Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Southern/French Point of View

As you can see from my profile, I am in love with what I call a Southern/French look in design. This look is one that is a combination of the elegance found in grand French palaces and chateaux combined with the family heirloom, down-to-earth comfort of the American South.

I am always drawn to rooms in which the grand and the humble co-exist. In many Southern families, this look was prevalent because ancestors several generations back may have owned some nicer things, such as family silver or a few good textiles, but later generations who suffered through the Great Depression weren't able to acquire many of these finer things. Their houses were furnished more for function than finery. Therefore, it was common to see a silver tea service displayed in a room with simple farm tables and straight back chairs. To me, this kind of juxtaposition that evolved through people's real lives and histories is absolutely fascinating. My own maternal grandmother's life was similar to this. Her father was a store owner and land owner who employed many people. She and her siblings lived in a large farmhouse sitting high on a hill above the river. But the Depression changed fortunes for many people, and surviving was the top priority. These people worked hard and raised large families, while still retaining their pride.

As do most families , my family has European roots; Irish, French, German. So vestiges of this heritage are there as well. I feel that your heritage speaks to you in an almost subconscious way. We are often drawn to things and images for reasons we may not understand. My heart is always drawn to the humble Southern home with touches of the finer European things mixed in. I feel very blessed to have my affinity for fine French furniture tempered with with my East Tennessee heritage. As I go further with my blog, I will attempt to illustrate this special look.

From my Tennessee home,


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