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09 September 2008


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I love the mix of old and new, and as much as possible I try to use my own family history in the old, not pay alot for another family's.

Plastic plant? No, there you really find my limit :-) I must have the real thing. Though being allergic I have to stay away from some types of plants. I was in England (Durham and Lindisfarne) a couple of weeks ago, and met some challenges in the British love for huge lilies. The small St. Mary's church on Lindisfarne had alot of them, and several mornings I decidied to worship reading "the book of creation" outdoors by byself instead of reading The Book of Salvation inside the church.

I love mixing old and new too and if something looks and feels nice it doesn't matter if it's worth a bomb or just a few cents! I don't have your ability to style a house so beautifully though and almost wish I was a neat freak sometimes, cos you make it look so gorgeous - I'm afrais my confessional is that I'm a clutter and mess person and the strong bones of old furniture and nice colored rugs just have to hold the look together somehow through all the clutter.

Hope your tongue survives - you can't rename your blog now!!

A HA!!! Yet another person who has some how gotten part of my share of neat freak..... How else can I explain why being neat is sooooooo dang hard. hahahaha Also I think it's super awesome cool that you have fake plants. We have fake plants too and they're lovely, a splash of colour that never fades...and yet...if you watch any design show the first thing they do is sneer and turn their powdered noses up at faux greenery.....hahaha anyways I just thought it was cool to read that you, some one I consider to have tons of class and style, to also nourish a bit of fake greenery. cool.
ps I love live plants also, I have them too.

It must be bittersweet being back in France - I know you're happy and sad too. So it's especially sweet how you've jumped back in both feet first, with such enthusiasm and love. All the best to you for continued strength.

Love and hugs

LMFAO at Yann watering the plastic plant. I think it's sweet though that he wanted to make sure it was well taken care of. I will award him the Green Thumb Man award nonetheless. At least he put in the effort!

Hi Corey, I had wondered if you would find a leeetle bit of domestic chaos on return but didnt like to mention it with all those happy reunions with friends, family, brocante and wonderful French life.... Husband and teenage son alone in the home is not a recipe for neatness no matter how handsome they are ! I am like you, it is difficult to embrace chaos if you have the neat gene. Perhaps todays tongue is "bite your tongue". Not easy !
Couldnt agree more about the mix of old & new. All new is soul-less and all antique can be stuffy in a family home. The mix of old & new is creative, comfortable and chic, perfect family living.
Found anything interesting or even pre-historic tucked under the sofa yet ?! Jx


Some would argue that if your house was still STANDING in your absence with two men in charge, that it would be a miracle.

Am I totally agree...old and new, euro-cheapo and expensive, it all works together- as long as it reflects your own personal style :)

You are so funny and brave sharing the plastic plant story - but then I've always known you for your honesty from your blog words. I'm a neat freak too - it's impossible to change one's habits!
Meanwhile, I agree that mixing the really old and the reproduction works - one just needs to have 'the eye' to pull it together. I'm in no position to shop for high end antiques, however I do find beautiful, inexpensive things at our local antiques/vintage shops to tuck around my home.

Corey, I'll be visiting four Provence markets in Oct. - I planned it carefully! Aix, Lourmarin, Apt, and of course the 'biggie, L'sle sur-la-Sorgue. I think dh is in for a shock - hopefully he'll indulge my whim. The big question - how on earth can I bring much back with such limited baggage space? I know frustration will prevail - and just when the euro is looking so much better!!!

I'm getting so excited about the trip and hope to see you!

L-O-L, Corey!!!! :)


A marriage of ages! I love that.
And not wanting to appear terribly frugal, I do love a good bargain and the idea of saving while not giving up on taste and aesthetics is very attractive.
Thanks for all the great tips. You are a Decorating Diva. And the image of your husband watering the plastics plants ...priceless!

Watered the plastic plants? Just think, Corey, of how clean and dust-FREE you found them.

LOL, big time, in the valley.

Oh Corey! A fellow neat freak! Hubby keeps telling me to get away for a few days with my Mom, but I always decline, because I know the state of affairs of my tiny house will be horrid upon my return (with a NON-neat freak hubby and four young kids)! lol

It must feel wonderful for you to be back in your home and sleeping in you own bed :0
I am like you a neat freak...but over the years living with two men...that sounds so...well we won't go there. Where was I yes my Husband and Son are definitely not neat freaks...I have learned to take their habits in stride and then run around and pick up like crazy. I actually am loving the messes around the house when my family is here with me...their good company is well worth closing my eyes to the disarray.

I love having antiques and the very modern together.
The modern which is now considered antiques...Mid Century. It must be my Scandinavian blood.

I love mixing old and newer things Corey. You do such a good job of it. I hear you on the neat freak thing, me too!!

I like things that look old, whether they really are old or not. Clutter is my nemesis, and I have a place for everything. when it is out of its place, all hell breaks loose here.


I agree with you on the clutter focus. It is easier to enjoy treasures when there is some space between them. Mom is the same way but what really bothers her are frames or objects that are not straight on a wall. She'll stop a conversation, go over and straighten the object, then resume the conversation.

ha haaaaaaaa......a woman after my own heart with your fake plants. My green thumb isn't so green, but I do like plants, so I do what I must. :-D

Through this post you have endeared yourself to me even more by the fact that you have fake plants and faux antiques! I am not so fussy over the real McCoy either. I like a healthy mix of what I like and its birthing period has no bearing on my bringing it home!

You hit the nail on the head regarding the authentic and the reproduction- buy whatever you like and fits the budget.

I used to be a total neat freak, but had to just let go. My husband is totally sloppy and disorganized. I was giving myself ulcers scurrying behind him cleaning and rearranging. I've come to accept the good with the bad.

I'd love to see some interior photos of your home. With all the available resources at your finger tips, and your fabulous eye, I'm sure your home is stunning!


My home is like yours, a little bit of both and I can certainly understand when you talk about being a "neat freak". I too, am the same way and believe me when I say it is a real lesson in self-control for me not to say anything. I am learning though, that even clutter has a place.


I like your philosophy. It seems to work very well! Beautiful photos!


It is all about balance, isnt it? Old and new,,,neet and messy,,,fake and real,,,work and play. I have been dusting and dragging two large silk trees around for over 20 years, as,, "they don't make them like that any more", I am still enjoying the heck out of them, and I don't care who knows it. Thanks for being real and true, that is why it is so easy to relate to you.
And, how is everything in the romance department? Chelsea and boyfriend,,,Mattieu and Eva I mean. We would all love a new guessing game too! Joy in your day Corey!

what matters is that love resides within those four walls...

I hear you on the "neat freak". I have gotten better over the years but I know exactly what you mean. It all has to be put back in its place.


My name is Miss Mari-Nanci...

And I am a neat-freak.


Yes, I too understand.

It's not dust, which matters.

It's everything being in it's place, which matters.


Gentle hugs,
Miss Mari-Nanci

Neat Freaks UNITE! I like my world to be MY way, which is the BEST way, of course. Right? Obviously God thought I needed to "amend" that notion slightly so he had me fall in love with the King of Casual and produce lots of children with casual tendencies (not all of them, God isn't cruel). Add to the mix a mother-in-law who is casual extraordinaire and loves to come for long visits. Hence, to relax I garden with REAL plants and battle the "casual" ways of nature -- I think I may be insane. But ... it's nice to know I am not alone in the world. : )

Beautiful website.
Beautiful moments captured.


oooh, these antique posts are heaven, I'm eating them up. I miss France. the cup idea was v. clever - way to flush out all the lurkers!!

FH remembered to water your plants while you were gone? Wow! Whether they were real or fake plants, that's impressive!

Oh how, please tell me, how does one become a neat freak? I really really want to be but oh my...there are so many other wonderful glorious things I choose to do instead.

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French La Vie started in 2005, I have the "Brocante Bug" which means antiquing is my cure, France can do me no wrong when it comes to treatment ° 32 years living in France with my French Husband that I met while dancing in San Francisco ° Two children, now in their late-twenties, amour et joie ° Come join our journey either vicariously through my blog, or on a French La Vie Week Retreat in Provence °
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