Fresh French Home

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Arbre de Noel Forte/Christmas Tree of the Forest

Arbre de Noel Forte Style Guide

The forest tree is a natural tree laden with earth tone color. I love the birds and birds nest. And the cute little fox ornament is whimsical and unusual. This is a sophisticated tree in color and theme.  

Fresh French Home
709 SW A ST #5
Bentonville, AR

Arbre d' Noel Blanc/ Christmas Tree of White

Arbre d' Noel Blanc Style Guide

My favorite tree in the store. The Blanc is soft and has a fairy tale quality. The flocked tree with its mixture of green and white adds depth to white, cream and silver ornaments. This has been my personal tree for many years. Inspired by Winter and nature, it would be magical to stumble upon this tree in a snow covered forest!

Fresh French Home
709 SW A St. #5
Bentonville, AR

Hostess Gifts from Fresh French Home

Fresh French Home
709 SW A St. #5
Bentonville, AR
T-F. 10:00 to 5:00
Saturday 10:00 to 4:00

jouyeux noel tussie mussie,  wonderful alternative to stockings

It's the time of year again for thinking of others, holiday parties and gift giving. Through the coming weeks FFH will be giving you gift ideas for everyone on your list. This week is dedicated to Hostess gifts. Sweet, simple gifts for thanking people for a delicious meal, a kind gesture or welcoming you and family to their home.

We have a a variety of price ranges and one of a kinds for all your gift giving this season. Let the season begin. . .

French Confits and Jams in many flavors for proteins, cheeses or simply on toast or croissant. We have 2 sizes available ranging in price from $13 to $6.75. They are already packaged and embellished with ribbon for you. A lovely hostess gift ready to go!

Folk Art Santa in white with Christmas banner. This piece has a vintage quality which looks very nostalgic. Great item to sit on a desk, in another arrangement or to fill a window sill. $24

 Our crowns would make your gift giving a little different. These are one of a kind, hand made for FFH. They are covered in glass glitter with a banner, "a king is born". What better way to celebrate the Christmas season. Anyone who receives this will love the sentiment. They come in two sizes and two colors. Small, $16 and large $32, both available in gold or silver. One of my top picks for hostess, teacher or ornament exchange!

large, 6" crown

small, 3.5" crown

Our lavender soaps are hand crafted and have a wonderful fragrance. We have placed them in vintage and antique Limoges china saucers and bread and butter plates. A perfect gift for anyone who appreciates china. These are wrapped up with ribbon and ready to give. For the soap and the Limoges, $24! Forget the candle and try something unique.

We have a variety of Turkish cotton throws in stock. These can be used as a cozy throw, a shawl for outdoor events or even as a luxurious bath towel. We have a variety of colors and stripes. Each is unique and imported from France. These get softer with each wash and are a practical yet decadent gift. $54.

From Jeanne d' Arc Living we have the coveted book "French Finesse". This has sold out several times and is a must for any Jeanne d Arc fan! Beautiful pictures and text in a beautiful coffee table book, this is not one for the shelf. The recipient will be happy to display this on the bedside or in living areas. Ribboned and ready to give, $68.

Bon Bons for the sweet, small treat. Bright white and French blue candies presented with vintage ribbon for a simple gift for anyone. Easy to give alone or in combination with a bottle of wine or cheeses. $12

You can also consider creating a basket filled with several of our goodies. A linen hand towel combined with lavender soap or a basket full of Confits and jams with a lavender bunch and  Bon Bons. Give something unique this year!

The shoppe is filled with goodies of all shapes and sizes for the giving season. Next week will be dedicated to  ornament exchange parties and then one of kind, special gifts.


Foi d' Arbre de Noel/ Tree of Faith

Foi d' Arbre de Noel Style Guide

This tree was inspired by sacred hearts and symbols of faith. I wanted to create a Christmas tree to completely represent the meaning of Christmas. I love the glitter crowns, swallows and cross tiara. Whether used all together or placed on your existing tree theme any of these ornaments will remind you of the meaning of the season and tell the story of Christmas!

Fresh French Home
709 SW A St #5
Bentonville, AR

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Atelier : Toile Inspiration

Atelier: french, pronounced (A-tell-yay), artist's workshop or studio. My table at home and the shop for us to create, design and inspire!

This week's Atelier is the introduction to a new design project. It will be a continuation of beginning design boards to the final reveal. I am delighted to design this soft, feminine, classic space. It will work for years to come for the client and will be able to move from home to home.

Saturdays are a very busy day at the shop. People are in the mood to browse, consider and buy! The shop is usually bustling and the day I met my most recent client I was so busy I missed my lunch break. I will call her Miss Georgia, as she is a Georgia native who has been enjoying NWA for several years.

So, Miss Georgia is young, successful and has very good taste. But in need of some direction. Luckily, she knows what she wants for her cute little cottage and has been looking for someone to help her achieve the right "look".

She found Fresh French Home on that Saturday and we have been planning, measuring and picking ever since. Our inspiration is a bedroom she found in a world famous catalog. It is quite feminine with toile fabric, linen and ruffles. A look I love. Our first order of business was creating a headboard similar to the one pictured. I knew we would not be able to "shop" the bed as it was in the picture, so I set out to find a headboard that we could customize with the same fabric.
the toile fabric we are using to replicate the headboard

silk accent fabric, Euro shams and other accents

I got very lucky and found a vintage headboard, circa 1940. It is nearly perfect and will give her the bed she loves in the picture. We kept the wood frame and beautiful, french inspired crest at the top of the bed. Inside are sweet, simple hand painted flowers. We added  foam padding, upholstered with the toile and used the same for the piping. It is a standout piece and completely custom.

To really capture the essence, the story of the room, we needed way more than just a headboard. Besides sourcing a toile fabric for the headboard I brought in a silk check (pic above) to act as our accent. We will use it for Euro shams and  other accent pieces in the room. 

I always try to find the "story", the underlining essence or idea a room or client is trying to convey. This space is no different and for me this conjures up a story of classic, clean design. New and old mingling together to create a guest retreat one might find in an old Georgia home. Crisp, but just soft enough around the edges to look as though it has been enjoyed for many, many years. And a light feminine touch that feels luxurious but is in no way unlivable or too fussy.

I wanted Miss Georgia to have a few options for the accessories that we would place in the space. I created digital design boards offering her several different choices concerning bedside tables, lamps, wall art, etc.

The one thing we were sure about was a set of vintage mirrors. These are one of a kind, vintage and Miss Georgia loves them. These along with the headboard are the mainstays of the space.


I have inserted a few of the "look" options created for the space. Miss Georgia is still deciding which group to do. And the nice thing is each piece is interchangeable. We can always mix and match her favorites. I would love to know what you would choose.

 LOOK OPTION #1 - the far left is our inspiration pic. the mirrors are part of each "look" option
notice that the shams are white with cream ruffle. this is probably the purist, most neutral option. the art work is bright and clean.

LOOK OPTION #2- this is much more feminine with the added pink and the bedside is slightly more feminine. the oil painting is original and it will be with the client for years to come.

One could mix and match all of these different components all day long to achieve the right space. It actually makes it fun to move things around and discover the perfect look. I can't wait to share with you what Miss Georgia chooses and reveal the finished product. I know the outcome will be beautiful! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

All In Store

Shop Hours
Tuesday - Friday
10:00 to 5:00
10:00 to 4:00
Monday is available by appointment!

What a great 2 weeks the shop has had! Finally, it all came together, a crescendo, a final curtain call of my ideas and daydream. The shop has had great traffic for a new place. I don't know statistics of what is good or bad, but on the whole I feel great about the feedback the shop is getting. And as items sell I quickly get busy replacing, filling the open spot with more goodies.

I think my most memorable shoppers was a group of three ladies who visited last week. One of them visited in the morning, purchased a tulip painting and said she would bring her friends. Little did I know she meant a few hours later! In a while, 3 ladies walked through my door, the last being the tulip lady from the morning.
One of them reminisced of her last vacation, she and her family went to Normandy. One of my many Confits caught her eye, she had eaten the same on Camembert cheese on her travels.
French jazz played in the background and as she made her way through the shop she commented " we heard this same song in France".
All of this tickled me happy. This is what I wanted FFH to be. Something familiar, restful, a place to bring people joy.

They eyed my French lollie's at the checkout and I gladly gave them one. They unwrapped and enjoyed them immediately, one lemon and one raspberry.

Thank you ladies, you made my week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Finishing Touches!

I have been extremely busy! There are so many details of putting a store together. But I feel great about what is happening in my little space. It is finally coming together. And I can see my visualizations coming to life.
Above all, I want FFH to be a beautiful, restful place. Just like a home should not be overly fussy, but luxurious, comfortable, telling the story of who and what we are.

let's garden!
I have had orders from some great places and gotten some lovely items for you. Everything I have chosen has spoken to me in some way. There is nothing in my shop, your shop I would not have in my  own home. And no, I am not sure if that is the best way to fill a home decor, lifestyle shop but it has been my motive the entire time I have shopped, picked and rescued merchandise!
lighting still to be installed.

I hope you love the space as much as I do. I have furniture, some custom, created by me and my wonderful friend and seamstress, Bonnie. She has truly been a blessing for me. I could not have put all of my ideas in motion if not for her talent. I thank her so very much! Some furniture is vintage, antique, rescued and some hand picked wholesale. Beautiful bedding, some custom and pieces from the California company, Pom Pom. They make very luxurious, organic linen bedding, tabletop and bath linens. So yummy! 

pom pom

pom pom pillow sham
For tabletop and kitchen I have wonderful Dutch brands, Pip Studios and At Home with Marieke. Both brands are beautiful, playful but offer something different. Pip is bright, happy and colorful with a very Antoinette color palette.  At Home is a little more subdued but still just as playful with plaids and stripes. I can't pick a favorite!
pip cappuccino cups and saucer
pip tea towels

at home. . . pillows

at home. . . gray collection
There is nothing in Fresh French Home that has been an after thought. Nothing I have not poured my thought and heart into and I am so excited to share it with you.

glass cloche

My doors will open May 30th for business, 10:00 a.m. sharp! The grand opening party will follow on Saturday. I hope you can join me. And either before or after stop by Meridienne  at 109 S Main St. Bentonville. They have wonderful French pastries and lunch deliciousness. Please tell them I sent you.

beautiful, hand drawn giclees

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Romance: French Globe de Mariee, Marriage Globe

This weekend is my 11th wedding anniversary to my kind husband. He really is a kind person, something that should be high on the dating list. Apparently, he loved me at first sight, he denies this but I know it is true! I will get him to admit to this one of these days! 
we look so young!

 So, in honor of our anniversary I have this beauty of an item to show you! An antique French Wedding Globe or Globe de Mariee. These are the most special display pieces for a married couple to mark the occasion of their wedding and life together. Over the years symbols, such as flowers from the wedding bouquet, lock of hair from their children and jewelery would be placed and protected on these stunning keepsakes. 
my globe de mariee

The globes originated in France in the late 1800's through the early 1900's. After being crafted of thin metal and then covered in a ormolu (the gold overlay) and sculpted by a jeweler, each globe would be unique to the couple but most had  birds, mirrors and a velvet covered "seat" to hold personal items. The velvet was usually pink and red but blue and gold were also popular choices. Each gilded decoration symbolized something:

trees for strength!

bird with laurel wreath and daisy detail

birds with laurel wreath: wishes for children
trees: strength and longevity
daisies: innocence, purity
roses: everlasting love
cherries: protection against bad fortune
leaves: longevity of the marriage
sheaves of wheat: fertility and resurrection of life

detail of velvet, original wax flowers

The mirrors also hold meaning with their shape, number and position.
centralized mirror: reflected the soul
small diamond shape: number of children desired
rectangular  mirrors: number of years of courting before marriage

Typically they sit under a glass dome, the way a piece of art would sit for protection and admiration. They are most rare pieces of history. To get your hands on one is difficult, especially one with the glass dome intact. A true find!

side profile

I have always been fascinated with the Globe de Mariee, as it is as romantic as it is beautiful. They are little treasure boxes of love and history wrapped in a beautiful package. What romantic wouldn't LOVE it! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And The Address Is. . .

I don't normally post on a Saturday but what a few weeks it has been! I have been so busy, with shop plans, lease agreements and family matters that I have been in a tail spin. But, I have a wonderful announcement, I have a lease, a great spot to set up shop and bring my daydreams to life.

little g writing a new story at the shop!

The address of Fresh French Home:
709 SW A St. No. 5

It has been a long time coming. And honestly, I am quite surprised of my patience, not usually one of my virtues! But, I have stayed on course, possibly gained a few new wrinkles and gray hairs (I cover those anyway) and have won a space. The new house of Fresh French Home! I can't wait for the Grand Opening! Coming Soon!
FFH before the transformation

There is much to do, as you can imagine. Painting, hanging new and old chandy's. Deciding where to place the checkout, paint colors, filling nail holes, designing and ordering a sign. Placing orders and more orders, creating one of a kind designs that I hope you love. The list of starting a business is long, but so exhilarating and wonderfully challenging. 
another view!

I will be adding pictures of the metamorphosis as the shop develops and posting about all the great things to come.