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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 11

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lighting ~

French Country interior lighting comes in many styles just like French Country exterior lighting on last Friday's French Design on Friday. A French château is one place to look for authentic French design for interior lighting and no château better to view than my favorite, Chenonceau. 


Deep in the heart of the Loire Valley of France, renowned for châteaux built by French royalty, Château de Chenonceau was built centuries before electrical lighting. Imagine the chandeliers in the gallery with candles flickering above an extravagant soirée hosted by Catherine de' Medici, widow of King Henry II. She loved giving spectacular nighttime parties at the castle. 

Oh, the stories Chenonceau could tell. 

Henry II gave the château to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. When Henry died, his widow Catherine, forced Diane to move to another château so she could live at Chenonceau. 

Used by Permission, Source: Dennis Beaty

The gallery spans the River Cher and was used by the French to escape Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The front door of the château was on the German side of France, and the door at the end of the gallery opened into the woods of "free" France on the opposite side of the river. 


Larger triple-tiered chandeliers light a gourmet restaurant that once was the orangerie for the castle. The restaurant is open March to mid-November with reservations, extra euros, and plenty of time for a meal recommended. 

Who wouldn't love lunching in these surroundings? The chandeliers are understated elegance and the center of attention. The black iron structure with white candle sleeves on curved arms does not have any crystals to distract from the graceful design. 

You can hardly pull your eyes away from the chandeliers to see the rest of the beautiful architecture of the building and the impeccable French style of the table settings. 


Where do you find a French design chandelier... Without going to France? Here are some from {no affiliation} that are similar to the chandeliers of Chenonceau. 

Source: Quorum International on  

Source: Feiss on


Come back each Friday for more snapshots of French architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes... and discover inspiration for creating 

a French-inspired garden and home. 


Do you like your chandeliers understated or with lots of crystals?


  1. How funny the Queen booted the mistress out of the castle!

  2. This is such a timely post for me! Did you see the chandeliers that I shared for our kitchen? Now I'm having second thoughts that they might be a little too embellished. These that you've shared are so simple and beautiful. I need to really think about this.

  3. This is, out of all the castles I've visited my favorite. I loved everything about it, especially the kitchen. When I was there all the fireplaces had fires lit and fresh flowers in every room. I love the history of this castle!
    Happy Spring.......

  4. Judith, I found this post particularly timely, as one of my Panoply sisters is in France this week with her daughter and grandson, and this was one of the Chateaus visited. I enjoyed my niece's photos on FB, but didn't know the history until now. I immediately caught that lead photo, though, as my niece captured that same breathtaking view!
    Have a great weekend.


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