It is like hygge for the French. I devoured this book whilst drinking several cups of tea and writing and drawing madly in a notebook. I love nothing more than to be inspired, and this book was in its very essence inspiration at its finest.
Home Sweet Maison by Danielle Postel-Vinay is filled with beautiful and practical ideas to make a home elegant, calming, and fulfilling. Each room has a purpose and honoring that purpose makes it more meaningful.
L’entrée is a place to stop before entering the home. A place to show yourself to the world before they have the opportunity to step into your sacred spaces. A place of whimsy and a place to remove shoes and coats. I plan on finagling furniture to create a makeshift entree. Le Salon is the space for entertaining and conversation. La salle à manger is only for eating. Not for piles of papers and the laptop. (whoops.) La Cuisine is a lab-like room that is for creating meals and everything is mise en place! The book goes on to describe the office, the lavatory, the laundry, the bedroom, and more. It makes me want to overhaul the whole house.
Nothing like being stuck at home for fifty-two days to realize how much clutter one has. Oh but so and so gave me that. Oh but so and so owned that before they died. Oh but I need twenty-seven different types of dishes! This week, mes amis, this house is going to go French.
The author begins the book with memories of a French mentor and friend and how her house inspired the author’s entire life. I had a French mentor and friend when I was younger as well. I believe her name was Suzanne and she was a woman who came in and taught a few French lessons to our small seventh grade class at our Catholic School. She attended our church and was within walking distance from my house and school. I was fascinated by the French language and offered to clean her house in exchange for French lessons. She generously agreed, because we all know how well a thirteen year old cleans. She had me dust the living room, or something, and then would make us lunch and speak to me in French and often took me on errands with her. She gave me a sample bottle of French perfume that I absolutely treasured. Her home was calming and welcoming. Just as a home should be. Home Sweet Maison.