Blog header photographed by Stories Photography

FRENCH DRESSING ... a post from the past



For a really long time now I've been wanting to pose this question ...

What is true French Dressing?

Blog after blog
picture after picture ...
each claiming their design is
it's everywhere
over-used and saturated, no?

are you confused, like me?

I know what I like ...

but is it "french"?
I think not.

Jeanne d'Arc Living

everyone's take on it is so different ...
some of you have been to France
others of us have not ... 
I ask you ...
how in the world does one cityfarmer decide?


Are you an "ALL WHITE" FRENCH (swedish) GIRL" ...

basking in chippy, cloudy low fat shades of white?

tracey leber/junkbonanza

are you full blown French?
NO FAT ... no frills

countryside, wagons, vineyards, brick ovens, pea gravel courtyards and the like?
something way down inside me
says this is true french dressing ... 

the farmer in me longs for the rustic, rural french dressing
my french country home

Low fat, no fat ... Or a lot of fat ... fat fluffy, drape-y, goo-ey

cote de texas

I have to admit, I adore this look ...
it goes well in a farmhouse, no?

goo-ey, but wonderful!!
peek in at this blog

cote de texas

now you're speaking french  ...
no upper cupboards
open shelving
old silver
organized clutter
farmhouse fancy

rustic romancetm



so I ask you ...

about this 
what's your take?

somewhere in between?

talk to me

a post from the past


Sarah at myyellowhouse said...

I like the chippy white frilly look but smack in the middle of the countryside surrounded by walls of flowers! I'd be pretty happy with your French farmhouse too ~ :)
I find it hard to find French things here in NE though.
Happy Fall!

Fräulein Klein said...

What a wonderful post! I adore it!!!!!!!!!
Have a nice day,
Big Hugs,

vignette design said...

I have an idea! Why don't we go to France and see for ourselves. Wouldn't we have a blast!
I've been there and I can say that the American take on French dressing is kind of like how we took Southwest in the 80's and interpreted it. A caricature of French decor, almost....What's missing is provençal fabrics, Anduze urns, and lavender!
I love your photos though, and my favorite would have to be the Cote de Texas kitchen. Made my heart stop!
That looks and feels French to me.

cityfarmer said...

I was ACTUALLY going to compare it with the southwest phenomenon ...but forgot to mention it it

Polly said...

Gorgeous photos!! Every single detail is just lovely! I tend to mix it all in....some frilly fluffy ruffly frenchie with the more rustic countryside simplistic frenchie farmhouse. Not sure it makes sense to anyone else, but I sure do love it!!

I remember the southwest phenomenon! And the mauve and dusty blue country trend of the 80's! Please tell me that's not what we're experiencing with our beautiful look!!!!

kpaints said...

Thanks so much for this post....I love it all...I think Fat in the country works great for me! I love all the white but being a retired painting contractor would make it hard for me to have ALL WHITE! I fought it for years! HA!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I love the golds, reds, blues, ochres of Country French. Provencial fabrics, confit pots, urns, baskets and burlap. Love the chippy white mixed in though.

La Dolfina said...

I love it all Joy... please don't make me choose!

Sarah at myyellowhouse said...

I'm back...thanks for your comment on the bird thing. I was waiting for someone to just say NO. Thank you for doing it. :)

Deb said...

I have to have colour & dark stained wood ~ loved the "rustic romance" photo.

Hilary @ Sweet as June said...

Awesome post! So creative! ;)

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

I'm with La Dolfina...please don't make me choose.

Low Tide High Style said...

I have only been to France once...but oh how I loved it all! I think French dressing is as diverse as the country it comes from, so I think we take a little something from each region and make it our own.

Like the others have said, I don't want to choose, just give it all to me!

Kat :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

What a fun post! There is no way I could possibly choose. I love it all. I love provencal fabrics and urns and confit pots, etc. There is absolutely no way that I could make a choice. Each of the images you have shown are wonderful and unique. Lovely!

Donna Lynn said...

I have what I would consider a Country style house, I love French Country, but believe it is truly up to the decorator how he or she applies it all! I have Roosters, red walls, and Frenchy fabrics, but the rest of my house is just what ever grabs my fancy, French inspired??? Maybe!

I love your white, burlap, and chippy look and love coming over for a visit, thanks for sharing all your thoughts!

Chrissy said...

I don't know what it really is,all I know is what I it what you will!!! I think I decorate with a bit of "french dressing"but I am not this post and I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy you came by! x0x0x00x

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Bonjour~I think it all depends on if your in the City of France or the country.

I myself love the rutic rural french decor.I love the old world look.

Great Post~Kim

kerrie said...

I think I'm a lowfat...I like the more rustic, chippy whites with a touch of sheer to cover my coastal-style cottage. I like faded driftwood, wicker, woods, stone...I've never been to France so I don't know, but I think I would prefer the french coastal countryside cottages. Jean d Arc is top of my list for inspiration.

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Exactly in between here with lots of countryside, vineyards and wagons.

I too, love it all but there's no way I'm painting my antique French furniture pieces but will happily add to them with new painted white items... or chippy white old ones, see, right in-between!

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Love Shawn's blog and she's fab!

Victoria said...

have recently done my guest room and home design studio in grays and whites and am in love with the look but like Therese I like to much too choose. Love your blog girlfriend.

sharon said...

I love the white low fat look but it just never seems to happen here. I don't know how people do that in real life!
We are fairly colourful here in a tone on tone sort of way.

The best thing is to take up Vignette Design's suggestion and come over to check it out! I'll happily provide your venue in the shape of my barn!!
My French County Home

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What a great question. I suspect (because I have not traveled to France yet) that they live with a lot less than we do. ANd that the all white, chippy, trend going on now would look nothing like real french style. THey are not that contrived. I think they have certain elements of the white trend.
I think I would love the colors of Provence or the beautiful coast. And I can just imagine how beautiful the old homes look there.
Fun to think about, very fun post!
I am learning alot about Frenchdressing!

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

I think I'm a Swedish white gal, actually. At least this week I am! ;-)

paperbird said...

LOVE this post- so very clever and I love each image you have shared. I just love it all!

Glenda said...

I'm in love with it all. But right now color is showing up every where in my life.

Stephanie said...

That's a loaded question :). I like the rustic paired with the fancy. I love a crystal chandelier, sconce or lamp but I also like simple white metis sheets thrown around, natural seagrass rugs, muted colors on accent pieces and white walls. Even the fancy things need to be a bit worn. I like breathing room and to not have everything packed in together, so there is a bit of minimalism thrown in. I also I absolutely adore big chateau like mirrors that have a worn finish in the mirror itself. I guess it's sort of paris apartment but with the kind of paris apartment that has airy white walls everywhere and eclectic furniture, new mixed with old and a few rustic elements thrown in. Whew!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I love so many styles it is hard to choose! I like to think of my homes style as Charles Faudree meshed with Rachel Ashwell. I love the rich provence colors and pottery with white chippy furniture.

cityfarmer said...

Don't know that my farmhouse feels French AT ALL ...

it IS romantically rustic, tho ... and as Fifi stated when she was here ..." it's a farmhouse with finery ...and decadence ..."

I'm lovin' this feedback

bella said...

I think I'm a lowfat , too. I adore the bottom Cote de Texas photo - the one with the big cupboard, Not too crazy about open shelveing though - I had that in my kitchen for 2 years and its waaaay too much cleaning for me.

indoor furniture said...

I liked the white finish. more antique look, whether it's genuine vintage or simply finishing is made like that?
We have some collections of teak indoor furniture made of solid teak wood from Indonesia.
Thank you.

Maria said...

I love all of these shades of white... any mélange of whites would be lovely...

I also love the richness of wood and wood grain. The warmth and strength of oak is my favorite.

My goal is to just get the house realllly clean and organized!

Thanks for the inspirations!
and the phrase "organized clutter" ... shooting for "organized clutter" LOL

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

I don't think of all white as French. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE white, but I like a more rustic, rural style with the lavender plants, burlap, a little color...makes my think of Provence :)

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I love it all!!!!!! When is your sale? Is that stack of column bases for sale?


I probably am a mix. So many looks make my heart go pitter patter these days. Right now, I've been going hog wild making pillows out of antique German grainsack pillows. Crazy cute...

Take care,

Burlap Luxe said...

I will take as much of the low fat and fat fat I can get :)
Love the rustic French old world chippy and pealed with rustic charm.

Girl I just don't know where you get all your inspirational postings, they just ROCK-MY burlap gypsy soul!

Hey I am with you on that kitchen with no upper cabinets and the burlap. Who can really oick all so great!
see you soon

* French Farmhouse 425 * said...

~*~* Can there be a french dressing thats chippy.. white..pour in some browns..a pinch of black..add flowers and ticking.. barnyard animals for extra taste!!? lol..did that make sense??? Hugs,Rachel ;)~*~*

Coco Coterie said...

Pretty, pretty. Love it all. Need to peruse your shop, again!
Have a great day, dear one. xox ~
Alexandra Oh, 10.22.

Debra@Common Ground said...

Somewhere in between, Love the white and floofy French, but also the rustic. Country French and real "Provencal" have always attracted me. Large baskets, natural woods, textures, but elegant at the same time.

Victoria said...

Hey while I loved Joni's post today this one was just as fun. So enjoy your style too! And love what you share with all of us in bloggerland. (saw your comment on Joni's post girlfriend)

Cote de Texas said...

Beautiful post! French can be country French or city French - dressy. I like country french the most!!! thanks for the shout out - must appreciated.

Air Kiss said...

Haha this was so cute! Low fat for me. I am dream of having white wooden floors & sweeping 'round my house in Hanna Anderson clogs.. a gal can dream, right? I've always liked French Provencal, but lately my taste has really been influenced my French-Nordic-Swedish-cool bright white- roughed up and rustic with touches of color from plants & flowers & oh , yeah gray, too! ;)
Hug -- Lara

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

This is a great post, one that makes you stop and wonder... yesterday, I went junking with a good friend. We never like the same things and enjoying dishing on each other. lol In one shop the owner was enjoying our little pokes at each other and she said to my friend, that it was my french blood that was guiding my likes and dislikes. I have often been asked which of my parents is French? I always take that with a smile, but I am a full- blooded hillbilly, with a bit of French blood somewhere...

Paris Atelier said...

Oh! I love this post! I'm a lay the fat on thick girl! Give me French chandeliers dripping in crystal delish, frothy tulle, heavenly vintage silks and satins too pretty to touch, and heavy velvet canapes! I'll take all the calories that can fit into one room! LOL! I have to admit, I love the all White (swedish) style. I drool over some pics I see but with a toddler, dog, and husband, can't imagine living in it. I have one room in the house that has only one rule: No boys allowed!
Great post!

Coco Coterie said...

Yes, this collection just makes me swoon. Kind of like your...hey, wait, I'm getting married. Bad coco. :) xox Alexandra

A Perfect Gray said...

oh, how are we to choose? One day it's this; the next day it's that. it's a girls prerogative, right?

Privet and Holly said...

Low-fat for me,
Don't go for all
the way frills
and goo....but
do like some of
that Frenchy stuff.
Fun post!!
xx Suzanne

My Shabby Streamside Studio said...


Thanks for putting a pic up from my blog!

I'm getting into Dansk-Fransk/Industrial to cut the goo.



Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio

Linda said...

Loved your post. Thanks.
Must look for a topiary tree.
Have a great day!

Pondside said...

I like bits and pieces of all of it, but too much of anything looks contrived. The whole idea of French country is comfort and some places look like sets. It's really French country when there's some colour and when the objects on display are in some way beautiful, or (especially) useful.

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

Yes please. Is all of the above one of my choices? It is all exactly what I love.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Wonderful post! Full of great thought and questions.
Is French... provincial style, Parisian, one of the Louis' or the oppulence of the south of France. Is it fields of lavender or fields of champagne grapes? Beautiful ochres and and the azure of the coastline. Is it collected-over-the-years worn colors and textures because you use what you have? Or the chic of a window in Paris?
I have always wondered why "french" is limited to white these days? Another trend? Will be all be throwing out our whites like we did our Tuscan colors or the dreaded olive green of the 70's. I don't see "white" when I think of true french style. Some (and the emphesis is on some) whites seem too contrived and have the look of trying too hard to be chic. White needs color (or at least some beautiful wood and tons of texture) to look alive!To ballance it and bring out it's beauty.
As you can see I certainly have an opinion about current "french" styles.
Again, what a thought provoking post!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I think I saw my style in there. I actually own items similar to one or more things in every single pic. I guess I'm frenchy eclectic.

Sherri @ Antique Paperie said...

I like the allure of something not American. Give me burlap & ironstone one weekend, apple pie and fried chicken the next. I love it all. Paris style has sure blown up the past few years though hasn't it? Fun reading all the comments ~

Ido said...

Love the table from the Cote de Texas picture. I don't know much about french dressing, but I mix styles and call it french lol! loving this post.

LIFE as we KNOW IT. said...

Love your post! A few french country home decore ideas I just love are exposed beams on the ceiling, stone walls, stone floors, textured walls in light colors eg: white, creme & pale yellow, pops of colour, red & blue, wrought iron, fresh flowers,herbs & sunflowers, ceramics, distressed furniture & accent pillows & wine cellar..yumm. Whoo sounds so romantic...I have always dreamed of going to France on day! Thanks again for sharing! So inspiring!
Have a wonderful day!

joanne said...

i love it all.....

Carolyne said...

**love** your pictures.
I have to admit that I topiary anything, from boxwood and myrtle to rosemary and scented geraniums.
I don't know if it's Frenchiness, but
I like:
-bare wood floors (and the dirt that got tracked in from the garden!),
-a vase of fresh flowers on the table,
-always lighting the candles
-fresh fruit being preserved on the stove
-my old silver really being used for everyday
*and* always kissing twice!

Love your blog ~ xoxo

tracey @ the vintage bothy said...

it is a mis-conception that "French" is white, most traditional furniture is dark wood, and most French people do not like old things, throwing them out.
Because of the beautiful light true French interiors were full of colour and polished wood.
The white is a romanticised vision, or is infact more Scandinavian, where the use of white reflects the much needed light.
However a modern twist on all can be lovely, I would love to be all white and floating fabrics, but love colour too much, therefore I have a mix of antique & vintage in a true English eccentric mix.

eddieross said...

We love the whitewashed rooms in these photographs. They are tres chic and oh so French!
xo E + J

La joie d'apprendre! said...

I'm a true French Acadian country girl...No frills :-)