Monday, March 14, 2011

French Lessons

Since our Paris Flea Market is only a little more than three weeks away, I thought it might be fun to have some French lessons! So many of our design terms and styles originated with the French......and here are some of my favorites.

Bergere: a traditional French chair, defined by an upholstered back and seat on a carved wood frame. (Marie Antoinette used them in her country house!)

Boiserie: Heavily carved and decorative paneling

Buffet a deux corp: A chest on chest with a recessed top and cabinet doors, usually with imposing proportions and simple decoration.

Lit d'alcove: Bed in an alcove enclosure with panels or a bed placed sideways against the wall without a canopy.

Faux Bois: Anything that is "false wood"....this may be a painted finish, a fabric that looks wood-grained, or a piece of furniture made out of stone to resemble wood.

Trompe l'oeil: A painted treatment that fools the eye

Passementerie: 17th Century word for trimmings including tassels, fringe, bullion or tiebacks

Radassiere: A French banquette or bench with rush seat meant for 3-4 people, and often placed near the fireplace

Toile de Jouy: A repeated pattern depicting complex scenes -- often pastoral. Of French origin from the late 18th century and literally translated as "cloth from Jouy" -- a town in North Central France

The French certainly believe in "l'art de bien vivre" --- the art of living well ---- as these design styles reflect!

You should be receiving your postcards in the mail soon for our Paris Flea Market - Le Jardin - to be held on Saturday, April 9, and we hope you will plan ahead to join us for this very special event (more details to follow in a later post).


  1. I finally found your blog! It's beautiful and informative! Just to let you know in advance...we are hosting a bloggers party at our shop April 22 at 5:30. Hope you can make it!

  2. Thanks, Char. Now I've found yours too ---- it's great! The bloggers party sounds fun, and I'll put it on my calendar.


  3. I live in New York so can't come to your store. How do I order curtains from you? There are a few on Pinteret that are exactly what I'm looking for.