Everlasting Faux Florals

When your favorite flowers are out of season, look for realistic faux florals that will last forever.

Courtney Allison's Marseille Meadow Wreath
The Marseille Meadow Wreath

I believe that a room isn’t truly finished until there is a bouquet of flowers included. From a grand arrangement to a simple floral wreath to an inkwell bottle accented with a single bloom, flowers just add so much romance and ambience.

But what do you do when your favorite flowers are out of season or too expensive to replace every week? A beautiful, realistic faux floral arrangement would be the perfect solution. Here are a few ideas and examples by Balsam Hill.

Courtney Allison's Brittany Rose Arrangement
The Brittany Rose arrangement

1. For a smaller arrangement for your bedside table or tucked into the bathroom, think of something soft and subtle with anemones, roses and ranunculus, and just a few pops of thistle to brighten.

With soft colors and an abundance of farmhouse charm, the Brittany Rose arrangement uses garden roses in a galvanized bucket for a look that is sure to brighten up your day all year long.

Courtney Allison's Chantilly Wreath
The Chantilly Wreath

2. The only problem with fresh-flower wreaths is they don’t last long. But if you love the look, why not bring in a faux flower-covered wreath to warm up your home? On a door or an antique cupboard, the Chantilly wreath adds cottage charm.

3. A wreath made with white ranunculus and pretty pops of purple, like the Marseille Meadow green wreath, is a wonderful choice and can be enjoyed in each season. Add a ribbon to dress it up a bit more–or leave it natural and enjoy.

Get the French Country Cottage Look

Looking to import the timeless elegance of French décor? Courtney shares her personal recipe for creating a comfortable cottage.


Fresh flowers are essential to the French Country look

With the French-themed February issue now on newsstands, we’re inspired by the petite cottages and grand chateaux featured in these glossy pages to discover more about importing the je ne sais quoi of French style into our own homes. And who better to turn to for inspiration and advice than our own brand leader and editor, Courtney Allison? Her signature interior style blends the timeless elegance of French décor with the fresh comforts of the cottage lifestyle, where simple pleasures are meaningfully embraced. Read on to get Courtney’s personal recipe for getting the French Country Cottage look!

Courtney’s style is inspired by the rich details of fine vintage craftsmanship paired against the obvious touch of time, like in this carved table with a chipped paint patina.
  1. What is so timelessly fascinating about French decor?

“I think there is a romance and charm that instantly comes to mind when you think of France and French decor. It is a style that is has rich history interwoven with delicate details and traditional elegance.  For me, the biggest attraction to the style is the elegant paired with rustic. The gilded details and dramatic carvings on an armoire that is wearing an old chipped painted finish, or an over the top chandelier in a rustic room- for example.”

Glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch to any-and every-room.
  1. What are your must-haves for the French Country look?

“A couple of must haves for getting the look in a room: First, a piece with patina- such as an armoire or dresser. Then add stacks of old books, some gilded candlesticks and a beautiful mirror to reflect a crystal covered chandelier. I think with just a few elements, even one or two wisely chosen ones, you can achieve that warm French Country feeling.”

Throw pillows are an easy and affordable update to any space. Mixing and matching patterns also adds an element of interest.
  1. How do you customize the look to suite your own taste?

“I bring in fabrics and colors that speak to my aesthetic in the pillows, throws and other bits of color in the room. While I love neutral and the soft textures that linen brings, I also like to add a bit of softness with a pale blush, gray or faded florals on the pillows.”

Vintage floral upholstery and teal trim add whimsical elegance to Courtney’s greenhouse.
  1. What practical encouragement can you give to someone who wants to decorate in this style?

“Scour flea markets, thrift stores and Craigslist for those vintage pieces. I have found some of my favorite antique French pieces second hand– such as the mirror and the buffet deux corps in my living room. And it takes time to collect and curate the look in your home- a French Country style home is not one that you will usually find all the elements at one time. It is a style that has a sense that is has been collected over time. And there are no rules- focus on finding the pieces that speak to you and start there.”


The February issue is currently on newsstands and available online! Pick up your copy to explore chic cottages, a royal chateau and learn how to import the timeless elegance of French décor into your own home, wherever it may be!

A Fresh Start

We're approaching 2018 with renewed motivation to sort through the clutter, tackle a DIY project or two and take advantage of every opportunity for a happy new year at home.

We’re looking forward to the fresh opportunities of a brand new year!

A new year brings a fresh start.

It’s a time for reflecting and setting goals—and it’s also a perfect time for making a few changes around the home. Maybe this is the year of the bathroom renovation, the decor changes to bring that French feeling to your living room or the fresh coat of paint on your walls.

This month storage and simplifying are at the top of the list, and your new-year-new-look projects don’t have to be expensive or involved. Think simple with changes such as redecorating storage areas to be functional and pretty. It’s as easy as lining the shelves inside the closet with wallpaper or fabric and clearing out items you don’t use.

Keep your home feeling fresh by simplifying. Corral unnecessary clutter in a chunky tray or bowl on the sideboard. Put away those appliances that always land on the counters and pick up a few baskets for storing everyday bits to keep your home feeling fresh and clutter free.

This month, you’ll find loads of inspiration for decorating and organizing, smart storage products, and travel goals for 2018.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!


Enjoy A #NewRomance With Romantic Homes

A brand-new look, always living beautifully.

I have always been a romantic at heart.

It starts with my love of vintage pieces and their stories—those intricately flowered trinkets that hold a memory and simple touches that create a moment on a table or nightstand. I believe in a lifestyle that involves flowers, chandeliers and celebrating every day.

My blog, French Country Cottage, has allowed me to indulge my romantic side and share what I love and what inspires me. To me, a romantic-inspired life embraces nostalgia, but feels fresh and current at the same time. It is one that delights in your favorite things and everyday occasions as much as the special ones. Romantic style tells your story and encourages you to live life beautifully decorated.

You might notice that we have a new look. In the October issue, you’ll find that same romantic charm and style you have come to love, mixed with simple beauty and elegance.

We’ve got you covered, from tours of charming homes to travel and favorite romantic escapes to tips for creating your dream style, ideas for entertaining and much, much more. I’m so excited about our updated and inviting Romantic Homes, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I love and what inspires me with you.

Welcome to the new Romantic Homes! We’re so glad that you’re here.







Courtney Allison


Less is More: 3 Tips to Edit Any Room

Overrun with stuff? Follow these short and simple tips to edit out unnecessary extras.

Heirloom pumpkins add color to Courtney Allison's curated collection of servingware
Courtney’s hutch is carefully curated with her collection of servingware and styled for fall with heirloom pumpkins.

In spaces big and small, maximizing your space and clearing clutter are musts. No matter your home’s layout or style, work with the space you have and highlight the details that matter most to you. Follow these tips to edit each room to look its best.

Minimize everything: Reduce each room to the most basic furniture pieces (multifunctional pieces are ideal) and only decorate with a few key accents to truly shine.

Make it personal: Personal and sentimental touches, from children’s art to sweet family photos, make a house feel like home.

Seasonal flair: Bring the beautiful colors and textures of the season to your home with freshly picked flowers and fruits for an extra dose of color and whimsy.