Of course, the trick is trying to translate the mood of the film into the home without things looking Theme-y (You don't want your neighbours coming over and saying, "Oh, it's French Country. How cute!" You just want them to revel in the awesomeness.) And because not many of our homes look like Versailles (unless you are an Hermes heir and buy an 18th-century estate in Bordeaux like the one featured in April's Elle Decor - cue coveting alert) things need to be scaled down so they don't overwhelm.
So when I heard that SOFA (Source of Furniture and Accessories) was hosting a talk by David Thomas of French Market Collection, my design assistant and I hopped into the SUV and headed for the wilds of Mississauga.
Thomas, a designer and architect who has lived in Canada and the US and has designed homes around the world, is passionate about French Style.
He started the talk by running through the history of French Style (aka which Louis is which) and showing us lots of gorgeous photos illustrating the how the style can be used practically. I've always been a huge fan of Suzanne Kasler's work so it was nice to see some of her designs showcased.
- Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair. One of my favourite chairs ever.
After his talk, we had a chance to peek into his showroom, which he will be adding to over the next few months. He also mentioned that he can source french antiques. This stuff was gorgeous. These pieces are all handmade reproductions and the price point is amazingly reasonable for the incredible quality (the rugs, pillows and upholstery are all handspun aubusson). Like all good things design-y, they are only available to the trade (contact me if you want to find out more.)
If I wanted to do Marie Antoinette modern, I'd consider some of these pieces.
I also love these pieces. They are not as distinctly French but have that traditional look I love with a bit of a quirky kick.
My senses were so satiated that I was able to bypass the chocolate croissants at the showroom. Since I did not indulge in all that clarified butter and chocolate, I wrapped up the day by cooking the second recipe from the March issue of Cooking Light. I like to cook but since I'm often cooking adult food for one, it's too easy to be lazy and eat toast every night unless I plan ahead. The first recipe I tried was the open-face eggplant sandwich. Yum city! Last night, I did the cheesy penne with broccoli. I'm assuming the magazine title promises I won't get fat if I eat this stuff because, honey, is it ever good.
Finally, I promised my design assistant that I'd show off her grand-dogter, Vivienne, who just earned her American Champion status at Westminster. She's a lovely example of French Bulldog Style.