We are heading into the 9th month of our renovation. It has been much more work and stress than we anticipated. All plans for French travel have been put on hold and I am missing France dearly. We have scoured all over the internet to find authentic French items to furnish our ‘Petite Maison’. Some searches lasted over 3 months. Now with the exception of a console table and another set of 6 dining chairs, we are almost done. I cannot wait to place their beautiful things in our new home. The anticipation and excitement is killing me. Here is a quick glimpse of what we found. Most of our finds have been on French eBay. If you’re looking for authentic French items, without the inflated price tag, doing all the searches in French, and contacting the sellers in French is really the best way to go.
We found a local antique dealer who has beautiful French furniture. We bought most of our furniture from him. Here are some of my favourites.
19th century walnut commode with floral marquetry and ormolu legs. It comes with an ébéniste stamp – R Bacchin.
19th century walnut parquetry dining table. This table extends to fit up to 16 people!!!
A set of 6 Louis XV french oak dining chairs, stained to match our dining table.
A pair of early 20th century bergère armchairs, still in their beautiful original fabric. I love the beautiful pink and gold stripes on the fabric.
A pair of 19th century Louis XV bedside tables with floral marquetry and ormolu mounts.
Early 20th century french oak cabinet which we had converted into a vanity for our ensuite.
19th century walnut cabinet which we had converted into the vanity for our family bathroom.
Early 20th century trumeau mirror, with hand-gilded gold leaf.
We fell in love with this early 20th century canapé with a pair of matching bergères. With the right fabric, it will look lovely in our newly renovated space.
Matching bergère chairs.
A beautiful early 20th century oak double bed for our guest room/study. The carving details on this bed is wonderfully intricate.
When The Ritz Paris was closed for renovation, they sold all their old furniture. We managed to snag a king-sized bed that used to live in one of their rooms. We had it reupholstered in a Scalamandré fabric printed based on an old Louis XV pattern.
Our newly reupholstered bed.
I fell in love with the beautiful style of French mantelpieces. However, even I knew that our budget did not allow us to purchase that and have it shipped over from France. When hubby’s friend posted this beautiful marble mantelpiece for sale on Facebook, I almost fell over. They were renovating their home, and this beautiful French design did not suit their Victorian-style home. We transported this mantelpiece in our car, all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide.
This beautiful hand-carved french marble mantelpiece is over 100 years old.
I managed to find a wonderful eBay seller who collects antique french lighting. I managed to purchase almost all our light fittings from him. All our fittings are made of solid cast brass. They once lived in homes and apartments in the Nord-Pas-Calais region. When these homes and apartments were demolished or refurbished, these beautiful light fixtures were thrown out or sent to the rubbish heap. My seller goes round and collects them instead. We managed to buy 6 pairs of wall sconces and a pair of chandeliers from him.
Some of the brass wall sconces from France.
We got a pair of beautiful Louis XV chandeliers. They were disassembled and shipped over in two boxes from France.
I cannot claim credit for this next purchase. I spent over 4 months searching everywhere for 3 Louis XV lanterns to go in our newly renovated kitchen. 3 identical lanterns were virtually impossible to find. And the ones that I managed to find were way out of our budget. It was hubby who found these from a seller in Belgium.
Louis XV brass lanterns for the kitchen.
Finding hardware that matched the style that we were trying to create was virtually impossible. Again, we had to look to France.
The Brionne hardware we have chosen for our kitchen are made in France, based on tradition and age-old techniques.
I found these Louis XV door handles to replace our existing Victorian-style handles. All they need is a good clean.
One of my most favourite finds – 5 pairs of matching Louis XV brass handles. They lived their former lives in a ‘mas’ in Provence. Now they have been given a new lease of life on our 5 sets of French doors.
Collecting these beautiful pieces has been so exciting, exhausting and at times frustrating. But, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We can’t wait for the renovations to be done so we can place each piece in their very own space.