Rustic French Stone Inspiration & French Lesson

The French Lesson

As for the glossary terms (scroll way down) related to French houses, interiors, and design…my French is not so good, and we are often exploring French influences here. After finding some help on Chateau Domingue’s site, I searched a bit more for home-related vocabulary. Feel free to enlighten me with more.

BTW. While not French in origin, the word that kept springing to mind as I devoured these images of old stone buildings was: patina. 

Patina: The natural aging of the stone surface through oxidation and other exposures that enhance the color and texture of the surface.

Do the French have descriptive terms related to ‘patina?’ The Italians began using the word in the 17th century to refer to the green film developing on the surface of copper. Later, it was used to describe surface appearances of objects growing beautiful with age. Patina can even describe someone’s vibe.

I found this bit somewhere online: She carries the patina of old money and good breeding. (I’m afraid the patina carried by moi  is decidedly more Kraft dinner and public school! What patina do you carry?)

I promise I will end this word-nerd geekfest.

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Design Glossary

 Glossary Terms: Chateau Domingue , French Property, French Luxury , Complete France

Ancien: Old.

Atelier: Workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan or designer; originally from 14th century Old French atelier, referring to a carpenter’s workshop piled with wood.

Appartement: Flat/apartment.

Balcon: Balcony.

Bars: A term used in southern France referring to slabs of rectangular limestone usually laid in a running bond pattern. Originally cut to uniform sizes in order to span the floor joists.

Bastide: A bastide is a local name for a manor house in Provence, in the south of France, located in the countryside or in a village, and originally occupied by a wealthy farmer. It was larger and more elegant than the farmhouse called a mas and was square or rectangular, with a tile roof, walls of stone sometimes covered with stucco or whitewashed, and often was built in a square around a courtyard. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many bastides were used as summer houses by  wealthy citizens of Marseille.

Bibelot: Small object of curiosity, beauty or rarity.

Bois: Wood.

Boiserie: Woodwork.

Bon état: Good condition.

Bouchard: The bouchard is a hammer with many points like a meat tenderizer and especially effective for finishing the surface of harder stones.

Bureau: Office.

Cabriole: Legs which curve out from the seat & inward toward the foot in an S shape.

Campagne: Country.

Canapé: Sofa.

Chambres d’hôtes: Guesthouse, B&B.

Chambre: Bedroom.

Charentaise: Stone house found throughout Poitou-Charentes.

Château: French stately home, sometimes part of a wine-producing estate.

Château fort: Castle (fortified).

Chaumière: A French cottage, thatched cottage or “petite maison.”

Chêne: Oak.

Chinoiserie: Style of ornamentation chiefly from the mid-17th to mid-18th century in Europe, then revived during the Regency (1811-1820), characterized by intricate patterns and an extensive use of motifs identified as Chinese. Currently, it is a style of decorative or fine art based on imitations of Chinese motifs.

Comble: Attic.

Cour: Courtyard or yard.

Credence: Small table or sideboard.

Cuisine: Kitchen.

Dalles: Square and rectangular stones laid in an opus romain, or seemingly random pattern.

Dépendance: Outbuilding.

Domaine: Estate.

Écurie: Stable.

Escalier:  Stair.

Espagnolette: Shutter.

Évier: Kitchen sink.

not French but helpful…Fattoria: A term for a large farmer estate in and around Tuscany.

Ferme, corps de ferme: Farmhouse/farmstead.

Fermette: Small farmhouse.

Foyer: Fireplace.

Gîte: Holiday cottage.

Grange: Barn.

Grenier: Attic.

Jardin: Garden.

Jardinière: Plant container.

Longère: Long, rectangular house common in Brittany and Normandy.

Maçon: Builder.

Maison à colombages: Half-timbered house.

Maison de campagne: Country house.

Maison de maître: Mansion or manor, usually in a town or village (literally ‘master’s house’).

Maison de ville: Town house.

Manoir: Manor, usually in the country.

Mas: Traditional farmhouse in the Provence region of France. A mas was a largely self-sufficient economic unit, which could produce its own fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and even floor. Usually constructed of local stone, the kitchen and room for animals was on the ground floor, and bedrooms, storage places for food and often a room for raising silkworms on the upper floor. Not every farmhouse in Provence is a mas. A mas was distinct from the other traditional kind of house, the bastide, which was the home of a wealthy family.

Marquise: Porch.

Monument historique: Listed building.

Moulin: Mill.

Moulure: Moulding.

Mur: Wall.

Objet d’art: Means literally “art object”, or an object of artistic worth or curiosity, especially a small object. It therefore covers a wide range of works, usually small and three-dimensional, of high quality and finish, in areas of the decorative arts.

Papier peint: Wallpaper.

Parefeuille: Terracotta rectangular tiles originally used to line ceilings between beams, now reclaimed and also used for flooring.

Pavillon: Bungalow.

Pièce: Room.

Pigeonnier: Dovecote.

Plain-pied: Single storey.

Plâtre: Plaster.

Prieuré: Priory.

Rénover: To renovate.

Restaurer: To restore.

Séjour: Living room.

Trumeau: Decorative treatment used over mirrors, windows, doors or mantels. Used often in Louis XV & Louis XVI periods.

Vignoble: Vineyard.

Did you know many of these design terms? I must admit, I didn’t even know a grenier was an attic even though I have experienced the wonder of shopping vide greniers (“empty attic” sales) in Paris!

Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Loveseat
Pamela Arm Chair
Weathered Arm Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Galvanized Console Table
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 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
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
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
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
French Country Wood Mirror
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

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. August 14, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    OMG, you are unbelievable. So much work to create a blog post like this, I know !!!
    Hydrangea love X10 !!

    Thank you thank you thank you !!!

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Oh, friend, I’m just muddling through – truly! Those hydrangea blow me away, and put mine to such shame!!! Your energy is so lovely and buoyant – thank you for taking the time to visit here. 🙂

  2. Sara LeSueur
    August 15, 2018 / 3:57 am

    Your patina is peaceful and lovely indeed!!

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      Merci – that is so kind to say! 🙂

  3. Teresa C.
    August 15, 2018 / 4:15 am

    Oh! My goodness. You have done it again. I am inspired by such beauty, dignity. Thank you.

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Music to my ears, friend! I wish I had more time for research – there are all these amazing sources of French country authentic lovely that I may never discover…:)

  4. Dominic Primato
    August 15, 2018 / 4:31 am

    Strangely in English the spelling of the city is “Marseilles” and in French “Marseille”. I think the one ending in “S” would be appropriate form in your text. I only remember this because I was scolded for the error in French 101 many years ago.

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      Thanks so much! I will look at my post and try to make the correction. Thank you for reading and taking care of this hopeless foreign language student…ha!

  5. Connie
    August 15, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Yes, I have been following her FB for quite awhile and correspond with her frequently. Her photos are absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing more.

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      How cool is that!?! She has an awesome following, and I’m so glad to find her. Please direct me to any kindred spirits who you would like to see spotlighted here or who you think we would enjoy hearing about! xox

  6. Gail
    August 15, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    A “vide grenier” is, literally, an “attic empty”. People “empty their attics” and sell the items they no longer want.

    Similarly, a “vide poche” is a “pocket empty”…a little tray to put things in when you empty your pocket.

    French is fun! Thanks for reminding me of so many good times I had there, over so many years!

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you for educating this peasant! I loved shopping the vide greniers in Paris!!!

  7. August 15, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    You got my vote, talented friend! Beautiful post today, the crumbly, aging stone houses are so inspiring to me. I love the texture and patina. Also thanks for the Downton Abbey memories and French lesson ❤️

    • michele
      August 15, 2018 / 9:29 pm

      Shucks! It would be such an honor to get to the short list. Thanks for your loyal readership and constant support – you are such a blessing to me. xox

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