Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feminine French Eclecticism

I have to admit that I do not usually read Maison Francaise, but after coming across this home in the September issue, I think I'm hooked.

To me, this home represents much of what is going on in design today. It's colorful, sophisticated, has that French flair, looks a bit faded, has bits of the exotic, and most importantly does not look decorated. The female homeowner obviously has an affinity for pink, but she has managed to avoid making it saccharine. Instead, it comes across as a soft, feminine look. I also admire the skillful mix of prints- nothing seems to clash.

And this home has completely made me rethink toile. Look at the charming print the homeowner used both in the dining room (in an ochre color)and in the bedroom (in a raspberry colorway). How charming is that?

A view of the dining room with the ochre toile de Jouy. Using my rusty French skills, I believe the toile (as well as the one in the bedroom) came from Marché St-Pierre, a large fabric shop in Paris.

The bedroom with the gorgeous rapsberry toile de Jouy. I do like how the homeowner only papered the wall from the chair rail up, in some ways toning down the print. I also like her clever use of a fabric covered screen for her headboard.

The serene library. The club chairs are upholstered in a Canovas print. Notice the little touches of leopard on both the throw pillow and on the sconce lampshades.

The living room, which is divided up into a seating area and a formal dining area. The brightly colored fabric and accessories are kept in check by the soft green walls.

The entryway. Notice the cement tile floor. The striped fabric covered walls lend a more masculine tone to this room.

Image to the left: A corner shot of the living room. To the right: Clear shots of color surround the fireplace.

All images from the September issue of Maison Francaise


  1. Love that home, really well done! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Anonymous12:10 PM

    The reason Maison Française looks so good (and is so utterly relevant) is that it has an amazing editor in chief, Alexandra d'Arnoux, who was the editor in chief of AD France. She is the bomb!

  3. Great feature, Jennifer. Very pretty home with just the right balance of elements. Love the raspberry, esp.

  4. Glad you enjoyed it Melissa and Anne!

  5. Anon- This is good to know. I devoured this issue- great magazine!

  6. Thanks for sharing this. You opened my eyes to something new. (Great screen used as headboard!) Love your analysis too.

    I didn't see you at B & N but I was there very early. I'm sure you're writing a perfect book review right this minute :)

  7. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Most of these rooms--the first batch especially--have a lot of warmth and coziness to them, qualities which you don't see a lot of in U.S. decor magazines. Not sure if that's a feminine thing, a French thing, or both, or neither. But I like it.


  8. PT- So true. There is a coziness to these rooms, which is what drew me into this article.

  9. i found it quite amusing that those black and white lampshades are used in nearly every room. am i the only one who has spotted those at IKEA?

  10. Dean- So glad you picked up on that! I know the article mentioned IKEA, and I thought they were referring to the lampshades, but as I'm not very fluent in French, I was a little unsure. Thanks for mentioning that! :)

  11. ooh la la!!! love it! Thanks for the eye candy: french AND pink, how can it be any better?


  12. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Good thing to remember, re the ubiquity of lampshades of similar shape, tone, and pattern ... it's one of the secrets of great decorating, lampshades that know their place ...

  13. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I really like the library, the kitchen and those concrete tiles with the border painted on them. I'm a big fan of painted furniture. The Ochre stripe with the cooler gray wainscoting is proof you can use cool and warm tones in the same room. Really good post.

  14. I love Maison Francaise . It is one of my favorite french decoration magazine ..
    It is one of the last one to know and to write about timeless decoration , artisans ..french tradition