SUMMER IS HERE AND CHANGE IS IN THE AIR!

Summer is here and change is in the air!

As excited children everywhere begin to retire their books and welcome the fun adventures that lie ahead, we begin to embrace the freedom that summer often brings.

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So wonderfully carefree!

I love summer for a variety of reasons: the days are longer, the air is warmer and the anticipation is greater. It brings to my mind, delightful memories of sipping ice cold lemonade, the sound of laughter, the smell of sunscreen and travelling to faraway places.

In France, the country that inspires Couleur Nature; the beginning of summer means leaving your worries behind and experiencing the joys that await you. The French refer to this as, “Le Grand Départ” or “The Great Departure”. They take this time of year to journey to new destinations for a little well deserved rest and relaxation. We could all take notes from the French on how to appreciate the pleasures that life has to offer, I know I certainly could!

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However, if you don’t find yourself able to explore new and exciting places this summer like those of our French friends, pas de soucis! Take a break, grab some pals, mix a cocktail and enjoy the sun! Bonjour Summer!

All About Napkin Rings

Couleur Nature Napkin Rings

 

Today, we’re going to learn about napkin rings, where they came from, and why people use them. Why napkin rings, you ask? Well, because I myself was curious about them. Who decided that napkins needed to accessorize? After doing a little research, I’ve decided to share my findings with you.

Napkin rings––occasionally called a serviette ring––are an invention of the European bourgeoisie, the wealthy middle-upper class. They first appeared in France in about 1800, and quickly caught on amongst the bourgeoisie. That’s right; the French invented this beautiful addition to the table settings, good news for all you Francophiles out there.

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Color in Nature and Design

As our name implies, we here at Couleur Nature often turn to the rustic beauty of nature when coming up with beautiful new designs for you.

Couleur Nature Sunflower Blue French Tablecloth

 

Take this beautiful Sunflower Tablecloth, from our French Linen collection, for example. There’s just something about the interplay and romance between the blue and the gold that makes the combination of the two a lovely sight to behold. Perhaps this stems from our idyllic view of sunflowers. When we think of them, we usually see a vast field of sunflowers, set against a bright blue sky, an image that conjures up feelingsof nostalgia, perhaps even wonderful memories of the time you spent in Provence in southern France.

 

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Mellow Monday: The French Country Rooster

Welcome to Mellow Monday, a picture post with beautiful photos from around the web!

Sit back and relax as we present this week’s theme:

The French Country Rooster

Vintage French Country Rooster Wall Plaque

Via Pinterest

The rooster is such a significant element of French Country decor, because of its history with France and its importance to the countryside.

You can learn more about the rooster’s significance here, but this time we’ll mostly be looking at French Country decor with the rooster!

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Why the Rooster is Quintessential to French Country Design

Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when I say “country animal”?

I bet it was a chicken.

And if  not, it was probably the second thing you had in mind. If you’re familiar with the French Country look, chances are you’ve seen quite a few roosters here and there. Roosters are so quintessential to French Country because they’re important to both France and the general countryside.

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Tutorial: “Vintage Opulence” Pomegranate Centerpiece & Auction

Today’s post is a very special one, the first of its kind…

We’re giving you a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to make our pomegranate centerpiece for autumn!

Plus, you’ll have a chance to bid on the original creation! All proceeds from the auction will go to Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

Autumn Thanksgiving Pomegranate Centerpiece

I call it “Vintage Opulence“, because the colors are a bit toned down, but it still has an air of splendor.

When I first imagined it, it was much like Couleur Nature’s Pomegranate Collection, full of vibrant golds and rich burgundies.

Pomegranate Collection French Linen Dining Tablecloth

But as I walked up and down the aisles of the craft store, and as the bundle of stems in my arms kept getting bigger and bigger, I realized my imagination was taking me on a different route. I still wanted to keep the overall essence of the collection, but the finished result has a much more definite autumn feeling, don’t you think?

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French-Inspired Conservatory

Southern Living recently featured this gorgeous French-design backyard conservatory created with salvaged windows – we couldn’t resist the temptation to post it here.  The owner, Jeri Farmer, wanted a glass garden house and was inspired by the glass Pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris.

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Provence – 40 Years Later

Nicholas Delbanco recently wrote a piece for the New York Times about revisiting Provence with his wife, 40 years after his honeymoon there.  We enjoyed it so much we had to share it with you here. . .

He began the article with “The difference, for the traveler, between a first and repeated visit is crucial. To “go back” is not “to go.” Yet old, familiar places retain a kind of magic, and all the more so when the memories are shared. For our 40th wedding anniversary year, my wife, Elena, and I returned to the place where our marriage began: the South of France. We planned to visit old haunts, the area we’d once called home.”

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Monday Monday

“Monday, Monday. . . so good to me.”  At least that’s what the Mama and the Papas sang in the 60’s.  It’s our wish for you, that this Monday will be good to you.  Check out these images of lavender fields in Provence, France and consider planting your own lavender field (or bed. . .) to soothe future Mondays.

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French Country Design – A Primer

If you’re new to French Country Design, but love the look, we’ve got a few simple tips to get you started. The first step is to think of Provence and the French countryside, places where you’re sure to see bright sunshine and lavender fields. Think rustic farmhouses, old-world and welcoming. Think contrasting textures – flooring of stone, clay or brick, pale plaster walls, ceilings punctuated with dark rough wood beams. Think warm and casual.

And think color. The colors used for French Country decorating come from the entire color wheel and are based on the gardens of Provence. Sunny yellow, soft gold, cobalt blue and soft ocean tones, fiery red and burnt rust, bright grass green and dark hunter green – each has a place in this very versatile decorating style. Colorful Provencal printed fabrics are best set off against light-toned natural walls and floors and rustic furnishings.

The look fits well into any home, whether you’re thinking country home or city apartment. The French Country style of decorating, with its relaxed but inviting feel fits beautifully into any decorating scheme.

Start by admiring the look in these photos we’ve borrowed from House Beautiful. Feel inspired? We’ll have more specific ideas right here in the future. And we’d love to hear how you’ve integrated the French Country Look into your own home.