French Decorating

Bedroom When we first talked about moving to France a friend warned us not to close the door when inside a room without taking careful note of positioning.  Since they wall paper everything, including the doors and ceilings one could be trapped forever, wandering the room, counting the flowers, looking for the door!  See bedroom at left, since been redone.
One of the first things we did to our house was to convert the three bathroom 'rooms' into one, slightly more modern bathroom.  It would seem that the proper French do not think that one should bathe in the same room that one sh**s, or brushes ones teeth, for that matter.  We had a lovely toiletBath1200 in one of the tiny rooms (none of them had enough room to swing a cat!), a bizarre, child-size, 2-level bathtub in another and a sink with a mirror in the third. They were all papered in various themes of pink flowers, no two tiny rooms the same.  Bath2200_1 To get to them we walked down the 'bathroom hallway' with was papered, top to bottom, ceiling and doors (inserts only) in a vivid green, jungle motif with peach birds and apricot ferns (still don't know why the pink bathrooms…)
Mon mari gutted the 3 little rooms, tore down the walls and built a lovely, modern bathroom, complete with new toilet, large shower, double sinks with cabinets, a corner linen shelf, and walls covered in a pretty, pale, sea green Italian ceramic tile.  That still left us with the hallway, and the discussion:  To me it is so over the top, that I like it Hall2200_5 (I have a cousin who painted a full, life-size zoo on her parents basement walls…the giraffes were bent over drinking).  It's in good shape, I repainted the trim (it, too, was pink!) and I think it adds a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to the house.  Mon mari tolerates it.  Most visitors look and don't comment, afraid to say they like it and, more afraid to ask when we'll be ripping it out.  Any opinions?

3 thoughts on “French Decorating”

  1. Hahahaha, grandma’s house is exactly like that too, I can’t wait to get my decorator hands on it someday! By then maybe giant pink rose wallpaper might be back “in”, who knows?

  2. It reminds me very strongly of a French restaurant near Indianapolis that is owned by a couple from Alsace that they started in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Fabulous food, but an absolute warren of rooms, and decorated almost exactly like the pictures in this entry. Literature about the restaurant proudly states the wife decorated it herself. Apparently it is perfectly in such taste as the person who decorated your hall! it is definitely different; not necessarily a bad thing. Just a different tradtion, I guess.

  3. The real surprises are what you find when you remove the wallpaper. We found a false wall in one room. We don’t know why it was there…no bodies behind it…

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