Inspiration Friday: What’s Black, White, Cream & French all over?

Beautiful Tulips
Beautiful Tulips

Bonjour Mes Amis!

Just getting into the feel of today’s Inspiration Friday post. I must admit that I am an “in the closet” francophile. As much as I LOVE very sleek, modern, contemporary lines, there is the other side of me who would love to live in a French Chateau surrounded by warm antiques and the peaceful blacks and creams that seem to epitomize that look.

Which is why I was completely enchanted by photos of Sara Duckett’s home. In addition to being an amazing photographer, Sara is also the woman behind the very charming, very French online boutique, Sadie Olive.

Sara’s home is my secret dream home. The place I’d live if I didn’t worry about grubby handprints on the sofa and karate kicks ruining my beautiful accessories! I was so inspired by her home that I decided I needed to share it with you all. Sara was even gracious enough to agree to an impromptu Q&A:

How would you describe your style and How did your style evolve into what it is today? How did you make the look your own so that your home feels like a true home and not a designer

Display Wall
Display Wall


I think I have a laid back style when it comes to design and chose to decorate with pieces that have a worn look and casual feel. I purchase individual pieces that speak to me from all over, and don’t try to focus on buying all my furniture or décor in one place. We have several pets in the family (one dog and two cats) and we allow them on the furniture and don’t get too upset if there is a spill on the rug. I think this attitude is felt by our guests, so they’re comfortable and at ease in our home. I also think that the light colors, sheer drapes that allow in sunlight, and the always open Dutch door help make our home bright and comfortable.

If a person wanted to emulate a look like yours and was just starting out, what 5 key elements would you say they should focus on?

Dining Room
Dining Room

#1 – Sometimes less is more when it comes to accessories. Having only a few key knick knacks in a room will make your guests feel more at ease and less like they have to tip toe through your room of breakables.

#2 – Family photos should be grouped in a few special areas around your home to give them honor and meaning. Unite the photos with a similar theme (For example: all black and white pictures in large white matted frames). Keeping the photos to a few designated areas will give them more presence and seem less like an afterthought.

#3 – Don’t be afraid to get rid of things. I am all for keeping pieces with meaning and history, but at some point your other décor items need to retire. Maybe once a year, I recommend going through your accessories and décor and downsizing. If you only keep the pieces you absolutely love around you, you are bound to feel happier in your space. Give those not so cherished items to a family member or friend who will see them with a fresh set of eyes and ideas. It will also give you a reason to add some new items to your decor!

#4 – Stay away from “themes”. It is more than ok to get inspiration from a theme, be it “the beach”, “Paris”, or the “Wine Country” but don’t over do it. For example, instead of snatching up every seashell and lighthouse candle on the market, instead look for items that evoke the feeling without being so literal, like drift wood and sea glass.

Linen as Art
Linen as Art

#5 – Focus on the paint. Often the least expensive way to change a room is to focus on just re-painting it. Your current furniture and accessories take on a whole new look when you update their surroundings. Paint doesn’t need to just be one color either. The harlequin pattern in my dining room was painted on, as well as the tone on tone horizontal stripes in my living room (which by the way, were done by the previous owner of my home). They really add a lot to our overall aesthetic and are part of what makes my home unique.

Breakfast Nook
Breakfast Nook

For those of us on a tight budget, could you share some budget friendly tips for achieving a “French” feel in a room/home?

Flea markets are your friend! The pairing of antique pieces with the new shiny crystal and tarnished silver

Comfy #5
Comfy #5

will lend a french feel without you having to buy anything that would be considered “French”. Shop your local flea markets and garage sales and find things that speak to you.
Finally, if you were to recommend just one “splurge” item, what would that be?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I would have to say a great looking antique armoire. Mine was one of my first purchases and it really was the jumping off point for a lot of my other décor. It is an old Romanian piece, but it has a Swedish look to it because it’s a pale cream.


I hope you are as inspired by Sara and her home as I was! As I mentioned, in addition to being a gifted decorator with a fabulous shop, Sara is also an AMAZING photographer! So please do yourself a huge favor and wander through all her homes on the web… Sadie Olive Photography, the Sadie Olive Boutique, and her blog, Sadie Olive- Le Journal. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

‘Til Next Time!

xoxo – Shauntelle


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