will.


Nicky Haslam- Featured On Kalynor Blog

Nicky Haslam- Featured On Kalynor Blog

Nicky Haslam Architectural Digest January 2011 Little Augury Blog 


Nicky Haslam Design Featured On Meade Design Group Blog

Nicky Haslam Design Featured On Meade Design Group Blog

Nicky Haslam Design Featured On Meade Design Group Blog

Nicky Haslam – Mrs Blandings Blog

Nicky Haslam’s Country House- online.wsj.com

Nicky Haslam Pinterest

Nicky Haslam – New Orleans- nh-design.co.uk

 Nicholas Haslam DesignThis Is Glamorous Blog


Nicholas Haslam DesignThis Is Glamorous Blog

Nicholas Haslam DesignThis Is Glamorous Blog

Nicholas Haslam Design- littleaugury.blogspot.com 


Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Elmueble featured a Spanish styled home on their site that had all the beauty that we see in the classic Provence styled homes.

Inside the home, stone slabs cover the floor, unifying each room. Rustic wooden beams captivate the romance of living with history.

Simplistic wall finishes pair this space down, showing off the french Provence furniture. The kitchen features a minimal appearance with several glass cloches, and glass apothecary jars filled with colorful fruit.

Natural linen is used with the drapes, and stone is found in the bathroom giving this house a luxury appeal to an antiquated period style design.

This old world style is minimal but emphasizes the true beauty in the architecture and stunningly beautiful furniture.


Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Look

Decorating With Stone For An Old World French Provence Lookhersite.info-16 Features That Sell Homes Faster

More Inspiration!

hersite.info-Embellish Your Own Furniture With Top Quality Furniture Appliques

More Inspiration!

theempirefurniture.com-Great Flooring Ideas For The Empire Styled Home

More Inspiration!


The Beauty Behind Château de Talcy In France

Chateau of TalcyChateau of Talcy

The Château de Talcy is a spectacular historical châteaux in Talcy, Loir-et-Cher, France, located on left bank of the Loire River. This 16th-century manor house was commissioned around 1520 by Bernardo Salviati.  Salviati was a Florentine contractor with connections to the Medici family; a political banking family, whom gathered prominence in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century.

The château has a Gothic presence to the exterior, which is expected for a structure built at the height of the Renaissance.  The outbuildings have been preserved from the 16th century, and one of the more charming aspects of the house is a traditional vegetable garden.  An aerial view seen below, shows just how spectacular the gardens are.  The Salviati retained the ownership of the estate until 1682.   A house was owned by succession of individuals, including Philipp Albert Stapfer, ( a Swiss politician and philosopher)  until 1932, when it was sold to the state, on condition that the 18th-century interiors would be left intact. The château is visited by 20,000 tourists annually.

Castle of Talcy- View Of The CourtChâteau de Talcy’s Gothic Exterior

3 Easy Old World French Elements To Add To Your Home Part 3

3. The Use Of Clay

Another material we often see in French styled estates is the vast use of clay.  Pottery brings an old look to our modern homes instantly. Consider buying over-sized clay potting containers and line them up out side in a row.  These large scale pots look great at the outside of an entry way, or in the entrance to a garden.  Use them as a focal point in the middle of your flower garden for an architectural look.  Use metal forms to create manicured bushes.   Adding plants in the house with clay pots is a sure way of bringing that old world touch into your home. Paint and stencil your clay pots to customize your decor inside and outside.  Rocks are quite popular and are used instead of extensive lawns in the countryside of France.  Adding iron patio furniture outside looks great and also weathers terrific over the years.


Cortez Pedestal Bowls – Set of 3 $106

-Abydos Small Vase $34

-Rosemary Herb Pots Set of 3 – $43

-Roman Tall Vase $82

-Set of 3 Clay Green, Blue and Yellow Lidded Jar Canisters 16″ $139

-11″ Decorative Distressed Rustic Ceramic Pitcher Vase with Metal Handle $79


Provincial Antiques

Vintage French Provincial

French Antique Accessories For Your French Provincial Home

Rustic Wall Mirror - French Style With Floral Detail $175 Amazon Edouard French Provincial Style Console Table - $170 Amazon   French Hand Painted Faience Bretons Large...

Unique French Furniture Finds On Craigslist

Pair of rare wrought iron Peacock Patio Chairs. - Fort Worth Dallas I cannot say I have ever seen anything like this before.  Rare French...

Rustic Hunter Green And Silver French Provincial Highboy

Taken from Milwaukee's Craigslist Tall French Provincial dresser by Drexel painted in dark green with silver accents. This quality piece is a perfect addition...
Next time you see that bookshelf that has no legs, consider this company.  Add stylish feet to bookshelves, dressers and nightstands.  See this set on Amazon 15 Pieces Mushroom Unfinished Knobs - $12 On Amazon Check out these beautiful options for new hardware pulls on Amazon.  If you are looking to update a country styled chest, consider this route.  Simply type...

French Decorating

Decorating Around A Neutral Interior – French Provincial Decorating

Historic Styled Lighting - 1stoplighting.com Cambridge - 18 Inch Two Light Wall Sconces Burnished Brass Finish $319.00 This beautiful French Provincial chest features a multi- finish...

French Provincial Style Rocking Chair

This beautiful white French styled rocker would make a perfect piece for a living room or nursery.  The upholstery looks to be a soft...

25 French Country Style Interiors – Elle Decor

There is something about rustic décor that makes a house feel like a home. Incorporating French country style into an interior space can make even the most urban house feel like it's tucked away in a tiny French village.
1950s French Provincial Commode by Cassard Chateau Romano NYC - Quality Is Key On Ebay Vintage French Provincial furniture can look fabulous when it is re-finished.  Chances are you have seen these pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, on craigslist and kijiji that with a little improvement, these pieces can look old and worn to fit into a Provincial decorating theme. Here...


 Countryside Provence Style French Iron Garden Chairs Can you imagine how exciting it would be to stay in a rustic log cabin in Aspen, or have a dinner in a formal french restaurant in France? If you are modern sort of gal, than run with that style.  If you like Italian looks, your dominate theme should be Italian. There is nothing more...