Let’s take a look back in time when I blogged from the first home my husband and I built…a French Country home with quiet, spare, European farmhouse inspired decor. Then we’ll consider some pretty decor finds I’m crushing on – most of them summery blues and blue greys.
Our Former French Country Home & Blue Decor Finds
I wish I had better quality photos of our former home, but as a busy parent (and housekeeper!) there was no time to snap photos! This will be a partial tour, and I’ll share more with you tomorrow.
We designed this custom two-story European country house room by room. It sits on 1.5 acres and backs to a nature preserve. The exterior is brick, and the shutters were handmade by my husband and painted light blue-grey (a custom mix) by me. The front doors were special: 8 foot Andean walnut double arched doors with speakeasies.
Although the interiors were more Nordic French, the exterior is reminiscent of an English manor home.
It is a very tall house with 10′ ceilings throughout and 9′ ceilings in the finished basement.
A sideload garage with a bonus space above it we finished into a mini apartment with bunk room (and built-in captain’s beds), office, and media room where I spent time on the treadmill watching TV.
Shhhhhhh! I was sometimes lazy and filled that 2nd story flower box with faux!
Andean walnut double doors with speakeasies were a splurge we would do again in a heartbeat.
The hardwoods were white oak throughout the first floor.
This is the center hall with a formal dining room on one side and an office/library with French doors on the other. We rarely used this dining room!
I unified the furniture in the dining room with Benjamin Moore White Dove paint. The chairs have been with me for many years, and I sold the pedestal table and buffet to the realtor who listed the home.
The German grainsack is an original from A Beautiful Mess.
I do miss “styling” those shelves in the hutch…they were like my own private little store windows.
This was taken from the office/library across the hall.
All the archways added a lot of French country and Old World charm.
The hand-lettered edgy canvas art work was done by me back in ’09. Two Oscar Wilde quotes flank the entrance to a butler pantry.
The kitchen started out painted like the rest of the house: Benjamin Moore White Sand. Later, we painted it Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray for more contrast with the cabinetry. The 8′ French door leads to a a great screen porch where I read a million books!
The counters are Silestone’s Ivory Coast. The bar stools are RH. When we built the home in 2007, those decorative corbels were not easy to find in the large size we needed. I found them on eBay.
Here’s the kitchen after we painted it Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray. We saw the color on the walls of the kitchen at Chicago Dream Home and knew it would work for us too.
We were fortunate to have a wealth of natural light streaming into the kitchen, and I left the windows bare for maximum sun – so important to my mood.
I chose an undermount stainless sink that worked out really well. Almost all of my sinks, faucets, and even light fixtures were sourced on eBay. You can see the living room just beyond the breakfast area. The floors are white oak with a Fruitwood stain.
This was an early incarnation of this kitchen when I played around with the design and had not yet moved our old farm table into the breakfast area. One of the unique design elements about the kitchen is the staircase to the second floor. Normally you would find a grand staircase in the foyer, but we opted for a more casual placement. In the two-story foyer, a small balcony overlooked it.
Here you can see the farm table is back. We commissioned the design of it 20 years ago and still love it.
My sweet Bella Luna brought us so much joy in this home. Photo by my sister Jo.
This was truly a great place to hang out. The chandelier is antiqued silver, and I removed most of the crystals that came with the thing for a more spare look.
All of these pieces still live with me in our present home. The cableknit throw? Handmade, and I bought it for a buck. It was the wrong color until I dyed it myself.
I have gained lots of weight since then (just in case you were worried!). I struggled to keep weight on when my Crohn’s disease was active. Photo by my sister Jo.
A Belgian linen Copenhagen egg chair from RH…swivel, baby!
The sofa is RH – Belgian Linen in Sand. This is not a sofa for folks who need their linen crisp and neat. It functions more like a bed than a sofa and has served my three men quite well. I upgraded the coffee table you see here. This was a vintage oak child’s art table I found in the garbage of an old church in Barrington.
More Belgian linen and original abstracts painted by me.
Doesn’t everyone recline in a vintage crochet tablecloth and pointe shoes? Photo by my sister Jo. We were having fun.
Looks like we had just upgraded to this new industrial coffee table with reclaimed wood – I had yet to style it so things look pretty boring. I designed the fireplace, and my husband built it.
Oh, the light!
The little industrial stool/table was such a cool find. I found it for a dollar at a garage sale. I painted the wood top for a zinc-like finish.
I never tire of Belgian style.
Affiliate links follow and won’t cost you extra yet may earn me a small commission.
Such a great price if you need a French country chandelier!
I’m crazy for these Swedish looking pieces that will never fall from favor and have such a pretty finish.
But which color!?!
If you have the right wall for these wings…ooh la la!
It can be challenging to find JUST the right soft aqua-turquoise. This is it. Egg Table Lamp
Does this piece say “relax” and “summer” or what?
I keep picturing this pillow on a beachy white sofa for a serene, oceanic look.
This would add instant character and age to any country space.
Parisian style in one fell swoop for any kitchen island that needs chic seating.
Credenza with Wire Mesh Doors
Velvet Throw Pillow
Beachy Blue Fashion I Love
I live in chambray shirts all year long, and they just seem to get better with age.
What do you think of blue frames? Are you bold enough for them?
For the Beach!
Something about the design of this swimsuit makes me think we could cinch it really tight to pull all the jiggly wiggly in…
For the Bath
How pretty would this be in an all white bathroom?
Skirted Vanity Chair
Such an easy way to add an accent color in the bath.
I am thinking buttercream iced cupcakes with little turquoise Swiss dots on top.
Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane and browsing these lovely finds!
Please return tomorrow for more peeks around our French Country home!
Peace to you right where you are.