From the Design Desk: Vive la France!

The San Francisco Film Society ends their French Cinema Now festival today, but the popularity of all things French doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, it’s the trend that never dies—and for good reason. Parisians may have hated the film Paris je t’aime, but we will go on loving Paris forever. Who can deny it’s a beautiful, and, well, endlessly romantic city?

French food, fashion, and decorative objects range from the style of Versailles to the rustic textures of Provence. Call anything French, and it automatically seems more elegant. Stores like Anthropologie seem to impart a certain French country sensibility that is delicate, sweet, understated—and popular, especially with many of us here at Chronicle. Smaller home stores like Maison d’Etre and The Urban Nest unabashedly feature objects with fleurs de lys and illustrations of fruit or vegetables accompanied with French text.

The language of love is beautiful, so seeing it in print doesn’t hurt. Beyond the clichés, however, there is something else just plain beautiful and precious about antique French home objects. A perfect example of this is the boutique store in San Francisco, The Bell Jar. Owner Sasha Wingate handpicks antique art and vintage inspired objects in France for the store. The result is a curated space that feels like a cross between a curio box and a dreamy boudoir from the set of a French period piece.

Even modern design devotees seem to enjoy the patterns and contrasting textures found in vintage French designs. For example: I love the new stationery products Chronicle is publishing with French General.

Chronicle first published the French General: Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the House. And now, for those who don’t sew but who send stationery: French General Stationery Box and French General Labels & Stickers. Pardon my French, but they are magnifique!

Suzanne LaGasa

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