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07 May, 2011

French Country Outdoor Living...and...A French Inspired Tablescape

The time I spent living in France left me with some wonderful memories…especially those long afternoons and evenings spent with friends, lingering over beautifully prepared meals served in their gardens. So when I saw the latest issue of the French online magazine Campagne Décoration, I was thrilled to see some lovely outdoor spaces! This old farmhouse really speaks to me! It reminds me of the home of a dear friend in France.

parc-du-moulin-d-Echoiseau_carrousel_galleryI love this one! Doesn’t it looks as though Renoir and his friends are just out of sight? What a beautiful setting…lunch under the dappled lighting of willow trees! This is the garden of the summer residence of the French author Alfred de Musset.

jardin2_carrousel_gallery_xl I love the textures in this photo! Nothing adds to the ambiance of a French garden like old stone walls and the ornate curves of a vintage garden bench!  What a nice place to rest after a little gardening.

Sc-626-018_carrousel_gallery_xl Oooh…but this one looks so much more comfortable! Could you sit and read for hours on this wrought iron banquette? I love the fabrics on the cushions!

Maison-du-sud-3_carrousel_gallery_xlWhat a wonderful little space for a cup of morning coffee and a croissant! I want that table with the curvy French legs and that copper lantern!

Pique-nique-sur-l-ile-de-la-Cite_carrousel_gallery You don’t have to be in the country to have a picnic! How about enjoying some time along the Seine River in Paris? On my list of things to do when my grandson and I are in Paris in a few weeks is having a pastry while sitting along the quai of the Seine!

IMG_0098 And here’s my favorite…the courtyard of an ancient farmhouse in Provence where I spent a week during my retirement trip to France! (Click here to see more!) Oh how I would love to be able to recreate something like this at my house! But…I don’t have those stone walls, creeping vines and wonderful Provençal blue shutters! Sigh! 

art-de-la-table_carrousel_gallery_xl Then I saw this one! Maybe I can’t recreate the garden, but I can create my version of this tablescape! Just maybe I can transform my patio into a little corner of France!

011 And voilà…here it is! I had to take a few liberties based on what was available, but I think I have captured the essence of it. I actually already had most of what I needed, so I only had to do a little Goodwill hunting. You may recognize the placemats and the Bordallo cabbage plates from a spring tablescape that I did two years ago. Hmmm...note to self...check into buying some French bistro chairs.

013The glasses came from the clearance aisle at Home Goods…$3.00 each…and the napkins were a GW find…6 of them for $2.50! The cheese plates are from Crate & Barrel and were also a thrifting find…only $2.00! I pulled out some of my favorite old silverplate and set the table à la française...French style...with the tines of the forks and the bowls of the spoons pointing down. The monogram or family crest is customarily located on the back of the flatware in France.

012 Their centerpiece used fresh figs…nowhere to be found for me…so I used limes and a bouquet of fresh flowers from the grocery store! In the background, you can see that my shabby picnic basket planter is back again this year! I’ll have more about that later! Just add a few candles for ambiance...
(Hint: For a quick and easy color change, I wrapped mine in matching scrapbooking paper. Of course, be careful as you would any time you use candles.)

011 …and there you have it…my French inspired tablescape! My sister is coming over later today, so I think we will have lunch on the patio and enjoy the wonderful weather we have been having!

002 Our co-host Miss Kitty, who is the only mother on our staff (other than moi, of course), would also like to wish a wonderful Mother’s Day to each of you! May your day be filled with family, friends and fabulous food…that you didn't have to cook!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my tablescape!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Judy at DIY by Design for the Outdoor Cooking and Dining Blog Party
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures on Mondays
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring
Kara at Elements Interiors for Whassup Wednesday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday
Jill at French Cupboard for Voilà! French Inspiration on Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Fridays
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Rachelle at Fingerprints on the Fridge for Feature Yourself Friday
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. Wonderful tablescape on your porch. I think I need to set one for breakfast! Lovely. Wishing you and Miss Kitty a Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Debbie, you know this post is making my heart sing. Alfresco dining is always at the top of my list. In fact we are off to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants today for a little alfresco lunch. ;-)
    Your setting is lovely - a perfect spot for you and your sister to relax and enjoy a good visit.
    Happy Mother's Day! ~ Sarah
    I picked up more cabbage plates at Tuesday Morning this week. ;-)

  3. Debbie, it looks frenchy to me. Love the beautiful lavender colors and your setting is perfect. Enjoy lunch with your sis and I hope you have a fabulous Mother's Day. Hugs, Marty

  4. These pictures are just beautiful, Debbie...they make me want to set a table outside myself {if it were warmer!}. Your table looks every bit as French as the rest, I do hope you have a wonderful lunch here with your sister!

    Happy Mother's Day! :-)


  5. The tablescape is so pretty. Love all the photos.
    Hi Miss Kitty.
    Happy Mother's Day, Deb

  6. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. Richard at My old Historic House

  7. Hi Debbie...this post is great. I totally love the daybed with the plaid cushions. I have the exact same wrought iron outdoor chairs as you. I went to a rectangular table last year to seat more people and I have to say I miss my round table. I am cleaning my back porch on and off today. Just got finished cleaning the blinds...what a job! Thanks for sharing...if you haven't entered my giveaway stop by my blog. Happy weekend...~Ann

  8. Tres jolie! The purple is divine. Why can't I have a garden like the ones in the photos?

  9. Debbie, stunning shots! I would love to live that lifestyle as well! Beautiful! Great job on the table! The little ceramic peas reminded me of a salt and pepper set that Pier One has, looks pretty on that table.

  10. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. I'll be in France in June, too - can't wait!! Sally

  11. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. I'll be in France in June, too - can't wait!! Sally

  12. Such a pretty post!
    Oh how I love France.... they can make the simple pleasures look so extra special. Love your tablescape! Fabulous!
    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Deb this is so pretty it looks like a perfect setting for a Mother's day luncheon. Happy Mother's day to you sweet friend,Kathysue

  14. Beautiful post Debbie! The images are amazing.

    Love your pretty table, too!

  15. Visiting from Masterpiece Monday. This is such a beautiful tablescape! Love all the lavender colors against the patio furniture.Great post! Happy Mother's Day to you.~Poppy

  16. Happy Mother's Day! I love all the gorgeous pictures!

  17. Debbie, Great inspiration photos and I love the one you did on your patio. Of course the Bordallo cabbage plates look fab with the lavender table linens.Whatever did we do before cabbage plates? lol
    And how great are those square cheese and grapes plates? Love them.
    I hope you have a great Mother's Day with your family.
    As you see, I'm behind on my comments.too. We finally finished staining the deck. Now I just have to re-arrange everything.

  18. Debbie,

    Your gorgeous photos of alfresco dining reminds me of dinners I've enjoyed in California's wine country, which appears to look so much like Provence.Your alfresco tablescape is lovely.Happy Mother's day to you and the lovely Miss Kitty.

  19. Wow! Those images are beautiful and your table looks lovely as well.
    I was just mentioning your blog to a friend last night, it is always so informative and beautiful.
    Happy Mothers Day!

  20. Your friend had to have enjoyed dining with you using your pretty tablescape. I love how you used a footed compote and put a flower vase inside of it for height. I need to remember that trick. I didn't know that the french put the fork and spoon down on the table. Wonder why??

  21. You've given me some great inspiration for our yard. We finally got a privacy fence built around our pool (long story!) So I'll have a place to set up a nice outdoor area to watch the kids swim.

    Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day!

  22. Oh my Debbie,
    Great pics and gorgeous table! I love your ideas and your pretty outdoor setting!
    Well done,
    How's that grandbaby doing?

  23. mini-vacations provided by generous bloggers! :)

  24. oh your pictures make me so excited for our trip to France in June....wish I could run into you on the quai of the Seine. Would love to meet you. Thank you for the inspiration!

  25. Oh Debbie -- your French inspired tablescape is lovely! We're looking forward to lots of pictures of your upcoming trip.

  26. Your tablescape is beautiful! Such a great job! Love the french banquette also! I would love to lounge out there a few hours!

  27. Oh my, what beautiful dining! Love your lavender tablescape, Debbie!
    The photo of Alfred de Musset's garden is absolutely breathless! What a dreamy setting for a meal or a cup of tea/coffee! Thanks for sharing your stunning photos and have a wonderful week.


  28. Debbie,
    What a breathtaking post! The imaes of France make me want to carve out a little corner of my yard for a sweet table and chairs.

  29. You certainly made me very homesick. I love how you were able to recreate the feel in your tablesetting. Lovely lovely table.

  30. Your table is lovely. Don't you just love the way magazines can be so inspiring? Thanks by the way, for putting me onto the online magazine Campagne Decoration. I love it!

  31. What inspiring pictures. The French really do live with such style and grace!

    But I think that you also captured the essence of the look. And with the Goodwill prices, so much cheaper than flying to France!

  32. Hi Debbie! You have created your own little French corner perfectly well. Looks lovely to me. You are so fortunate to have spent so much time living in France and have an upfront and personal perspective of what the countryside looks like.


  33. You certainly were able to recreate it, Debbie. Love the lavender color. Your sister will be impressed. Enjoy her company...Christine

  34. Yep ... I could spend hours resting in any one of these French spots .... dreamy! thank you for bringing it all over to Voila!


  35. GORGEOUS!!! Love it!!!

    I would love for you to come link up your post at my "Encouragement is Contagious!" linky party! And... please link up some of your other favorites from blogs you love! Then, those bloggers will also get lots of unexpected, encouraging comments!


  36. Debbie,
    You did a wonderful job creating your alfresco French table. You have better thrift stores than we do. Very pretty. I agree with you the French bistro chairs are it. They just make the setting perfect!
    Thanks for linking this up!

  37. You did a wonderful job. Oh to be on the quai of the Seine! Take lots of pictures for us!

  38. Lovely work you did! I love the bench!

  39. Hi lovely lady. you did a Beautiful Tablescape sweet lady. This was put togther just lovely.yes Thanks so much for the pictures !!! I hope you and your family have a Great weekend.

  40. If you could find room to squeeze me into your luggage, I would appreciate it...of course I weigh a lot so you may want to invest in a dolley too. LOLOLOL!!! Love these pics and I do love your tablescape as well, gorgeous!

  41. Such a gorgeous tablesetting, love the color scheme and all your wonderful French inspiration, Thanks for linking up with VIF!
    xo Debra

  42. Lovely table, Debbie...I really like the green glassware.
    Miss Kitty seems to be wishing you will choose her as your dining partner!

  43. Wow. These pictures are absolutely stunning!


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie