Can you smell it? The change of seasons is upon us the leaves are finally changing color and schools have been in session for a few months now.
Even though I only have one child left in school mode, I can’t help but enjoy the moment of the dust settling in my home, take a breath and begin to regroup for the upcoming holidays. This past summer was a whirlwind, to say the least, which gave me very little time for something I love to do, read. However, while reading an article on laundry (a far cry from my beach reads), I stumbled upon a book Home Sweet Maison by Danielle Postel-Vinay. It is a book about the French Art of Making a Home. For those of you who know me personally, I am a lover of all things French, their language, lifestyle, and the simple pleasures they enjoy. This book was especially interesting to me because it discusses the how’s and why’s the French decorate and organize their home. Since we are talking about changing the transition of seasons, I wanted to share a few tidbits I discovered about some critical areas of our home.
The first is the entryway; often during the change of seasons, we update the décor in our foyer. Consider the below definition of entryway…would it alter your approach to decorating?
L’Entrée or Front Entryway: The French often use their entryway as a way to express the personality of whom is living there. It forces the guest “to pause, catch their breath, acknowledge the host, and adjust to the personality of the home, which is to say, the host/hostess. It’s a lesson in personal storytelling.”
In the spirit of personal storytelling, what does your entryway say about you and your family? What should it say?
The second, area of the home that is ALWAYS in action is, you guessed it, the laundry room. With every change in season, the laundry is ENDLESS! So, I felt compelled to share these tips!
La Laverie or Laundry: This area is what caused me to buy this book. The article I was reading was about how to get rid of stains when doing laundry. The French have mastered the art of Laundry. I can’t say I have a love of doing laundry (4 kids, sports, etc.), I was doing laundry in volumes, stuffing as much in as possible. However, what has made perfect sense to me was that one stain killer doesn’t effectively remove all stains. Remember Carbona? I am showing my age here, but I remember my mother using it on tough stains that the regular stain remover couldn’t handle. Carbona is available on Amazon, has stain removers for ANY stain; blood, grass, chocolate, each stain is treated differently. Makes perfect sense to me!! I have ordered and will give it a try. One other item is that of course, they rarely use the dryer. They hang almost everything. I have gotten to that point as well, as my clothes are less likely to need ironing (which I hate). However, ironing is essential to the French way, and a crisply ironed shirt is a great feeling along with ironed sheets. I know, you think I have lost my mind a bit, but I do remember ironing pillowcases with my grandmother, and that simple step made a difference when the sheets were freshly changed. One last thing that I am still trying to tackle is Comment plier un drap-housse, or how to fold a bed sheet. Martha Stewart has demonstrated the process and I will have to Google it again to make them more manageable versus rolling them up on a shelf.
After reading Danielle’s book, I have a lot of work to do reorganizing and cleaning out our home. It has motivated me for cooler weather, holidays and time with friends and family. The feeling of accomplishment in organizing a space is the best feeling ever! Je suis prêt à commencer, et vous? (I’m ready to start, and you?)