Happy Friday, and welcome to another French Country Fridays where we celebrate all things French-ish! I am so thrilled at the response we’ve had to this series! Looks like you all love French inspiration as much as we do 🙂
For me, my love of French Country or French Farmhouse style really lies in the casual spirit of it. It mixes old and new, elegant and casual, in an offhand way that I just love. This style values patina and age, so that things that are chipped or scratched are not only still used, but still loved. Good thing, since much of my furniture is pretty distressed from real life with three kids! My “casual chic” aesthetic really stems from this. The mix of a crystal chandelier with a rusted bucket. Or a chippy table holding a silver candlestick. That mix is what really makes my heart skip a beat!
A subject I’ve talked about before is how essential I think it is to add art to your decor. In fact, I wrote a whole post on the importance of it, especially if you’re trying to get a more “collected” look. But something I really love, is finding art in unexpected places. Like the kitchen. And believe it or not, the bathroom. Art in the bathroom is one of my absolute favorite ways of using it, and I’m glad to see it’s a trend that is becoming more common!
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now, you know how much I love real art of some kind in a house! In fact, I think it’s so important in interiors that I made it one of the tenets of my series, Collected Look Essentials. However, one of the things I most love – an absolute favorite – is art in the kitchen!
Today I want to continue to talk about the series I started a couple of months ago on how to achieve a house with a “collected” look. To me, the ideal house is one which looks personal, and unique, and not like someone just ordered everything from a catalog. Just to refresh, in the first three posts I talked about how every room needs something vintage and/or antique, that even the most antique-y rooms need something modern, and lastly, how every house needs a collection (or two) to help achieve that “collected over time” look. That leads us to today. And today, I’m talking about art (something I’m quite a fan of, actually!) I think every house needs at least some real art. I know that it’s very much the trend right now to have only other items on the walls; mirrors, letters, numbers, plates, or wood or plaster fragments, and although I love all of those items, I still believe a house should have some actual art. I have spoken to quite a few people about this and what seems to be the case is that they are actually afraid! They might buy a print at Home Goods, but they don’t know how, or where to start, in buying real art. Now lest you think I mean expensive, I definitely don’t. True genuine paintings, whether they be oil or watercolor, can be purchased very inexpensively if you shop antiques or resale stores, buy on Ebay, or even at garage sales. In fact, many times they are the same, or even less money, than buying a print at a catalog store. There is something that art brings to a space that, literally, nothing else can do. First of all, there is color. Most of the things above don’t bring color to a room. Since I personally have a mostly white and/or neutral house, many times the colors in the artwork are one of the few ways I’ve brought color to the room. Art also brings a depth that inanimate objects simply don’t have. Art is alive. A piece (or two) of art in a room can make the room! When I was growing up (and certainly before), people decorated only with art. You couldn’t go to a Home Goods or World Market and buy a cute reproduction map, or a cool mirror, or giant letters. And I will grant you that many houses in the past had too much art (it can definitely go the other way!). But a mix of new and found wall decor that isn’t art, mixed in with real, actual paintings, well, it just doesn’t get any better than that! Shall we take a look?
Art is always such a hard thing for me to find. I’m not big on just buying prints at Home Goods or Pier One or the like, so I’m usually looking for real art. And of course, in order to afford real art, I need to buy antique and that is not a hunt that is quick! It’s really a matter of having to wait awhile before the right thing comes along, and in the meantime, living with blank walls.