Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 15

Friday, April 28, 2017

~ G A R D E N ~ 
Paris Garden Chair 

With each day in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather grows warmer, and more people are sprucing up their yards, gardens, porches, terraces, and decks to enjoy being outside. How about you? 

Are you looking for some garden chairs with classic French design for your outdoor spaces? If yes, you are in for a treat. Even if you are not looking for garden chairs, you may enjoy visiting a Paris garden for a few minutes. 

French Design on Friday this week takes a look at Parisian garden chairs that are enjoyed immensely by both the French and tourists visiting France. 

Sources for authentic chair replicas are included for anyone wanting to add an authentic French design to their gardens, but for those of us on a strict budget, a source for a SIMILAR chair at a great price is also included. 


White Snapdragons Inside a White Metal Urn

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My sister saw some white ceramic planters at Home Goods and after thinking about them all night, decided, "Yes, I have to have them." That is how our next day began that ended with white snapdragons inside a white metal urn. 


French Design on Friday 14

Friday, April 21, 2017

~ G A R D E N ~ 
Window Boxes 

How do we know what French design is? For those of us who love French design, how do we decide how to create our flower gardens to replicate French style? Traveling to France to see gardens first hand is the best way, but what if travel is not an option? 

And for those fortunate to travel to France, once we get home, how do we remember what we saw? Or, how do we discover what we overlooked while traveling? 

P H O T O G R A P H S 

Photographs taken in France help us recognize French design and allow us to study the French style repeatedly. Occasionally, the camera captures something our mind's eye overlooked at the time, but is revealed in a photograph. Each Friday, Botanic Bleu shares photos taken in France and then, shares photos of ways to incorporate similar French designs into our own homes and gardens. 

Sarlat, France

Half Bath with New French Style

Thursday, April 20, 2017

In early March I began renovating our half bath to give it a new French style. Little by little I have been updating each room in the house from an American Country style to a French Country style, and the guest half bath is the latest room for French-inspired updates. 

And here are the results... 

F I V E  Major Changes 

❶ New Mirror 
Exchanging a vintage hand-carved pine mirror for a new white metal French-style mirror was the first of the five major changes to the bathroom. The pine mirror was once part of a natural-finish pine washstand, a classic American Country piece of furniture found in modest early American homes. 

The carved pine vanity, blue sink, and faucets have not been changed.

French Design on Friday 13

Friday, April 14, 2017

~ G A R D E N ~ 

Remember one of the two key elements of French design in a garden is structure?  French-style garden structure is achieved by sculpted plants and by geometrical garden designs. Espalier is a specialized form of both sculpted plants and a geometrical garden design.   

  1. 1.
    a fruit tree or ornamental shrub whose branches are trained to grow flat against a wall, supported on a lattice or a framework of stakes.
  1. 1.
    train (a tree or shrub) to grow flat against a wall. 
Source: Google 

Examples of espalier abound in public gardens throughout France. One well-known garden is the kitchen garden at Château Chenonceau that is bordered by apple trees espaliered along a low wire. 

5 Joys of Spring Porch Living

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring is a time for enjoying the great outdoors and no better place than on a covered porch... especially in Texas. In the good ole summertime, Texas will be sizzling, but the months of March and April are perfect months for 

5 joys of Spring porch living 

Lazing on a chaise lounge 
There is nothing more relaxing than stretching out on a cushioned chaise lounge surrounded by fresh green Spring leaves under blue skies. Temperatures in the 70s and low 80s invite soaking in all of Mother Nature's new greenery. Letting your mind wander as you breath in the fresh Spring air rejuvenates body, soul, spirit, and 

r e a t i v i t y

Or, a soft chaise lounge is a perfect spot for an outdoor nap to re-energize. 

Refinished Oak Floor in the Living Room

Monday, April 10, 2017

Upkeep to houses is an never ending task, and updates can set into motion a series of interconnected renovations. That's how refinishing the oak floor in the living room came about at my house. What began as a half bath renovation quickly spread to include a complete update of all the flooring on the first floor of the house.  

Yesterday the contractor sanded the living room floor, applied white oak stain, and applied the first coat of clear polyurethane satin sealer.  Here is how the floor looked at that stage. I love it! 

Half Bath Update Progress

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Do you enjoy seeing what others do to update their houses?  I do, and can spend hours reading about kitchen and bathroom updates in magazines, online, and on Pinterest. We are in the progress of updating our half bath. 

Of course, once you start an update, one thing leads to another, and before you know it, more than a half bath is being updated. 

The flooring contractors are removing old flooring, scraping, pounding, and repairing sub-flooring today. This is the second day of removing old flooring and getting the sub-floor ready for new tile as part of the half bath update.  

New tile flooring is the biggest renovation for the half bath update to change the style from American Country to French Country. After looking at thousands (no exaggeration) of flooring options online and in local stores, I chose Rialto White porcelain tile to cover the floor in the half bath, utility room, mudroom, entry, and kitchen... almost 500 square feet of new tile.