Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 25

Friday, August 18, 2017

Architecture 
~ ribbed vaulted ceilings ~


Architectural features of massive castles, cathedrals, and municipal buildings are awe inspiring. With our heads tilted back to take in all of the lofty vaulted ceilings, we marvel at the engineering as well as the beauty.  French designs over the ages sometimes took generations of architects and masons to complete their grand designs, leaving behind buildings of such magnitude and beauty they still stand centuries later. 



saint-eustache-paris-france

French Chair for a Desk

Monday, August 14, 2017


...a versatile chair with French style can fit several places in a French-inspired garden and home... 

even as a desk chair 


Finding a French style chair for a desk may be easier than you think. You just have to know where to look... beyond antique French chairs in French flea markets. Instead of looking at flea markets for vintage chairs or at office furniture stores for new chairs, look at dining chairs. 




french-style-carved-wood-details-around-cane-back-chair

French Design on Friday 24

Friday, August 11, 2017


Cuisine 

~ Dining en plein air
Knowing the culture


Sidewalk cafes are synonymous with France. Thus, synonymous with French design. Dining en plein air (in the outdoor air) is prevalent in cities, towns, and villages. No city is too big nor too small for eating outside. No restaurant is too elegant nor too rustic to have outdoor dining. The smallest village has outdoor tables and chairs for its lone restaurant, and metropolitan areas have a variety of outdoor dining options. Settings everywhere can be on terraces, in courtyards, along narrow passageways, overlooking rivers, in town squares, on sidewalks, and in pea gravel gardens.  

French Design a beautiful way to hide wall plugs

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Having lived in several HUMBLE abodes while growing up in rural Alabama, I appreciate all the modern conveniences in new houses including electrical wall plugs. However, I do not like wall plugs to take center stage in my French-inspired garden and home. 




french-design-flower-pot-white-hydrangeas
French-style white ceramic pots filled with "garden grower" extra large white hydrangeas are meant to be the center of attention in my modern home. The large medallion on the vase/pot is much more pleasing to see than a conveniently-placed wall plug. 

DIY Shell Clothespins

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Inspiration for do-it-yourself projects is born from using what you have to create what you need or want. At least that is how DIY shell clothespins came about at my house, and I love how they turned out. 

Everyday I think of another way to use them, and one of my readers commented she wanted to make some to give as a gift to a family member. So, here is how to make the super cute shell clothespins. 




diy-shell-clothespins-title-photos

DIY French Coastal Banner

Monday, July 17, 2017


La  Mer
the sea 

In the heat of summer the sea calls with its pounding waves, seagull squeals, salty spray, and beaches cooled by swirling waters. 

To capture the lure of the sea and to bring it home, display an easy to make DIY French coastal banner both inside and outside. La mer (the sea) will refresh your mind and imagination in the midst of summer's heat. 




diy-french-coastal-banner
Collect books about France, white starfish, and a framed French postcard to create an inside vignette surrounding the French-themed coastal banner displayed on a photo stand. 

See a link at the end of the post for downloading a free set of blue and white La Mer letters decorated with fleur de lis. 

French Design on Friday 23

Friday, July 14, 2017

French Celebrations 
~ Bastille Day ~

JULY 14 
le 14 juillet


French design for national celebrations has much in common with national celebrations in the United States, beginning with hurrah for the red, white, and bleu that appears throughout celebrations in both countries. 




three-vintage-french-flags
Both national flags sport red, white, and bleu, but the two bleus are not quite the same shade. The French flag is known as the Tricolore for its equal-sized bands of bleu, white, and red and was born out of the French Revolution in 1789 which was influenced by the American Revolution of 1776.  

Summer Coastal Country Tablesetting

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer... the time for dreaming about the beach and countryside. 


What better way to enjoy the best of summer from the coast AND countryside than to blend the two areas into a bright, cheerful table setting. 




green-hydrangea-blue-canning-jar-summer-coastal-country-tablesetting



blue skies, green trees, aqua waters... 

Summer's best features
whether you are at the coast mesmerized by the ocean
or in the countryside beguiled by loons on the pond  


3 Quick Changes To Coastal From Valentines

Monday, July 10, 2017


Summer is slipping by... 

The last time I looked at the stone shelf in the kitchen it had Valentines, and now summer has slipped past Independence Day moving toward summer vacations and beach time. With just three quick changes, I updated the kitchen stone shelf from Valentines to coastal decor. 




before-after-photos-changing-kitchen-stone-shelf-to-coastal-decor

French Design on Friday 22

Friday, July 7, 2017

Architecture
~Turrets~ 

Is any castle complete without at least one turret? French design for castles through the ages is replete with turrets used as guard towers. Later, turrets appeared in smaller non-royal residences, which were still spacious by today's standards. As late as Haussmann's rebirth of Paris as a modern city begun in 1853 and continued by others through 1927, turrets were still popular architectural features no longer used for security reasons. 




chenonceau-turret-overlooking-river-cher
Chenonceau's main building has turrets at each corner, but the most beautiful turret is the detached ancient guard tower. 

An ALMOST Amazing Sunday

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

{disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. provided me an Advanced Reader Copy of a new book, So Close to Amazing by KariAnne Wood. All opinions, comments, and my amazing Sunday are my own.} 



Some days I barely get my clothes thrown on, let alone any jewelry or make-up, and out the door I dash rushing to the appointed time and place with only seconds to spare. Nothing amazing happening on those days other than arriving in one piece, almost close to the time I should be there. 

But Sunday looked like it was going to be an AMAZING day, an amazing Sunday.  


A Sunday with French élégance, a day in which events slowly and smoothly evolved full of joie de vivre... 




an-almost-amazing-sunday-outfit-sunglasses-gold-buckle-belt-gold-hoop-earrings

French Design on Friday 21

Saturday, June 17, 2017

~ Cuisine ~
Château de Chenonceau 
l'Orangerie Restaurant 


Is there anything more synonymous with France than food? List the top five things France is known for and food will be in the list. Hence, food must be included as part of any discussion of French design. Renowned for le Cordon Bleu cuisine training, Michelin five-star restaurants, Julia Child cookbooks, mouth-watering croissants, sidewalk cafes, neighborhood bistros... France offers delectable meals in a wide-range of settings, all offered with French panache (flamboyant style or manner). 




chocolate-and-blueberry-dome-with-red-fruit-sorbet

French Design on Friday 20

Friday, June 9, 2017

~ Garden ~
Olive Tree Topiary 


French design is instinctive in France, a natural reflection of one's heritage and surroundings. Accepting trendy French Country from non-French designers may or may not provide the look inherit to French homes. For Francophiles who admire French design, we have to study French design for its details if we want authentic French style in our homes. 

How to know if something is French in design can be found by studying photographs taken in France. Truly a picture is worth a thousand words and can offer real insight in French Country, both design and way of life. 

Take a look at how Parisians use olive tree topiaries in their city gardens for ideas on how to create a French-inspired garden in your home. 




garden-olive-tree-topiaries-in-french-design
Gardening in a big city like Paris can be challenging, but containers offer a solution for adding a touch of nature and green to city sidewalks, courtyards, and balconies. Key ingredients in Paris gardening are using hardy plants that 1] withstand harsh city environments of end-to-end paved surfaces and 2] thrive as a container plant.  

Create a Potting Bench in Coastal Colors

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

STEP BY STEP GUIDE 

create-potting-bench-in-coastal-colors
Is functional design all you need to be happy with a potting bench? 

For me, I want a little something special, a little extra ZING, not just function, in any design. We needed a potting bench on our porch, and to give the potting area a little pizzazz, I decided to create a potting area filled with coastal colors. 

French Design on Friday 19

Friday, June 2, 2017

~ Flea Markets ~


Where does one find genuine French design for her home... at a bargain? 

French design spans centuries, and French families inherit furniture, art work, linens, china, and silverware to furnish their homes. Don't have a French ancestor from whom to inherit? Good news. 

French design can be bought at a bargain price. 


Each year in France over 15,000 flea markets, brocantes (second-hand goods), and vide greniers (empty the attic) attract buyers searching for vintage items no longer being passed on to the next generation. 



crystal-chandeliers-at-paris-flea-market
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris, the largest and best known flea market in France, is open every weekend, but commands high prices for quality antiques. 

Monday Social #37

Sunday, May 28, 2017




Change is the only constant in life.
Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

Magnolia Summer Fun on Display

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer is coming... 

And with it comes fun in the sun or rain. This week we went to Magnolia Market in Waco to celebrate a friend's upcoming birthday and saw fabulous Magnolia displays brimming with ideas of how to have summer fun. 



magnolia-market-waco-texas-with-boxwood-planter

Monday Social #36

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Welcome to 

Monday Social #36



French Design on Friday 18

Saturday, May 20, 2017

~ Architecture ~ 
Paris 

Strolling the streets of Paris is as much of a museum visit as going to the Louvre. All of old Paris built between 1853-1927 was a grand French design with broad boulevards, new sewers, canals, parks and squares, and fountains begun with the idea of providing the working class with sanitary living quarters. 



paris-fountain-in-city-park
History proves there were political reasons also, but the sweeping demolition of medieval Paris over a 54-year period gave the world 

the City of Light. 

A beautiful city in which one can get lost staring at the French architecture instead of paying attention to directions for the final destination...  

Tips to Get Hydrangeas to Bloom

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hydrangea season has arrived in the South, and with the arrival of hydrangea blooms each year comes the questions about why doesn't my hydrangea bloom. If you love hydrangeas as much as I do, you are probably very interested in TIPS for getting hydrangeas to bloom... 

and to bloom in your favorite color. 




my-favorite-color-of-hydrangeas-is-pale-blue

Monday Social #35

Sunday, May 14, 2017

  
Welcome to Monday Social #35. 


Happy Mother's Day 
to all the women in our lives who nurtured us. 
Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, teachers, neighbors, friends... 


French Design on Friday 17

Friday, May 12, 2017

~ G A R D E N ~ 
Urn 
Chenonceau 


Château de Chenonceau's beautiful gardens are classic French design with rose tree topiaries, rows of lavender, sculpted boxwood spheres, raised stone urns, and symmetrical planting patterns. 



chenonceau-garden-and-castle
Used by Permission: L. Scott 

A Budget Friendly Moss Topiary

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Ivy and moss topiary shapes catch my attention. I love them, but they can be very expensive. Let me show you how I created a Spring bunny topiary for a fraction of the cost of buying one from Pottery Barn. This was so easy I know you can do it, too.  




low-cost-ivy-moss-bunny-topiary

Fresh Spring Looks (Almost) Without Spending Money

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Fresh Spring looks for your home are possible without spending a lot of money. Is there anyone who does not know about Spring cleaning for a fresh look? Or how about Spring gardening? For just pennies (okay, a few dollars, due to inflation,) those two things work wonders to bring fresh looks to our homes. 

Plus, I have a few other specific ideas, for a total of six things, you might want to try as ways to bring fresh Spring looks to your home without spending a lot of money. 




ivy-moss-bunny-brings-a-fresh-look-to-kitchen

Kitchen New Tile Floor Mimics Stone

Monday, May 8, 2017


Welcome to our kitchen with a new white tile floor. New flooring and new paint are the two things that make the greatest impact in a house design. Either of these change the look of rooms dramatically, and I love the way the new tile transformed our house. 

Previously, the floor was vinyl planks designed to look like wood planks. After several years the vinyl was cracked in a few places and chipped in many places which meant the floor needed to be replaced. 



new-porcelain-tile-floor-in-kitchen-sunspace

Monday Social #34

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Welcome to Monday Social #34. 


Judith at Botanic Bleu  || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Botanic Bleu ||
Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Let's Add Sprinkles ||
Eilis at My Heart Lives Here  || Instagram || Pinterest || My Heart Lives Here || 



Monday Social
is a social gathering of friends where we connect with others by visiting them 
on 
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or a Blog.  

That's right, you do not have to write a blog to participate in Monday Social.
You can also link photos from Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Find the addresses for your friends' sites, and 
link your addresses for friends to find. 

*****

Each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. party goers link up photos from one of four sites, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and/or a Blog.  

Old-fashioned socials were held on/in lawns, porches, parlors, churches... where friends mixed, mingled, and shared their lives... and exchanged their calling cards that gave their names and contact information. 

Monday Social is a 21st century social where we exchange our calling cards (link our URL addresses) for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and a Blog.


*****
The hostess this week is 

Katie Mansfield from Let's Add Sprinkles



I've had a few projects in the works but haven't slowed down enough to stop and post.


I suspect Eilis is in the same boat.
It's May. The busiest time of the year.

Judith @ Botanic Bleu shared gorgeous images of her precious, photogenic kitty.



Thanks for joining us for Monday Social.
We had a wonderful time visiting your links last week.
Let me discuss some of the other social media platforms for a minute.
In this day of cross branding, multiple media platforms are essential.
I hope that by linking to Monday Social you gain followers to your Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts.
Make sure your settings aren't set to private.
Just a quick tip for Facebook.
Make sure you grab the URL for the specific Facebook post not your general Facebook page.
Same is true for Pinterest.
Please make sure it is your own photo and not a photo that is copyright protected.
I hope that helps.
Feel free to message one of us if you have questions.

Let's get to the features.

I just adore this precious wall art idea by Mary @ The Boondocks Blog.


Precious.

This shabby chic globe is just adorable.


Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home is the theme guru.

I love this gift list by Jenny Louis Marie.
Although, I love a good Mason jar, I  had to giggle at "anything in a mason jar."



I'm with her on handbags. Bill rolls his eyes anytime I want a new purse.

Finally,
I love this link party list by Mimi from Home With Mimi


I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your faithfulness to our weekly party.
It has continued steadily for the 9 months that we have been hosting.
Please give us a shout out if it has been a good party for you.

*****

Party Directions

We would love for you to FOLLOW all your hostesses on their blogs at least one way ... 
Bloglovin', email subscription, URL, Google Friend Connect, Google+, etc...

And FOLLOW each hostess on at least one social medium.
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest


Please read how to be a good guest before linking to the party. 

1] Link a maximum of 5 photos that take party goers to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or a Blog. 
    Share home decor, DIY, recipes, inspirational thoughts... whatever is going on in your world.   

2] You do NOT have to write a blog to link up photos to Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook.
     Isn't this great? More people can join the gathering. Just grab the web address and link away.

3] Monday Social attendees visit sites linked to the party and socialize ... 
    Suggested ways for mixing and mingling ...
  • Instagram - comment on a photo or Regram another person's Instagram ...
  • Facebook - comment on a post or share a post on Facebook back to your Facebook site ...
  • Pinterest - re-Pin another person's Pin on Pinterest...
  • Blog - comment on another person's Blog...
  • Make a regular connection with a site that inspired you by following the site.
4] No direct links to linky parties or advertising including Etsy shops.

5] By joining the party, you are agreeing that the photos are yours or that you have permission to use them, that we may use those photos to feature your work on a blog post and/or in social media. The blog post will always have a link back to you. Remember to disable "no reply" to your email so we can reach you.

6] Not required, but we would love for everyone to invite their readers to join the party and to share the Monday Social button on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blog sites.


*****
Need help linking to the party? See Monday Social Linky that explains how to link up Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blog photos.

Thank you for your support of our party. 
Katie 

Link Away! 





French Design on Friday 16

Saturday, May 6, 2017


~ G A R D E N ~ 
Furniture 
Chenonceau 

Sidewalk cafes, bistro chairs, and outdoor umbrellas all come to mind whenever I think about French meals because the French are renowned for dining outside. Last summer, we saw some beautiful French design garden/patio furniture at the Château Chenonceau when we had lunch at the gourmet restaurant, l'Orangerie, on the castle's grounds. 




french-style-patio-tables-chairs-at-chenonceau

Callie the Model Cat

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Often when you least expect it, something good happens in your life. Like Callie, the model cat, coming to live with me. 

Not all pets are model pets. Callie had a litter of kittens, and two of them also made me their person. As much as I love them, they are not model cats like their mother Callie. 


Now, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would become a cat lady in my old age, but here I am, 

a cat lady with a model cat
and two not-model cats.   

Living Room Oak Floor Renovation Finished

Monday, May 1, 2017


The living room oak floor renovation is finished, and we love how it turned out. The room feels so much brighter with the fresh white wash finish, but there are still follow-up things to do. 




The living room furniture is back in place, but not all of the room's accessories are back in place. Since all of the furniture had to be moved out of the room for the floor to be sanded, stained, and sealed, this is a great opportunity to make some changes. 

Monday Social #33

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome to Monday Social #33. 


Judith at Botanic Bleu  || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Botanic Bleu ||
Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Let's Add Sprinkles ||
Eilis at My Heart Lives Here  || Instagram || Pinterest || My Heart Lives Here || 



Monday Social
is a social gathering of friends where we connect with others by visiting them 
on 
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or a Blog.  


*****
The hostess this week is 

Eilis from My Heart Lives Here



This week I shared the centerpieces from a recent party at our house

.





Judith at Botanic Bleu shared great sources for the look of French garden chairs.








Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles shared how she used guitar straps for handbags.








Now for this week's features:


Sarah at Hycinth for the Soul shared her lovely glass basket vases on Pinterest. 
My Kentucky Living shared happy memories of her grandfather's farm on Instagram.
Cecilia at My Thriftstore Addiction shared a wonderful birthday celebration for her mom.

Jeanie at The Marmelade Gypsy shared her fun visit to Southern Exposure.  Look at the goodies she got to make and take.


*****

Party Directions

Come as you are.
In your cocktail dress, boot-scooting boots, or your jammies, but
remember your party manners, and do the following, please.

We would love for you to FOLLOW all your hostesses on their blogs at least one way ... 
Bloglovin', email subscription, URL, Google Friend Connect, Google+, etc...

And FOLLOW each hostess on at least one social medium.
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest


Please read how to be a good guest before linking to the party. 

1] Link a maximum of 5 photos that take party goers to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or a Blog. 
    Share home decor, DIY, recipes, inspirational thoughts... whatever is going on in your world.   

2] You do NOT have to write a blog to link up photos to Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook.
     Isn't this great? More people can join the gathering. Just grab the web address and link away.

3] Monday Social attendees visit sites linked to the party and socialize ... 
    Suggested ways for mixing and mingling ...
  • Instagram - comment on a photo or Regram another person's Instagram ...
  • Facebook - comment on a post or share a post on Facebook back to your Facebook site ...
  • Pinterest - re-Pin another person's Pin on Pinterest...
  • Blog - comment on another person's Blog...
  • Make a regular connection with a site that inspired you by following the site.
4] No direct links to linky parties or advertising including Etsy shops.

5] By joining the party, you are agreeing that the photos are yours or that you have permission to use them, that we may use those photos to feature your work on a blog post and/or in social media. The blog post will always have a link back to you. Remember to disable "no reply" to your email so we can reach you.

6] Not required, but we would love for everyone to invite their readers to join the party and to share the Monday Social button on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blog sites.


*****
Need help linking to the party? See Monday Social Linky that explains how to link up Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blog photos.

Please keep in mind that Pinterest and Instagram photos must be your own to be featured.

Link Away!