09 September 2012
The Days of September
Posted by Sarah Krouse
The Frankophile in me comes out when the weather turns from outdoor activities and clean, modern interior spaces to indoor living & cozy, warm environments. I don't think it's a trait I'll ever remove from my genetic makeup. I mean, rich, dark woods thrown in with sparkly accents and beautiful throws - that, my friends, is what the fall & winter season is all about.
I know many enjoy using holiday themes to keep their interiors refreshed throughout the year; but for me, it's more about readying my home for the months ahead and creating an environment that embraces the season rather than styling for each & every holiday. When the days shorten & the air becomes crisp, my interior gravitates to a French style.
Never having studied interior design, my style of French may be quite different from the true definition; but no mind. In my world of all things French, I imagine slipcovers loosely draped over upholstered furniture, plastered walls, high ceilings and beautifully carved furniture - much of that dripping with layers upon layers of old paint. There are crystals chandeliers mixed in with crusty urns, rustic farm tables juxtaposed against elegant fine china, and the walls are covered in 17th & 18th century art. There are little vignettes scattered throughout consisting of small collections of family trinkets - all which have remained in the same location for generations only to be dusted by the new generation of caretakers. Nothing of any value is thrown away, just casually stored.
It's so different from my spring/summer style of minimalist design & clean, bright interiors; but it's a welcome change.
I think much of my love for all things French was inspired by my mother who spent many years living in France during WWII while my grandfather was serving his country. I loved to hear the stories of her childhood in France, and I believe it greatly influenced my design aesthetic later in life.
While living in France, my mother's family lived in what used to be the hunting chateau of an old castle. I was captivated by the stories she would tell of her time there and all the secret hiding spaces she & her friends would play in. But even more captivating to me were the details she would give of the lodge itself & its surrounding structures.
It was old, cold, damp, & musty, and the plaster would often fall off the walls. The ceilings were tall, and the floors were made of stone. The winter's heating was barely more than a large fireplace in each room; and there were miles upon miles between their estate & the neighbor's. For entertainment, she & her mother would shop the local antiques & brocantes to collect their hoard of antiques - all of which was shipped home once they returned to the states. Many of these pieces now reside in my home.
I love that there is a history to many of the items in my home and why antiques are such a large part of my design - they all have a story to tell & a life they have lived. The connection to the past is welcoming & comforting - especially during the the cooler seasons of the year.
How about you? How does your home change throughout the seasons?