Thursday, September 3, 2009

A French Country Tale

By Judith Garfield

Life was so simple before I ever heard the words French Country.

I mean, technically I knew about French, because I took it in high school, and I knew about Country, because I live in one, but I had no idea stringing the two together could cause me such anxiety.

B.F.C. (before French Country) I lived in a lovely apartment in New York decorated eclectically, although I think quite nicely. I leaned toward weathered, chipped antiques, and in my high-floor Manhattan apartment with a spectacular view, shabby looked chic. In the country it just looked shabby. Something got lost in the translation.

So I realized I needed some decorating ideas for my farmhouse. I poured over shelter magazines and internet articles about pretty interiors for my new setting. Believe me, it’s not easy finding your way in a world fraught with terms like toile, anduze, and Quimper. (that’s keem-pair for all you city folk)

I have since learned the following…. Roosters are F.C.; chickens are not. Grapes are F.C.; raisins are not. Brittany is F.C.; Britney is not. There was a definite learning curve, and many times S. had to pull me back when I was about to go too far with the roosters. The French probably think roosters are tacky. This is pure speculation, but I suspect you would not find roosters in a high-end French kitchen.

My mismatched dinnerware always looked interesting and bohemian. Now it was just looking second hand, and not in a good way. I became enamored with Quimper-style pottery and ordered dinner plates, serving pieces, trivets, and candlesticks, not to mention sconces. I couldn’t stop myself. I was bingeing. On French Country. Mon Dieu!

I finally got things under control with help from my family and friends. I admitted I had a problem, and that was the first step. Now I can casually browse through any Pierre Deux catalogue, the authority on all things French Country, and put it down with very minimal yearning.

But that wire breadbasket sure looked cute.


Anonymous said...

Oh do I relate! It's so easy to become addicted to French Country. For me, it's toile. I'm glad you got the emotional support to stop ----- I'm working on it.

Big Shantz said...

LC OD on FC? Oui oui!

Anonymous said...

too funny and so true! thanks for keeping me laughing, LC.