Tuesday, 9 September 2014

"Armoire" Content Analysis

Closet Choices: Armoires

Closet Content Analysis: Bed Linens

NECESSARY      NEED       NICE

Armoire. Dordogne, France.
Photo by JoyD.
I'm still thinking about better use of my "closet" space. It is not so much closets in homes in France but armoires. I don't have enough and so I have had to make do as you have seen in my August post. The two armoires I do have in my home are not filled with clothing fashion but rather with the linens I need for my baths and bedrooms.

For the most part, this armoire does not house many of our clothes. It is the only significant piece of furniture in the master bedroom and the bed linens for this room are in this armoire along with all the other small personal stuff one needs in their bedroom.




Armoire. Dordogne, France.
Photo by JoyD.
The second armoire is in the second guest bedroom and in it are all the bed and bath linens for guests and the rest of the house as well as storage for the winter duvets which need loads of room.

This armoire should actually be on the second floor foyer/landing; however it is extremely heavy and one of the back legs is broken so it would be a precarious undertaking to move it. 

NEED: an armoire for the premiere ├ętage landing (2nd floor in North America).

Vintage monogrammed French linen topsheet.
Photo by JoyD.
NICE: Whereas many French love colour and new fashionable bedsheets, it seems that the foreigners who live here prefer the old linens. The vintage bedding requires work - there are not many who "enjoy" ironing so much so that they take the time to iron sheets. A friend of mine who lives near Lyons told me of a woman who was cleaning out her mother's house and put all the old linens in the recycle bin. It makes me shudder. I have had the good fortune to buy several vintage embroidered sheets. I am thrilled to be sleeping under pure linen sheets embroidered by someone in the past. What pride they must have taken in their creations. Mind, I do love my contemporary Yves Delorme bed sets and I have taken to mixing and matching old and new.

What I have done for my bedrooms, or am in the course of doing, is decorate in the colour scheme of sea, sand and sky - essentially blue, beige and white. It has made shopping easy so that if I find a bargain at the vides greniers, brocantes or something on sale at the Yves Delorme store I know I will be able to interchange old and new if I stay within my "sea, sand and sky" colour palette. That being said, there is a great variation in blues and beiges. 

Insofar as monograms go, I am becoming more particular. When I first began buying ancient linens, I did not care what monogram was on the sheets and so I have ER, SM, BD, LB, CG and others but not much in my or my husband's "initial" combinations. Now that I have a reasonable stash of linens, I have begun looking for specific monograms illustrating friends' and families' initials. This has become a challenge.

As one who learned to embroider from my mother, I cannot imagine doing what was accomplished on these vintage linens. I learned because my mother taught me, not because I necessarily wanted to. Mind you, through my experiences, I realize the amount of dedication, persistence and talent it takes to do something like this top bedsheet. What is special here is that it is also pure linen.

Distressed white on blue headboard from an old shutter.
Photo by JoyD. September, 2014.
We have guests from Canada coming in October and one is taking the transatlantic voyage via the Queen Elizabeth II. My husband suggested that we use the blue embroidered ER sheets for him and his wife. I just may do that.

The original motivation for taking this photo was to show my "distressed" shutter that was repurposed into a headboard for a 160 cm mattress in our guest room. A little sanding and a little paint coupled with a husband who can use a drill and voila, a headboard. 

The blue guest room with vintage French linen topsheet.
Photo by JoyD. October, 2014.
I love the armoires and linens in France. In these two household necessities, there is a "something" that I cannot achieve in my home in Canada.




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