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I can’t think of a style quite as fabulous as the French style. With the current trend towards farmhouse decor and shabby chic, a style I’m becoming a huge fan of is oh-so-chic French country decor. Whimsical lighting, vintage touches, and rustic elements combined with dreamy herbs and florals just makes me swoon! And not just for home decor – French country style makes for a gorgeous theme for gatherings and parties. Today I’m sharing some inspiration for throwing a très fabuleux French country-style party from Courtney Allison (of the blog French Country Cottage), who just wrote a book on the subject. Courtney’s book, French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings (on sale now) includes hundreds of pages with stunning photos of table settings, tips for creating French country tablescapes, and très beaucoup French floral arrangements to inspire your own French country cottage gathering.
French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings showcases a myriad of romantic French table settings for every occasion in the author’s signature French Country Cottage style. Courtney provides the styling expertise to host your own French Country Cottage–inspired gathering, whether it may be for a simple picnic, coffee by the lake, a cheese board for friends outdoors, a bistro table for two, a long table for a formal meal, or dining at home with your own French country tablescape.
Inside this gorgeous hardcover book (which is also available in Kindle format) is endless inspiration for entertaining in style. Chapters include table elements and layers for ambiance (the image above is an example from that chapter), small gatherings (such as inspired wine and cheese gatherings and brunches for two), entertaining at home (decor ideas for fabulous fêtes under trees, in a barn, at the dining room table, glamping in the backyard, and more), inspirational settings (like meadows, orchards, vineyards, and beaches to name a few), and an entire chapter dedicated to French floral arrangements.
As entertaining starts with setting a fabulous table, the author shares advice (and lots of gorgeous photographic examples) on how to select and combine place settings, flatware, linens, glasses, lighting, and of course, flowers, depending on if the gathering is formal (like a French country-style wedding) or casual. I love the rule-of-thumb that she shares about using mismatched stemware and flatware for casual occasions to make guests feel more at ease.
Through 224 pages of dreamy photography and invaluable tips, Courtney sets the stage for inspired entertaining that you can easily emulate. While I love so much about the book (tips on finding chic vintage pieces for French table setting, for example), my favorite part is the flowers! No French country gathering would be complete without fabulous, inspired floral arrangements, and there is plenty of that inspiration to be found in Courtney’s book. In fact, several of the French country tablescape examples in the book were inspired by the flowers she chose for the centerpieces. In addition to lots of beautiful centerpiece images throughout the book, there is an entire chapter on French floral arrangement. The author shares advice on color palette, how to find great deals on high quality florals, lists of floral varieties key to her French-inspired flower arrangements, and simple tips on how to assemble a bouquet.
There is much inspiration to pull from in this book, for parties of different sizes, or your own farmhouse chic home decor. The image above is from the book’s chapter on entertaining at home. The author shares how a little imagination can turn a normal grassy area in your yard into a fabulous scene for a party or intimate dinner with friends by adding string lights, throw pillows as seating, a pallet or reclaimed wood boards for dining, and gathered wildflowers and candles for a simple centerpiece. A romantic French country tablescape can be much easier to style than you might realize, and Courtney presents it in a way that’s very easy to accomplish, including party planning tips like how to group chairs for seating.
I learned many subtle but important party planning tips while reading this book, and the pictures will provide endless inspiration for not only entertaining, but styling my own French country tablescape decor at home. There is something fabulous and delightful on every page, and I know I’ll be thumbing through this one for years.
French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings is on sale now on Amazon. Grab your own copy and let the inspiration flow. À votre santé!
More fabulous party inspiration:
- How to Throw a Downton Abbey-Themed Tea Party
- Let’s Party Gras! New Orleans-Themed Bachelorette or Birthday Party Ideas
- Planning My Hollywood Glam Wedding
- Champagne-Themed Bachelorette Party
- Seeing Stars: Throw a Fabulous Hollywood-Themed Oscar-Watch Party
- How to throw a chic, but easy, Pinterest-style summer party
- Tropical Pineapple Party – Destination Birthday Party in Puerto Rico
- Easy 70th birthday party ideas: Planning my Dad’s milestone birthday