July 10, 2011

A Home That Speaks French

"Click on photo's to enlarge"
Living without more and surround yourself with simplicity adding a balance like none other. I am sympathetic to an overly used and abused cast off, leaving me to pick it up and brush off the dirt recycling it into my homes design style. Recycled finds need to be displayed in a simple space where all there aged imperfections show off. I like to feature larger pieces for a bold statement and smaller flea market brocante finds for a quiet understated rustic French elegance. I have always been attracted to pieces with evidence of being well loved and to often not appreciated for what it was and what has become of it. There is such excitement in taking a piece and breathing new life into it giving the piece a new resting place in a recycled euro chic home. I never look for a find, I let the piece find me like this worn-out ladder with just the right amount of white and cream paint to it.

This French Chair was gifted to me from one of the developers I design for in there custom home building. I design all the interior designs of there estate model homes as an interior designer and construction corrections. This French chair was finished in a dark wood stain and blue fabric, it was in need of a face lift that I could not wait to get my hands on after there own years of personal use. Spending a great number of years in the home fashion industry and designer marts I have had the opportunity to pick up a furniture piece that would wow most, but for me it just does not satisfy my need to salvage and create charm that only a recycled piece can offer.

Recycling for your homes charm adds to the beauty of your unique style in choosing the right furniture pieces in your hunt to rescue, re-style and reuse. By looking for inspiration at local flea markets, thrift shops and salvage yards, someone else's cast offs can be the perfect piece that encourages your style. It was a perfect fit when I spyed this ladder, the tone and age added charm to the imported French pieces I already had.

I never look at a piece for where it would be placed as much as what role it will play in each room with its function. I then look at a piece with what history has it acquired with the texture and paint finish it has peeking through the soul of the piece. If a piece needs to be stripped down and re-painted I let the piece tell me what it wants to become and where it should rest in my home.

A French imported storage chest that not too long ago had layers of aged French blue paint to it, having a great need to fit it in with my colour tones I stripped it down to see the life it started out with. Loving the outcome of its natural tone while leaving traces of the old to it, I fell in love with it speaking French to me and the storage it offers.

The Anthropologie wire basket on the left was one of there found objects and mine to, the wire galvanized egg basket was a perfect companion fit adding extra storage when need be.

The mirror used as a back drop beautifully aged with scratches needed a nudge with its aging, it was another recycled find at my local thrift for .99 cents. I took it apart painted its dark frame and applied stripper to the back of the mirrors foil removing areas as if it had aged with time. I then cleaned both sides of the mirror, to then apply a stone gray spray paint finish to the back side spraying over the missing foil of the mirror, giving it a hauntingly aged feel to its creamy whites and gray home.

A French Chest with a French iron bed adds to the love of French flea market style in my daughter Hannah's room, along with added distress whites.

My daughter Hannah's boots, one of a few pairs of cowboy boots she wears often even if she is in feminine whites with ruffles, or jeans and a tee her boots are her first choice of footwear next to ballet flats.

A recycled bevelled mirror had a dark frame finish and embellishments I removed to not date the piece making it less recognizable to its era, another find from my favorite thrift for $14.00 dollars. I then painted and distressed it to go over a costly piece I owned for many years and a new look was a given, I had no problem getting to work on this piece making it a new old white for my daughters room. Finding ones own style is a celebration of individuality and creating your own place of peace, letting your design choices do there job.

A salvage wood box placed on a white chest in front of our sofa celebrates a recycled home.

A hand made frame I created from salvage wood house molding and a vintage postcard of roses make for flea market style framed art, adding romance to hanging over a wood box that contains herbal teas on a kitchen counter.

Inspiring all things recycled adding simplicity.


Barbara Jean said...

love all your salvaged and recycled!
great way you have put them all together.

barbara jean

Suz said...

I look forward to you inspiring posts. In this post I love the chair you redid and it's pillow. And the little oil painting you did for your daughter.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Beautiful, Dore. love your choices in furniture pieces. Everything comes together so perfectly!
xoxo Debra

Nicole e Stefano said...

Vous avez un gout vraiment exquis. Tout est très beau ...
A bientot
Nicole de Florence

Maria Vicente said...

Beautiful. I love all the pieces, a dream.
The flowers of the bureau was you who spotted you? I loved it.
An inspiration this post. loved
I found such a ladder in the trash but my husband would not let me pick, even tears. I was annoyed with him. Now I will show you your at it see how beautiful things are no longer teem use.
Good week for you. kiss

google translate

Tiff said...

Your images are stunning. That gorgeous simple elegance and faded charm of those rustic worn pieces is irresistible! X

Vintage Gal said...

Oh la la ~ your home and photos are manifique ~ ;-)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Your home is speaking MY LANGUAGE dearest Doré!!!! I too love the UNDERSTATED elegance of French brocante and I can live with that always...I am slowly changing certain pieces to evoke that quiet statement and you show us so well what that means...YOU ARE THE TRANSLATOR!!!!!

I so enjoyed your visits to my cottage this weekend and I hope to bring more of my evolution to a full French recycled/ brocante feel..my husband loves it too!


Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Your home is dreamy and oh so french! I love everything about it.


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Oh my gosh!! Everything is absolutely stunning!!

Amy Chalmers said...

this post was written for me I think! I found a chandy in a barn sale rafter and it came home with me, waiting for me to breathe new life into it! I love all of your finds and how they look so wonderful in your space!

Christel said...

Dear Dore, The understated elegance of the french brocante, only you do it so magnificantly! I love getting lost here at your blog. Wonderful post my friend! xoxo Christel

Unknown said...

strikingly beautful! always is here...


Unknown said...

Gorgeous furniture! You sure have a way with rustic French elegance. I love every little detail. Especially the mix of wood, whites, and baskets.

Seawashed said...

So beautiful, so calm. You really know how to re-beautify unwanted pieces Dore. You should be working with the design dept. for Restoration Hardware! I love everything about your home. Guess what? While my daughter is visiting family in NE. we found out that we are French, Irish, Dutch, and Scotch (my Mom's side). I knew I had Irish and my name is spelled from the Irish origin, but I did not know I was French! Just another thing we have in common. ox

Laura Venosa Verbena said...

DORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need you to redo my life!!! love all you do.. always so calming to my soul..all you create...so soothing & soulful..just what I need. I am Still trying to declutter all these years of "holding on" this home is a mess I wish I had you here. Maybe one day. xo Laura
P.S. Kerrie is a sweetie I love her style too!!

Rebecca said...

This is all so beautiful and I love the
re-purposing. After being in the retail business for so many years, the mart decor started to look all the same to me and now I can hardly look at the "designer look". Give me the old, the tired, the faded the unique one of a kind!
You go

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

You have inspired me so much with this post Dore, thank you so much!
I am going back for another look so I don't miss a single thing!
I can't wait to show my daughter your daughter's bed, she'll love it!

Cindy said...

marvelous! So many things that I have or like to do to my furniture. You go to a "super distressed" place with that white painted stuff....I really like it!

Jacqueline said...

Just gorgeous and your philosophy is so inspiring. Lovely! Jacqueline xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh ma belle dor´,

THANK YOU for coming with such encouraging words about my home, my photos OF MY HOME, and the interest you have in my life. I see all these beautiful blogs with INCREDIBLE photos of their homes and gardens, but since our has been under CONSTRUCTION and much transition over the years, I had always wanted to share my home, but just couldn't. You and I share a vision, the SAME vision....and I am making it happen more and more each day. For example,yesterday I spent ALL day in my harp room and just the very change in the drapes that go from the corona down over my settee...they were a lovely light brown because that is all I had at the time, but I just make a change to a pair of lovely, light white ones and OH MY GOODNESS, what a different it made in here! The whole entire from of the house (front room and my harp room) my husband said are "MINE" to decorate. I am getting rid of most things DARK in there and a paint job for my harp room is in order. Now it is a buttery off white that is actually not bad. But while I want to leave the imperfections in the walls (former owners painted over old and cracking wall paper!) and with just a little work, I want to paint the walls frost white like in our new rooms. If and only if you have a moment, email me and I will send you pictures of what I did. I LOVE IT!!! THANK YOU AGAIN MY SWEET FRIEND...we have a VISION IN WHITE AND GRAY and recycled French furniture!!!! BISES, Anita


Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

What wonderful pieces of furniture you have chosen to give a second life! Indeed, your home does speak French...and with a lovely accent! Thanks for entering the giveaway! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

You have some amazing pieces! I love your stlye.

Sarah said...

Beautiful! You have wonderful style and vision for creating peacefulness.
Hope you have a great week. ~ Sarah

Debby said...

How wonderful to treasure these olden pieces. I love reading your words about what it all means to you. I agree.

Pamela said...

Dore your stuff is so gorgeous!!!!
I will trade you the dress for that gorgeous Italian tray okay twin???

Love the ladder and i have one just like it and have been thinking about putting it in my bathroom. My hubby just won't get it though! lol!!
Pamela ox

Ann said...

Love your post ♥

THere is a definite elegance in the simplicity of it all. I love your design style, so serene yet speaks a lot of class and elegance.

savvycityfarmer said...


you made my day ... posting this luscious feast

Atelier de Campagne said...

Love the fresh and clean look of these environments!


Bring Pretty Back said...

I could look at these images for hours just looking at the beautiful details!
Have a PRETTY day!

By Nela said...

He descubierto tu blog y me ha encantado, hay mucho para impirarse. Si lo deseas te invito a conocer mi blog.
Saludos. Manoli.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hey Girlie!

So glad you stopped by - but could kill you!!! That little French storage cabinet is exactly what I am needing - or that little chest of drawers. I am on the hunt for something really cool, but with some storage to go next to my new sofa which arrives today! It is nothing special - have to get something for my hubby's back issue - but I will end up slip covering it. Been painting ALL week our living room and built-in cabinet and window seat and hallway. Your post is beautiful as always!!! LOVE IT...when do I not?

Thanks for stopping by - love it when you do - you are sort of like my little (and very chic) door bell - sort of like when you post me a comment it is more like: "come out and play!" Because I get so deep in my work, I just don't. You are such a treat.

Have a great weekend,
Big hug,
Elizabeth :-)

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Dore,
Oh my gosh--I KNOW we are on the same wavelength!!! Ralph is up north and has been hunting for a ladder for me for a month! lol and I just got pics yesterday with my cowboy boots...I swear, we must be sharing a muse!! lol I am always so HAPPY when you visit my blog--it's like sunshine!!!
Love & hugs,

helen tilston said...

Hello Dore

I, too, love your home. Thank you for the steps you took to antique the mirror. I learned something new.
I love your blog

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Dore- I always love stopping by here and seeing all your gorgeous inspirations!! Such a lovely home you have!!! Come share this at Feathered Nest Friday sometime~ it's absolutely beautiful! :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, Dore!!! I could not choose a favorite - everything is so pretty! I hope to refinish a few small things at my house soon. Thank you for all this beautiful inspiration today!!!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

So pretty ---- love the chippy finishes. Gorgeous!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Again~ So glad you linked this up to the party this week!! Sharing this on FB~ Have a great weekend! :)

Erin of HomeSavvyAtoZ.com said...


Heaven's Walk said...

Dore - you SO know how to put beautiful vignettes together, girl! Must be the artist in you, huh? :) Your home looks so serene and peaceful and inviting and French.....LUV!!!!

xoxo laurie

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oh Dore, everything you put your heart and hand to is most beautiful.

I can tell you love your home with your entire heart! So soothing, these photos you've shared make me want to move a few things around (the best compliment I can give...)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning my dear, dear Doré! My sweet friend, it charms my soul to have made such wonderful connections with people like you who love life and GOD and who enjoy the fine and beautiful things in life. Your comments are so beautiful and I cannot thank you enough. MY FAVORITE NUMBER????????

The number 7. I have ALWAYS seen numbers with a type of personality....it is just the way my brain works! ANd SEVEN to me is STRONG as well as elegant. She stands up TALL and to me, SHE stands between 6 and 8 who are bold and masculine numbers to me....isn't that bizarre, my thinking? BUT THAT IS MY NUMBER dearest and I just want to tell you how much I cherish you. Be well, be still and enjoy the beauty of each moment. MILLE BISES MON AMIE, Anita

Laura Venosa Verbena said...

another visit for you my friend. I am blessed to have you in my life.. even through these wires & the screen your energy & love is felt. You are loved ny so many & I can see why. Here is to you!!! xo Laura

Pamela said...

What a beautiful home you have!

WhiteWhispers2u said...

I thought I left you a message but I guess I did not! So sorry.........Hope all is well with you ladies.I am good just very busy these days.
Love, Love the boots! I grew up wearing boots and to this day at my ripe old age I feel like I can still wear them.I am on the hunt for some new ones for this fall.
We are to close on the Beach Cottage this next week ugh! I can't even believe what the Banks put you through these days.I see why houses aren't selling to quickly.
Your home is always easy on the eye and so artfully decorated.~Cheers Kim xox

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Just beautiful,Dore!!Everything is just perfect.
Thanks for sharing.Have a wonderful Sunday.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Hi Dore,
I've always loved your style. Recycling is a passion of mine. You put everything together so beautifully. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, leaving such a lovely compliment, and becoming a follower. I'm following you too, and look forward to exchanging visits.

Karena said...

Dore you have some very special, really priceless pieces now taht you have worked your magic with them!


Art by Karena

Come and join my Giveaway of a very special painting!

Hanlie Joubert said...

hello Dore, thank you for stopping by and your sweet comment on my blog. i actually stared to follow your blog about a week ago, it is just beautiful!
have a wonderful evening

Kirsty Girl said...

It all looks so beautiful!

Unknown said...

You have some truly beautiful furniture pieces & lovely finishing touches.

Anonymous said...

Tres jolie, dahling! I felt so at home admiring all of your treasures :) So important to be surrounded by beauty and items that make our soul sing!!


michelle said...

Dear Dore, this is one of the many reasons I love visiting you, you have such an eye for things and making them yours, giving them a second chance at a beautiful life. I love what you did with the aged mirror, those are one of my favorite. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us and seeing things through your eyes is truly wonderful.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Dore, wonderful post in that I get to know more about you. The white chest is amazing, love the finish on it. I'm lovin' the ladder too, I use one like it all the time, makes a great statement!
xoxo Debra

Jenni said...

Oh, I love the mirror you aged! It turned out so good, and really inspires me to finally try my hand at the mirror we talked about. I'm nervous, but worse case scenario, I could always replace the mirror, right? :) But truly, I love your entire home, and how you have brought out the beautiful in each piece you have in your home! :)

Hugs to you~

P.S. I forgot to say how much I love the old ladder, too! :)

Jilly said...

The wonderful decoration of your home. It is such a impressed work. Interior is awesome and excellent work.
flaş bellek

imsteelefullofscrap said...

Bee bopped over here from Commom Ground and really enjoy your site!

Joe said...

Multiwood has been my go-to Office furniture
store for years, and for good reason. I recently bought a new office desk and chair, and they've transformed my workspace. The desk is spacious and well-built, providing plenty of room for my work essentials. The chair is ergonomic and comfortable, making long hours at the computer much more bearable. Multiwood's quality and service are unbeatable.