House Tour: The Romance of European Elegance, Part II
Lidy Baars’ romantic European home uses the antique dealer’s own childhood memories of a life in Europe to add a touch of elegance and nostalgia to her decor. If you’re just tuning in, don’t forget to catch Part I of this house tour.
Lidy’s European roots and her relaxed California nature are combined through European antiques and worn, vintage pieces, creating an elegant yet cozy atmosphere perfect for family. While some items were collected by Lidy during her numerous quests for antiques for her business, many were inherited from her beloved grandparents. “When my Mom and I moved to the states, I left behind little scraps of paper taped to the bottom of my very favorite pieces of furniture with ‘belongs to Lidy.’ Today they are part of our own home décor,” she says.
Her favorite and most cherished item is a silver teapot, which belonged to her grandmother. “I love it, not only because it is exquisite but because of the memories of her pouring tea each afternoon precisely at 3:30. Using it always gives me the sweet memory of my beloved grandmama.”
Just like her grandmother, Lidy still sits down in her garden at 3:30 each day to enjoy a cup of tea. In fact, Lidy and John pass much of their time in their garden. Not only is it beautiful, but the patio is the perfect place to have family dinners, entertain guests or simply wile away the hours. When Lidy and her husband first moved into the house, they made a pact to turn the yard into what they call their “secret oasis.” Lidy admits it is John who possesses the green thumb, but together they created a bloom-filled haven with roses, lavenders, hydrangeas and perennials peeking out of every nook and cranny.
Another part of Lidy’s European heritage that is evident in her home is its romantic atmosphere. For Lidy, the French are great at creating romantic settings, and this is something she strives to create in her own home. “I buy votives by the hundreds, and at night light them all over the house,” she says. “We eat dinner at the table every night, most often with candlelight. When our girls were small, even French fries and fish sticks were special when the table was set prettily and the candles were lit.”
Lidy’s quaint beach cottage is a far cry from her grandparents’ large Holland home, but for Lidy it is filled with the things that are most important to her: family, love and, of course, antiques. “A home should be just that, home; a haven, not a showcase,” she says. “I don’t live in a big home. It’s not grand but it is perfect for us, our family and friends.”
By Justine Lopez
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel