April 29, 2012
l'élégance rustique du
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Built by Dore Callaway (Me!) The rustic elegance of... My French kitchen
Bird house built from salvaged picture frames, candle stick columns, vintage iron curtain rod corbels and hooks used for their perches and salvaged woods from job site remodels that I will salvage from in my interior design work. A French kitchen is all about treasured objects, here one of my French style birdhouses added to the theme of all things much about handed down, French flea market collected and created with a rustic rural French jardin in mind.
The French are trendsetters, famous for their food, wine and décor. Decorators often borrow from the French and table settings are no exception. In creating a French look, whether elegant or country, a French table must have stemmed glasses even if the guests are drinking water (or any cold beverage), it is served in stemware. The French use several different sizes and shapes of stemmed and stemless glasses provided all are clear. A separate glass for water and wine is a necessity. When arranging the glasses, place them largest to smallest from left to right. The French often serve different wines (one with dinner, one with dessert) which requires more than one wine glass. The idea is to be sure there is a different stemmed glass for each wine or beverage entertaining your meal and desserts.
Cutlery recommendations on knives, forks and spoons lean more towards placement on the table than what to use. Photos of French tables usually feature silver cutlery. Place knives to the right of the plate with the blade facing the plate. Forks go to the left of the plate with a soup spoon on the outside of the fork (if soup is served). If a teaspoon or dessert fork are used, they belong above the plate. In my case I set my French table with silver toned flatware by (Lenox)I love the Fleur De Lis like motif at the ends of their handles.
Plates are the decoration demanding attention. The plates can have scalloped edges or other designs lending an understated elegance as I did here using a pale pattern in a patina that lends to the feel of my rustic rural French home. Stoneware is often a first choice when used on the French country table, a separate plate is a must for each course like salad, soup, dinner, bread, dessert. I used my (Noritake- Memorabilia)Gala Cuisine, and of course the sweet birds make for charming my French table when I am not using my all pale of whites.
The Center (piece) of Attention
Centerpieces add awe to any table. A simple bunch of flowers in a stoneware pitcher is all a French table needs. On my table I used an old vintage bucket filled with ice keeping the French lemonade cooled. The dents and chips added to its worn distressed French flea market brocante feel. The idea is simplicity with the tables design while keeping all things French in its uncomplicated theme.
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For a casual French slip-covered feel to an odd chair you can cover them with a thrift find or a borrowed white long sleeved shirt from his closet. Then button the shirt onto the chair bringing the arms to the back side tying them in a lose knot with a handmade tag marking your guest seating place along with a snipping of lavender as I did here. You may also fill his front pocket with dried lavender for a calming scent replacing the lack of a floral table arrangement.
Hand painted signs by Dore (me!)
Inspiring the rustic poetry in this French setting.