Browsing Tag

french country


A Provencal Outdoor Table

Provence Melamine Dinnerware

Provence Melamine Dinnerware

When I first laid my eyes on this Provencal style dinnerware, I never imagined that it was made of melamine. The design is more refined than what we are used to when we talk about melamine plates and bowls. I love it! The Provence Melamine Dinnerware Collection includes dining plates, salad bowls and plates plus a serving bowl. Keep it in mind for wedding gifts.

floral boutis tablecloth

You can either opt for placemats or for what a French hostess will put on her outdoor table, a nice tablecloth. For a nautical look, go with the Coral Embroidered Placemats. Or stay true to the Provencal style with the Floral Boutis table linen available in yellow or blue. I prefer the yellow motif.

+ Provence Melamine Dinnerware Collection from $39.95 to $59.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Coral Embroidered Placemats $49 USD for set of 4
+ Yellow Floral Boutis Tablecloth from $59 to $69 USD
+ Blue Floral Boutis Napkins $28 for set of 4


A little bit of French country

pewter salad servers and nicoise salad bowl

little bit of french country :: espresso cup and spoon

Although I am a modernist, the French Country tableware will always grab my attention. I guess it is the comforting feeling that they carries. Plus, they fit what I eat. What I found at Barrel & Barrow brings a twist on the classic. Take, for example, the Côte Est Espresso cup with its spoon hanging from the handle ($6.95 AUD).

pewter salad servers and nicoise salad bowl

I may be biased because this is my all-time favorite salad, but I would like to put on my table the Niçoise Salad bowl ($19.95 AUD). And this is accounting for that fact that they should have written Salade Niçoise. I can not judge if their recipe is right, which would be the deciding piece of information. But one thing is for sure, this collection is affordable. Even the Pewter Salad Servers are a bargain at $49.95 Australian dollars (about $57 USD).

+ Wheel & Barrel Homewares


How to Create a French Rustic Holiday Decor

french rustic holiday decor

I will talk about how you can integrate Holiday decorations within your home decor. It is about created a sophisticated room. I like how the stylists on the above photo marry rustic elements to a traditional French style room. The mood is soothing but definitely festive. Except for the Christmas baubles, you could keep most of the items all winter.

Winter and Cottage Feel

white reindeer sculptures at home sense

The idea is to add a layer of festive decorations to your rooms. Adding vignettes here and there, achieve that goal. Since you do not wish to recreate the same look every Christmas, explore how you can rearrange the elements by removing and adding some pieces. Look at how you can display them differently.

With smaller urban homes and unit condos, many people do not have the space to keep tons of decorations that they use one month a year. Look at items that you can reuse instead. Simply replace the white and red candle on the twig lantern and enjoy it all summer at the cottage. The silver twig vase, I saw similar ones at William Ashley by the way, could be used any time you entertain to add sparkle to your dining room. I might keep one or two white deer statutes on a shelf after Christmas.

Build your Tabletop on What You Have

mixing tableware at home sense

Take cues from the little black dress when designing your tabletop. The accessories you put on give personality to the little black dress. You can do the same with your tableware. Look at how you can use what you already have, add a plate or a bowl, make sure you get a little sparkle, use ornaments as your centerpieces and voilà, you create a festive tabletop!

Again, I am surprised that you can find those at Home Sense. I should shop there more often.

+ photos: Home Sense


Goat Cheese Warmer and French Country Table Linens

french country table linens and cheese warmer at arthur quentin

Arthur Quentin is a must-shop place in Montreal for anyone who likes to cook or to entertain. You shop there when you are looking for quality and European imported tableware. No need to say that I like this shop a lot.

Their new collection for autumn includes this warmer dish to make chèvre chaud (warm goat cheese). It is a good idea to stock a couple for Christmas or as an hostess gift since you will impress with this $20 gift. They also carry a version for brie or camembert cheese.

Table linens at Arthur Quentin are awesome. They carry 100% linen tablecloths and napkins. Made in Belgium, I like the yellow and white Clément collection (starts at $280 CAD). A cheaper option for casual entertaining or for your everyday usage is the French Country Tête à tête and its matching napkins ($44.50 and $17.50).

+ Arthur Quentin – site only in French


Chanel Show in a Hay Barn Seen as a Wedding Theme

Chanel fashion show spring 2010 paris :: times online and garance doré

Weddings in a barn are popular. The Spring 2010 Chanel show in Paris will probably inspire many brides to be. Second to walking barefoot on a beach, I am curious to see if many brides and grooms will opt for walking the aisles barefoot in a hay path.

The gold basket could make an awesome container for the centerpiece. You could recycle the idea and make your own. I believe that the bride and groom must distribute one by one the party favors. Decorating a few baskets would add a fancy touch. It is more original than a tray.

To know more details about this fabulous presentation by Chanel, read what Garance Doré had to say about her experience at the fashion show.

October 15th, 2009 Update: you can see the construction of the barn in a video on Wallpaper. It took 6 weeks to create the concept of the barn and 38 men working full time for a week to assemble it.

+ photos: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters on Times Online, Garance Doré


Vintage Kitchenware and Tableware at UK retailer RE

REcipe collection at uk retailer re :: egg poacher :: vintage frech bread board |:: utensil tea towels :: le bon lait milk bottles

These vintage items convey a charming sense of style on your kitchen and dining room. They do not only work in a country kitchen. They could look incredible in an eclectic kitchen where you wish to oppose old with new.

They are available at RE, the small shop of Simon Young & Jenny Vaughan located in Corbridge, UK. Browsing their catalogue, it comes to no surprise that REcipe first caught my attention.

I have seen Le Bon Lait milk bottle in the past. Their porcelain cap adds a nice touch. I would love to get my hands on the vintage French bread board. They will be perfect to  serve sandwich pieces done with a baguette or a Belgium bread.

RE send internationally but you will need to call or send an email for delivery outside most Western Europe countries.

+ Individual Egg Poacher £5.50
+ Vintage French Bread Board £38
+ Cotton Waffle Tea Towels with vintage French cutlery print £14.50
+ Le Bon Lait, French Glass Milk Bottles small £6.50, large £7.50
+ I discovered RE via Apartment Therapy Chicago


Mesmerized by Jardins du Monde Tableware by Juliska


I am on the market for a new dinnerware set for at least one year. The problem with what I do for living is that I see so many gorgeous that it is hard to choose which one I like the best.

Selecting the Right Dinnerware for Your Lifestyle

I am gathering a guide on how to select the right dinnerware for entertaining. For now, let just say that you must examine how you entertain. Based on my style of entertaining, I am leaning for a French-country or any another European style.

I wish for something elegant but not too formal. And I want a pattern I will enjoy for many years. In the meantime, we will admire what I dug on the Web.

Exquisite Ceramic Dinnerware

Today, I came across the fabulous Jardins du monde ceramic collection. Juliska designers Capucine Gooding and Elaine McCleary think up unusual shapes and intricate, extravagant detailing overlaid to create a sublime new ceramics collection. The line is extensive with many statement pieces.

The Jardins du Monde Collection pays homage to gardens in Italy, France, Spain, and England. It comes in 4 patterns: Landriana, Villandry, Alcazar and Heligan.

Stunning Drinkware

If you wish for mystery, Gothic or glamour on your table, go with the Black Glass Drinkware. The color produces an incredible dark eggplant or purple hue depending of the light reflections. The Black Glass Drinkware contains 2 sizes of goblet, a pitcher and a tumbler glass.

The Graham goblet in green glass adds a fun element to the table. The table looks more festive when you mix clear glassware with color glassware. The silhouette of the Graham Drinkware collection fuses a thread and a berry detail with a spiraled sphere at the bottom of the leg.

Fine tableware retailers across the United States sell Juliska. They are a few retailers in Canada and South Korea.

+ Jardins du Monde Dinnerware by Juliska – $42 USD per dessert plate, $44 for a mug, $79 for charger plate
+ Jardins du Monde Villandry Serving/Asparagus Tray – $78 USD


Three French-Country Style Dinnerware Sets

white french-country tableware for autumn 2008

Textures and more ornate tableware are making a comeback. This style holds an advantage over the clean modern style as you need to add less decorative elements to make an impact. I will explore this trend further in the coming weeks.

For now, have a look at three fabulous glazed stoneware dinnerware sets made in Portugal. They vary in prices to match every budget and occasion.

Three Dinnerware Sets

Jardins du Monde can stand tall in any formal entertaining. An artful layering of round and scalloped shapes is presented in a berry-and-thread design. The extravagant serving ware celebrates four European gardens in all their glory. Remark that you do not put the coffee cup on the table before it is time to serve the tea and coffee.

Crate and Barrel sells an antique French dinnerware set that can go from everyday-to-formal entertaining depending on the rest of your table. Soft shapes in creamy white with hand-antiqued, embossed vine rims bring charms to this set.

The cheapest option is a white Provencal set (bottom right picture). Again, you get the raised relief border with a soft white finish. The plates, bowls and mugs come in set of 4.

+ Jardins du Monde Dinnerware at Horchow – price: $64-$575 USD per set of 4 pieces
+ Josephine Dinnerware at Crate and Barrel – price: $7.95-$89.95 USD per piece
+ White Provencal Dinnerware at Cost Plus World Market – price: on sale at $22.36-$25.56 USD per set of 4 pieces


Add a Touch of Summer with Far Afield Dinnerware from Anthropologie

far afield dinnerware and table linens at anthropologie

The romantic feeling that you get when you visit an Anthropologie shop appeals even to a modernist like me. Once again, I felt under the charms of their lively dinnerware.

Fresh Floral Dinnerware

This Far Afield dinnerware pattern screams summer on the good way. It  is perfect for hosting a brunch and for casual family events. 

The plates, bowls and mugs are sold individually to suit your taste and budget. You can easily mix this bold floral pattern with solid color dinnerware than you already own.

Table Linens

If you prefer white china, go for the table linens. Bright, vintage-style floral patterns bedeck white poplin, trimmed with red stitching and dotted ruffles with the Rondelet table linens. Two sets of napkins complete the Rondelet collection.

You can also check out the Pavot Tablecloth with sunny yellow piping.  The crochet and crimson pompom border Scarlet Marigold Table Linens has a fresh Spanish vibe.

International shopping

I am also glad that Anthropologie is one of the friendly US retailers that ships to Canada. Their latest ecommerce system has been up for some time now. People from 34 countries can now shop in their currencies and received at home the marvelous products at Anthropologie.

I went to Anthropologie a couple of times with my husband and he does not get that vibe. Me, I enjoyed it! Anthropologie is definitely a girl thing.

Buy online: Far Afield Dinnerware at Anthropologie – price: $10-$14 USD
Buy online: Rondelet Tablecloth at Anthropologie – price: $32-$98 USD
Buy online: Pavot Tablecloth at Anthropologie – price: $24-$108 USD
buy online: Scarlet Marigold Table Linens at Anthropologie – price: $32-$108 USD


New dinnerware arrivals at Horchow

recamier flatware : scribed poppy dinnerware : gracious good pitcher pastry dome and platter at horchow spring 2008Even though I am a modernist, I still fall under the spells of old-world charm. That is why I enjoy browsing the Horchow’s online catalogue. For spring 2008, their inventory is getting better.

I selected some pieces for designing an easy entertaining Spring / Summer tabletop. These are pieces that you will cherish for years to come. You can mix and match them with lots of things.

An inside look at my Spring tabletop

The star of your table will be the hand-painted Scribed Poppy Dinnerware. The pattern looks fresh and fun.

For the traditional look, place a natural tone tablecloth on your dining table. If you want a fresher look, opt for the hip Chilewich Tablemats. To reproduce the look of the wooden table on this picture, use the Woodgrain Tablemats in driftwood or pecan.

The Santa Fe Stoneworks Steak Knives add character to the table. Dad is sure to like those steak knives. So make a note for Father’s Day. The handcrafted stainless steel Recamier flatware by Marisopa set is made of Norwegian birch handles with a dark teak finish. Overall, the table look is gender neutral.

Timeless serving ware

From Gracious Goods, I select pitcher with a beautifully ornate cast aluminum base. A pitcher is a must for serving water and ice tea. For a dessert table, you cannot go wrong with the Domed Pedestal Servers and the matching Round Platter. The dome pedestals are all the rage for a few seasons now. I do not think this trend will go away soon because they add sophistication instantly. Therefore it makes sense to splurge in one or two remarkable pastry dome pedestals.

It seems that several products I selected are quite popular because a bunch is back-ordered right now. Some items will be available in April, others will arrive early May. So you should be able to get everything for the upcoming Mother’s Day brunch if you want to.

Buy online: Recamier Flatware at Horchow – price: $188 5-piece setting, serving spoon and fork are $106 each
Buy online: Scribed Poppy Dinnerware at Horchow – price: $169.90 USD 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, $65 for 4 dinner plates
Buy online: Gracious Goods Pitcher at Horchow – price: $130 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Round Platter – price: $175 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Domed Pedestal Servers – on sale: small $103.90, large $175.90


Weddings a la Provencale

weddings a la provencale

I am glad that Jenn, a reader and a blogger with an eye for fabulous home decors, introduced me to this inspiring article on Your Wedding Day Magazine (winter 2005). If you ever visit Provence, you know why people fall in love with this part of the World.

Doing a wedding à la Provencale have a lot of charms. Floral designer Camilla Svensson Burns said that

.eclectic collections of silverware, plates and napkins are used to convey a diversity of beauty; a creative palette where variety simply adds more elegance.

I am versed in French style. Moreover as a reader of Coté Sud and other magazines from France for over two decades now, I have seen tons of French tablescape executions. I have to agree with her but this statement requires some clarifications.

The French way of eclectic dinnerware

First of all, mix and match for the French is not shabby chic. It is bohemian either because there is structure in their eclectic look. Let me explain.

Here, we buy a dinnerware set. The French tend to assemble their dinnerware set by selecting the plates, the bowls and the cups separately. People may have inherited beautiful dishes that they wish to use with other pieces.

The long tradition of dinnerware maker in France simplifies this process. These artisans rely on a few shapes. This mean you can easily mix scalloped rim dinner plates from a brand with salad plates from another product line. Many dishes are available in several colors. For a sophisticated look, two colors are plenty. Generally using more than 2 colors will look childish.

For the service pieces, they do not have to match as long as the pieces share the same material. Look at the pewter serving ware; their cohesion is evident. Ornate pieces sit well next to a simple pitcher.

French always host sit down dinner even for the most casual events. When you dress the table, it is important that all the place settings are identical. That is why I said this is not shabby chic or bohemian.

Key element of French cuisine

The article proposed menus for a French Country wedding and a French formal wedding. Fresh herbs are at the center of French cuisine. Provence is the place for herbs. It is a fast and tasty way to season a dish. If you want to experience the difference, grow your own chives. Make a salad and cut what you need moments before eating it. Divine.

Learn more: Weddings a la Provencale on Your Wedding Day
Learn more: Web site of Camilla Flowers
Via: Suggestion of Jenn of An Eye for An I:nterior – an inspirational blog on interior design