french influence

french influence

When I walked into this home in Florence, Alabama, I loved the homeowner’s taste instantly. She has the same lanterns above her kitchen island as we have in our hallway, so why wouldn’t I like her style?!?

These fixtures are probably my favorites in our new house.

I love them anytime of the day, but at night they cast a beautiful pattern on the walls.

In the home I visited in Florence, the owner added light fixtures and a small coffee bar to the existing space in the newly built house.  Her furniture, art and other accessories bring warmth and sophistication and reflect her travels and love of all things french.

Suzanne French, (how ironic) helped the homeowner with her interior.  I know Suzanne and used to shop at a store she owned in Florence called Halsey House. I can see her touches throughout the home, and love her ideas.

My husband and I have spent hundreds of weekends in Florence at our lake house that burned down just six months ago.   That’s how we know so many people and have such affection for the charming northern Alabama town.

One of my favorite pieces was this cabinet with doors that were hand painted by Memphis artist Lesa Rowe.

The two girls featured on the doors are the owner’s daughters and their pets.  These doors used to hang on windows in the family’s  former Mississippi house. The colors are exquisite. And then there are the stools I had a fit over.

I’m always attracted to Asian inspired patterns in fabric and wallpaper like this.  The pair of stools came from a shop in Destin called Duce & Company.

The furniture is mostly upholstered or slipcovered in neutral tones which give it a calm feeling.  The paintings, some pillows,  several cabinets and rugs throughout the house add the color.

The great looking rugs are from Flying Carpet Oriental Rugs, an icon for more than forty years in Florence.

This sentimental painting captures the homeowner’s grandchildren in an outdoor setting.  It’s another Lesa Rowe beauty.  I also love the french wine jars she found at one of her favorite stores in Destin,  Antiques on Holiday.

The table they sit on is from Aidan Gray.

A guest bedroom where her grandchildren sleep when they visit has antique french twin beds with fantastic linens, and baskets of dried hydrangeas above each bed.

And another beautiful painting by Lesa.

The master bedroom is a collection of old and new.

Lamps that are more than one hundred years old stand on a dresser with their original shades.


And then a chaise lounge that looks old but is new, from Restoration Hardware. I may need one. Another piece of furniture I want is this pink chair.

So lady like, and so french, but it is an antique so I don’t think she’ll part with it.

A more modern touch is the coffee bar the owner added to an existing closet. What a great use of space.

And I love how she mixed painted french chairs with the dark wood breakfront that was purchased at an estate sale in Memphis many years ago and has traveled thousands of miles with the family.

As lovely as the home is, it’s not the last house for this woman who has owned many homes. Her next address will be in Mississippi where she plans to build a french country style home on land she owns there. Yet another field trip for stylish retreats to plan for the future.  Doing this blog is so much fun!


Hope you enjoyed reading Stylish Retreats.  Please share with your friends!  Thank you.


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