Ooh La La Elements of French Kitchen Design

F is for3rench kitchen design speaks fluent style to legions of Francophile obsessed decoristas.  Does French kitchen design speak your language?

Oscar Wilde tells us imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Imitating the distinctive European elegance vis-à-vis design and decor pays a compliment to the classic French kitchen.

Classic French design marries formality with rustic finesse juxtaposed against a weathered patina.

Rustic refinement coupled with old-world charm personifies the characteristics of the country French kitchen.

country-french-kitchen-copper Traditional Style of the Country French Kitchen 

Some say country French while others say French country.

A tomayto, tomahto point perhaps, but Country French is the term used most often in the antiques world so country French it is.

Inspiration is everywhere, and listening to French music is an excellent source of inspiration.

It’s my definition of French immersion.

French inspired flooring

  French Pattern Ivory Swirl ® Tumbled Travertine Tiles  || French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile    ||  Allure Chateau Parquet  ||  Cabot Slate Autumn French

flooring-French-Kitchen-style

It is said that kitchen design starts from the ground up.

Flooring serves as a principal foundation piece in terms of the overall balance of kitchen design.

country-French-kitchen-blue-whiteCountry French Refined

The above image from Traditional Home is a marvelous example of country French refined.

The very right of the white kitchen is in the complementing presence of provincial color, texture and pattern design greatness.

French-cabinet-doors1

Antique French Pine Cabinet Doors

Subtle drama, a decorating oxymoron if there ever was one, engages my eye past the toile on steroids of the traditional country French kitchen to the accents in the not trying so hard to exemplify the look category.

tole-light-fixtueTole Gilt and Paint Light Fixture

Ralph-Lauren-gold-Windsor-pendantRalph Lauren Windsor Hanging Shade

Cabinet hardware as a focal point?

Absolutely!

French style cabinet hardware

Never underestimate the small details and the ability they have to make a visually grand statement.

French-style-kitchen-tile-ideas

Accenting with as opposed to a total immersion in is the key to alleviating the risk of a dated look.

country French traditional kitchen

Lubbock WTBHA 2015 Parade of Homes

Sourcing home decor items is routine, but never mundane.

Safavieh-Rural-Woven-Dining-La-Rochelle-Antiqued-Oak-Finish-Taupe-Dining-Chairs

Woven La Rochelle Antiqued Oak Finish Taupe Dining Chairs (Set of 2)

Maria Wood and Cane Upholstered Dining Chair by Christopher Knight Home

Maria Wood and Cane Upholstered Dining Chair by Christopher Knight Home

Grand style is present and accounted for in this excellent option for captain’s chairs.

French kitchen design

I believe my love of the well appointed French kitchen began when I was in junior high.

My best friend’s mother had impeccable taste in home furnishing and home decor accessories, and their home was and continues to be one of the premier homes in our area.

The entire home was gracefully designed and decorated, but the traditional kitchen, appointed with classic French flair, was indeed the design pièce de résistance.

French-blue-paint-colors

A delicate mix of French blues with cream white accents served as both color palette and focal point.

Less is more echoed throughout the design and decor, and the style statement being made was more ethereal than overt.

pic-frenchTraditional Home

Accents in ç’est vraiment magnifique detail translates to it’s really beautiful- the quintessential design element of the curated French kitchen.

French+Country+Double+Handle+Widespread+Kitchen+Faucet

The French Country kitchen faucet by Kingston Brass represents the detail of vintage French country design, bringing elegance of old to the contemporary kitchen.

stone-sink-antique

Antique Stone Sink

farmhouse-sinks

Wonderful option for a prep sink.

French-Apothecary-Stone-Sink

Antique 18th Century French Apothecary Stone Sink 

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

 

bi·be·lot

ˈbib(ə)ˌlō
noun

a small, decorative ornament or trinket.

French-blue-vintage-soup-tureen

 Antique French Blue Transferware Bowl 1878 Earthenware

country-French-cupboard

 Country French Cupboard

French-white-blue-kitchen-cabinetOoh La La Love this Belgian Kitchen Cabinet  

Distinctive European elegance is the standard of style and signature component of French kitchen design.

love your style

A Seasonal Blend Of Old World And Modern Day Holiday Decors

Christmas In Provence and Eastern Europe comes to life through the pages of Art & Décoration and Campagne Decoration.  These wonderful publications feature two stunning homes in their holiday issues.  The first of these features takes the reader on a private tour of the Chateau d’Ansouis.  Steeped in history and dating back to the thirteenth century, Château d’Ansouis overlooks the village of Ansouis and the valley of the Aigues.

Ownership of Château d’Ansouis has shuffled through the centuries. Owned since the tenth century by the powerful house of Forcalquier, the medieval fortress was next sold to Ansouis Zosimus-Elzear-Louis, Duke of Sabran in 1836.  Elzear de Sabran and his wife Delphine. Honorably devoted to the causes of the poor resulted in Elzear being canonized and Delphine beatified in 1369.  In January 2008, Gérard and Frédérique Rousset-Rouvière acquired Château d’Ansouis and a refined renovation soon began. Designer Jean-Jacques Bourgeois was brought on board and the beauty is in the details now more than ever, but especially at the holidays.

The arms of Sabran with diamond points grace the entryway.  Lanterns and candlelight greet visitors in quaint and quiet splendor reminiscent of old world charm.

Soft candlelight in the stone stairway from the rows of candles, lantern, and wall table festively light the way to summer, the terracotta statue standing in the niche on the landing.

candle-lined-stairs

An exquisite interpretation of the list of thirteen traditional Provencal Christmas desserts is represented in grand detail.  Mandarins, candied fruits, dates, dried apricots, chocolate and fresh grapes sit beautifully displayed between crystal candelabras atop a marble top buffet.

Eighteenth century antiquities set the tone for holiday dining with a festive, yet understated tablescape.  After midnight mass on Christmas Eve, a gourmet meal of  roasts, turkey and wines from Provence precedes the famous thirteen desserts.  The thirteen desserts stand in remembrance of the Last Supper with Jesus surrounded by his twelve apostles.  The Murano glass chandelier is stunning, as is the mantel and eighteenth century Rocaille.

The Grand Salon Rocaille, the 18th-century style of plaster-work featuring elaborately stylized shell-like, rocklike, and scroll motifs, is ranked among the best of Provence.  The painted almond green walls are original to the decor.

Excuse me while I gain my composure after swooning over what I can only describe as an armoire cupboard.  The contrast of the rich walnut armoire and original green patina of the interior cupboard is a Provincial design masterpiece.

Christmas en Provence are very traditional gatherings of  family and community. The celebration begins with a vigil of songs, hymns and stories and concludes with gifts being handed out. The Big Dinner is a meatless meal held before midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  The traditional table is set on three white tablecloths removed successively during the meal and adorned with three large white candles which represent the Trinity.  Copper utensils and Moustiers earthenware shine as characteristically French features of an understated, utilitarian beauty.

The second feature has us shifting gears from historically traditional to whimsical wonder represented through warmth, color, and texture.  This nineteenth century mansion of Slavic origin stands amidst a village in the north of the Ile-de-France. The dining room crystal chandelier and glass mercurisées reflect the reds, metals, and magentas of the holiday decor. My eyes immediately widen in decor amazement at first glance of the magenta branches on the mantel and the Reindeer skin draped garden chairs.

‘Tis the season for color, texture, velvet, silk, ribbons, embroidery and florals.

A lone display works as the perfect compliment to the whimsical decor~ a Christmas cuckoo clock with mushroom glass mercurisé.

Accessories inspire the gift of creativity.

Old world and modern day traditions at Christmas, both celebrated and decorated in other parts of our world, fittingly represent history, culture, and design.  The beauty, joy, and traditions of the season translate well.

Love your style!

 

 

 

 

Château d’Ansouis photo source: via

Nineteenth century mansion photo source: via

 

 

Paris. Cajun. Canada. French Onion Soup Recipe

When it comes to selecting a French onion soup recipe,  I find I am beginning to feel like the character Albert in The Birdcage.

birdcage-movie

Albert, brilliantly played by Nathan Lane, convincingly explains his mispronunciation of Armand’s surname in a context I find myself relating to.

nathan-lane-albert-the-birdcage

“Oh yes… Coldeman.

The “d” is silent in America. It’s Cole D’Isle au Man, or Cole of the Isle of Man, in France, where Armand’s chateau is, Cold-e-man in Greece where Armand’s work is, and finally the vulgar Coleman in Florida where Armand’s home is, so actually, we don’t know where we are until we hear our last name pronounced!

Ahahahahahahaaaaa!”

copper weathervanePolished Copper Weathervane

I feel his exaggerated pain, and let me tell you why.  We live in Louisiana where we are heavily influenced by Creole and Cajun French.

Our son attends university in Canada where we are influenced by Quebecois French.

Actually, we don’t know where we are until we taste the food,  the “who cares where we are as long as it is French” food!

Ahahahahahahaaaaa!

French onion soup

Tonight’s menu will allow me to exercise my multilingual culinary skills.

You’re  definitely speaking my language when you’re  talking French Onion Soup.

I know where to go for the best French onion soup from coast to coast.

My son’s friend holds the title in Canada.

I have my own recipe met, mastered and magnifique.

Mon Ami Gabi in Las Vegas both serve a fantastic French onion soup.

I know the latter is a chain, but one taste of the French onion soup and you’ll understand!

I would love to be on the Las Vegas strip right now watching the Fountains of Bellagio while enjoying French onion soup goodness.

Since I’m not, I’ll bring a pinch of Paris, a dash of Creole, and a smidgen of Canada to the Places In The Home family table.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

2  Tablespoon butter

2  teaspoons olive oil

6  medium onions thinly sliced

1  teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 bay leaves

½ cup white white or sherry

2 quarts (8 cups) low sodium beef broth

French bread baguette

8 slices Gruyère cheese

Creole-seasoning

For Creole Seasoning

Ingredients

1/3  cup paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic

Directions

Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over a medium- high heat.  Add sliced onions and bay leaves to the pan, saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle sugar and Creole seasoning over onions, stir to incorporate.

sliced-onion-rings

Cook onions and company for 30 minutes or until softened and reaching a caramelized stage.  Add sherry and bay leaves to onions.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.   Turn heat back up to medium-high and add beef broth.

Allowing broth to heat through, reduce to simmer, and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes in order for ingredients to marry and live happily ever after.

Remove bay leaves.

beef-broth-onions

 

Slice French bread baguette and place on a baking sheet.

Place under broiler until slices reach a light golden brown.

soup-crocks

Place crocks, ramekins, or oven proof bowls on a large cookie sheet.  Fill each with 1 cup soup.

Place one slice French bread in each bowl and top with 1 cheese slice.  Broil on high until cheese is melted and browned.

Serves 8.

french-onion-soup

Directions for Creole Seasoning

In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme and granulated garlic.  Stir to combine.

Can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.

The Paris influence is this wonderful soup, and to that I say merci beaucoup.

The Creole influence is the addition of the Creole seasoning.

We put it on everything here in Louisiana.

Give a try, shâ.

The Canadian influence?

That’s the best part!

Our son is home to enjoy this dish with us tonight!

Bienvenue, Bon Appétit and C’est si bon!

Love your style!