Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance

In yesterday’s timeless decor roundup, I promised you an epic house tour, and Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance has arrived. Today’s fantasy lesson for students of timeless European country style shall not disappoint!

(I just used “shall,” y’all. That means things are about to get fancy up in here!)

Years ago, proprietor Ruth Gay of Houston-based Chateau Domingue was challenged when she and her husband were building their Old World style home. After struggling to locate the precise construction materials they desired for the residence, she discovered two things: a gap in the market and a personal passion for sourcing one of a kind architectural elements and monumental antiques from Europe.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

And that’s how her business Chateau Domingue was born.

I first learned of Chateau Domingue as a follower of Velvet and Linen when the Giannettis were sourcing materials for their own timeless home…Patina Farm. Then I discovered the glory of the home you see here when Milieu magazine launched and rustically elegant interiors by Pamela Pierce exploded on my radar.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #livingroom

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

“Exploded” may be too mild an adjective. Vaporized. Yes. Poof. It vaporized my radar and spoiled me forever more (and probably you too) for bespoke, impossibly sophisticated, and authentically superior country interiors.

You will learn more about Chateau Domingue as the house tour progresses, and I can think of no better introduction to the firm than viewing its founder’s own use of reclaimed architectural elements and antiques from Europe.

Let’s tour the unforgettable home of Ruth Gay!

Design: Pamela Pierce Source: Chateau Domingue Photos: courtesy of Chateau Domingue

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance

Timeless European Country Dining Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #shelves

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #romantic

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #religiousart

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #apothecaryjars #diningroom

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Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor

Certainly lovely indeed…Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance..

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #fireplace

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #antiques

Certainly lovely indeed…Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance.

European Country Decorating Sensibilities

Authentique

How is this European country and French inspired home accessorized? One can certainly spy the authenticity of antiques, old stone, and French influence, but note also the feather-light airiness of the interiors. The natural atmosphere and ethereal mood created by Pierce and Gay is a triumph. Here are a few ideas gleaned from studying this and other lovely French country interiors.

Purposeful Accessorizing

While we Americans often choose to accessorize in the name of “decorating,” a more European country approach reveres function and purpose. Is the accessory useful? Can it be pulled into service? Is it able to store essentials? Will it stand the test of time? Is it high quality and multi-functional?

Did you note the open shelves in the dining room and the objects placed upon them? Purposeful baskets, dishes, receptacles for flowers, and pitchers. Such practicality may be Old World indeed, but it is a breath of fresh air to see it applied to modern day life in Texas.

Avoidance of Filler

Many a home decorator feels compelled to cover walls with “interest” and fill shelves with dust-gathering pottery or decorative urns which may never see use. Such an approach may result in a watered-down, mediocre effect lacking character. Massed collections can be powerful sources of beauty in a room. They may even be displayed as successfully as an engaging art installation. Yet accessorizing can be disastrous and vignettes criminally over-styled. (Criminally? Fine. There is probably no danger of a sting operation by the design police in one’s living room for over-styling.)

Of course exceptions must be made. Pretty objects mindlessly placed upon shelves for the eye to behold are common in the U.S. of A. since roomy American homes tend to present empty spaces and shelves to fill. However, a European Country or French approach to accessorizing can still be a guide.

The approach seems less concerned with providing the eye with candy and more inspired by nourishing the soul with thoughtful, grand, and authentic gestures with purpose.

Hall & European Antique Doors from Chateau Domingue

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #doors

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #doors #limestone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Timeless European Country Bathroom Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #bathroom #antique #sink

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #bathroom #antiques #stone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #bathroom #oldworld

One of a Kind Reclaimed Stone Imported by Chateau Domingue

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #staircase #stone #romantic #candlelight

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #reclaimedstone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #limestone #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Timeless European Country Kitchen Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #louischairs #antiques #oldworld

Chateau Domingue’s Mission: Grandness + Simplicity

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #kitchen #oldworld #antiques #stone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #kitchen #antique #stonesink

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #stonesink

Certainly lovely indeed…Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #limestone #antique #stonesink

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques #limestone #stonesink

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #limestone #oldworld #louischair

Timeless, European Country Inspired Decor Ideas

Guiding Principles…Not Secrets

Are there secrets to achieving a timeless, European country (including French Farmhouse and French Country) inspired decor look in your home? 

Far too many articles online reduce a complex and multifaceted design style to a handful of steps or secrets. As a decor blogger, it is easy to fall into the habit. Timeless design is a broad category, as is European country so there is need for shorthand and summarizing.

Yet I think many of us have grown weary of those filler pieces promising “designer secrets.” I have certainly used “secrets” in post titles because folks click over when they see the word. But I do aspire to transcend for the sake of design-hungry guests appreciative of a delicious entrée.

Timeless European Country Entry & Stair Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #limestone #stairs #reclaimedstone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #stone #stairs

Chateau Domingue’s Mission: Rustic Elegance

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #staicase

A few guiding principles to consider…

1, START WITH BEAUTIFUL BONES AND ARCHITECTURE…We certainly must save our pennies, for this principle, Francophiles! Beautiful bones and architecture may be the steepest challenge depending upon your home’s age and style (unless you are a billionaire, building new, or are lucky enough to live in a farmhouse in Provence). Beautiful bones are definitely a tall order, yet partnering with experts at Houston-based Chateau Domingue can make them a reality.

Timeless European Country Living Room Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #livingroom #limestone #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #reclaimedstone

2. INVEST IN BEAUTIFUL EUROPEAN ANTIQUES AND FIXTURES…The acquisition of beautiful furniture and materials should not be done begrudgingly or in haste. It can and should happen over time as you enjoy the design process entailing travel, collaboration with seasoned professionals, brocante goodness, auctions, and antique shopping!

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques #livingroom #limestone

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #frenchjar #limestone

Ruth Gay’s Masterpiece of a Home Office

Three pairs of 18th century French doors, barrel vaulted ceiling clad in 17th century stone from a French Vineyard, and blissful upholstered pieces grace Ruth Gay's office.#chateaudomingue #antiques #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #lantern #limestone #oldworld

Three pairs of 18th century French doors, barrel vaulted ceiling clad in 17th century stone from a French Vineyard, and blissful upholstered pieces grace Ruth Gay’s office. Certainly lovely, indeed!

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #steeldoors #limestone #antiques

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiquedoors #limesstone #interiordesign

3. DO NOT RUSH WHAT CANNOT BE RUSHED. A timeless, authentically layered, quality interior design plan takes time and quite often necessitates help from experts and designers. We Americans rush everything these days. It must all be done…yesterday. We multitask and plow speedily through our days yet wonder why time seems to pass so quickly. There is much to learn from European and French culture and practices. We may prosper from incorporating more of those European daily rhythms into our daily lives to savor the present in a fuller sense and thereby LIVE more abundantly.

Timeless Garden & Greenhouse Inspiration

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #greenhouse #garden

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #greenhouse #frenchgarden #hydrangea

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #greenhouse #antique #frenchgarden

Lovely & Timeless European Country Garden Elements

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #frenchurn #hydrangea

Chateau Domingue’s Mission: Unimpeachable Quality

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #livingroom #ruthgay

Certainly lovely indeed…Timeless European Elegance.

Chateau Domingue’s Mission: Noble Heritage

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #fireplace #ruthgay

Certainly lovely indeed…Timeless European Elegance.

Chateau Domingue’s Mission: Timelessness

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques #ruthgay

Authenticity & Context

As voiced earlier, let’s avoid reducing a design style as exquisite as is seen here, to a few steps for “scoring the look” or “capturing the flavor.” There are HUNDREDS of steps (I’ll ask Ruth and Pam for the exact number…Ha!). Instead, let’s highlight a few key points which will likely generate more questions and become a springboard for discussion rather than a summary.

First of all, if we desire authenticity, we must firmly become anchored in the origin of European country and French farmhouse style. We should become familiar with the lovely landscape of rural France with its hills and valleys, of Tuscany and Umbria. It isn’t about the work of this famous designer or that famous design house; but a journey into the history, fruits, and magic of the European countryside.

A Country French look, for example, has long established its enduring appeal. Its beauty and timelessness derive from its natural connection to the culture and character of the region. No wonder it is not so easily emulated, “scored,” or created outside of France. Most of us haven’t the patience, ma cherie!

Secondly, a European country inspired or Country French approach to home decor (which is often effortless, unhurried, and nostalgic) echoes a body of cultural ideals and values. To understand the “why” of this approach remaining popular in America, we must delve deeper into European culture and history and then discern why it attracts a following.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #stonesink #ruthgay

Timeless Over Trendy

Thirdly, instead of following trends and redecorating every decade (or season if you glance at influencers on Instagram!) as Americans often do, traditionalists in the French countryside favor a timeworn look. When you are after a similar look at home, antiques and reclaimed authentic materials are your friend! High quality and long lasting pieces which increase in value over time can become heirlooms. Buy better and buy less applies. The look is rustic, elegant, simple, sophisticated, timeless, and never contrived or overwrought.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #antiques

Charm & Mixology

Fourthly, there is often a sense of refinement in traditional European country or French Country homes where a masterful mix of old with contemporary results in cohesive and sensible interiors which also feel soulful and interesting. Contemporary sculpture or a modern lamp may be paired with an ancient carved chest or clay pot. Slim steel windows complement age-old rustic design elements. The pleasing combination packs sophisticated charm. Additionally, collected antiques and heirlooms impart a sense of rich historical character which simply cannot be purchased in a few clicks shopping online.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #oilpainting #antique

Timeless European Country Essentials

An Evolved Elegance

Firstly, many Americans still opt for matching furniture sets which may fall from favor in style after only a few years. We’re often in a rush, and many shoppers are eager to cross objects off the list by visiting a showroom or two then calling it a day. Such a strategy is contrary to seeking “an evolved European Country look” which demands restraint and patience.

Matchy-matchy is not ideal for a French farmhouse or Tuscan villa. Evolution takes time. Patina takes time. Collecting takes time. And certainly inheriting treasures takes time. Hunting down the just right piece is easier now thanks to the internet, but choosing the proper mix of pieces to create a cohesive, timeless design STILL takes time.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiquedoors #ruthgay

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

European country and French country approaches to furnishing a home often appear intuitive, relaxed, and flexible; yet the care devoted to thoughtfully determining what stays and what goes comes from experience and seasoned design intelligence. A simple yet refined elegance requires expert knowledge and a keen artful eye. Ruth Gay and Pamela Pierce are blessed with such a trained eye. Patiently getting it right the first time saves time and stress in the long run.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #lanterns

Rooms can develop character over time as an owner progressively collects and thoughtfully edits. Do you suppose most traditional European country home owners think much about “ultimate goals” for their country interiors? Think they pay attention to mood boards or paint color of the year? Ha! It seems more likely that once the architecture is complete, even with loose design plans, the rooms become what they should become! Evolution can lead to beautiful, functional, harmonious, timelessly elegant spaces appearing un-decorated, un-done, and uninterested in trends.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #religiousart #ruthgay

Purposeful & Flexible

Secondly, since many European country homes and French farmhouses are smallish and cozy, traditional and timeless country style leans more toward practicality. Without walk-in closets and spacious pantries, home decor pieces must work in a variety of rooms. Out of necessity, they may be moved around to function in various spaces. Since many French farmhouse furniture pieces are rugged, weathered, chunky, and indelicate, they age gracefully with time and use.

It’s easy to see the beauty of investing in fewer yet higher quality pieces which will work hard no matter the room in which they live.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #painting #ruthgay

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Naturally Nature Honoring

 Thirdly, the French love their gardens and bringing fresh flowers inside to decorate the home, arranging blooms quite casually. Just like fresh ingredients for cooking and tasteful decor, fresh flowers have a way of elevating the “everyday.” The French are so inspirational with regard to their approach to beautiful daily living, love of food, and regard for fine art. Depending on the region, sunflowers, irises, and poppies are common flowers which flourish in the French countryside.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #stonesink #ruthgay

Timeless & Weathered to Perfection

Fourthly, since European country is a style which celebrates age and tradition, scratches, rust, and signs of wear are welcome. Shiny new, stained, or lacquered finishes frequently fall flat when paired with antiques and vintage pieces which have patina-ed beautifully. Even aged rugs work better in such settings.

The French don’t shop for a new rug simply because it has faded or frayed. Nearly threadbare is fine until it is no longer useful. What a contrast to a very suburban American habit of growing “bored” with this rug, that accent chair, or that vase and replacing it with another from the strip mall before any wear has accumulated!

Choosing beautiful, high quality pieces (made from natural materials) which only grow better with age is a smart strategy when putting together a room with the same timeless spirit.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #bathroom #stonesink #ruthgay

Romantic Lighting

The French country chandelier is one of the hallmarks of this beautiful design style, and twinkly lights add such a rich romantic layer to interior design. The finishes of these lighting sources tend to be weathered wood or aged metals so antiques always look more beautiful than new examples. The sparkle of crystal from a chandelier can juxtapose beautifully with more rustic and rugged furnishings in a Country French space.

A perfectly patina-ed lantern is no less charming!

Three pairs of 18th century French doors, barrel vaulted ceiling clad in 17th century stone from a French Vineyard, and blissful upholstered pieces grace Ruth Gay's office.#chateaudomingue #ruthgay #limestone #antiques #lantern #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #europeancountry

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Natural Colors & Styling Restraint

I love the pale palette often employed in European country and especially French country homes. Those faded creams, greys, blues, reds, and golds tell a story about: the countryside, the passage of time,  natural light, understated beauty, and tranquility. What does it mean to style effortlessly or with a light hand? I have already discussed over-cluttering shelves with filler, but there is certainly more to it.

The Country French way is more tolerant of wrinkles in fabrics, flaws in objects of all varieties, and imperfections related to furniture and finishes. A country house lends itself to more casual living than a house in the city where fancy dinner parties occur.

Once again, in terms of styling, function appears as a priority. A French country farmhouse is not a Parisian apartment or a Versailles-styled chateau.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques #limestone #ruthgay

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance…certainly lovely indeed.

Say Hello to Treasures from Roads Less Traveled…

Say Bonjour to Chateau Domingue

Chateau Domingue is an invaluable source for the ingredients one needs to create timelessly authentic, European country inspired interiors. Ruth Gay sources the following 15th to 19th century architectural elements and monumental antiques from Europe:

Antique Furniture

Stone surrounds

Mantels

Gates

Fountains

Garden Decor

Doors & Windows

Hardware

Wood Flooring

Tiles

Stone Flooring

Lighting

and the unexpected

Unexpected? Let’s say you always dreamed of owning an authentic, French stone petite 15th century chapel…well, I’d bring you good tidings of great joy and say: YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS CHATEAU DOMINGUE! This remarkable one was in stock a few seasons ago…

Chateau Domingue salvaged this French stone petite chapel. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring.

via Chateau Domingue. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring…certainly lovely indeed.

Chateau Domingue salvaged this French stone petite chapel. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring.

Chateau Domingue. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring…certainly lovely indeed!

Domingue Architectural Finishes

Creating a timeless look for interiors can often be achieved with beautiful plaster and wall finishes, and Chateau Domingue also offers Domingue Architectural Finishes. With 140 colors (developed by Eve Ashcraft) for lime wash and mineral paint and 12 shades for plaster, the options for executing a “just right” finish are vast.

Domingue Finishes on a house exterior. Chateau Domingue. #chateaudomingue #exterior

Chateau Domingue Steel Windows & Doors

I know you have seen custom steel windows and doors in some amazing homes, both modern and country, but where can you find such bespoke treasures? Boom. Enter: Chateau Domingue.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #steeldoors #steelwindows #ruthgay

Chateau Domingue Wood Doors

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiquedoors

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiqudoor #antiquehardware

Certainly lovely indeed…Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance

I am grateful to Chateau Domingue and its lovely curator, Ruth Gay, for sharing this magnificent family home tour with us, and I hope you will pay them a visit:

IN PERSON:  3560 W 12th Street, Houston, Texas 77008 or online RIGHT HERE.

Peace to you right where you are.

michele

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19 Comments

  1. Alice Genzlinger
    August 5, 2018 / 7:23 am

    The house is beautiful and everything in it. But I thought, how would it be to live in it and cook a good meal? Would the kitchen be efficient? I love the work of Pamela Pierce and love her magazine but this house says to me that the home owner does not cook the meals or participate in cleaning it. Guess I’m one of those people that wants to know I am taking care of my home not other people.

    • michele
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 8:40 am

      Hmmmmm. Since we are not seeing Ruth’s entire kitchen and working areas (perhaps there is a scullery, pantry…), its efficiency for home cooks is a subjective matter. I could definitely work in this beyond gorgeous space and am ready to cook and bake up a storm! We are all unique – yes? Custom kitchens happily are not one size fits all. 🙂

    • Connie
      August 5, 2018 / 9:27 am

      Perhaps the family cooks and lives in a more European way, compared to most Americans. 😉 Let’s take a look at another point of view……

      We Americans think a kitchen is small if we don’t have huge amounts of lineal prep space and tons of storage. And if we don’t have enough room to cook and have room for all our guests/family right there in the kitchen with us (or at least hovering near the island), then we think the kitchen is poorly designed. 😉

      I saw in this kitchen all the ‘necessaries’ of a well-functioning kitchen: A good sized farmhouse sink along the wall by the window. A very upscale stove/oven, even a dishwasher (not a necessity but certainly a 21st century nicety), ample amounts of counter space, and a lovely wooden island for prep space as well. (I suspect a high-end refrigerator and microwave are tucked away somewhere out of sight.) Sealed stone floors? Can you get anymore ease to clean? 😉

      Like Michelle, I could certainly cook a meal here…and would be quite happy to do the cleanup as well. 😉

      • michele
        Author
        August 5, 2018 / 9:48 am

        Yes! I would happily be on cleanup crew here. It’s a dream of a kitchen. Since I have cooked in kitchens of all shapes and sizes, I am ready to bake baguettes here any day of the week! That sink and the bespoke everything…takes my breath away!!!!

  2. Connie
    August 5, 2018 / 9:03 am

    Oooh what a treat for the eyes on this lovely Sunday morning!

    Yes, to be able to design a home in this style would be quite lovely indeed! To be able to actually acquire pieces with authenticity would be for many of us……well, but a dream. In the meantime, we search for those things that have purpose and beauty even if they are reproductions or DIY transformations.

    This home is so lovely, so quiet, so real. Because this home is not filled to the brim with ‘stuff’, one can see each stretch of wall, each lovely window, each thoughtfully chosen piece of furniture, each pretty basket, vase or flower arrangement and appreciate each for themselves. Having all this ‘rest for the eyes’ is so crucial. I agree: Americans often ‘overfill’ our spaces just because we can. 😉

    A while ago I was going to paint a dining table I have. I asked for assistance from my French friend who lives in Brittany. When I asked “What color would work best for my northern French country look?” she was totally confused. She said “that is not a term used in France” and had to look up what Americans think of when using French Country. I giggled over that one! 😉

    Call it French country, Country French, European. Call it old, weathered, time-worn. Whatever it’s called, I call it beautiful.

    • michele
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 9:55 am

      Great discussion, friend. And great story! I am quite sure the French get tickled with us and our interpretations of what comes so naturally to them. Language is so limiting at time – oy, don’t I know it!! While Ruth’s home is a fantasy – each space has so much to teach about timelessness, authenticity, quality, and soulfulness. I agree with your point about being able to see the bones – the windows, etc. Who could cover such treasures?

      Did you paint that table?

      • Connie
        August 14, 2018 / 3:16 pm

        Yes I did. Based on her description of colors, I painted it BM French Canvas…a very very light greenish gray… to get the proper color. It looks quite fetching with the white painted bistro chairs, all second-hand finds. 😉

        • michele
          Author
          August 14, 2018 / 8:55 pm

          Love it. I’m going to look at French Canvas on my fan deck – the combo sounds heavenly. 🙂

  3. August 5, 2018 / 9:15 am

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful and dream home inspiraation! Your blog is special…….Happy day to you.

    • michele
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 9:49 am

      It’s wonderful to have you here – so happy you’re inspired! 🙂

  4. August 5, 2018 / 9:18 am

    I can see why your radar exploded Michele! It’s just so romantic. Now I may have to paint a mural for my dining room ❤️

    • michele
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 9:49 am

      Yes, you do!!! But could you come here first and paint a mural anywhere and everywhere your heart desires? xox

  5. Kathryn
    August 6, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    Thank you for this post. I appreciate the research, time, and love you put into it. I am so inspired! While I am not sure if the French or any particular region thinks their home style has a name, I’m glad to know we Americans can use a term (of endearment actually) like French Country to identify what we hope to achieve in our spaces. If I could clad my sheetrocked walls with authentic stone, that would be amazing. But since I can’t, I can still apply plaster, or a limewash product to achieve an old-world look. It may not be completely authentic, but it’s authentic enough to give me all the old-world feels. Thanks again for the inspiration. My artisan wheels are spinning with ideas. And yes….if you can get Holly Irwin to paint you a mural, I think you’ll be the luckiest gal around. Have a great day!

    • michele
      Author
      August 6, 2018 / 5:49 pm

      Thank you for adding to the beauty here and for reading. I’m so happy you are inspired. I know the French get tickled by us. So often design language is inadequate for capturing what is essentially so naturally beautiful and timeless, words simply get in the way! (Full disclosure: I have to use terms like “French country” or “European country” for search engine purposes so folks searching for inspiration will find such posts. So I’m not as ditzy as I sound at times. Probably. Ha!)Yes to plaster – I’m crazy about such finishes. I actually did my own version – mudding our kitchen ceiling and hall ceiling. What a messy job when it’s done by moi. 🙂 How am I going to get Holly to Chicago!?!

      • Kathryn
        August 6, 2018 / 7:50 pm

        Between your art and hers, I swoon. And please keep posting your amazing research. It’s all so LOVELY !

        • michele
          Author
          August 6, 2018 / 8:26 pm

          You’re too kind. Thanks for the support, friend. 🙂

  6. August 10, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    And, to think this beautiful home is right here in HOUSTON !!
    Thank you for this wonderful blog post. Certainly, we all know of Pamela Pierce and Ann @ Chateau Dominque, but to actually see the inside of her home is a real treat. I completely agree with the lack of clutter. Negative space, space without anything, is a dream most of us do not understand. And, I also agree that the piles of matching replica jars, containers is hideous. I don’t want anything in my home to be a replica. This home is truly a labor of lave and a treat for all of us to see.

    • michele
      Author
      August 10, 2018 / 2:31 pm

      Your energy and enthusiasm for this exceptional home is so fabulous, Marsha! How fortunate you are to be living where the most beautiful minds in design are creating and where so many special country French homes exist. I raise my glass to your beloved Houston – I would love to live in that blessed place!

  7. Heike Marquardt Tessnow
    August 18, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    While I certainly appreciate the great work and artistry that went into this beautiful and very authentic feeling home (American versions of French or European Country are always too “clean” and perfect, a little sterile, if you know what I am trying to say), as a European with roots in France, I am concerned about wealthy Americans going to Europe and removing all that history, dismantling French or other European buildings of age and patina to adorn their privileged homes with “authenticity”. It scares me a bit, I have to admit.

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