Author Archives: SecondCherry

The French look: kitchens and bathrooms

Continuing our investigation into the charm of French interior design, this time looking at kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens The French kitchen is traditionally a workplace and middle-class families eat strictly in the dining room. Working-class and country families, however, do tend eat in the kitchen and many country families don’t have a living room at all, spending all their time… Read more »

Wabi-sabi and the garden

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Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that is almost entirely untranslatable, but which contains some entrancing ideas for the garden. They say that if you can explain wabi-sabi, then you don’t understand it. It’s a Japanese aesthetic with roots in the tea ceremony. And it informs many Japanese arts, such as ikebana (flower arranging). While it may be difficult to grasp,… Read more »

Putting on the Ritz: French chateau style

The epitome of French house style must be the chateau, and living in a grand building of this kind takes a certain approach to interior design. Many Britons are enchanted by the idea of buying a chateau, and they can still be picked up in France for the cost of many a UK townhouse. Although the most famous chateaux are… Read more »

The wabi-sabi garden

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Low-cost, low-maintenance, environmentally friendly and supporting biodiversity – that’s what we were aiming for in creating a garden out of a field. As busy downshifters, we always knew that creating a garden from a 1 hectare (2 acre) orchard was going to be a challenge. There would be two essential requirements – it couldn’t take up lots of our time… Read more »

Informally dressed: French cottage style

The casual, liveable cottage and farmhouse style never loses its appeal. Cottages and farmhouses are the kind of period French property most commonly bought by British buyers and they are buildings designed to be lived in, not for show. Such buildings are generally in the vernacular style – using local materials for both roof and walls, and fitting well into… Read more »

Born in a barn – French style

Living in a converted barn is the dream of many a Brit buying in France, and the blank canvas that a barn offers is very enticing. But converting accommodation that formerly housed animals or hay raises some unfamiliar issues. If you are now the proud owner of a barn in France, with permission to develop, you now have to think… Read more »

The French look: the continuing charm of French interior design

French interiors are known the world over for their charm, but charm is a hard concept to put a finger on. ‘Raising domesticity to an art’ is the hallmark of the French look, claims French style magazine Maison & Jardin, and that’s not a bad place to start. There are many different types of French interior, of course, but one… Read more »

Beds and boards – the French way to furnish

Every French house deserves at least some French furniture. Let’s sort the antiques from the bric-a-brac. Most British people buying a period house in France still prefer to a least partly furnish it with French furniture, and although the days of rock-bottom bargains may be over, there are still gems to be found if you shop carefully. Furniture can be found… Read more »