French cottage core seems to be bifurcated. In the city, cottage core holds a relaxed elegance, a more worldly and sophisticated feel. Here the French seem to add a level of panache as they seek the comfortable, the cozy and the grounded. If you are in Paris you will find their cottage core designs decorated with mirrors trimmed in sparkling gold, gilded chandeliers, parquet wooden floors and intricate, ornate plaster work. It takes a trip to the French countryside, where the lavender grows, to experience the real French cottage core.
Here the old French cottages still call us with their simple charm. It feels more elemental, more countrified and less sophisticated. The wooden floors are wide beamed oak planks. The lighting fixtures are usually wooden and unsophisticated. They are rural, basic and utilitarian – and beautifully handmade. While in Paris we will find jacquard, lace and silk fabrics in multiple layers, in the French countryside we will find grain sack and toile, wool, linen and hemp. The countryside feels more real and authentic. There is no putting on airs. There is no attempt to impress.
In the French countryside we find the blues and whites, the oak beams, the antiques and cottage chic. We find the 200 year old handmade tables, the big farmhouse sinks and the copper pots, complete with real dings from a century of real use. The hand thrown contif pots in green and yellow show the etched surface from decades of oil dripping down the outside spouts. And, possibly most beautifully, we find flowers everywhere – in gardens, in vases, in old pots and growing wild on the side of the country lane. While the city version might be sophisticated, our hearts seem to want to rest in the countryside.
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