Fresh French Home

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Atelier: A French Original, The Breton Stripe

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

When I begin a new project I organize it by a theme, a story I want to tell, visually. Keep this idea in mind when you are in a room or house re-do. What story do you want to tell, what theme do you want to convey? Every element of the design should be connected to that theme or story. It should all "marry", become whole and part of the story you are telling.

The Atelier: French Original, Nautical strtipe

The Atelier of Fresh French Home:
This week the Atelier is dedicated to a true French original, the Breton stripe. The stripe makes for very easy storytelling. Originally built for the French Navy, the stripe was first seen in 1858. The shirts made of thick cotton and wool had 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleons triumphs! In 1917 Coco Chanel visited the south of France, a bit later her new Spring line donned the Breton stripe. Thank you Coco!

Coco Chanel and her stripes, 1917

So, let's translate the popular stripe to home design. I personally love wearing stripes but I especially love them in interior design, even beyond the Breton, stripes have the ability to break up other patterns, add vertical interest and give your eyes a place to rest. Try including them in different widths, wide to narrow. Experiment with vertical and horizontal, use as a trim to "Frenchy" up a solid, mix with other patterns or let bold, wide stripes stand on their own.

my fabric choices for French Nautical

Tidied up for you are examples of what to use and how to use the nautical stripe to create a beautiful interior. All inspired by the sea, stripes and the original. I chose the classic navy and white color palette, in varying sized stripes and patterns mixed with classic green for a nod to this Springs "hot" color. There is a neutral version for those not quite ready to take the sea plunge into nautical. And you can always stripe it up with simple accents to get a little of the French seaside.

French Nautical fabric collage

French Nautical fabric, chair detail

Each of these chandeliers trends towards the nautical theme but each is a very different style.

Three mirrors each very different in style but each can stand on there own within the nautical theme.

Rug options that deliver texture, color and theme consistency through color or pattern.

Neutral options for a more subtle nautical palette. A little more reserved and softer. Use the stripes for large furniture pieces for most impact. Trim with the dots, small stripe and egg blues.

Quite lovely and what could be more French than the nautical stripe! Embrace it, even in small doses and don't forget to tell the story of your nautical, seaside Cote d' Azur.
I would love to know your seaside tale.

Coming Wednesday for FFH Story, my Summer daydream becoming a reality.

atelier enamel sign:
Lighting: round silver chandy:
blue crystal: 
brass chandy:
Mirrors: blue and silver: 
shell mirror:
gold wreath top:
Rugs: navy stripe: 
stripes 3 color ways:
sisal w/ navy trim:


  1. Wowza! The French football (soccer) team wears Breton stripes too!
    I love this, Kate. It is so well done. The mirror with tiny seashells was my favorite, paired with the turquoise glass chandelier.
    A xo

    1. Thank you, Aidan. I thought of you when I chose the turquoise chandelier!

  2. Beautiful... Really put me in the mood to freshen things up!

  3. Carol,
    So many thanks. Your support and creative thought have helped me greatly.