Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Fall French Style Plate Stand

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Easy, inexpensive Fall decorating on a 

French-style plate stand takes mere minutes. 

The French-style plant stand that became a plate stand in my kitchen holds my white china which makes it super easy to add seasonal touches to it.  Everything goes with white! 

There is no easier way to add Fall to the French-style plate stand than with those adorable, everybody's favorite, white Baby Boo pumpkins. 

Easy inexpensive fall decor on a french style plate stand with white dishes
White dishes on a gray zinc metal French-style stand is the ultimate neutral combination that can change to a colorful display in an instant, a blink of the eye. Just place colorful small objects in the dishes. 

But not for this Fall. No color . . . just more white. 

White Sunflowers for Fall Breakfast Sunspace

Sunday, October 14, 2018

For three Falls I have searched for white sunflowers after seeing some real ones online, but with no luck. I found faux ones at Hobby Lobby, and they had huge flower heads, but they weren't what I had in my mind. Does that happen to you? You see something that captures your imagination and you search for it? Have visions of seeing it in your home? 

And nothing else will do? 

white sunflowers add french country fall to a breakfast sunspace
Then, quite by accident this week, I found real white sunflowers when I was not even looking for them. 

French Inspired Fall Living Room

Thursday, October 11, 2018

F R E N C H   I N S P I R E D 

F A L L   L I V I N G   R O O M 

Fall is in the air in Texas. On cue for October, we have had buckets of rain (October is our rainiest month) and are headed to cooler temperatures with highs in the 50s later this week. 

Yes, Fall has arrived and with it the third annual Fall In Love With Texas home tour organized by my good blogging friend, Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles. See the links at the end of the post for the full schedule. Thanks, Katie, for inviting me to join.  

As a new season arrives, I feel the urge to decorate to match the season. Do you? And, the fastest, easiest way to decorate for a season, including Fall, is to add fresh flowers. Nothing can update my French-inspired living room for a new season better than flowers and plants. 

Even if nothing else is added to a room, fresh flowers and plants instantly set the season by using ones appearing in gardens at that time of year. 

Voilà, instant fresh seasonal decor.  

french inspired fall living room ornamental ruffled kale in french style urn
To give my living room a little extra zing this Fall, I used ruffled ornamental kale in a large French-style urn instead of using Fall's usual starring flower, chrysanthemums, as a centerpiece.  

Fall Front Porch Decorating Ideas in Color

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Looking for some fresh decorating ideas in color for giving your fall front porch and entry an inviting look? Instead of decorating for fall with the expected orange, brown, and yellow colors, how about using mums in colors that go with your front door? Then adding pumpkins and gourds in green and white?  

Ready to try something different? 

I have some ideas to share with you for how to add great Fall decor in unexpected colors. 

And, over 20 other bloggers are also sharing fabulous ideas for Fall. One of my good blogging friends and fellow lover of French Country, Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home, is hosting a tour all about Fall GREAT OUTDOORS. And she invited me to join in the fun! 

Isn't Fall spectacular?!  See the links at the end of the post for more Fall decorating inspiration from all across the country. 

Are you coming from Laura at Decor to Adore with her Fall in Love With France home tour? Then you know one of the many reasons Laura and I are good friends . . .  We both love France! 

But, that is not the only reason. She is a beautiful, gracious lady who spreads sunshine with her cheerfulness and support of others. 

Laura and I live close enough to meet for lunch with one another and our other north Texas blogging friends. We always have a good time eating, laughing, and sharing ideas with one another. 

Now, time to see those decorating ideas in color I promised. 

B O N J O U R 

welcome to my Fall front porch 

fall front porch decorating ideas in color
Keep reading to see how I refreshed my entry garden and took the front entry from plain functional to an inviting colorful entry decorated with Fall colors . . . that complement my front door. 

French Country Vintage Garden Bench

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Long before I ever went to France and before I knew what French Country design was, I shopped for vintage furniture with character, furniture made to last, furniture with style. 

All within the budget of a young married couple starting out. 

Which meant shopping at garage sales, flea markets, model home sales, and antique sales. Which is where I came to buy what is now my French Country vintage garden bench. 

french country vintage garden bench from an iron bed
The red iron bench did not start out as a bench; it started out as an iron bed. Over thirty-five years ago someone reworked the bed frame, repurposed the bed into a bench, and gave it a new life. 

Fall French Country Kitchen | Ornamental Kale

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fall officially arrived last week, and Fall arrived in my country kitchen as well, in the form of fresh vegetables used as decor. Potted ornamental kale in shades of purple and green sit on the island and the shelf behind the sink . 

The kale reminds me of French country potagers (vegetable gardens) where French families grow fresh vegetables in neatly structured plots for their daily meals. 

fall french country kitchen decorated with ornamental kale

French Inspired Fall Window Box | Step By Step

Friday, September 21, 2018

Window boxes are possible at my house, but only for limited seasons of the year. Fall is one of those seasons, and this year I created a window box, with lots of help from my professional florist sister, for the front of my house. 

We love how it turned out! 

create a beautiful fall window basket filled by pansies, kale, ivy
One of the things I enjoy about France, and all of Europe, is the abundance of gardens and flowers in every city, town, and small village. In Paris, it seems window boxes are everywhere, from large hotels to the tiniest apartment balconies. I come home with picture after picture and am always inspired to create my own window box at my house. 

This Fall is THE year I created a French inspired window box.   

In case you are inspired, too, and want ideas how to create a window box for your house, take a look at how we created my front entry window box. I took photos at almost every step of the process to share with you.  

Fall Entry Garden Curb Appeal

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fall is one of the two best times for adding new plants to gardens and a good time for looking at the curb appeal of your entry garden. Before adding colorful fall mums, pumpkins, and door wreaths, refresh the whole front entry porch and entry garden space to welcome visitors for upcoming fall and winter holidays. 

And to prepare your front entry for the harsh weather to come. 

Fall entry garden curb appeal with a blue painted door and antique brick porch

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe | Family Favorite

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Some recipes become family favorites from the very first time the recipe is served. If your family likes banana pudding, you may find this made-from-scratch recipe becomes their favorite just like it has been a favorite dessert for my family from the first time I served it as a young bride. 

Let's just leave it at MANY years ago . . . 

made from scratch favorite banana pudding recipe

Inspiring Creativity | No. 3

Monday, September 3, 2018

With the firm belief creativity can be nurtured, this is a series that features inspiring creativity from bloggers who share their visions and how they create them. With insightful words and images they not only create, they inspire others to create. 

This third part of the Inspiring Creativity series is filled with beautiful ideas for celebrating Fall. And, best of all, you will see HOW this featured 'inspiring mind' creates her works of seasonal decor, cooks delicious Fall recipes, and gathers props, with photography tips, for shooting captivating images of it all. 

Paper Crafting Pumpkin Book Art 

Architectural Salvage | French Country Style

Friday, August 24, 2018

To add instant character with some French country style to a modern-built house, incorporate architectural salvage pieces in your decor. Your house may not have wood beams, plaster walls, or limestone floors, but vintage architectural fragments can be used to give your house French country charm. 

architectural salvage french country style
A hand-carved wood fragment can be turned into a lamp base, a candle holder, or used as an accent by itself. 

French Country Kitchen Summer to Fall

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Transitioning from summer to fall is often so subtle in my French Country kitchen in Texas you may miss it. Yet, there are a few changes already at my house now in August.  

If you are ready for some small changes from summer in your home, but are not ready for pumpkins and mums, I have a few ideas you may like for how to ease into fall decorating. 

French Country Kitchen Summer to Fall White Canisters and Gray Linens

Pantry Makeover Plans

Friday, August 17, 2018

Spring is not the only time for deep cleaning a house. After taking a discerning look at my kitchen pantry, I realized a deep cleaning and makeover were way past overdue. 

It has only been 30 years since the interior was painted. 

Pantry in French Country Kitchen with limestone wall makeover plans
Here is the pantry door... just to the left of the stone wall in the kitchen.

Pine Chest Vignettes | Fall and Winter

Sunday, August 12, 2018

F A L L   &   W I N T E R  


Pine Chest Vignette for Fall with Boo Boo Pumpkins
Last week you saw Part 1, Spring & Summer, vignettes on the pine chest that sits between my living room and kitchen. All with tips for how, where, and why to place items in arrangements. 

Here is Part 2, a collection of fall and winter vignettes. The collection is filled with easy to find, easy to do, and inexpensive items, and every arrangement has tips about how to create similar ones in your home.

Pine Chest Vignette Tips | Spring and Summer

Sunday, August 5, 2018

S P R I N G   &   S U M M E R 


As the seasons change, so does the vignette on the pine chest at the end of my stone fireplace. A few things stay the same year round. The lily print, the small lamp, and a varying stack of books anchor the chest's arrangements as seasons come and go. 

PIne Chest Vignette Tips Spring and Summer
As you look through the photos of how the pine chest vignettes changed during spring and summer of years past, watch the book stack go up and down in number and in change of titles. Notice also the changes in the base of the lamp. 

One of the ways I find ideas for new arrangements is by studying Instagram, Pinterest, and other blogs. Invariably something catches my eye and sparks a vision for the top of my pine chest. And, if the photographer/writer shares bits of her design process, I take note for ways to improve my own. Thank you, StoneGable,Home is Where the Boat Is, My French Country Home, . . . 

Then I dissect my mental notes for patterns, techniques, and principles. 

Just like attending interior design classes, but in my nightgown curled up in bed.  

You may find some of my insight for creating vignettes helpful to you in creating your own vignettes.  

Late Summer Patriotic Porch Ideas

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The beginning of August is not really late summer, but now is the time to think about your late summer patriotic porch ideas. 

Labor Day is a perfect time to decorate with patriotic items. By getting your ideas together now, you can decorate before Labor Day so you can enjoy the way your porch looks for several days, not just for the three-day weekend. 

five late summer patriotic porch ideas
PIN ⤴ to your patriotic board so you can find these ideas again. 

Ready to see ideas of how to give your porch a patriotic look? 

Summer French Country Living Room

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Summer in Texas is always HOT, and some summers hotter than others. The past few summers have been mild and spoiled us with temperatures that did not sizzle for prolonged stretches. 

But this summer's extreme heat is making up for those mild summer days and is playing a role in how my living room looks this summer. 

To help keep my French Country living room cooler during triple digit temperature days, we close the curtains. 

Summer French Country Living Room Closed Curtains
This summer has already broken highest temperature records on some days in July, and it looks like we are headed to break more records in days to come. 

New Backyard Retaining Wall With Old World Charm

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Even though it has been over a 100° for several days, we still have yard work to do. The backyard stone retaining wall had been listing for a few years, but this winter totally collapsed in two places. 

No getting around it any longer. The wall had to be replaced with a new one. The purpose of the retaining wall and terraces is to direct water away from the house and to control the direction rain water flows. 

Part of the dilemma was how to replace the old weathered Austin limestone wall with a new wall that would also have some old world charm of its own. 

Something French-inspired, but within the budget. 

Backyard Retaining Wall Blended With Existing Stone Wall With Old World Charm

Chandelier Envy

Friday, July 20, 2018

Chandeliers have never been high on my Wish List, until recently.  What do you do when you suddenly realize you have chandelier envy?

When you realize chandeliers in living rooms, over dining tables, in bathrooms, and even in greenhouses are classic French Country decor, you realize you NEED chandeliers to transform your American Country house to a French Country maison (home).

There are two chandeliers in my house already in the swing loft. I like them quite a lot, but they are not filled with French Country charm. 

chandelier envy for a french country style not a hunting lodge style
The fixture came with crystals, but I left them off. The crystals give a more formal look than I wanted for my post-and-beam country house when we installed the chandelier. 

Now, I am rethinking the crystals since they may give a little more French Country look than the bare metal branches. 

Blue Front Door Wreath | Door Trim Color

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Entry ways and porches provide protection from inclement weather, but they also welcome visitors to our homes. How do you say welcome to my home at your front door? 

Nothing is more welcoming than a pretty floral wreath. 

A grapevine with live flowers and greenery gathered from the yard made a fresh unexpected wreath for our blue front door earlier this spring. 

live flowers in a grapevine wreath on a blue front door
Granted, fresh floral arrangements on a front door last only a few days depending upon the outside temperatures, but live flowers and greens make a show-stopping arrangement to greet guests as they arrive for special occasions, like the book club meeting at my house.   

Every member of my book club commented on the wreath as they came into the house for our monthly meeting. They paused, touched, smelled, and examined the wreath. 

Several people were surprised the flowers were real, but some knew immediately because they could smell the flowers and herbs.  

Bastille Day Fireworks at Eiffel Tower

Saturday, July 14, 2018

J U L Y  1 4

bastille day fireworks at eiffel tower

What we know as Bastille Day in the United States is known as La Fête nationale française in France and is celebrated with  a concert and spectacular fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. 

If you love France or love fireworks, you will love the YouTube video of the 2017 La Fête national française - Paris - Tour Eiffel - 14 juillet 2017 (Feu d'artifice)  

The video begins with the crowd singing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, followed by a live concert choreographed with fireworks at the Eiffel Tower for over thirty minutes. 

View in full screen so you can see the large outdoor screens at the bottom of each side of the picture. Those screens show aerial views. 

One of my favorite fireworks display during the presentation occurs around 4:45 minutes. 

b o n   f ê t e  

Greenhouse Dreams | Foxgloves, Chandelier, Glass Table

Thursday, July 12, 2018

When you daydream of a perfect greenhouse, do you see old pots, reclaimed glass French doors, chippy cabinets, brick floor, baskets, and foxgloves growing in sunlight? A rustic retreat filled with a jumble of clay pots, potting soil, seedlings, and watering cans scattered about in disarray on weathered wood shelves?  

Or do you see deep burgundy painted walls, white shelves, a carved pedestal with a glass top, plants in French urns, and a chandelier? Not so much rustic, but rather a working space in a well-worn gentil  (genteel) French florist greenhouse? 

greenhouse dreams with foxgloves and burgundy walls

Garden Shed Fresh Paint

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

G A R D E N   S H E D   F R E S H   P A I N T 

and a new exterior light fixture 

The garden shed, known affectionately as the Jardin Château by my family, needed some fresh paint after braving the first six winters of its new life. 

The beautiful little Jardin Château is home to my French Country Christmas Event each December, and you have seen lots of pretty pictures of it decked out in its finest. 

Today you are getting to see real life and how to deal with it so the little shed will continue to be beautiful for many more years. 

garden shed before fresh paint
The French doors were looking a little shabby due to their paint exposed to the elements. 

Plus, the fascia board above the front French doors was suffering from moisture damage and beginning to look a little moldy. 

Inspiring Creativity | No. 2

Sunday, July 8, 2018

This second part of the series Inspiring Creativity takes you behind-the-scenes to see the process of how a creativity team makes magic come alive in their inspiring decorations, photographs, and space transformations. 

Swans Swimming Tablescape 

While imagination is the spark that begins an idea, a table setting, or a large-scale backdrop, good old-fashioned hard work transforms an idea into creative reality. Along the way, revisions, re-dos, and improvisations bring an evolving creation to its finished state. 

Blue Silk Roman Shade Details

Friday, July 6, 2018

B L U E   S I L K   R O M A N   S H A D E 
for the master bathroom small window 

One more thing is accomplished on the master bathroom small vanity area to-do list. The changes to the small vanity area began in March of this year, almost four months ago. The original to-do list has been tweaked with new to-dos, but replacing the cotton balloon valance with a more French country look window treatment was one of the things on the original list. 

French Country Silk Roman shade Details
I bought the multi-blue and white striped silk fabric over ten years ago with the intentions of making a gathered skirt to wear to formal events, but no longer needed formal wear before the skirt was made. 

Set a Stars and Stripes Patriotic Table

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

S E T   A   S T A R S   &   S T R I P E S 

P A T R I O T I C   T A B L E 

without using flags 

Setting a table that pays tribute to our biggest patriotic holiday of the year takes only a few key things. What is the first thing you think of when you see red, white, and blue used together? 

Patriotic . . .  So do I

set a stars and stripes table setting with white stars, French vintage linen towel, blue hydrangeas

Under the Peony Spell

Thursday, June 28, 2018

P E O N I E S  

... cast a spell on flower lovers. 

As long as I can remember, I remember my mother loving peonies. And, her mother loving peonies. Hydrangeas and peonies. 

Now, my sister and I, are under the spell of peonies and hydrangeas and love them. 

Under the beautiful peony flower spell for generations

And, my aunts, cousins, and distant relatives twice-removed(?) loved peonies. All were under the spell of tissue petals that hang heavily, touching the grass, after a rain. 

Actual relationships are now murky after so many years. So many are no longer alive. How was I related to those women? Are they relatives on Mother's side of the family or Daddy's side? I see their faces, can recall their names after pondering a moment, hear snatches of past conversations, but how were we related? 

Regardless, they all loved peonies. My family has been under the peony spell for generations. 

New French Country Dining Chairs | 6 Features

Monday, June 25, 2018

When you are looking for specific pieces of new furniture, say French Country dining chairs, what is your overall approach? Could it be, you and I approach furniture buying similarly?  

French Country dining chairs with antique French table in breakfast sunspace
Here are things I do in general when looking for furniture, and what, specifically, I looked for in new French Country dining chairs. 

Black French Country Clock Summer Time

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Summer solstice arrived with its greatest number of sunlight hours per day. Summer . . .  we looked forward to you, anticipated your arrival with great happiness. A season of joy cultivated in childhood as school dismissed for summer vacation each year. 

Looking forward to summer is so ingrained in us, we continue to feel the joy each summer even though we do not have a long summer break from our jobs. 


Black French Country Clock Summer Time
Time seems to move more slowly in summer at our house. Is it a mind trick caused by more hours of daylight? 

French Country Summer Swing Loft

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Welcome to the swing loft all decked out for summer with French Country decor. Almost everything new to the swing loft was in other rooms in my house, except for the new French Country white garden urn. And a new little lampshade.  

This spring has been a very good season for finding new French Country items to mix with my existing decor.

French Country Summer Swing Loft Crepe Myrtles

French Country White Urn

Monday, June 18, 2018

This year has been a very good year for finding French garden urns. Not only did I find a collection of French-style garden urns from a local nursery, I also found a beautiful French Country white urn from a wholesale supplier in late March. The urns were shipped in May, and everything looks beautiful in them.  

French Country white urn filled with pink crepe myrtle blooms
To add a French Country flower arrangement to the swing loft in my house, I filled one of the French-style pedestal urns with crepe myrtle blooms from my back yard. 

French Country Style For Bathrooms

Friday, June 15, 2018

Adding French Country to a bathroom can be as easy as adding accents. Ready for ideas about which accents/accessories will give your bathroom French style? It is easier than you may realize. 

Begin with one piece of French Country furniture to add instant French decor. A small chair or an ottoman gives you a place to sit near a bathroom's vanity, and either a chair or bench is an easy way to add French Country charm to any space. 

For small spaces like bathrooms, one small chair or bench makes a big impact in setting the room's style. 

French Country Style for Bathrooms begins with a small toile bench

Inspiring Creativity | No. 1

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Creativity is within all of us. And there is more than one kind of creativity. Defining creativity is even an exercise in creativity itself since there is more than one aspect to the definition. 

Some people may seem naturally creative, but chances are their creativity was inspired and nurtured over the years and flourished as a result. Where and how is creativity inspired and nurtured? One way is by being around people who share their creativity and who explain their creative process. 

Thus begins a new series. 

inspiring creativity series with wood imprinted pencils dream create inspire imagine

Indoor Swing Loft Tour BEFORE French Country Changes

Thursday, June 7, 2018

When you live in an area with hot, hot summers you can still enjoy sitting in a swing sipping iced tea. Just create a space indoors to set up as an indoor porch ... like our loft that looks out large windows to treetops. 

Indoor swing loft looks out large second story palladian window

Small Vanity Master Bathroom | Update 2

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A few changes to the small vanity in the master bathroom began around the second week of March. On April 19, I shared the progress of the changes. Today is update #2 on changes to the small vanity area in the master bedroom. 

Everything on my to-do list is not finished, but most items are checked off, plus a handful of items added during the work also have been completed. 

Here is how the small vanity area looks today. With just white paint, a new mirror, and some electrical connection changes the space looks much brighter. 

small vanity painted white with a new white wood carved mirror

5 Features in Floral Gardening Shoes

Monday, May 28, 2018

If you love gardening, you probably garden in all kinds of weather. Sunny, warm, hot, cold, and even rainy weather. Some days are easier than others. On those days that are not so easy, special gardening shoes with great features make gardening in messy, rainy weather more fun than slogging about your muddy garden in canvas tennis shoes. 

5 features in floral gardening shoes to watch for

New Internet Policies For You AND Me

Friday, May 25, 2018

Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. I love having access to shopping online, emailing my friends, sharing photos, checking the weather, reading blogs with great new ideas, recipes, projects ... 

At the same time ... 

I struggle with learning all the new things in technology and keeping up with changes. The internet is moving at light speed, making my head spin some days, as I try to keep my balance. 

Laptop with New Internet Policies For You and Me

New French Garden Urns

Monday, May 21, 2018

How do you get a French look in your garden? 

One way that guarantees to take your garden from a beautiful collection of plants without a defined style to a French-inspired style is to use plants like those grown in France ... 

... and to plant them in garden urns with classic French design. 

New French Garden Urns in 2 sizes and 2 shapes on the potting bench
Two-balled topiaries, single-ball ivy topiaries, triple-ball myrtle topiaries, and cone-shaped rosemary topiaries have not been too difficult to find for both my inside and outside gardens, but affordable French garden urns are another story.