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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Bulletin Board Inspiration No. 4 | French Finesse Bathroom

Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Paper Series Post 

While the Bulletin Board Inspiration Series has previously focused on clippings to display in a beautiful artistic style, the July Bulletin Board Inspiration is a design project board for a French Finesse Bathroom.

One of the basic functions of design boards is to display materials and products in home projects. Today, project boards, commonly called MOOD BOARDS, are created and shared electronically by designers, bloggers, architects, and national brand companies. However, a good old-fashioned bulletin board is a perfect place to display a tactile MOOD BOARD

Bulletin Board Inspiration for a French Finesse Bathroom Update
After more than thirty years, our upstairs bathroom needs a drastic renovation. This summer, we are renovating the upstairs bathroom to make it more ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant, to replace worn out fixtures and plumbing, and to add more French Country style with the new upgrades. 

French Country Inspiration No. 1

Monday, July 26, 2021

The best source for French Country inspiration is from France. Obviously. What better way to discover authentic French Country decor, gardens, architecture, food, design... than from the French themselves? And, once you have traveled to France and fallen in love with French Country living, finding resources here at home for adding the French je ne sais quoi to your own life is the next best thing to traveling through France. 

French Country Inspiration
Je ne sais quoi literally means "I don't know what," but is a French expression for "a quality that is hard to put in words". While French Country style is sometimes hard to put in words, we can find examples of French Country je ne sais quoi from books, magazines, blogs, Instagram, movies, and television series. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor

Thursday, July 22, 2021

With one major new blue purchase and a little rearranging of existing furniture, the living room has a fresh look for summer. The color scheme is still pale blue, but the room feels brighter, more airy, and more cohesive than before. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
Fresh flowers are a guaranteed way of making any space feel brighter during any season of the year. New lavender plants in an old rustic blue box are perfect for my favorite French Country style in July since this is when fields of lavender plants bloom in France. 

Allowing the large box to fill the coffee table, with only one French antique fence finial as an accent, keeps the flowers centerstage and the room clutter free. If you missed the last blog post all about the lavender plants in the blue box, see a link at the end. 

French Lavender in Rustic Blue Box

Monday, July 19, 2021

When you cannot go to France, bring France to you. French lavender is in full bloom in July in the sunny Provence region of France and fills the summer air with a heady lavender fragrance. Bring that French experience to your living room like I did by filling a rustic blue box with lavender plants. 

French Lavender in Rustic Blue Box
July brings memories of walking through commercial lavender fields in France once upon a time. Several years ago my sister, a work colleague, and I traveled to France with an itinerary designed to walk through lavender fields, to visit perfume factories, and to stroll stone streets in picturesque hilltop villages around the fields. We continue to reminisce about that trip and to dream about returning to France to make more memories. With no travel plans in the near future, a rustic box filled with lavender brings a little of France to us. 

French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Pale blue hydrangeas in bloom have always signaled the arrival of summer for me. From my mother's home in Alabama, and now in my own French Country inspired home in Texas, hydrangeas bring back nostalgic memories of long summer days. 

French Country Pale Blue Hydrangeas
Growing hydrangeas in north Texas is much harder than growing hydrangeas in Alabama. Maybe that is one reason the beautiful pale blue flowers bring so much joy. 

Dream Sunspace Design No. 3 | Purpose

Monday, July 5, 2021

part 3 of the design of the breakfast sunspace, the heart of my French Country inspired home, is all about the purpose and use of the dream sunspace. 

Part of the original design of the house, the sunspace has four main purposes
  1. Dining Area
  2. Light Source 
  3. Solar Heat 
  4. Gardening 
The purposes are intertwined and together illustrate a principle of good design. A space created for more than one function is wise use of resources, including natural resources of light and heat, not just monetary and square footage resources. 

The sunspace also illustrates useful, practical spaces can be beautiful spaces.

Dining  Area

Dream Sunspace Design Purpose
The main function of the light-filled sunspace is for dining. An added bonus during meal time is enjoying the changing nature views all during the year. Blooming pear, redbud, and vitex trees visually swarm with birds, butterflies, and bees. Squirrels, foxes, and neighborhood cats and dogs wander through on their way to the surrounding woods. 

Bright, sparkling pale green leaves on trees emerge in early spring, then change to dark, dusty green in the dry rainless summer. Fall leaves can surprise us with seasonal yellows and golds before turning to rusty browns. By Christmas, the branches are bare and often glisten with ice during January and February ice storms.