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Belgian Eau de Cologne No. 23

Ernest Loos

c. 1930’s

1stdibs here

French style

General Store


Canvas duffel



Late 19th century iron garden chairs



Silk dress

A favorite silk dress…

grosgrain ties, serrated edge…

Madagascar jasmine

Madagascar jasmine…



Antique Garden urn

French garden urn

c. 1840-60



I’m making decisions (and mistakes)…altering between high expectations and

anxiety on my latest landscaping project. “A few steps” are becoming a stone

staircase….a two foot wall is becoming three. And my husband is saying “It was

just fine the way it was”. Why do I get the feeling most of you know what I’m

talking about?! So I’m dabbling in a bit of frivolity with this post. Hope

everyone’s sundresses are out and your summer is off to a fragrant start.


PS Thank you Joni for the Blog Lovin’!!!!!!!!!!!

here…made my day!

I’m also planting more lavender…maybe we can have an

annual lavender threshing party for all those of you

who want to head out to Northern California!!!

Cote de Texas


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Fantastic source of French architectural salvage, stone, antiques

Cote de Texas has been my absolutely favorite blog since I stumbled into the wonderful world of design blogs in 2008. Joni pretty much had me at her header: painted European antiques with carved and flourished edges, pendulous swagged roses, bits of Fortuny and glittering crystal, a trace of gilding. Limestone, linen, French, Swedish and Belgian design, Joni’s eye caught everything I loved. She would throw herself into lengthy discussions on the merits of slipcovers and seagrass and what Restoration Hardware was doing with Belgian design. She’d roll out photo after photo of swoon worthy interiors, crowded antique shops and gravel swept French courtyards. I love that she’s opinionated, audacious, not one to back down from a fight, self-deprecating to a fault, big hearted, generous and kind. In a long search through her onerously prolific blog, I’ve a gathered most of my favorite posts…a fair representation of why Joni’s Cote de Texas is so terrific. Click on the links beyond each title to open up each post and a tumble of gorgeous images ..

Chateau Dominique


French antique shop M. Naeve

A Visit with M. Naeve

here and here

Limestone fireplace Provence kitchen

A French Country House: Authentic Elements


Swedish antiques

Swedish Country Interiors


Swedish Style

A Swede Designs


Belgian tapestry Suzanne Kasler

Cote de Texas Top Designer # 8

Suzanne Kasler here

Belgian design bathroom with chandelier

Belgian Design: Hot, Hot, Hot


Belgian Design distilled into one picture

Belgian Design


Linens and antique salvage

Cote de Texas Top Design Elements

1) Linen


Slipcovered furniture

2) Slipcovers


seagrass rug Cote de Texas

3) Seagrass


Luxurious silk drapery

4) Curtains


French Chandelier in bedroom

5) Lighting


powder room

6) Wall Hangings



Cote Sud: A House on the French Coast


Supremely gorgeous headboard…

Various examples of French Enfilades

Enfilades and Lanternes


antiquarian Rose Tarlow

Rose Tarlow


Cape Grace script drapery

Capetown’s Cape Guest


Vicki Archer's home in Provence

Dreaming of My So Called French Life


And finally….Joni’s first post…May 28, 2007

Living In Houston, Lusting for France

“Welcome to my new, and first, blog! I am an interior designer in Houston, Texas who lives, lusts, and covets anything French (except men!). Not all of my clients (in fact most) feel the same about French Design that I do. Subsequently I am forced to design in styles that aren’t personally what I would choose to live with. But, c’est la vie. I am planning to use this blog to indulge my love of French antiques, French furniture, and anything else pertaining to France! I also plan to showcase French design in Houston, so if you share my love of French and live on the gulf coast, you probably will find things you love here. I am going to start with my own life, my house and the French antiques I’ve bought for it. I also plan to write about how my obsession with French antiques began.”

rows of Provence lavender

I was honored to have Joni mention me on the Skirted Round Table here

My lavender hedges made quite an impression on her last summer…

So this photo’s for you Joni. Thank you for years of beauty and

inspiration, and your kindness and support in my first year of blogging!

Summer Reading


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My French Life Vicki Archer

Vicki Archer’s My French Life is one of my favorite books…

Anyone who has followed Vicki’s Blog French Essence knows she revels

in the enchanted world she lives in on a seventeenth century restored

olive farm in Saint-Remy-de-Provence and sends missives via her blog

on her meanders through France and more far flung environs. Love how

Vicki describes adapting to the custom of choosing entry doors first…

before building the surrounding portal, how a length of admired vintage

passementerie could be re-imagined into her gorgeous bed,  how she

realizes, when led by antique store owner into a dimly lit treasure trove

off a winding Nimes street:

“In France I quickly learned that it is the things that are hidden behind

closed doors that are the most remarkable. Not everything is as it seems. “

My French Life Vicki Archer

Full of gorgeous photos of the restored farmhouse, the gardens and groves,

and surrounding town of St. Remy, dipping into Roman history, bull fighting

in Arles,  Provence cuisine, beauty secrets of French women and numerous

small and charming anecdotes…an absolutely lovely book…


My French Life Vicki Archer

Chemin d’eau…a waterway from ornamental pond to stone basin…

olive orchard and Les Alpilles mountain range in the distance

My French Life Vicki Archer

White gaura and lavender…

beyond the spilling water

My French Life Vicki Archer


Antique bed on cobbled floor…

In the property’s reconstruction,  original material was carefully

saved  “in a field cleared and designated the stockage” and

re-utilized as much as possible

My French Life Vicki Archer

My French Life is an inspiring glimpse into a world that evolves when one takes a chance,

a leap of faith, trusting one’s heart and instincts, and adapting as needed to fullfill

the dream and enjoying every moment of it…

My French Life Vicki Archer

Wonderful and plentiful photos of details

Photography by Carla Coulson

My French Life Vicki Archer

Couldn’t resist showing you the book cover under the jacket…

a photo of a vintage rosy quilt…

Also love that the book comes with a red ribbon

to keep your place….

My French Life Vicki Archer

Originally printed in 2006…My French Life is followed by

French Essence: Ambience, Beauty, and Style in Provence


Vicki Archer My French Life

School is out, summer around the corner…

Over the next few months I’ll highlight my favorite books

I’ve listed on my side column, just in case you need to add

one or two to your shelves…