What Makes You Think That Is French?

I’m going to Provence and Paris soon.

We’re scheduled to go to this flower market. Beautiful.

One of the things that I’m going to be looking for is whether or not or not our Americanized vision of shabby chic French is actually something French people do in their decorating.

I’m not so sure.

I’ve only been to France once, and I’ve only been to Paris and Normandy. I’ve seen beautiful cotton lace, I’ve seen lovely textiles, and I’ve seen well-worn finishes on furniture. I’ve also seen classically elegant rooms like this one.

What I’m not sure about is all of the things I see on American blogs using layered laces and trims, chippy paint, and white, white, white. I’m pretty sure that there is more to French decorating than that.

I feel as though I’m going out on a very thin limb here, and maybe I’ll fall off with a big thud. Or maybe not.

I’m eager to find out what people are buying in Provence and Paris and I hope to post photos for you to see.

Or do we care?

My mother-in-law did, and as a result, my house is full of beautiful Provencal furniture and dishes from France. And none of them is painted white or is chippy.

I can’t wait to find out. That is one of the reasons for travel — to find out what one does not know.

Are you with me on this?

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9 thoughts on “What Makes You Think That Is French?

  1. I’ve never traveled to France, either, so I have absolutely no idea what the real skinny is. All I know is from movies and documentaries where the inside of homes are shown. They’re all different, just like here in the U.S. I’ve seen some that are really much like one might fantasize, and others that make you wonder what country the house is in! 🙂 I have an FB friend who lives in Paris near the Dordoge River, and their home is very sophisticated and elegant, but no layers of lace, etc. My Mom, sister, cousins and niece have been to France, and that didn’t seem to be their impression, either. I’d be interested in what you find!

  2. Ha ha, good for you. Personally, I think what North America decorates as ‘French’ is really a fashion label that started out with the basics and bloomed into more of a trendy thing. But, it will certainly be interesting to see what you discover. I doubt you’ll find the shabby white kitchens and clocks that say chateau and numbered baskets, but I’ve been wrong before : ) Have fun, enjoy yourself and bring us back lots of pictures.

  3. Oh how exciting. I would love to go to France, and even if we don’t decorate like they do, it’s fun. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Hugs, marty

  4. You are so right!!! I was there once, and the people are VERY careful with their possessions and keep them neat and in order. Chippy is not in their vocabulary. Yes, they use “things” until they are worn out, but they carefully paint and patch and everything looks pristine!! Don’t get me wrong…you CAN see the use of the centuries, but it doesn’t look like beat up worn out junk!!
    Thank you for giving the Europeans a nice compliment!
    J

  5. Pingback: What Makes You Think That Is French? — Part Deux | The Seasoned Dish

  6. Pingback: Friday with Friends: A Textural Tablescape | The Seasoned Dish

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