Our Former French Country Home & Blue Decor Finds

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 French country breakfast room with rustic farm table made from reclaimed barn wood. Belgian linen arm chairs, bench, and cableknit throw. Design: Hello Lovely Studio. #frenchcountry #diningroom #farmtable Frenchfarmhouse #belgianlinen #serene #interiordesigninspiration #hellolovelystudio

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.

Exterior of our French country home. Limestone look brick, light blue grey shutters we made, and flower boxes. Design: Hello Lovely Studio.
Although the interiors were more Nordic French, the exterior is reminiscent of an English manor home.
Exterior of our French country home with custom shutters made by us. Design: Hello Lovely Studio.
It is a very tall house with 10′ ceilings throughout and 9′ ceilings in the finished basement.
Exterior of our French country home with 3-car sideload garage. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
Exterior of our French country home. Hello Lovely Studio.
Shhhhhhh! I was sometimes lazy and filled that 2nd story flower box with faux!


Custom Andean walnut arched double doors with speakeasies/Serene and timeless entry in European country house with Nordic French style/foyer/round table with bowl of conch shells/Venetian mirrors/white oak flooring/Hello Lovely Studio
Andean walnut double doors with speakeasies were a splurge we would do again in a heartbeat.
French metal bistro chair with vintage galvanized pail. Dried hydrangea and boots round out a French country vignete. Design by Hello Lovely Studio. #frenchcountry #tolixchair #bistrochair #hydrangea #vintagestyle #ilsejacobsen #galvanized #vintagepail
The hardwoods were white oak throughout the first floor.
Light filled European country house with Nordic French and shabby chic decor/foyer with double arched rustic walnut doors with speakeasies/archways/white oak flooring/feminine white dining room/antiqued silver chandelier with crystals/white dining room furniture/Swedish chairs/Hello Lovely Studio
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!

Dining Room

Timeless and tranquil feminine romantic dining room with shabby chic style/white dining buffet and hutch/white painted table and chairs/galvanized vase/hydrangea/antiqued silver chandelier/white oak hardwood flooring/Hello Lovely Studio
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.
Vintage German grainsack used as table runner (A Beautiful Mess)/white romantic shabby chic dining room/galvanized bucket with hydrangea/white Swedish chair/Hello Lovely Studio
The German grainsack is an original from A Beautiful Mess.
Romantic feminine shabby chic dining room/white painted buffet and hutch/Swedish wood chairs/German grainsack (A Beautiful Mess)/galvanized bucket with hydrangea/crystal sconces/monogram stenciled letters on wall/Hello Lovely Studio
I do miss “styling” those shelves in the hutch…they were like my own private little store windows.
French doors in shabby chic studio/french country decor in dining room/white oak hardwood flooring/Hello Lovely Studio
This was taken from the office/library across the hall.
Foyer and dining room with wide arched doorway in our French country home. Hello Lovely Studio
All the archways added a lot of French country and Old World charm.
European country dining room with shabby chic style/white painted dining room furniture/galvanized vase with dried hydrangea/original modern typography paintings by homeowner/crystal sconces/martini glasses/Hello Lovely Studio
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.
White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chair Set
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool


French country kitchen with antiqued silver chandelier over island and white oak floor. Hello Lovely Studio.
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!
French country kitchen with beadboard clad island and decorative corbels. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
French country kitchen with grey walls and ivory cabinets. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
French country white kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio.
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. 
French country kitchen with Silestone Ivory Coast countertop, stainless undermount sink, and white oak hardwood floor. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
French country white kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio.
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.  
White French country kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio.
Here you can see the farm table is back. We commissioned the design of it 20 years ago and still love it.
Hello Lovely Studio.
My sweet Bella Luna brought us so much joy in this home. Photo by my sister Jo.

Breakfast Room

French country breakfast room with farm table, chandelier, bench and cableknit throw. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
French country dining room with farm table, rustic natural wood candlesticks, hydrangea, Belgian linen armchair, and grey walls. Walls are Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
Hello Lovely Studio.
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.

Living Room

Belgian linen Copenhagen chair from RH. Hello Lovely Studio. #copenhagen #eggchair #rh #belgianlinen
A Belgian linen Copenhagen egg chair from RH…swivel, baby!
Belgian linen sofa with pillows/vintage bench used as coffee table/Hello Lovely Studio
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.
Belgian style in a living room with abstract seascapes by Hello Lovely Studio.
More Belgian linen and original abstracts painted by me.
Reclining in a vintage crochet throw, denim, and European pink pointe shoes/Belgian linen sofa/Belgian style living room/Hello Lovely Studio
Doesn’t everyone recline in a vintage crochet tablecloth and pointe shoes? Photo by my sister Jo. We were having fun.
Belgian style living room with fireplace. Hello Lovely Studio.
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.
Belgian linen Copenhagen egg chair (RH)/round steel side table/Belgian style/Hello Lovely Studio
Oh, the light!
Belgian linen armchair/salvaged industrial stool/abstract paintings/Hello Lovely Studio
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.
Hello Lovely Studio living room with Belgian style.
I never tire of Belgian style.

Decor Finds

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!

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?

Lyle Eyeglasses in English Oak for Women. A keyhole bridge and classic round frames make Lyle a frame for day and evening alike.
Warby Parker LYLE Frames in “Beach Glass”

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

Such an easy way to add an accent color in the bath.

Kitchen Lovely

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.


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  1. July 6, 2018 / 7:57 am

    Dear Michele – what a lovely stroll back in time. I have followed you for years and recall so many of the pictures of you and your beautiful home. You continue to inspire me daily as I watch for my “new post” email from you every morning. Thank you for sharing the design awesomeness that fills my day with my own home design thoughts, plans, and the occasional “actually got it done”. I appreciate your sense of style and love your words. You are magnificent lady and I hope every day of your summer so far has been filled with light and love.

    • michele
      July 6, 2018 / 2:56 pm

      That is so kind of you to say, and I am so grateful for your loyal readership, Joan. I needed to receive just the gift you are offering here. Thank you. xox

  2. July 6, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Your home is so serene and your paintings look beautiful, dreamlike. I look forward to the next chapter..,,,,,,

    • michele
      July 6, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      Merci, lovely healer. I better get to work on my post…but it’s so beautiful outdoors! 🙂

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