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.

Rustic French Country Cabinet
Rustic French Farmhouse Table
French Country Sideboard
French Country Headboard
French Country Stencil With Bee
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Linen & Oak Settee
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
French Grey Side Table
French Blue Antiqued 4-Drawer Cabinet
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
French Linen Accent Chair
French Country Wing Chair
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Teak 3 Leg Stool
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Country Sofa
Pamela Arm Chair
Weathered Arm Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
30″ Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Antiqued French Lamp
Light Grey Rattan Chair
French Country Altar Candlestick
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Linen Curved Loveseat
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Oak Accent Stool
Rustic Ring 12-Light Chandelier
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Jute ARea Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Swedish Writing Desk
French Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Parisian Glass Bottle Vase
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Tufted Headboard
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Aged White Writing Desk
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Grainsack Stripe Armchair
Fireclay Farm Sink
Striped Dress Form
Elm rustic stool
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Grey Bistro Set
60″ Round Pedestal Dining Table
Scrubbed Look Wood Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
French Country Chandelier
Rustic Rectangle 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!

Turquoise 3 Drawer Accent Chest. Come find Beachy Turquoise Decor Inspiration to float your boat! #turquoise #decorinspiration #beachyblue

Wouldn’t this be functional and fabulous just about anywhere? Blue Chest with 3 Drawers

I’m crazy for these Swedish looking pieces that will never fall from favor and have such a pretty finish.

Mikah 3 Drawer Dresser #swedish #dresser #chest #bluegrey

Mikah Dresser:FIND HERE

But which color!?!

Mikah 4 Drawer Gentleman's Chest

Mikah 4-Drawer Chest:FIND HERE

If you have the right wall for these wings…ooh la la!

Aqua or turquoise blue Ercole Egg 29" Table Lamp. Come find Beachy Turquoise Decor Inspiration to float your boat! #turquoise #decorinspiration #beachyblue

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.

Guerrera Robins Egg 4 Door Credenza with Wire Mesh Door Inserts


Credenza with Wire Mesh Doors

Velvet Throw Pillow

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.

Lauren Ralph Lauren Cotton Long-Sleeve Shirt Women's Lepore Wash #chambray #workshirt #beachyfashion

Ralph Lauren Chambray Shirt in Lepore Wash Blue

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…

Shoshanna One-Piece Pinstripe Tie-Waist Chambray Swimsuit #chambray #swimsuit #chambrayblue

Shoshanna Pinstripe Chambray Swimsuit

For the Bath

How pretty would this be in an all white bathroom?

Barraute Vanity Chair

Skirted Vanity Chair

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

Retro Penny Round 0.75" x 0.75" Porcelain Mosaic Tile

Kitchen Lovely

I am thinking buttercream iced cupcakes with little turquoise Swiss dots on top.

KitchenAid Artisan Designer 5 Qt. Azure Blue Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

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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