I have been waiting to arrive here in France to my grandmother’s home to really roll up my sleeves and dig into this new series, Collector’s Corner. My grandmother was the queen of collecting; she loved finding new treasures, especially china, glass and textiles. I would love to go through her home and archive everything that is here to better understand the decisions she made in decorating this slice of heaven which still very much feels like “hers” even though she passed nearly ten years ago now (it still feels very recent). One of my favorite memories from my childhood and our time here as a family was the breakfast table which was always set with a colorful local cloth and of course, plates and plates of croissants — we were always feeding a huge group. As an adult, I realize the effort that goes into setting the table for a larger party for every meal, and so appreciate the standards she set. A colorful cloth goes a long way in making the table feel special and complete, fun and not too formal.
“Gaga” (my grandmother’s nickname) had so many sets of napkins — usually 8 or 12, sometimes 24. They are all neatly pressed in the drawer and ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice. Many have wild patterns, and layering them is encouraged. Who minds really about a pristine and neutral table when the joy of living here was to be surrounded by beauty and to have the most fun possible?
Although this breakfast table is a much smaller example of the ones our family sets, I couldn’t help but use the backdrop of her many potted roses which are in full bloom outside her bedroom. I imagine her stepping out in a robe to read the paper in the sunshine with the background music of singing birds and cicadas. I can’t wait to share more of her collections in the coming weeks… xxx !
Here are some of my favorite sites to start your collection today: