When I think of French style, the first thing that usually comes to mind is fashion and personal style. But “style” in France goes beyond that, encompassing every aspect of life, from homes and family to food, to the attention to details of living and savoring life’s best moments. This lovely book “My Stylish French Girlfriends” by Sharon Santoni, who writes the blog My French Country Home, illustrates that concept beautifully, between the profiles of Sharon’s girlfriends and the absolutely gorgeous photographs that capture the details of their homes and lives. I’ve been a reader of Sharon’s blog for some time and had the pleasure of meeting her when we were in France earlier this year. She is charming and delightful, and I knew from the quality of her blog that I’d want to see her book as soon as it was released. I was caught up immediately when I opened the package and started turning page after sumptuous page.
Sharon profiles several women she knows personally or has met through her work or travels in France, and gives a brief history of how their lives intersect. These are women living their lives with passion and creativity, yet balance between work and family is stressed in each of their profiles. They are artists, cooks, hoteliers, decorators, designers, florists, antique dealers, and some are also still raising children.They each seem to love what they do, but also make it a priority to “unplug” and relax.
Each and every page of this book is a visual delight.
From Normandy to Paris to Provence, there’s a common thread of having created lives surrounded by family and beauty, both natural and designed. Many have built businesses that involved renovating and rebuilding older properties, both country and city, with absolutely stunning results. (If you’ve even just dreaming of redecorating your current home, there’s loads of inspiration here.)
The women profiled have substantial resources, yes, but what comes through most for me in this book is the attention to detail and making the quotidien beautiful. Whether you dream of someday renovating a home in the French countryside, or love art, interior design and beautiful photography, this book is worth picking up. If nothing else, you can lose yourself for hours at a time in the beautiful images. It’s a coffee-table-sized book, so the quality of the photographs really comes through.
I find myself just wanting to step right into these photos. “My Stylish French Girlfriends” is available on amazon.com but if you have a local bookstore please do support them and check there first.
Book was provided for review. Photos used by permission.
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