Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Swoon - Provence, France

Well, I guess the best examples of shabby living will always come from France! The French have had a lasting impact on the interiors world for centuries, and the trend shows no way of slowing down. However, the move from "pretty" {white shabby with romantic twists and lots of floral and gold} seem to be slowly being replaced with a more rustic and earthy feel.

Stripped wooden floorboards, sisal rugs and a neutral palette are key elements in creating a more rustic lived in space
 The reason for this is most likely a move towards practicality rather than for the purely  decorative, which essentially does not satisfy us on all emotional levels. Surrounding yourself with truly meaningful and sentimental choices, are far more rewarding and long lasting to your personal interior contentment within your personal living space.

The slightly more grown up masculinity of neutral tones and the use of natural woods and textures, redefines the image of "shabby" by neutralising the environment, creating a truly timeless and personal choice, which will transcend fleeting trends and which can be easily updated with accessories.


Collections of interesting and old pieces combined with personal collections and a shot or two of injected colour in the form of new home accessories marries the look together in an effortless spontaneous way. 

A few key pieces are enough to satisfy the decorative and functional needs leaving room to focus on enjoying being in a space.
Old armchairs revived with new fabrics add character and history.
Today's Swoon is the French home of British antiques collector and talented  interior stylist  Josephine Ryan. With a name like Josephine its like her destiny was steered towards France from the very beginning, combining her passion for interiors with a brilliant eye for the beautiful and unique.


A mix of rustic exposed wood, painted furniture, white washed walls and terracotta floors is a perfect combination to creating a truly authentic farmhouse feel kitchen. and dining area. Accessories such as light shades and chandeliers that have been selected by the owner puts the stamp of authenticity on the room that will be hard to copy, as objects are chosen for personal reasons or have definitive ties with your past, such as inherited pieces and collections from flea markets etc

The modern silver gas stove and oven sit perfectly next to re- purposed wooden cupboard doors and vintage utensils.
If your space doesn't allow for built in storage, think out the box and create a central feature piece that will showcase all the collections adding to the rustic farmhouse shabby  feel.
White-washed roughly textured walls create movement and contrast which allows you to decorate in a minimalist way without being too  stark and impersonal.

This modern bed frame ties in effortlessly and beautifully with the rustic collection of outdoor/indoor rustic furniture. Using natural linens is cool and fresh and extends the neutral look which can be simply updated with quirky accessories.

Old baskets and flea market finds are essential for enriching the look.

Rustic old doors are easy to source and can be used in many different ways to add dimension and character to any room. I love the floor tiles which offer a slight pattern without becoming over- bearing in a calm serene bedroom.
Modern concrete flooring and bathroom furniture sits comfortably  next to exposed painted wooden beams and old shelving filled with vintage apothecary bottles. A collection of beautiful baskets to store towels and accessories makes for easy storage!


Vintage metal beds and a small wooden milking stool and some cool bedding creates this pared down look. Making use of exposed walls adds lots of character and country style, which can be used in any interior style, whether urban warehouse chic or country cool!.
Relaxed and rustic entertainment!

This beauty is available to rent as a holiday getaway or location shoot at 
 http://www.josephineryanfrance.co.uk/eng/house.html
Visit Josephine's beautiful shop in London 


Josephine Ryan Antiques & Interiors,
63 Abbeville Road,
London SW4
020 8675 3900


You can  buy a slice of her lovely style in the form of her two books " French Home"  & "Essentially French" at Amazon {on the links below the pictures}
http://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Home-Josephine-Ryan/dp/1845974492
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essentially-French-Homes-Classic-Style/dp/1845979060#reader_1845979060

In Josephine's own words after 18 years in the business,

"I am compelled by the thrill of the find, discovering one off pieces and combining the unexpected, unifying the past with the present"

A perfect summary of the concept behind Something Blue Living in a nutshell! I know whats going to be on my Christmas list!