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Who & What Inspires Me

I am often asked where I draw my inspirations from. 
What books do I love and come back to over and over again for that burst of inspiration
 when I am feeling like I can't find my decorating mojo.
Yeah, it happens to everyone.

When you just can't find that inspiration for a project
or have that vision in your mind for how you want something to turn out.
I am fairly busy-busy  for the next couple of days over here~  I won't be getting any projects done to share right away and so I thought that I would share a few things that inspire me 
and a couple designers who are my go-to inspirations

Charles Faudree.

Yes, the KING of French Country design
I never met a Charles Faudree design I didn't like.

(all photos courtesy of House Beautiful & my own Charles Faudree books)

The red checked settee at the foot of my bed was inspired by him.
I found it in a red velvet that was dingy and dirty and faded...
 but instantly loved the carved frame and size and had re-covered
in that bold scaled buffalo check in my mind before I even bought it.

I have always loved red- it is probably my favorite color. 
Well, next to white, faded French blues, apple greens, black and yellows. 
Red is ONE of my favorite colors.

I use it everywhere in my house. 
Touches of red in the kitchen with the transferware.
Red needlepoint pillows.
A red floral rug in the office.
The red toile wallpaper in my bathroom.
Love love love romantic touches of red.

I also love florals, toiles and original painted furniture with gilded details.

along with rich dark woods with that gorgeous patina and lots of patterns playing together.

I basically love it all.

Another inspiration for me~
the fantastic and always inspiring
Rachel Ashwell.

(I met Rachel at ROTP about two years ago)

Is it strange that I am also immensely inspired by Rachel Ashwell and the shabby rumpled linens, 
white and pastel palette and chipping painted furniture?
I think that's where the 'Cottage' comes in. 
If I lived in a more formal house with very formal rooms- 
I think the 'cottage' elements might be limited to just a few well chosen pieces. 
But our house with it's planked wood walls, old construction and vintage living layout~
the shabby look fits perfectly.

(photo credits Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic )

I love love love shabby, comfortable, crinkly, wrinkly linens and slipcovers.
 They look like they are ready to plop down on and put your feet up.

At the same time, I love dainty delicate intricately upholstered settees and french chairs.  
I guess it depends on the whim and feeling I am looking for in my room at the time. 
I actually moved a gorgeous expensive settee out to the guest cottage in favor of  2 very affordable slipcovered shabby sofas in the house.

 For now-
 they fit the relaxed feeling and the need to wash and dry those slipcovers constantly 
because I have kids and animals and live in the country and 'live' in the 
living room in winter next to the big fireplace.
Though it's only a matter of time before that settee will come back in.

 My dining room chairs are similar to Rachels famous and beloved Darcy chair
as are the ones in my office and bedroom.

 I love romantic decoration and lots of pretty pink flowers-
 roses, lilacs, cottage blooms of any kind.
Though I don't usually decorate with very much pink in my rooms other than
a few small elements and flowers.
It's just not me.

I do have some fabrics and pillows that have pink in their patterns to use for specific looks or styling though- and will break them out if the occasion justifies it- but truth be told-
 I am much more drawn to blues and greens than pinks
and those pink accents will stay stored away until they are needed.

So that's just a little bit about 2 of my biggest inspirations for my rooms and style. 
Who inspires you?


  1. Charles Faudree is definitely my favorite as you know. I certainly love red and love your settee. I was very surprised to find your spread in the Romantic Country magazine today at the grocery store. I had to buy a copy. Congrats!!

  2. You know, Courtney, I love both styles, too. This house does not really accommodate Rachel A's style but I do love it. Faudree has always been an inspiration to me-He has a timeless quality to his work and applies his style perfectly. xo Diana

  3. I love love LOVE Charles Faudree and a lot of my inspiration came from his books (Along with Betty Lou Phillips) and I love Rachel Ashwell too! Love your home and I have the same red buffalo check in my keeping room! :)

  4. I love both of those designers as well Courtney. I could spend hours looking thru their books. You do such a great job combining the two in your home.I am trying to achieve that myself slowly but surely.

  5. Hello, it's nice to see where your inspiration comes from, and just like you, I am also inspired by Rachel Ashwell but not always use pink around the house, except in my daughter's bedroom. I absolutely love the shabby, crinkle, wrinkle look of soft fabrics, but I'm always leaning towards the farmhouse look. Wish you a wonderful week! ~ Vanessa

  6. Enjoyed the beautiful rooms! Love anything French.

  7. I'm French and leaving in small house in PARIS, and I love Rachel Ashwell'style because of his apparent simplicity. After en english romantic periode my house is a work in progress to more white and light pink.
    `*.¸.*✻✿✿✿*`*.¸xoxo from PARIS *✻✿✿✿*`*.¸.

  8. I just love these pictures! Gorgeous designs!!! Thanks for sharing your's so inspiring for me as well! =)

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  10. che meraviglia questi ambienti, bellissime le foto

  11. Charles, and Rachel are great. I've drawn inspiration from them as well. I read both their books years ago, and got lost in them. I can see the influence in your design.

  12. Love your post Courtney!
    Hmmm....I am getting a feel for Country French...I guess that what I thought was Country French is more Shabby Chic.
    Country French is more formal than I had supposed it was.
    I obviously need to learn from the Masters instead of people who may or may NOT know what they are talking about!
    Have a great week and good luck with your projects....

  13. It's so neat to see how your inspirations translate into reality in your own home Courtney!! I agree with you that "I've never met a Charles Faudree design I didn't love" either! :-)

  14. Oh my, i love it all, especially the red, just bought new sofa in grayish blue so am looking for florals, plaids to go with...suek

  15. Me too! I LOVE Charles Faudree and the most prominent color in my home is RED because it makes me smile..Anything French Country, I positively ADORE!!

  16. You do an awesome job, Courtney, of translating what inspires you into something GORGEOUS, always.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  17. A very interesting post. I like William Morris designs, and they go well with our Craftsman-style bungalow that was built in 1920.

  18. I too saw your magazine spread in Romantic Country. I thought, "I know that house!" and as I read on I realized why. You are most deserving and I predict there will be other. Beautiful work.

  19. One word - YOU! You inspire me :):)! Yes you are up there with Rachel and Charles! Thanks for a wonderful post!

  20. Hi Courtney!!!

    What a beautiful post today!!! You know how much I love pink and to see it show up in the rooms gave me so many ideas. The vanity with the pink chair was my favorite!!

    I can't wait to see what you'll do next. You have a beautiful talent of your own that comes from the heart.

    Have a great week!!


  21. I see your going to be featured in Romantic Homes next month Courtney! Can't wait to get that copy! Congrats! You have the most beautiful French Country Cottage!

  22. All i can say is that you have the perfect mix of both styles, and YOU inspire me! You totally know how to do red too. i totally love that gingham settee of yours! When i first saw it i almost fell over and died it was so cute...


  23. You've combined elements from both designers in a delightful way--I too love the lived-in romantic style but cannot abide mounds of pink... you've done a beautiful job :-)

  24. There are so many designers I love...Rachel Ashwell, Charles Faudree, Selena Lake, Suellen Gregory, Carolyn Westbrook, Jessica McClintock...I could go on and on! I do love Charles' feminine french looks in bedrooms...glorious!

  25. Oh Courtney I love this post because I've loved French Country for over a decade and Shabby Chic too. Your style is a comfortable mix of both. Thanks for sharing what you know and so many mixed styles.

  26. I think that you nail it....because you have your own style and it isn't an exact copy of anyone else's. Great post Courtney....xox, Janet

  27. Yes, yes, yes! Charles Faudree! My mother loved his work and introduced me to him years ago. Totally my style. I like Rachel Ashwell's style, but shabby chic just doesn't really work with the amazing furniture my husband and I have collected for so many years. I will not be painting it white! lol! Nice post.

  28. I've never heard of Charles Faudree before. I checked his work. Impressed :-)