I know you guys know I love just about anything French, but vintage French bread boards are something that I kind of stumbled on in terms of collecting. I don’t even remember where I first saw them, or what made them call my name, but they did! They are plain, and worn out, and definitely unglamorous, but wow, do they have character. They’re something my mother would probably think belongs in a garage sale (haha!), but I just adore them. Actually, I like any bread boards, even new ones, but the old French ones are particularly special. They are usually quite worn, with an amazing patina that comes from years and years of use and handling. I love the texture they add wherever you display them.
However, once I fell in love with them, I found out they are somewhat rare, and not cheap! (Story of my life: whatever I decide to collect always seems to be expensive!) So, slowly but surely I’ve been looking and hunting and have found a few so far. I have found that the German and Eastern European ones are slightly less expensive, and though they aren’t quite as pretty, I’ve bought a couple. I’m mixing them in with the French and that way, saving a little money.
But luckily for me, I’m going to France next month and I’m hoping (praying!) that I find some at a somewhat reasonable price (UPDATE: I did find two great ones when I was there for so much less than here! I kept telling my husband what a deal they were, and he was like, “Yeah, only $50, plus that $800 plane fare!”) Why does he not share my enthusiasm for these things?!
There are all kinds of ways to incorporate them into your decor, so let’s take a look…
This might be one of the prettiest uses of vintage French bread boards ever photographed! I love that they are the artwork in this breakfast room. Also, the large size of them makes such a statement! By Brooke Giannetti.
So simple and cute. Love the shape of this one! Design by Barbara Westbrook.
Here one is used on the island to feature a vignette. Via Debra Hall Lifestyle.
Via My Sweet Savannah.
A vignette I created on the kitchen table recently.
So gorgeous! Via Dreamy Whites.
A little vignette I did on the counter last fall. This is one I brought home from my trip to Provence!
This is Brooke Giannetti’s previous home. Seems she liked them even then! I love them mixed with all the silver and ironstone.
One of my favorite places to display them is on my range hood mantel. This one is Eastern European, probably German. I love the cross strap wood look of these!
A display in the family room last fall.
The kitchen table is one of my favorite places to display them. I love the layered look of using it over a runner as a stage for whatever display is there.
Whether you stack them in the kitchen, hang them on a wall, or lean them on a mantel, they add tons of vintage charm and French farmhouse style. I especially love displaying them in a kitchen vignette, or even using them to serve bread and cheese. And they mix well with their French cousins, demijohn bottles and vintage baskets! For more inspiration, see my post on French farmhouse kitchens!
I’ve sourced some great French ones for you below. But since they can sometimes be more expensive, I’ve also listed some reproductions and European ones (from other countries besides France). There are great options out there to create the same look without breaking the bank!
Get the Look!
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