Thursday, December 9, 2010

CROSS-POST: From Tish Jett's "A Femme d'un Certain Age"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tish Jett, a great American blogger who pulled up stakes here and moved to France (almost the mirror image of my life) very graciously asked me to contribute pictures and my thoughts on holiday decorating. I was very flattered by the compliment so, here is Tish's Post in full, or go here to see it natively

Deck the Halls, Tables, Doors. . . Part II

Bienvenue to the second day of exquisite holiday decorating. 

What I'm discovering with the remarkable and varied talents of the interior designers who so graciously agreed to participate in this week-long series, is that creating beauty -- even for ephemeral moments like a meal, a fireplace mantle, a Christmas tree -- brings such richness, pleasure and joy to life that every second of effort that goes into making a home sparkle in celebration of the season might very well be the true definition of magic. 

Today the tremendously talented, Francine Gardner (dash over to see her blog, Art de Vivre
-- it most definitely is the definition of l'art de vivre), lets us peek into her home to see how she sets her table, decorates her tree and welcomes her friends with the entry, pictured above.


My decorating suggestions: Keep it simple, ethereal, scented, filled with memories or treasured moments and always, always a real tree.


I prefer monochromatic trees and especially white. This year my tree is sparkling. I always have white doves perched on branches, small mirrors to reflect the lights, cascading seeds and rhinestones.

I love a chaise by the tree with a cashmere blankets and pillows where I rest in the evening, reading or reflecting on the year that is about to end.


I invite friends for Christmas lunch, usually for 16 to 20. My husband cooks and I set the table. We have a rich lunch of fois gras, duck a l'orange, a perfect Bordeaux, a buche de Noel and Armagnac -- I am, after all, from Gascogne.


I love formal table settings from bright reds and orange to pure white and silver. This year the table will be glittering white to end what has been a rather difficult year in shimmering style.

Finally, I dress my entry console with simple greenery.

 And, in my showroom, I just placed butterflies on moss covered branches in lieu of ornaments.


  1. Francine,
    Gorgeous as usual! All of these images are perfect and the table setting is way up there on my list. The crystal is to die for. Ok, you get the message...stunning.

  2. These were gloriously beautiful pictures!!!!!!I was to have xmas there!!!!!!Maryanne xo

  3. HI Francine, lovely post, thanks for all your comments about the snow.. I hope you are warm wherever you are. Carla

  4. It's all so charming! This is the most wonderful time of the year. I love all the sparkle and sophistication of your holiday decorations.


  5. Again, dear Francine, merci mille fois for your absolutely gorgeous post chez moi and the "shout out" here on your stunning blog.

    Warmest regards,

  6. Everything is spectacularly beautiful - just LOVE the glittering table!!

  7. Francine thank you for all of the lovely images!

    Do come and enter my Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

    Art by Karena

  8. Have loved it all! Urban chic with a French twist. Délicieux.

  9. Francine
    Your home looks wonderful decorated for the Holidays. Wishing you all the best. See you in Vancouver for some fab skiing in the New Year!

  10. Your blog is beautiful. Thanks for visiting Inspired Design... I am now following you. Your tree is so pretty and that table setting is divine. Oh, how I envy you having a hubby that cooks! First time I married for love... second time it would be a man that cooks! hee hee

  11. So beautiful...festive and elegant!!

  12. What a beautiful place you have, Francine! It looks especially magical at Christmastime... very beautiful, yet cozy. I love your large tree and that large star for a simple, yet striking look... and then there are the tables—simply divine, and layered so well.


  13. Francine,
    Your table setting is gorgeous!! I filed your pictures for my inspiration! Thank you so much!
    I have our family for New Years Eve , so I really have to think about setting my table!!
    You gave me some good ideas! Wonderful!
    Big hug!

  14. Ahhhh, Francine, how truly lovely! I've moved into a new home in Houston and have been without a computer for a month & have missed so much. So happy to be able to go back & see posts like this. Gorgeous!!



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