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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Hearts on the Table... With French Connections

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hearts of all kinds find their way to my house. 

Wood hearts, carved hearts, paper hearts, metal hearts, 
small hearts, large hearts, flower vase hearts ... 

A few arrive as gifts, some come as travel souvenirs, 
and many come from office supply or gift stores. 

Even though the skies are bright blue, horizon to horizon, 
and the temperatures are predicted to be in the 70s for the next three days, 
it is February which calls for heart decorations. 

The collection of hearts on the breakfast table includes many 

French connections and inspiration.  

Neutral Colors 

While red and pink are the expected colors for February hearts, 
neutral colored hearts in a white ceramic bowl give a French feel to the collection. 


A natural-colored linen heart with bonheur (happiness) embroidered on it 
is one of two hearts in the bowl that came from France. 

While touring lavender fields in Provence
our small tour group stopped for lunch at a hilltop village 
that overlooked lavender fields we had just walked through that morning. 


With great bonheur, I found a small boutique de souvenirs (gift shop) 
filled with items handmade in France and bought several hearts. 

The hand-carved wooden angel wings peeking over the bonheur heart 
came from the same boutique. 

Distressed white-washed finish 

The wooden white-washed heart is the second heart in the bowl 
that came from the Provence area boutique. 

A close-up shows the natural honey-colored wood grain that blends with the 
pine posts and beams throughout our house and French country houses.  

Blend of materials 

The hearts on the table include linen, wood, metal, twine, and paper materials... 
a wonderful mix of refined embroidery, rustic metal, carved wood, and modern paper. 

A typical French approach to a collection is to include old and new, 
rustic and refined, simple and elaborate, blending them together harmoniously. 

Attention to details 

A hallmark of French design is attention to details that lifts the ordinary to extraordinary, 
making a common-place item elegant, setting it apart from other lackluster similar items. 

While the white paper hearts may or may not be French, 
their design reflects French inspiration. 

The extra thickness of the paper, the tonal texture of the paper's pattern, 
and the pinked edges of the heart elevate the paper heart far above the usual paper heart. 

Hearts on the breakfast table fill me with happiness 
and remind me of elegant French design. 

Does French design appeal to you? 
If yes, what do you like most about French design? 

Have you heard?  
There is a new linking party that started 

Thursday, February 11, 2016 

Four of my friends who are also Texas bloggers 
will be hosting 

Thoughts of Home on Thursday

Everyone is invited. 
Their button grabbed me right away... all that beautiful blue. 

Hope to see you there. 

Botanic Bleu will be.... 

celebrating friendship, decorating, recipes, gardening, and inspiration. 


Please join me at these inspiring sites...





  1. If there is anything better than a collection of neutral hearts, it has to be that the collection includes some from Provence! Lovely post. I am following you on Google Friend Connect. Eilis@MyHeartLivesHere

  2. A truly beautiful and heartfelt collection. I love the memories associated with each piece. Thank you so very much for the wonderful shout out!

    Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. OMGoodness!
    Be still my heart!
    This post is so dear and beautiful, my friend!
    A lovely heartfelt Valentine, setting me to gather linen and thread for the making!
    Happy Valentines Day, Judith!

  4. They are lovely together ~ and with wonderful memories as well!

  5. Beautiful. Those are the sort of souvenir that I love - small enough to take up little room but huge in impact when brought home. I think I'd like to sit with a cup of herbal tea and just gaze at the bowl of hearts, if they were mine.

  6. Well of course I love French inspiration too! I need way more of that white washed wood tone in my life. I prefer white valentines as well. You have a lovely collection displayed here.

  7. Love the bowl of hearts
    I love France because they seen to keep items from generation to generation no matter how old it is which we all love today

  8. I love hearts and those are so cute and the bowl they are in is so adorable.

  9. I am in agreement with you Judith as to the natural textiles, and fibers, salvaged from woods, clays, and fabrics giving these hearts more of a connection to a linage of feeling more connected to a French language of LOVE! the tones are well suited with your natural wood tones and bleus of your homes country French style.....

    Love the hearts piled together, nothing says Valentine Love then February 14 and a bowl full of hearts.

    See you soon, and the beauty you share.
    Looking forward to your beautiful spring weather and your Garden house.



  10. Oh Judith! You are the dearest! (Tu es mon "encourageur"!) This morning I began the process of re-building my blogroll. WP is not quite as user friendly as Blogger. I guess the best way I can state it is . . . the move also brought the challenge of a new and different thought process. It's slow going . . . but I know one day I will be in the groove.
    Wishing the best of blessings to "mon encourageur"!

  11. Ah! . . . I neglected to add . . . Presently the building process of my blogroll is in a category of it's own not yet ready for display on my sidebar quite yet!

  12. I am loving those adorable hearts! Thanks so much for linking up to the Table It Link Party and hope you have a great day!

  13. I love bowls full of hearts and I particularly like those you have shown.

    Thanks for sharing at SYC.

  14. Beautiful hearts! They look gorgeous together!
    Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  15. This line jumped right out at me: A hallmark of French design is attention to details that lifts the ordinary to extraordinary,
    making a common-place item elegant, setting it apart from other lackluster similar items.

    Attention to detail describes your blog posts, my friend. Your posts are always beautiful as are the hearts.

    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.


  16. I'm a heart girl and have them all over the house. Yours are beautiful and I love that bowl you have them in. Love this.

  17. I'm a heart girl and have them all over the house. Yours are beautiful and I love that bowl you have them in. Love this.

  18. I love these hearts! They are all so pretty and I really like the different textures. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! Hope to see you again tonight!


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