I have that one shelf in my living room that I never know how to arrange. We ditched most of our books back home in the U.S., so we don’t have enough to fill up a whole shelf at this point. Over the past few months living in Europe, I’ve collected a small treasure trove of keepsakes that I want to display, but admittedly, arranging or merchandising a display has never been a huge talent of mine. So I decided to try the shelf 3 ways to see which fit the best in this small corner of my home. On each shelf, I kept one thing in place and switched out the rest to accessorize. The top shelf has a black and white framed design, the middle shelf has two boxes that store photos and cards, and the bottom shelf has a stack of books.
1.) The Green Shelf
I like this simple take using lots of green plants. It doesn’t say a lot but that’s why I like it. And it’s nice to have bright green colors as a focal point in the room.
I love buying these big, green, tropical leaves in leui of flowers.
2.) The Sentimental Shelf
This shelf is a little more cluttered but is full of things special to me. Photographs of my family, a couple of Colin’s toys, some baskets from a friend, a small collection of rocks/sea shells I keep from each of our family trips.
3.) The Tchotchke Shelf:
This arrangement was fun to make because I was moving the items around like chess pieces. This arrangement seemed to work the best. Which way do you like the best?
Last weekend we took a train from Paris to Bayuex, France, a small town just south of the Normandy coastline. Bayeux has the oldest tapestry known to date, as well as a beautiful cathedral that was built in the same era as Notre Dame. I found an amazing old farmhouse to stay in on Airbnb, a.k.a. my favorite way to travel. The farmhouse we rented was in Cormolain, about a 25 minute drive south of Bayeux, and was recently converted into a loft on the top floor, with 3 beds, a small toddler sized bed and a beautiful bathroom overlooking a wood storage space and the prairies behind the house. There are a few things I look for in an Airbnb. One is obviously space. Since we were travelling with 5 people (one being tiny, but still), I wanted to make sure we had enough room to sprawl out and get comfy, and not feel on top of eachother. Also, travelling with a baby makes hotel rooms virtually impossible – we need a kitchen to clean bottles and make small meals for him, and we need room for him to crawl/toddle around in. This Airbnb had all of those things, and more!
Corinne, our wonderful host, did a really amazing job making this space feel huge, open, and contemporary, while still adding in a few details that made the space feel old world French. We definitely felt like we were on a farm – there were sheep outside and a beautiful little garden. Still, it was so clean and contemporary – we really had the best of both worlds here.
The white paint, unfinished wood and sky lights created the most dreamy light I have ever seen. I seriously could not believe how gorgeous this room was at any time of day.
Every single detail was perfect and in it’s place…
Another interesting feature was the huge picture window in the bathroom that looked out into a small cave that housed fire wood (there was a small fournace in the living room downstairs. Corinne had a fire going for us when we got there to “warm the place for the baby”). The wood cave also had a huge picture window looking out onto the prairies of the farm. It was so beautiful.
For so long, I have been striving for a minimalist aesthetic in my own home, and often things can look a little cold or too contemporary. Corinne mixed both modern and traditional design aesthetics perfectly. It was so inspiring! I need to head back to the flea markets here in Paris soon so that I can start adding some details like these to my home.
It’s been almost a month since I have posted anything here, and that’s because we have been busy having visitors, traveling and having a one year old baby (HOW?!?!). My in laws came to Paris and after a week of site seeing here, we traveled to the beaches of Normandy, France and then to Chinon to taste wines along the Loire Valley. I really hope to write a few more posts about the trip because it was truly amazing and the landscapes were breathtaking.
Until I can get my act together, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our trip. These bright, yellow canola fields were all over France as we drove around. These flowers are pressed to make Canola Oil, hence the name. They colors were so vivid and contrasting that I had to turn my settings on my camera waaaaay lower than i usually do. It was even more beautiful in person, if you can imagine that. Just fields and fields of yellow.