Prepare yourselves for exclamations of OH, THAT’S DARLING and HELLOOOOOO, LOVELY! This French Farmhouse Design Inspiration contains all of the ingredients of a winning timeless and tranquil fantasy, and I even have exact sources for many of those ingredients.
Last week, it was my pleasure to connect with a kindred spirit who dared to take her passion for all things French farmhouse to the next level. I know you will delight in both the decor and lifestyle inspiration you’ll find here as you tour the beyond charming French farmhouse of new-friend-to-Hello Lovely, Charlotte.
These never before published photos are exclusively for us, and I’m so grateful to her!
French Farmhouse Design Inspiration & House Tour!
There’s much more than a tour in store for you, friends.
You will also discover an interview and a lovely, new-to-me, timeless, and tranquil French farmhouse shopping source: Vivi et Margot.
Vivi et Margot
Meet the Lovely Founder of Vivi et Margot
Charlotte Reiss grew up in Marlborough, Wilshire in England before her career took her to London, NYC, and LA, where she currently heads a successful modeling agency (The Lions) and raises a young family with husband Sky Reiss. Sky is in the construction business, and a few years back, he and Charlotte felt a surge of inspiration upon viewing an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters International.
Raise your hand if ever you get the itch too from watching the show!
Romantic French Country Inspiration
The dream of buying their own farmhouse in France to make sweet-as-macarons memories with family not only became a reality near Bordeaux, but thanks to Instagram, it very naturally led to a new venture for Charlotte: VIVI ET MARGOT, an online shop for French farmhouse finds!
Hello, Lovely Vivi et Margot
Vivi et Margo is named for the couple’s two daughters and offers a full collection of French wares for home, linens, vintage treasures, and extremely popular French market baskets. The success of the shop has continued to bloom, and in April 2018 Vivi et Margot opened its first brick and mortar in NYC – a pop up store at Marche Maman (Maman NYC at 239 Centre Street, between Broome & Grand, SOHO, NYC).
Interview with Charlotte of Vivi et Margot
You are livin’ the Hello Lovely dream, Charlotte!
“The home is such a passion project for me. We bought it 7 years ago and have never looked back.”
Can you tell us what inspired you to shop for real estate in France?
“We were watching HGTV’s House Hunters International and both looked at each other and said ‘we want to do that!’ So we started our search online.”
Those beautiful terracotta tiled floors in your farmhouse! Are they original?
“We field so many questions about them! No, they are 200 year old reclaimed tiles we found in Angers…so much work, but we adore them!”
I know designer Kathryn Ireland’s gorgeous book Summers in France also made an impression on you since like Ireland, you are also British and living in LA.
“Her beautiful book inspired me greatly! I admired her down to earth approach to the renovation of an old farmhouse in rural France while living in America and raising her children. We’re on a similar journey, and I have come to realize it takes time and much patience to create a home we will love spending summers in for years to come.”
Your home is located in Deux-Sèvres. So many of us Americans instantly think of the South of France and Provence as dreamy locations for a vacation home, getaway, or dream home…how did you narrow your search?
“The south was out of the question for us financially and rather than seek a particular region we looked mainly at houses with ‘good bones.’ We looked all over France for properties within our price range, which was under 100,000€.”
Your French farmhouse’s kitchen is so charming! Did it require a lot of renovation?
“The kitchen was a mess! Linoleum floors and cabinets! Also, the main stairs were initially located within the kitchen. My husband moved the stairs to the living room which opened up the kitchen.”
I love that you are real life renovators like us! I understand your husband is a talented figure in construction and house flipping–was your beautiful kitchen a DIY project?
“We worked with Neptune kitchens (a UK company with branches in France) to create my dream kitchen. Apart from a new range (saving up for one!) it’s complete now.”
It’s so lovely, Charlotte, and I can’t seem to get enough of your lovely photography of the space. Is it your favorite room in the farmhouse?
“It’s one of my favorite rooms but my absolute favorite is our master bedroom. We converted the entire top floor attic to create an open concept bedroom, bathroom and dressing area. There are no walls dividing up the space except for the loo. The claw foot tub is at the end of the bed, in effect, with a window overlooking the fields. It’s such a roomy open space with high ceilings and exposed beams. It’s my favorite spot for sure!”
Considering that you bought your dreamy getaway sight unseen…are you enjoying the location now that you have spent vacations here?
“Yes! We are two hours from Bordeaux and 80 minutes from Ile de Re, my favorite place to visit.”
Now I want to discover Ile de Re! Where would we stay if we want to explore this Western France gem?
“Hotel Toiras is absolutely my number one recommendation…it is truly spectacular. We fly into Paris and either drive five hours south or take a two and a half hour train ride to Poitiers.”
Vivi et Margot is stocked with such a charming mix of vintage decor finds from your travels in France and high quality wares for a French farmhouse inspired home. Did you furnish and decorate your home in France with local finds?
“Many items in the home were purchased from France or UK, but I actually incorporated a lot of items from Pottery Barn and Rejuvenation as well as paint from Farrow & Ball.”
How grateful we are to learn the sources of your French farmhouse’s beautiful decor!
Let’s begin our tour of Charlotte’s summer home in Western France…the tour of the bedrooms, baths, laundry room and living room continues in PART 2 RIGHT HERE since there is so much lovely, and I don’t want you to miss a thing!
Also, don’t miss a helpful Shopping & Resource Guide below (courtesy of Charlotte Reiss) for sources of the furniture, decor, paint colors, and more.
It is so easy to get caught up in the French farmhouse romance, oui? At this point in the post, I a daydreaming about the perfect baguette, French flea markets, and riding around town in a sweet bicycle LIKE THIS or even a beachy tricycle in an amazing French-y green like THIS.
French Farmhouse Tour
French Farmhouse House Tour: Exterior
French Farmhouse House Tour: Outdoor Dining
French Farmhouse House Tour: Kitchen
Rustic Elegance in Beautifully Renovated Kitchen in France
Charming Check Linens in a French Country Kitchen
French Farmhouse Design Inspiration: Interior Paint Colors
Paint colors for interiors throughout the French farmhouse: FARROW & BALL.
Woodwork, doors, and beams: FARROW & BALL French Gray.