Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget

Pied-à-terre kitchencredit

This pied-à-terre kitchen in Lyon has been redesigned on a tight budget. However, despite this restriction, the results are functional, attractive and interesting. This requires real skill to execute well. The most obvious feature is the use of OSB or orientated strand board. Sometimes this material is used to construct the fabric of a building and then covered with other finishes. It’s left in its ‘raw’ state much more commonly these days. In this space, it’s used for cupboard doors & drawers, drop-leaf tabletop and bench seat. It’s hard-wearing with natural wood shades and real texture.

The supporting table legs & chairs were sourced from Ikea. The minimalist slimline pedal bin fits in neatly and unobtrusively. The colour palette is light and bright with acid green highlight around the window – picked up cleverly on the map of Beaujolais – the wine making region local to the area. We also like the paint detail where the green graduates into the white along a rather unexpected line.

Behind the bench is a shallow, 3-tier cupboard that reaches all the way up to the double-height ceiling; a fantastic storage solution for a small space. Visit the designer’s website to see lots of before & after photos of the space.

  1. 10 Elgin Marble white wall gloss tiles – 248 x 398mm
  2. Carte des vins du Beaujolais
  3. Farrow & Ball Arsenic No.214 matt estate emulsion paint
  4. simplehuman slim pedal bin, 55 litre – brushed stainless steel
  5. Ikea HILVER cone-shaped legs
  6. Ikea LAVER dining chair
  7. Hairpin bench legs
  8. Oriented strand board (OSB)

Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Lefor Openo

Lefor Openo artwork mosaic | H is for Home

Welcome to our new blog series, ‘Designer Desire’, where we’ll feature one designer per week whose work we love. We’re kicking off with Lefor Openo who we’ve mentioned once or twice before.

Lefor Openo comprised of two French women, Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. They met while studying at Lycée Claude-Bernard Paris, and collaborated from 1955 to 1967. They were primarily poster artists; their designs were used extensively by Loterie Nationale (the national lottery of France). They designed posters for Charles de Gaulle – for the 1958 constitutional referendum and again for his 1965 presidential election campaign. They also produced advertising artwork for other organisations and brands such as Electricité de France, Kodak, Singer Sewing Machines. They designed a poster for the 1959 film Babette s’en va-t-en guerre, (Babette goes to War) starring Brigitte Bardot. Apparently, she is the one upon whom they based most of their ‘models’.

As well as posters, very occasionally you’ll come across postcards and tea towels bearing their designs on Etsy and eBay. We’ve also seen evidence of a doll and a couple of pin dishes from the era and we have a tin in our shop which we believe to be one of their designs – we’ve never seen another!

Marie-Claire Lefort died in 1971 and Marie-Francine Oppeneau is now 81 years old. Once upon a time, there was a basic website with information and images of some of their designs but it seems to have been allowed to expire. If you know (or want to find out) anything more about them and their designs, please leave a comment below.

Marie-Claire Lefort & Marie-Francine Oppeneau of Lefor Openo

World Dolls Series: France

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front cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Bonjour! We’ve hopped across the channel to France in our World Dolls Series tour.

front inside cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Illustrations for this edition are by Janet Meeson from the Birmingham School of Design.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Are guides for this trip are Marie & Pierre – resplendent in their traditional costumes.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

A bit of gentle sun on our faces – we’re all relaxed and mellow – so the large shillelagh stick to keep order on the coach that Patrick had in Ireland has been dispensed with!

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Marie & Pierre have joined us from their toy shop window in Paris.

illustration of a tree-lined avenue from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

All the classic Parisienne sights. Wide, tree-lined avenues…

illustration of a pavement café from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…colourful cafés, classic architecture, beautiful bridges, the River Seine….

illustration of a steamboat from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…and of course – the Eiffel Tower.

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We then head into the idyllic countryside to take a look at the vineyards & orchards.

illustration of a castle in the hills from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Then onto the coast for a spot of sunbathing – where we can all get very brown! 🙂

illustration of people sunbathing on a beach and sitting under umbrellas from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

And finally we take in a festival – the Blessing of the Boats.

illustration of the festival of the Blessing of the Boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We just love the illustration below.

illustration of priests standing on the harbour and fishermen in boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Join us next time when we’re in Germany.

Etsy List: La Fête Nationale

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La Fête Nationale Etsy List curated by H is for Home

At the start of this month, we commemorated the USA’s Independence Day with a Star Spangled Banner Etsy list; so it’s only fitting that we do the same for our near neighbours, the French. Today, they celebrate La Fête Nationale – better known over on this side of the Channel as Bastille Day. Vive la France! Vive la République!

La Fête Nationale
Curated by H is for Home


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Vacances Français

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selection of vintage travel maps of areas of France

We bought some vintage metal filing drawers at auction last month – these lovely vintage travel maps were stored inside.

vintage travel map of the Basque area of France vintage travel map of the Jura area of France
vintage travel map of the Est area of France vintage travel map of the Languedoc area of France

The covers immediately caught our eye, with illustrations by French artist Jean Colin. Born in 1912, he’s best known for his  advertising posters from the mid 20th century. In addition to Shell, he did artwork for many prominent companies such as Cinzano, Air France, Kiwi Shoe Polish, Marchal and Perrier  – and won many awards for his designs.

detail of a vintage travel map of an area of France illustrated with a stork

These Shell guides for various regions of France date from the 1950s/60s.

detail of a vintage travel map showing the area of Montpellier

The maps inside are very attractive too – colourful & detailed, but clear to read.

detail of a vintage travel map of an area of France illustrated with figures of a man and woman

We’d spied them inside the drawers, but a nice little bonus all the same!

a la Mode

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pile of vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazines

We bought this pile of fabulous vintage French lifestyle magazines this week.

pair of vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazines

L’Echo de là Mode or ‘Echoes of Fashion’.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They all date from the mid 1950s.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Sometimes magazines from this date have very enticing covers, but can be a little drab inside… not these!

Red and black illustrations from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They’re full of wonderful colour illustrations featuring lots of ‘New Look‘ fashion articles.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They really conjure up images of a spring weekend in Paris or sunny holiday on the Cote d’Azur… very ironic as we bought them on a cold, wet Thursday morning in Todmorden!

holiday article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

holiday article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

ski-ing article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Also, there are lots of cookery articles and interior features…

Advertisement for Advertisement for Cuisine Idéale kitchens from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Feature on maisonettes from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Kitchens feature from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

…and not forgetting all the advertisements which are often stunning in magazines from this period.

Advertisement for Duralex from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Concord washing machines from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Stove advertisement from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine Advertisement for Phildar wool from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Tide detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Omo detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Omo detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Thé wafers from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

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