I will readily admit that I first clicked on Parisienne Farmgirl's blog because of her blog title. I absolutely LOVE Paris, and I am obsessed with having a little farm right in my own backyard. I figured Angela would be someone I'd like to get to know better.
And she is! She is outspoken, stylish, and likes Carla Bruni's music. All good. I decided to throw a few questions at her; she was game, of course, so here's our little chat for your reading pleasure:
What does style mean to you?
Oh my. I don't even know where to begin. Ok, "style"... hmmm....one of my favorite words is "chic." So a discipline I have when I am styling something whether it is a room or an outfit is to ask myself, "Is this chic?" or "What about this is chic?" Which I suppose begs the questions - "What is chic?"
I think style/chic is a certain sense of refinement. Say accessories for example, I personally feel that a collection of old bottles, even some with a bit of dirt still stuck for eternity down in the bottom are more stylish than some trinket from the Home Accessories aisle at HomeGoods. Those stores are fun to wander thru but they can wreak destruction on any sense of refinement.
I do feel there are those out there that are paving the way in the world of style. Top of the line designers in the interiors and fashion world are phenomenal artists and I don't think it makes you less of an individualist to mimic or be inspired by them. Their work is a great measuring stick for what is stylish. They are pro's and it's O.K. to acknowledge that. Their work, be it a new black suit on the runway or the latest spread in Traditional Home can be phenomenally inspiring and exposing yourself to that work really, really, really, sharpens your eye.
What do you think are your signature touches around the house?
Old furniture. I am blessed that hubby does not require big, lounging, furniture. We don't watch T.V. but you will find us snuggled up in our king size bed with the laptop and a movie.
Mirrors. I love old mirrors. Did I mention I love old mirrors? It's not vanity. TRUST ME! It's visual space. I am addicted to it.
Chandeliers. I have twelve I think. I still need a few more for the "one in every room" dream.
What is it about French style that attracts you?
The gathered look. That's it. Whether it's a bedroom or an outfit French style NEVER looks like a showroom or mannequin. 'You know what I mean? There is a look of things and wardrobe pieces having had been gathered over a period of time. I love that.
What do you think can make the biggest change in a room – paint, moving furniture, pillows, etc.?
Oh boy. I think it's probably paint. Color creates a backdrop for which to display the rest of the room.
How do you want your home to be seen by others?
Cozy. Old book, family photos, throw pillows, quilts. I think it's pretty but I want people to be comfortable here.
Name one color you can’t live without – decorating wise.
Turquoise. All shades from Robin's Egg Blue to Teal. Maybe it's passé... I know so many girls are obsessed with white these days but I can't shake Turquoise.
What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t quite know what their style is?
Get a three ring binder, a hole punch and a GIANT stack of magazines. Rip out everything that inspires you and put it in the notebook. I mean TONS of paper - what themes begin to develop? Is painted furniture in each photo? Crystals? Big comfy suede sofas? Florals? Toile? Neutrals? Bright colors? You can use the internet too - simply print and hole punch.
This works with fashion too - say you make your notebook, you feel it's pretty developed. You find yourself attracted to sleek lines, simple constructs... every third page is Jennifer Aniston with her simple, uncontrived, non-frilly outfits. You begin to fashion your wardrobe around this style and you feel great - then you see a gorgeous, frilly, lacy number on someone's blog... you can know, that it's probably not for you. It may be lovely but it's not your personal style.
What are you planning for the "farmgirl" part of your life - any new veggies you'd like to grow, more Jane Austen character chicks, new flowers, etc.?Last fall we dug up every last bit of grass in the garden, expanded the Potager and put up a fence. This spring we have to finish that project, pouring the pea gravel for the courtyard that will be the entrance to the chicken run and hopefully building an outdoor bread oven. Can't wait.
Parisienne Farmgirl is currently writing a series on having your own potager, or vegetable garden - go check it out!