According to the author, Florence de Dampierre, French style can be summed up in one word that essentially translates to the word “Taste.” Dating back to the seventeenth century through present day, the taste for luxury, etiquette, beauty, and quality remain the dictates of French life. The French also make distinctly clear the difference between bon gout (good taste), mauvais gout (bad taste), and erreur de gout (in poor taste), and use the terms often.
Her book, French Chic Living: Simple Ways to Make Your Home Beautiful, will expand your knowledge about kitchens, kitchen gardens, sprucing up, flowers and plants, and entertaining at home with flair. The book is a useful guide to help you create a welcoming, comfortable and lovely home. Florence shares personal stories of her time in France that lends a heartwarming element to the book. If you haven’t visited France, she creates the picture for you.
In many homes, the kitchen is considered the center of family life. A great kitchen is well planned, equipped with essential must-have cookware, and pantry items. The book goes into expansive detail about fruits, vegetables, garnishes and oils and how they contribute to making a kitchen thoroughly functional and divine. Recipes are included for items such as ham and cheese quiche, a quintessential French dish. Preserving and pickling fruits and vegetables is also considered a popular French pastime.
The Kitchen Garden
Whether it is a humble vegetable plot or an intricately designed garden, the French Kitchen Garden has evolved for centuries. Their designs, planting techniques, irrigation and drainage systems have been imitated throughout Europe. Special care was taken to enclose these gardens that protected even the most fragile herbs in winter. The book provides everything you need to know from garden essentials, tools, to how to create an herb garden. There’s even a recipe for rhubarb pie if you’re interested.
“Embracing the simple pleasures of a well-kept home will increase your happiness,” Florence professes. “Making an effort to tidy up and clean your surroundings will reward you with a positive outlook on life, and make you house-proud.” Her grandmother taught her that lemon, savon de Marseille, and lavender are three key ingredients that can clean and “improve” anything. The book expands into areas including the kitchen, bathroom, surfaces and materials, and her go-to general household tips. She also shares methods on how to remove stains from fabric and other material, and pests from your home.
Flowers and Plants Within
If you want to bring nature in doors, then flowers, plans and ornamental trees will help you achieve this. This is a sure way to beautify your surroundings. The book covers many aspects of the process including: preparing and conditioning cut flowers, how to extend their life, choosing a proper vase and creating an exquisite arrangement.
Entertaining at Home with Flair
The key to entertaining guests is to create an inviting atmosphere. Florence believes, if you need to hire help, do it. Everything from setting up the bar, choosing linens, silverware and centerpieces to casual entertaining outdoors is included in this extremely detailed and carefully executed book. Each of the 240 pages is filled with wonderful stories, tips, and examples that give you everything you could ever want to know.
If you’re looking for a fabulous book that lives up to its title, then check out, French Chic Living: Simple Ways to Make Your Home Beautiful.
French Chic Living; Simple Ways to Make Your Home Beautiful by Florence de Dampierre, published by Rizzoli International Publishing, Inc., ©2015.