Forget about what is on your holiday menu or what you are going to wear. What’s on your holiday reading list? As you get your interiors together before the holiday season kicks off, keep in mind that beautiful books multi-task as inspiration AND decor. Besides, it is always good to have a virtual escape within reach in case your opinionated Uncle Freddy starts up on religion or politics. Today I am previewing some of my favorite new releases that will make it easy to maintain your holiday merry- and bonus, they also make great gifts… [Read more…] about Holiday Book Recommendations
Instantly French! is the Reason to Buy an Instant Pot
Little known fact…
The pressure cooker might seem like a fad, but it was actually invented by a French physicist, Denis Papin, in the 17th century. French home cooks have long embraced the traditional pressure cooker as a way to get dinner quickly on the table, and most people grew up familiar with the whistling sound of their mother’s pressure cooker. Who knew?!
I have to admit that I was skeptical about the Instant Pot craze for a while before the irresistible Amazon Prime Day deals prompted my purchase. Having read the explosive horror stories, my brand new pressure cooker sat in the box for a while as I wrapped my head around using it. My concerns were inflated; as long as you respect a few simple safety rules, this device is a winner.
Safety aside, the next question was what to cook. Visual temptations abound on social media, linking to recipes. I tried a few good recipes and a few marginal ones, but honestly, I wasn’t bowled over. Having grown up in New Orleans, the bar is high for GREAT FOOD, so I am willing to go the extra mile. When I lived in Washington DC I learned classic techniques of French Cuisine, just to apply them in healthy ways to cooking at home. I have the utmost respect for French culinary techniques because they serve as a solid foundation for all cooking, but I’m now wondering why the long way is even taught when this culinary HOV lane has been around for centuries. I didn’t realize how big I had hit the jackpot when I discovered [Read more…] about The One Instant Pot Cookbook You MUST Own Now
© Association Willy Maywald
Dior & His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and The New Look
by Maureen Footer, Interior Design Historian
Author Maureen Footer, a former interior designer and expert in French decorative arts, gives us the first in-depth account of the two Parisian interior designers associated with Christian Dior. Victor Grandpierre and Georges Geffroy were much more than the interior designers for his home; they were personal friends and professional colleges of Dior. It was Geffroy who introduced Dior to the world of couture. Grandpierre masterminded the look of Dior’s couture house- and was the one to “brand” Dior with the stylistic details that define the brand to this day, [Read more…] about Dior & His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and The New Look
Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor
You are not going to believe your eyes when you see the breathtaking mid-seventeenth-century chateau outside of Paris that I am about to show you….
Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor, written by Guillaume Picon and photographed by Bruno Ehrs, is one of the most beautiful books on French decorative arts and design that I have ever seen. The history of both the chateau and its owners is fascinating, and its thoughtful restorations have ensured a consistent place en vogue.
Original construction took place from 1663–69, with architecture attributed to Francois Mansart and his great-nephew, chief architect of Louis XV, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. At this time, new chateau styles were developing as practical or strategic military elements were no longer necessary- opening the way for Le Notre to design elaborate gardens and outdoor vistas.
The extravagant interiors reflect the then-new mindset of the Rococo era – designed with more permanence and elegance. Bedchambers, previously ceremonial, were designed be private spaces of comfort in the eighteenth century. Tables were no longer brought to the bedchambers for dining. Stand-alone dining rooms were an eighteenth-century innovation, and in Chateau de Villette is the first formal dining room in a French chateau. [Read more…] about Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor