Friday, August 21, 2015

Sharon Santoni's New Book: "My Stylish French Girlfriends"

My French Country Home blog showcases the impossibly beautiful French life of Sharon Santoni.  Along with her gorgeous flower arrangements, the antics of her two dogs, her brocante tours, and her charming guest cottage, comes inspirational introductions to the French women she calls friends.  I have followed her "life as it should be" blog for many years and was thrilled when Sharon allowed me the opportunity to share some of the gorgeous photos of her debut book My Stylish French Girlfriends which showcases twenty of her girlfriends from different walks of life, some who live in grand châteaux, and others in charming little cottages or Parisian apartments.  It really is the must-buy book to curl up in bed with; add breakfast on a tray, or a cup of tea in a quite corner of your home, and you have the perfect beginning to a lovely weekend. - Jouir

"It is this insider's view, this private, discreet side to French living and to the French women I know that I wish to portray.   Women who work every day, with passion, who love to take care of their homes, their families, themselves."
-Sharon Santoni

"These portraits of women and homes show a side of France that visitors don't normally get to see.  I deliberately sought out women from all over the country...  Each girl friend was chosen because she has a story to tell and a great lifestyle to portray."
- Sharon Santoni





Un grand merci to the lovely and stylish Sharon Santoni for the opportunity to share with you her beautiful book.   

To purchase your copy:

Photography by Franck Schmitt

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nancy Meyers The Designing Director Latest Film, THE INTERN

A Nancy Meyers' movie is synonymous with great design.  Many go to see her films just for the sets such as Something's Gotta Give or the English Cottage charm in The Holiday.  Today, I picked up the new September issue of Traditional Home magazine, and I was thrilled to see an article by Cathy Whitlock giving us a sneak peak on the set of Ms. Meyers latest movie, The Intern, staring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway.  Ms. Meyers' design was influenced by the Brooklyn brownstone of J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons (love J.Crew).

"Her house had a hip, youthful vibe but was a traditional Brooklyn brownstone, so the juxtaposition was interesting.  It was really so chic, and I felt it reflected Jule's world (Anne Hathaway's character) .
- Nancy Meyers

Kitchen Photos: Joshua McHugh

Nancy Meyers' designs are always realistic and always on trend.  Ms. Meyers gives this enviable kitchen a stylish spin, an elegant modern mix with a traditional center.  The bistro shelves, white marble counters, Hampton blue cabinets and moldings around the windows add a current feel, while retaining the original fireplace and antique wood floors of this Brooklyn townhouse.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

"Because Jules and her husband are a young couple, we tried to furnish their house on a budget - the budget they would have."
-Nancy Meyers

Photo: Francois Duhamel

Mrs. Meyers filled the set with furnishings from local antique stores and catalog items: a Restoration Hardware reclaimed dining table, a Lindsey Adelman chandelier, and Josef Hoffmann dining chairs.

Photo Francois Duhamel

Nancy Meyers' Design Inspiration for Jule's home:

Jenna Lyon's former Brooklyn Townhouse, which by the way was sold and redesigned by the design firm of Roman and Williams.

To see more of Nancy Meyers' set design of The Intern, visit: 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

California Living At It's Best: Designer Becki Owens

This week's Instagram images lead me to this beautiful San Clemente Beach House designed by Becki Owens out of Orange County in Southern California.  It's my unofficial ode to the remainder of summer, and my motivation these last few days to "transform" my interior spaces with a lighter feel, reminiscent of straw baskets and white peonies.  Becki's designs are light-filled spaces with white walls, dark floors, linen fabrics in shades of blue, oatmeal, white and grey; layered, appointed, and perfect for lazy afternoons after picnics at the beach...

Becki's advice to take your time while furnishing your home is seen here with the tufted chairs flanking a light oak table on a white cowhide rug, layering in different textures gives this space a curated look.

Can we just stop and look at those accordion doors!  Gorgeous!   I love the mix of patterns, from the diamond glass panes, to the more modern patterned drapes playing well with the French grain sack  upholstery on the chairs.

It's all in the mix -  A simple neutral palette mixed with a few details finishes this space nicely.  The white textured vases and the French weathered glass front cabinet leaves this home feeling curated, unique, and very personal.

I love this kitchen, from its taupey grey and white back splash, to it's watery blue island. 

The bead board ceiling and crown moldings finish off this space and bring a perfectly refined beach feel to this home.  Doesn't everyone always gather in the kitchen?  Which is why I prefer the bar stools at the island instead of the counter bar, a perfect place to linger longer.

I love sheets of white marble in the kitchen!  It's been my personal favorite for years, it's timeless and luxurious at the same time.

Design Idea -   The built in shelves on the opposite side of the tall counter bar allow the homeowners to display their finds and personal items, while keeping the typical counter bar stools from competing with the other furniture in the living space.

This truly open floor plan is rarely seen in a residential building... typically this design has been used in commercial spaces such as restaurants... and I love it.  I have often wondered why this open layout has not been applied in homes.  If I could, I would tear out two walls in my home and have this wonderfully uninterrupted space, so perfect for both entertaining and daily living. 

So pretty and nothing says "don't touch".  I think lighting makes a room, and I love her choices!

Cabinet envy!

This tribal basket adds texture and color that accentuates the items behind the glass.  It's all about different textures and unique finds in a neutral space.

A perfect sitting area to begin or end your day.

This weathered console, while so pretty, also functions practically as the perfect place to store extra seating.

Perfectly serene.  

A great space for inspiration.  I love this glass console desk, tucking a basket underneath keeps the glass top fresh and organized. 

So pretty!  With the patterned rug, solid headboard, and dappled wallpaper who wouldn't want to come and stay for the weekend!

A charming spot for the little ones.

I love an all white "spa" bathroom, it makes getting up early almost like a vacation.  OK,  almost like a vacation.   

Many thanks to Becki Owens for sharing with us her beautiful designs and inspiring us to

All photography by Ashlee Raubach

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Salvatore Ferragamo's MTO Driver: Italian Craftsmanship - Designed By You.

Johannes Huebl - Model and Photographer

Salvatore Ferragamo has launched his men's made-to-order Driver Loafer each made from the finest materials, perfected by Italian craftsmen and designed by you.  No collection is complete without images of their spokesmen.  Here are images of model and photographer Johannes Huebl,  race car driver Mathias Lauda, and Sound Cloud co-founder Alexander Ljung sporting pairs of their own designs set on the breathtakingly beautiful coastline of Italy.  Each of the spokesmen have their own testimonial videos that have a ethereal feel about them, they are enchanting, gorgeously filmed, and worth watching.   Enjoy

Johannes Huebl

Johannes Huebl

Mathias Lauda - Race Car Driver

Mathias Lauda

Alexander Ljung's custom Ferragamo Driver

Alexander Ljung - Sound Cloud Co-Founder

To order your own MTO Driver and see the videos:

Photos courtesy of Ferragamo 
Pictured: Johannes Huebl, Alexander Ljung, Mathias Lauda wearing MTO Driver shoes.

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