The French Connection - Onzième (11th) Note: Let the Sun Shine In!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

*image courtesy of etsy seller metroline6

Salut! Il fait beau, trés trés beau!!!

There's nothing like a little French sunshine to lighten your spirits and bring hopeful thoughts of summer your way. Springtime in France brings to mind long lazy lunches in the garden, flinging open shutters and windows to let in the soft warm air and be serenaded by the birds in the trees.
As the air warms, the sun paints trees and plants in warm shades of color ... and fades stone walls and painted shutters into their very own custom colors.

When it comes to design, this time of year I am inspired by all things Provençal ... that unique blend of soft and rough ... beautiful timeworn linens in patterns that include olives and lavender ... the mix of handmade rustic furniture in wood and iron and colorfully painted sideboards, chairs and tiles... everything flaunting its patina of graceful aging.

*images courtesy of

For your Provence inspiration, use a warm pastel palette with splashes of intense hues. Walls can be in softer shades of green, terra cotta, warm beiges with yellow undertones...unless it is your bedroom where you will find brighter colors like turquoise or pinks.

Fabrics will blend timeless neutral linens with bold stripes or patterns that emulate the outdoors and will include bees, olives, lavender plants or other southern French classics.

*image courtesy of

Furniture is minimal but functional and generally relects the local artisanal craftsmanship ... rustic woods, hand-forged irons, lots of tile.

Doors and arches will show off hand-painted designs of flowers and ornate swirls. *image courtesy of

It isn't unusual to find outdoor furniture inside or vice-versa, reflecting the versatility of the climate.

All in all, Provençal design is relaxed, comfortable, inviting ... all that is missing to complete the look is your chilled glass of rosé and some soft guitar music strumming in the background. Voila!

Our guest correspondent for The French Connection is Kimberlee Mancha, mother of Johnelle and co-founder of Mignonne Décor. Now living in France, Kimberlee started our sister shop "The Bohemians" in 2009. She will be providing live updates for all you Francophiles and lovers of beautiful European inspirations.



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