La Vie Est Belle & Charming French Inspired Finds introduces a book by Henrietta Heald (all photos from this lovely book © Ryland Peters & Small) I have been savoring for weeks now. Let’s discover it together!
At this very moment, it is 9:30 a.m., and the light in our house is very dim as the rains pour and pleasingly create a drumbeat against metal gutters.
(Obviously, these photos were snapped the day before!)
The percussion tickles my ears and complements clapping thunder.
What a gift that no visible lightning interrupts the visual feast the pages within this lovely title supply.
La Vie Est Belle is a Visual Feast!
Thank goodness there’s a feast since I am forever ravenous!
Here’s the gorgeous book:
On the table beside me, a pale blue-grey mug designed by Thomas O’Brien is filled with fresh mint and ginger tea, warming me to the core.
Enjoy this Beautiful Book With Tea
I sliced the ginger root and bruised the mint leaves myself, preparing a potion to nourish the wholeness of my spirit, body, and mind as only nature, love, and maybe books can.
At times the ground vibrates beneath my feet and only enhances this divinely sensual milieu.
To be swept away by the rich beauty of pages honoring the sophisticated simplicity and rustic elegant character of France is a gift. What a pleasure to share it with you lovely souls.
La Vie est Belle is for the Francophile, certainly. However, it’s also for lovers of country style and history.
La Vie Est Belle Shares the Art of French Living
Each chapter delights with interior design, recipes, culture, flea markets, architecture, and French culture.
My favorite aspect of the book…and I know you won’t be surprised…are the French farmhouse renovations and transformations.
In the third chapter of the book which highlights Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine, we’re treated to an exploration of color palettes with a discussion of natural light and how it affects the fashion in which colors are used within different regions of France.
The courtyard with shutter above reflects an example of the use of quiet and misty blue-greys which are used masterfully by the French to calm and soothe.
French Farmhouse House Tours Inside
In a French farmhouse on a rocky ledge between Mougins and Grasse, is a 1950’s home which appears to be two hundred years older, thanks to the genius of its owners, the Schouten family.
The image below of a beautiful arched entrance is but one example of how they wildly succeeded in their efforts.
The book’s author writes, “The original exterior walls, dating from the 1950s, were made thicker and faced in local stone to give them a rugged appearance. Reclaimed shutters, painted soft sage green, open to reveal a gently arched doorway.”
Chateau Gignac Featured in La Vie Est Belle
One of my favorite chateau tours in La Vie Est Belle allows us to enter the rustic elegance of Gignac, a home restored by the Jouberts and located in the Luberon.
In the double-height entrance hall of this restored home (below), we see a very sparely furnished space. With only a French settee and an antique console table, the focus may remain on the cobblestone floor, the sculptural staircase, and the richness of rustic stone.
The masterful mix of greys in an upper hall of the chateau are delightfully interesting and impossibly tranquil. Grey and white marble tile adorns the floor, various shades of grey on the walls, and creamy plaster mouldings work magic in their harmony. I can’t stop staring and studying the composition which could easily go wrong were it infused with sweetness rather than the blessing of natural, sensual, timeless warmth its restorers have bestowed here.
Lovely French Garden Inspiration
Of this charming sanctuary of a peaceful garden at a home in a hamlet south of the Seine valley, author Henrietta Heald writes:
“Secluded corners designed for relaxing are a feature of the garden. Here the decorative approach is simplicity itself; a small circular metal table, geraniums in a Versailles planter and wire birdcages adorning the walls.”
Treat yourself to a copy of this glorious title from Henrietta Heald if it doesn’t already grace your bookshelf.
Carve out quiet time to savor it and immerse yourself in the beauty even as you become more enlightened and intrigued by all the mystique.
When the author turns her attention to the island Île de Ré, off the West Coast of France, I couldn’t help but think of Charlotte Reiss, whose IG feed introduced me to the magic of the place.
Remember Charlotte’s French farmhouse kitchen (below) near Bordeaux?
While a trip to France to score antiques and authentic finds would be ideal, fortunately we have sources like Vivi et Margot for French homewares and French inspired finds to discover online.
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Don’t miss some surprisingly lovely French country finds in my very own Amazon storefront RIGHT HERE
Charming French Inspired Finds
Ready-made Country French Country Cabinetry
Country French Inspired Dining Room Finds
Country French Chair Ideas
Rustic Elegant Ottoman
French Country Inspired Bedroom Finds
Country French Living Room Decor Ideas
Friendly Priced French Country Accent Chair
French Inspired Dining Finds in My Own Home
French Inspired Kitchen Finds
Rustic Country French Dining Tables
Peace to you right where you are.
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