sprucing up the guest cottage

by Sharon Santoni



[white]Each year our little cottage plays host to guests from all over the world.  It is small and simple, but we try to make it cosy and welcoming and an easy to use base for visiting Normandy and Paris.  This is where my brocante guests stay, and where the winner of my giveaway will stay for a week next year … still time to enter that one ![white]

DSCF3726[white]Most winters I do some redecorating and general sprucing up for the new season, and this year I am thinking about some colour changes.  I was wondering if you’d give me a hand.[white]


The cottage is small. It has a little sitting room downstairs, with a bathroom, kitchen and one small bedroom leading off.  Upstairs there is a big bedroom with a double bed and two singles.[white]


[white]Downstairs the colours have been fairly monochromatic for the past two years, and I’m thinking that to inject some fresh colours would be good, especially as it is mostly used during the spring and summer months.[white]

36106HOUSE_INTERIOR_NORMANDY_05_dsc3007_copy[1] (2)

[white]Here is the sitting room today.  Chairs covered in  ticking, simple linen curtains.  Stone floor with a seagrass rug.  But there is a lot of black, and that is what I would like to change.  [white]

P1010048[white]I have to bear in mind, that our guests arrive with an image in their mind of how a french country cottage should look.     I shall be keeping the neutral background of the white walls and simple linen curtains, and the stone floor isn’t going any where soon, so what do you think about these ideas?


[white]Shall I go for blues[white]


[white]or lime green[white]

lime ghree

[white]or pinks?[white]

[white][white], you know how I love to have your point of view, so can you tell me about your image of a french country cottage, and your opinion on what would work best here.  Merci![white][white]


Marilyn November 25, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Oh for me it’s got to be the blues. So fresh looking and relaxing.

Stacey McKinney November 25, 2013 - 1:53 pm

Blues are beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thea November 25, 2013 - 10:48 pm

I love the ice blues, very chic, but I also like the lime green/lilac which is more spring/summer and looks more cheerful and sunny. I don’t like the pink so much for a holiday cottage although I do like pink normally.

Good luck and I’ll look forward to see the final result? thank you for your lovely blog.

Thea Utting

Kathleen DeJacimo November 25, 2013 - 4:15 pm

Oh, so many beautiful colors…how do we ever choose? But right now I am agreeing with you, Marilyn. Blue has been speaking to me recently and is now accenting my own little sunroom, along with aqua details in the adjacent living room…so pretty with silver and gold this holiday season and beyond!

Mary Wikert November 26, 2013 - 5:47 pm

I agree with “The Blues”….definitely classic French and so soothing on the eyes. Please stick with the softer side of the blue spectrum since it will be so relaxing…the feel of the sea and the country side mixed with a gentle version of French court formality. If it were my room I would stick with classic design for all of the accessories…I know the trend is to blend the modern geometric patterns with the antiques, but I prefer those designs and patterns that really make you feel like you are really time traveling. The pink/rose palette would be my second choice…perhaps for another room? Although I agree that the lime green and lavender are very fresh looking, they do not seem to complement a traditional French guest cottage as well…a bit too contemporary. I love your blog and keep up the great work!!!!!

Rebecca November 25, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Ah, the blue speaks French so well.

Catherine November 25, 2013 - 1:05 pm

Blues! Calm and soothing. Cool blues. Perfect for relaxing after a day out running around!

Heather Gaylard November 25, 2013 - 5:11 pm

Definitely the blues,layering different shades of blue with the neutrals and white should look gorgeous and still in keeping with the French influence x

Kimberley November 25, 2013 - 1:18 pm

The blue is my favorite, but I also like pink. It may also be the items you have chosen that I love in the blues also.

Mary Anne November 25, 2013 - 1:28 pm

I vote for Blue. It is so classic French country.

Gina November 25, 2013 - 1:29 pm

Hello Sharon, Love your new format. But your blog has always been special. I would choose the pinks and leave some of the black accents. My least favorite would be the green. Pink is so uplifting and an extension of your lovely gardens.

Wendy Mencel November 25, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Blues!! French, toille, and relaxing!!!

Susan November 25, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Hi Sharon, beautiful cottage! All of your color choices are fresh and elegant, but the blue really speaks to me. Can’t wait to see what you choose.

Texas Francophile November 25, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Blue blue blue so French

Rebecca Morse November 25, 2013 - 1:35 pm

It’s got to be the French blues. That color keeps it relaxing and calming while injecting a note of color. The other two colors are not as soothing.

Kim Gibson November 25, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I think blue would be beautiful.

Lisa Morin November 25, 2013 - 1:37 pm

Blues seem to be popular but I vote for the green and lavender with white. It’s such a fresh look and would be beautiful in your darling cottage!

dineke barendrecht November 25, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Oh, definitely green/lime. Blue can be so boring. Green/lime is a fresh, relaxing, down to earth, natural, uncomplicated, a little bit unconventional color. Love it.

Bev Cook November 25, 2013 - 1:38 pm

Definitely the blue tones, it’s classic french country. The cottage is just beautiful.

Sharon SANTONI November 25, 2013 - 1:39 pm

So this is really interesting – it seems that to many of you, France is BLUE! Hmmm… have to think about this, although I did like Gina’s point of tying up with the pink colours of the summer garden

thank you for all your ideas, keep ’em coming!


Penne November 26, 2013 - 1:24 am

I love the blues! Well yes, one does tend to associate blue with France, but apart from that the blues are so restful and welcoming… I think they would complement the colours of the garden.

Sally Maton Hemming November 25, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Looks like I’m outvoted. I like the lime green because it makes me think of the summer sunlight on leaves in the garden. And I like the dash of lilac and mauve too to remind me of the dahlias.

Debbie November 25, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Seems like 11 out of 12 people agree – blue!

Joanne/Madame Là-bas November 25, 2013 - 1:41 pm

The blues are very calm and typically French. I have much the same in my “French” bedroom at home. I really think that the green with the soft violet would be a pleasant surprise and that much could be done with natural touches of greenery.

Diane Dainis November 25, 2013 - 1:46 pm

For me it’s the blues with gray furniture and and weathered galvanized accents. Of course the accents pieces your wonderful stash of flea market finds.

Jane Lee November 25, 2013 - 1:47 pm

Good morning Sharon,

Well, I originally said “blue”. But isn’t that so typical? The more I look at the pink I really like it. Besides, wouldn’t that be a nice change? I think so.

I don’t know if it’s the pictures but the living room seems dark to me. Maybe a few lamps might help?

Have fun with whatever you decide!


Sharon SANTONI November 25, 2013 - 2:15 pm

There are more lamps Jane, but when I turned them on for a quick photo this morning they just glared at the camera, so they were moved for ‘artistic’ reasons! … the trials of photography!


Barbara V November 25, 2013 - 1:48 pm

Yes, blue! Wish I were there right now.

Denise November 25, 2013 - 1:48 pm

I have an Inn in Massachusett. I say go with the blues, but I love the way it looks now.

david terry November 25, 2013 - 8:17 pm

I also think it looks just about perfect as it already is…….calm and soothing and un-fussy (I don’t know about other folks, but that’s what I look for in a guest room).
—-david terry

Sue November 25, 2013 - 1:49 pm

blue of course, but then it is my favorite color : ) sue

Carol November 25, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Certainement bleu!

Sharon Prokosch November 25, 2013 - 1:56 pm

I have to agree with the blues. I just redid my entire downstairs with those exact same colors and it is so restful. I have received tons of compliments. I don’t think you can go wrong, plus my husband loves it too! You can really add any color with it in the spring for little pops of color if need be, but it is a wonderful backdrop.
Here in Minnesota for the winter I added a fur throw and pillow, a touch of navy and it warms it up beautifully.
Good luck!
Sharon P

Laura November 25, 2013 - 2:03 pm

Definitely blue! As colors I prefer pink and green, but in that cottage, with the white walls, stone floor and vintage pieces, I’d go for blue. It’s gorgeous right now by the way – hope you’re not changing it too much!

Laura November 25, 2013 - 2:04 pm

I would have to agree with the blue…and then add touches of pink!

Mary Ann November 25, 2013 - 2:06 pm

I vote for blues….with toiles! 🙂

What a beautiful, charming cottage….sigh!

Flo November 25, 2013 - 2:07 pm

Wow! The blues are getting lots of votes. Dare I say that PINK will soften and liven at the same time? Bring warmth into this beauty space…especially with your luscious flower arrangements. I can see soft shades of pink in pillows and throws. Bold pinks and corals in your fresh flowers. So pretty,

Lynn Juhl November 25, 2013 - 2:11 pm

Pink all the way, soft and soothing!


Rachel Walder November 25, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Definitely the blues – looks so French to me, and so tranquil and calm

Teresa November 25, 2013 - 2:14 pm

I would pull together the greens and pink. I love those colors together. Cute guest cottage.

Sharon Kosko November 25, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Hi Sharon, Love your blog and your sweet personality shows through your words and pictures.

I vote for the soft French blues. It’s soft, relaxing and emits a comfortable feel to the senses. It would definitely convey that French cottage feel that you are striving for.

Montague, Michigan

Saundra November 25, 2013 - 2:18 pm

I love the blues as well as a little green and pink—they are all beautiful and your cottage is very inviting. I could move right in. I love cottages—I like white and off white with pale blues, minty green, soft rosy pink —-

Brenda November 25, 2013 - 2:19 pm

Definitely blues with maybe a bit of red accent

jan gillespie November 25, 2013 - 2:26 pm

Such a beautiful cottage. I believe the blues are the best choice.
jan g.

penelope November 25, 2013 - 2:26 pm

Hi – those blue will be very effective in the French country scheme, especially with all your creams, if you wanted to add another colour as a high light or a pop – use fuchsia as an accent maybe in a couple of throw pillows, glass candle holders.

Lynda Bergman November 25, 2013 - 2:31 pm

I love all the colors and everything you post. But, I think the blue would be so beautiful and soft as a background for any accessories you might add. Lynda

Karen (Back Road Journal) November 25, 2013 - 2:35 pm

I know that any one of us would be thrilled to stay in your sweet cottage no matter how it is decorated. I tend to agree with the majority that blue is the color that most people associate with your area of France, I think because of the blue shutters that are commonly seen. Flowers from your garden will bring in all the other colors that you mentioned.

Jeanne November 25, 2013 - 2:35 pm

blue. Those chairs are to die for!

Karen November 25, 2013 - 2:37 pm

Hands down, the blue! It’s comfortable and relaxing yet has a hint of elegant formality needed for that French Country look. If it’s not somewhat formal, it’s just country.

Anna de Marigny November 25, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Hi Sharon, I love your little cottage and so enjoy your posts. I would be totally thrilled to stay there. The blues work so well with your seagrass mat and the neutrals. They add a chic, fabulously fresh but very French touch. I look forward to your new pics 🙂

Lindsay Abigail November 25, 2013 - 2:45 pm

I love the greens. You are looking for a change, it is for spring, and the green with the lavender would be spectacular.. I would be thrilled to stay in your cottage , whatever color you choose. it is beautiful and so welcoming

martha Iszard November 25, 2013 - 2:51 pm

I think Blue also but it is because I have always had a French Blue toile in my house so I can think I am in France. Beautiful new Blog by the way, well done!

Donna Heinzelmann November 25, 2013 - 2:59 pm


Sarah@ european farmhouse charm November 25, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Hi Sharon-
Having been in that sweet cottage, I would say touches of blue alone, or even a pattern with touches blues and pinks would be perfect! After all….your darling cottage was inspiration for our little guest studio-and those were my color choices. It does feel oh so french 🙂

Julie November 25, 2013 - 3:18 pm

My preference would be the blues. A shot of bright yellow somewhere, maybe a cushion or a vase, would add a bit of colour to the palette.

Jennifer November 25, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Blues! With maybe one of those beautiful red raspberry antique quilts thrown in…..lovely!

Robin Alley November 25, 2013 - 3:19 pm

The soft blues! They definitely speak French Country – especially in your beautiful, cozy guest cottage!

Mary S November 25, 2013 - 3:20 pm

BLUE, BLUE, BLUE!!! No lime green please. What a LOVELY place you have there!

Emm November 25, 2013 - 3:20 pm

For me, a lot depends on what the exposure of a room is and the quality of light. Rose, rather than pink, will warm a room, while blue and some greens will cool it.

From the snippet you show, I’d use some rose in the bedroom and blue in the sitting room. I like touches of green, too, but find that it’s more affected by light and compass direction than are the others. The whole cottage looks so charming that anything we suggest is just gilding the lily.

I’ve entered your giveaway, so fingers crossed that I’ll get to stay there some day.

victoria November 25, 2013 - 3:24 pm

I would go for fresh natural greens in all their spring shades (from green-white to lime to leafgreen) against your given palette of natural linen, stone and seagrass and some French grey I imagine?! You can use – as you do – all your spring& summer flowers/greenery to blend and highlight throughout the visitor season with just a few accessories to draw the colour out.

CÉLINE CHOLLET November 25, 2013 - 3:24 pm

Hello Sharon !
Tout le monde préfère le bleu… et bien moi je dirais c’est un peu trop “déjà vu” alors pourquoi pas plutôt LIME GREEN avec une touche de VIOLET !? C’est plus original.
Bon courage pour choisir… Mais il a l’air bien agréable déjà ce petit cottage !

JeanFB November 25, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Hmmm, well, it would seem that the blues are already the majority, but I’ll be a bit of a rebel and go with the pink/rose set. The reason for that would be that it would seem absolutely gorgeous for your cottage to echo your garden colors – the peonies, the dahlias – and so I think it would be beautiful to have the soft blush pinks, peaches, creams, etc., set off with some shabby chic French gray and linen. And a touch of lime green and lavendar would certainly feel at home along with them from time to time as the season dictates. Thanks for the chance to dream…. 🙂

Jane November 25, 2013 - 3:37 pm

I have sewn and designed soft furnishings for interior designers/decorators for years. I love your cottage (and hope to visit one day). I would love to see you move into the the beautiful mauve/blues that are reminiscent of the fields of lavender. I love the mix of the ticking stripes as well as florals both large and small. With tailored finishes it won’t look too feminine. (You wouldn’t want your male guests to feel like they’re in a woman’s room). I love the idea of you moving away from the black. I think it’s too stark.
Love the upholstered bed upstairs, beautiful. Have fun!

Milissa Klicka November 25, 2013 - 3:46 pm

As I scrolled down the comments, I couldn’t help but peek to see what others were suggesting ~
I think that the blues are more pleasing and restful and certainly French!
The blue accent will invite one to sit and enjoy the calm after a walk in the country, or a day enjoying the sights.
P.S. I love the lamps posted for the blues also!
Can’t wait to decorate with you and enjoy your choices!! ~M

Lin Powell November 25, 2013 - 3:55 pm

Another vote for blue just because I always think of blue shutters and doors when I think of France. The note about pink being too feminine might be true for some men although I do think men are becoming more comfortable with it. And green bringing in the outdoors has merit too. I don’t think you can go wrong with any color. Your place is lovely and most important, it looks really cosy.

Linda Quast November 25, 2013 - 3:58 pm

I am joining the others who have said “blue”. I love it with a small touch of yellow, and of course, some white.


MJ November 25, 2013 - 4:00 pm

I’m wiith the majority of those who commented, use the blues!

Jeanne McKay Hartmann November 25, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Your cottage looks so sweet and welcoming. Love the pinks. The blues would also be pretty. How lucky your guests are, Sharon! A brocante trip is so on my “must do” list. XOXO

cheri November 25, 2013 - 4:01 pm

I vote for the blues, but anything you decide will be wonderful.

Debi November 25, 2013 - 4:03 pm

All are lovely. I was immediately awed by the blues. Perfection.
The pinks were sweet.

Beautiful spaces!

Jana Sears November 25, 2013 - 4:04 pm

Of course the blue is lovely but I like the dusky blues, not what I consider a French blue. Also the pink would be soft and add a warmer glow to the room and walls. Or you could have the blue with accents of pink.

Bleu Chine November 25, 2013 - 4:06 pm

My preference definitely goes to the blue ! I think that guests expect some quiet and peaceful environnement inside to marvel at the beautiful nature outside. This sweet past color is so French and supports all types of decoration, modern or country chic. Very nice project !

Julia November 25, 2013 - 4:15 pm

I’m partial to restful blue. But your other collections prove all the more that you have a marvelous eye for detail and decorating. The bed shown in the third picture is just exquisite!

beryl November 25, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Good Morning!!!!

Something cheery for spring and summer, the colors of your french garden would be perfect!!!…….and lovely warm cozy neutrals for the winter months……it’s all so very perfect, my daughter Alexandra and I would love to plan a visit!!!!

susan vicary November 25, 2013 - 4:28 pm

I think, including myself, that everyone’s choosing blue based on the items you showed us in the vignette pics…it’s the best, however if those same items were in pink, soft blush or toward pale salmon…even red, weathered, think French General??? it’s the items for me, I know it will be gorgeous…lime green’s too modern.

Christine W November 25, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Blues! Nothing in the world is more enchanting than French Blues….sigh.

Colleen Taylor November 25, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Without a doubt BLUES, however, you can add small touches of the lime green palette within the blues. I have these blue colors in my home & lime-ish colors here & there. You can’t go wrong with your selections.

Julie West Wales November 25, 2013 - 4:36 pm

Hi Sharon,
Along with a lot of your readers the blue is my favourite, especially a wonderfully soft duck egg blue, which is quite a warm shade of blue. I think it would work so well with both white and stone.

Wyshmoor Interiors November 25, 2013 - 4:36 pm

So typically French are the Blues & Whites. I would suggest you keep that palete as so many people envision those colors. What I would do is add in your beautiful floral arrangements that include the fresh greens in them. You will then add that French Romanticism and add a “pop” with the green and whatever colors that are in your arrangements.

Kati November 25, 2013 - 4:37 pm

It appears to me that you have blues going on now in the cottage and they look great! But if you are going for a change, greens would be lovely. Brings the outdoors in just a little bit more and since you are not talking neon lime green, I think it will be fresh and warm and inviting for your guests. Whatever you choose will be enchanting I’m sure…….

Jana Sears November 25, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Hoping for a chance to win your fabulous giveaway! I’ll mention it on Facebook too.

Judy Jensen November 25, 2013 - 4:40 pm

I’m with the blue group in your cottage design though I think you could do it all with accessories. Love the lamp and see it on the table in front of the fireplace. And for the spring you must have some iris and peonies. They would add a touch of green (and color) to bring in from your surroundings. A primrose in a gorgeous pot on a table, I think, would add the warmth and change that you are seeking.

Gail November 25, 2013 - 4:40 pm

Oh my my… The BLUES!!

Rose November 25, 2013 - 4:44 pm

Já me vejo aí…com toile de jouy em azul. Tudo muito lindo!

Rusty Cannaday November 25, 2013 - 4:52 pm

There’s nothing like beautiful, soft blues to “beat the blues” (LOL). My favorite!

Cheryll Kaczkowski (Corinne) November 25, 2013 - 4:55 pm

A French cottage, well, darling, it has to be Blue!

Laurie November 25, 2013 - 5:09 pm

The blues would create a fresh look with the white walls, and perhaps one or 2 pieces of green to draw the eyes to them, maybe a pillow or a candle. No matter what you do, your guests will love their stay on this cottage!

Shelly November 25, 2013 - 5:12 pm

Blue, Blue, Blue! 🙂


Contessa November 25, 2013 - 5:25 pm

As I was scrolling down your photos thinking I remember when she found that bed and had it upholstered (I think!)that YOU with your knack for FLOWERS should have more FLEURS in your pillows and covers……..so I VOTE FOR PINK!CABBAGE ROSES,PINK STRIPES,old duvets which you so adore………….MORE PINK FLOWERS IN THE FABRICS PLEASE!It is a lovely guest cottage………the WINNER will be over the MOON!

Lauren November 25, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Blues for sure!!

MarySue November 25, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Well don’t you make pretty happen! MarySue from Arizona

Lori November 25, 2013 - 5:54 pm

I love the blue. Most definitely, I think it’s a bit more flexible than the others too. Traditional but yet can be dressed down also. Love your piece of heaven, it’s on my list of things to do.

Peggy Braswell November 25, 2013 - 6:02 pm

I vote for blue + yesterday I worked with a client on a new blue infused living room + turned out beautiful. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Cathy Baker November 25, 2013 - 6:07 pm

Definitely blue. It’s calming and looks better with neutrals, I feel, than does pink or green.

Martine Alison November 25, 2013 - 6:12 pm


J’aime beaucoup le rose, mais il faut rester dans le raisonnable car le rose est souvent trop féminin et ce serait alors une très belle bonbonnière ! Je dirais alors “bleu” ! avec une petite note de mauve/rose…
Gros bisous

Jan November 25, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Of the choices shown, I did like the light blue the best, but I actually love it neutral as is, so anything that you decide will probably just give it a new, fresh look for Spring. OH, I do hope I win the giveaway and get to see it in person!!

Kathy Barrick November 25, 2013 - 6:49 pm

Blues (and maybe a little gray) for sure! So quintessentially French!

Carolyn November 25, 2013 - 6:57 pm

Blue! I love a soft blue shading to lavender as in periwinkle blue . It looks lovely with a touch of lime green and violet – like the range you see in dried hydrangeas .

Connie November 25, 2013 - 7:24 pm

The gray/blues are lovely, but I’d vote for the chartreuse-y greens for spring and summer with stripes and/or big buffalo checks. It adds a little punch without being too forward and all of your fresh cut flowers would feel right at home there.

Angela November 25, 2013 - 7:26 pm

I love the blues too like the majority! But I am picturing the greens with beautiful vases of pink peonies in the room in summertime! I’m not normally a greens lover but think it would work beautifully in your charming little guest cottage!! Decisions, decisions! 🙂 x

Raewyn November 25, 2013 - 7:43 pm

Hi Sharon,
I am usually all blue but the pinks you have shown have such warmth and bring the garden indoors. Pink is possibly not the right image for what you have chosen but with just a hint as you have it’s pink for me. Would also be warm in the winter.

Pamela Bolton November 25, 2013 - 8:15 pm

It seems that blue has the majority vote, but that is what most Americans think of as cottage French. You probably have seen many French cottages, decorated and just lived in. I would like to see how “real” French cottages look. If they are really blue, great. But if they lean toward the lavender blue ticking with natural linen, even better. But almostly, make it an approximation of the other real cottages that you have seen.

Teresa Dunlap November 25, 2013 - 8:39 pm

BLUE – that is what my Southern woman mind would expect,

Kerry November 25, 2013 - 9:06 pm

The blues or greens please :o)

Karen November 25, 2013 - 9:10 pm

I love the blue. Blue can really compliment any of the greens or pinks as accents. I absolutely love the pair of blue chairs that you pictured and would love to find some similar for my own home. Good luck deciding!

Eileen November 25, 2013 - 9:23 pm

the blues have it for me; it’s just so french feeling.

Gabrielle Gonzalez November 25, 2013 - 9:46 pm

I have confirmed my new subscription to your new and beautiful blog My French Country Home. It looks amazing. I receive French Essence so when Vicki Archer suggested your blog to read and said of the amazing giveaway it was too good to be true. I am looking forward to reading your blog on the sweet life of French living.
All the best

DRTVrMoi November 25, 2013 - 10:17 pm

Here’s my two centimes: blue is traditional and expected, lime green is fresh & brings the outdoors inside, while pink is whimsical. So see if you feel traditional, fresh or whimsical. Problem solved

Nathalie Blazevich November 25, 2013 - 10:30 pm

I agree with blue. It’s the quintessential French color.

Alchamillamolly November 25, 2013 - 10:48 pm

hi there love the blues – they are quite stoney blues aren’t they. That is the look I would like to see in a French cottage, but ticking as well!

Adele November 25, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Stay with the traditional French look and decorate in the blues. Blue is such a welcoming and comforting colour. When I think French I think blue/grey colours.

Darlene North November 25, 2013 - 11:15 pm

Hi Sharon
Simply adore and enjoy your blog so much.
Well this is tough the blues are beautiful and blue is
calming, but if I want calm I’ll have a glass of wine thank you!
When I think of France I think green and lime is so in and I think
it will be for years . So Lime is the color I choose , it’s young and fun and easy.
good luck! whatever you go with, it will be beautiful !

Rebecca Burgess November 25, 2013 - 11:32 pm

Blue makes me feel so good and safe and just cozy. Blue is my choice.

Carolyn November 25, 2013 - 11:41 pm

Hi Sharon, what an exciting time for you. I love re-decorating. I actually like the Pink for Spring to compliment the colours of the garden, and still provide that warmth on those cooler days. But for Summer, when it is hot, the Blue is perfect as it is cooling and also very calming. So maybe Blue is the better colour for its relaxing and calming tones, given that is what people want when they go away, and you can always add a bit of pink spice from your garden if you feel that need.

Dorene November 25, 2013 - 11:44 pm

I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the chosen colors, but I do like the blue – very restful!

gloria wyssbrod November 25, 2013 - 11:51 pm

Love all three but I also like the blue I am beginning to get in the blue spirit again. Did blue over 35 yrs ago and been through different colors since but liking blue again. It will beautiful no matter what you choose. Gloria from Moscow Tennessee

Susie November 26, 2013 - 12:04 am

I love the pink – and mixed with green would be fantastic! The pink amaryllis that you highlighted recently in your blog were breath taking – see if they make you smile as well.

Delaine Stoner November 26, 2013 - 12:25 am

I would definitely love to see you use the blues….soooo French and fits so beautifully with the blue exterior shutters. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

BJ November 26, 2013 - 12:38 am

Initially I liked the blues, but think I’m voting for the greens with lavender. Green would be fresh, while the lavender would be a little suprise and lovely with spring flowers of any color. Great bunches of white flowers, such as lilacs maybe with some lavender delphiniums mixed in. I can almost smell spring.

Leslie in Portland, Oregon November 26, 2013 - 1:08 am

The cottage is beautiful, and I think any of your color options would look good. My personal choice would be lime green and lilac, a combination I love and which would complement the spring and summer glories in your garden. Have fun choosing, Leslie

Val November 26, 2013 - 1:09 am

Whatever you do will look charming and very French.

Joanne November 26, 2013 - 1:09 am

I just love the pink accents ! as mentioned you do already have them
in the flowers and touches of it speak of French romanticism and
love ( aren’t holidays always about love of a country and family/friends)

Laurie' Moratto November 26, 2013 - 1:36 am

Before I saw your color choices, I would have said pink. In America color is assigned gender, not so it seems in France. I love when I open a French magazine and they have done pink accents for Christmas! It frees me. Plus, the French do it so tastefully. Blue is nice, but it seems so American, and current right now. If not pink, then lavender! How French is that! No matter what you choose, I know it will be done so well! Hugs!

Laurie' Moratto November 26, 2013 - 1:43 am

By the By, Restoration Hardware does a linen Amethyst! Such a nice combination of pink and lavender! YUM!

Margie Cox November 26, 2013 - 2:40 am

Ohhhh, lime green and purple most certainly!!! So glad you are adding color!

Mary MacAdams November 26, 2013 - 2:59 am

The blues are perfect (the grayish elegant shade is trendy, certainly not boring blue ),
although the green with the purple is lovely too. Definitely not the the pinks.

Traci S November 26, 2013 - 3:28 am

Sorry Sharon! I’m not much help. I like them all!! You happened to have picked my three favorite color palettes for rooms; which I have a hard time choosing between. My input on the topic would be since there are two floors you could do two different palettes. And, the pink and lime green would complement each other if you were to do them in the same room; one as the more dominant color and the other just little accents here and there. No matter what you decide, it will be lovely! You have a wonderful sense of design!

Gayle de Bruyckere November 26, 2013 - 3:32 am

Beautiful blue for me…it’s so French! It’s calming and restful and just what everyone needs when they are on holidays…

Karen T. November 26, 2013 - 3:51 am

I like them all, but think the blue May work best as it is quieter and more serene.

Sharon E November 26, 2013 - 4:05 am

I like the fresh feel of green – like bringing spring indoors. I am a redhead and look best in green.

suzanna November 26, 2013 - 4:36 am

wow, this is a hard choice, I live in Florida so use silver sage as it is so cooling to
come in from the heat here and calming ~ restoration hardware color ~ and I love
pale pale pink as I painted my entire home this color and used black and white stripes
and chocolate ~ it is like a nuetral really if the color is chosen well ~ amazing men
liked it too as it was pale and changed with the light coming in the rooms ~

Sue Stirton November 26, 2013 - 6:21 am

The Blue, its so calming and peaceful. I could just imagine coming back to the cottage after a busy day and relaxing with a glass of wine. Blue all the way

Sue M. November 26, 2013 - 7:11 am

I like the blues you’ve chosen, Sharon. They go so well with the taupe/grays; with lavender accents, of course. Your guest cottage is so inviting and lucky you, who gets to enjoy re-modeling it. I hope to be able to see it in 2014 (if I should be so lucky to win your most generous give-a-way). 🙂

Reena November 26, 2013 - 7:32 am

I think the lime green would be fine as I have seen you bring a lot of green and flowers inside. So lime green would be perfect for a makeover. Lime green also relates to renewal, calm, compassionate and social and family loving. Would love to see this in your new arrangement.

Shirlena November 26, 2013 - 9:02 am

I think you should choose either the lime green or pink – you say you want to add some colour and brighten it up, but the blues would lend a very similar atmosphere to the black you already have. Personally, I would go with the pink because there are so many shades of this beautiful colour that you could find many, many accessories to add to your rooms.

Have fun!!!

Mumbai November 26, 2013 - 9:58 am

I’m neither for blue nor lime green or pink but I guess, blue would be the best colour for every season. Green might be cold in winter and pink is too girly.

Amanda Rush November 26, 2013 - 10:37 am

Hi Sharon, I agree with Mr Terry, the rooms look lovely already and I especially love the big bedroom. If your heart is set on a change, I think that a little pink would look lovely with your existing, very French neutrals. best wishes, Amanda

Melissa November 26, 2013 - 10:39 am

I adore your little cottage and feel any of those choices would be lovely but I would like to see red. I think red and linen and stone is a delightful combination. Picture a red toile cushion on the linen couches and a buffalo check in red as a foot stool, or upholstering a chair. Some red cross stitched embroidery on linen would also look lovely.
Add red roses or red dahlias and all is cheerful and fresh and still very French.

Esther George November 26, 2013 - 11:05 am

Hi Sharon after scrolling up and down looking at the colours and looking at the inside and outside of the cottage I could only see pink with lots of flowers in vases. I am one of those people who take forever to decide these things it’s a tough one. This was fun thank you for sharing. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS it took me months to decide on a rug that’s how bad I am,but I know whatever you choose it will be beautiful.

Margot Mousseau November 26, 2013 - 11:51 am

I must admit that I think it is you who will have the best idea, being there. You have such exquisite taste that whatever you choose will be lovely. Although if pressed, I would wish a bit of soft muted colours added in place of the darkest- the soft colours of spring flowers here or there.

Thank you for your blog. We are currently living in the Middle East and quite homesick for France. It makes me very happy to look at your blog. For a little bit, I can be transported home again. Merci Beaucoup!

Marcella November 26, 2013 - 5:01 pm

I appears that BLUE is the overall color of choice for the readers, and I have to say that it was my first inclination as well. Accented with fresh yellow flowers would be lovely.

Mary Wikert November 26, 2013 - 5:55 pm

I agree with “The Blues”….definitely classic French and so soothing on the eyes. Please stick with the softer side of the blue spectrum since it will be so relaxing…the feel of the sea and the country side mixed with a gentle version of French court formality. If it were my room I would stick with classic design for all of the accessories…I know the trend is to blend the modern geometric patterns with the antiques, but I prefer those designs and patterns that really make you feel like you are really time traveling. The pink/rose palette would be my second choice…perhaps for another room? Although I agree that the lime green and lavender are very fresh looking, they do not seem to complement a traditional French guest cottage as well…a bit too contemporary. I love your blog and keep up the great work!!!!!

Pat Smith November 26, 2013 - 6:48 pm

Speaking from personal experience of staying in the cottage our family thinks it is perfect. Maybe some blue touches but save the green and color for the flower arrangements.

judi mcgovern November 26, 2013 - 7:50 pm

I am mad for blue & white and you do it up so well

Darlene B November 27, 2013 - 3:19 am

At first when I looked, I thought on the same lines as most and was thinking Blue, but when I went back and looked at the rooms again I changed my mind and am siding with the green. There is a bit of warmth in there. Yes the blue is cooler, but if it is a cool day I would love to come back to some of the greener hues. Beautiful cottage – one day I would love to come back to France and not stay in a hotel.

sylvia Faye November 27, 2013 - 9:25 am

Yes, blue please……hope to win the trip…..

Marina November 27, 2013 - 12:26 pm

My favourite is the pink and I’ve got everything crossed to win the giveaway to stay in your gorgeous cottage. Love Marina

Maude Risher Ciardi November 27, 2013 - 2:23 pm

I like more of the neutral tones mixed with the grays. The sofa seat looks too bold, quiet it down. Just love your cottage, it is so welcoming. I am new to your blog but enjoying it.

Gina November 27, 2013 - 3:10 pm

Good Morning from Colorado…I have enjoyed reading all the color selections this morning.

Blue definitely evokes the “French” in our minds, overwhelmingly so to so many of your readers!

Blue would be so lovely, especially coming for a visit I think I might be slightly disappointed if there wasn’t something close to what I had envisioned as “French”. But, I would find it delightful to have a few little subtle accent colors throughout, and possibly the upstairs bedroom bringing in other colors in the same hues?

I am sure that it will be splendid when you decide what to do!!



gourmet goddess November 27, 2013 - 7:49 pm

definitely the blues but include just one little pop of lime …. looking forward to the unveiling …

Rebecca W. November 27, 2013 - 11:54 pm

That is the cutest cottage!!! It looks so comfy and inviting!!! I think all the colors are nice, but I’d go with the blue too.

Susan Kramer Sugar November 28, 2013 - 3:58 am

What a delightful question to answer. Sitting in the northwest portion of France, I see the influences of the north wind. The dusty blues appeal, so does the charm of the happy pink tones for brightening up cloudy days. As long as the pinks are a blue based pink. The sitting room is lovely in blue and white. Add some pink accents to “pop” it up. The bedroom would blush with pinks added to the neutrals. Add some blue to ground it for sweet slumber. Whatever you do, it will be perfect!

Annie Maurer November 29, 2013 - 5:24 am

Definitely blues…that soft muted palette you have shown would be perfect and oh so French….but maybe add a tiny accent of pink here and there just to say ‘Spring- Summer’. Love it!

Wendy Shippee November 30, 2013 - 7:21 pm

I love the blues you have pictured! Soft, soothing and very nice to come back to after a day of touring and shopping. On the other hand, maybe take some of the black and painting it navy and accent with red or yellow, maybe pillows and vase/flowers etc. This is also very French and not to feminine for the men who may accompany the women.

Roxane December 1, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Hi Sharon, it will be such fun helping you freshen up the cottage! While the cottage is quite wonderful as is, I recognize the urge for change. I agree with most of the posters that blues will look wonderful in the cottage, but I think the blue should be used in the upstairs and the downstairs bedrooms. Using a blue/greyish fabric will keep the palette soothing and calming which would be quite useful after a exciting day of brocante hunting. The dusky blue I’m thinking of is shown in Coty Farquhar’s October 13 Styling issue on pages 101 and 111, the antique French Work Shirt and the antique Petticoat Skirt. That blue will work with your antique linens, which I must say it was sheer heaven slipping between those sheets at bedtime. The sitting room and kitchen should incorporate your love of your beautiful gardens and the wonderful colors you’ve planted there. Using solid, muted/faded Spring colors in the sitting room and kitchen would liven the rooms up, but not overpower them or the beautiful bouquets that your cottage guests enjoy. As a last note (sorry for being sooo chatty this a.m.!) whenever I think of French Country, I think toile de jouy. How about designing your own signature toile from Spoonflower.com? A fabric to use as an accent (pillows) that features your cozy cottage, Gibson & Ghetto and the amazing roses and dahlias from your garden.

Sally December 5, 2013 - 6:39 pm

I am assuming that men stay here also. I would keep it simple and not too ‘Fru Fru’ so that everyone feels comfortable. I think blues and greens, maybe sage would be nice, and I always think roses and hydrangeas when I think french country. I love what you’ve done with the rooms already.

Peiroux December 11, 2013 - 3:00 pm

dear Sharon
i love your pictures !! and i love this original stair in the living room …did you design it ?? or did you find it in Normandie ..

Barbara August 16, 2014 - 8:06 pm

I’ve only just discovered you, what a total delight! Your colors are all marvelous, the settings so moving. If you’re still thinking of changes (I see this is an earlier blog)….orange is splendid with grays. Blues both subdued and electric. Off or on whites. And for some reason orange always reminds me of France. Maybe Monet’s nasturtiums.

Deborah January 13, 2022 - 2:57 am

Dear Sharon, the blues are my choice definitely but with a splash of pink as accents! I would definitely carry the color palette throughout maybe in a reversed way in the bedrooms so all rooms flow, including bathrooms and hints through the kitchen. The blues remind me of the sky and the added pinks as the sunsets. My husband although very masculine loves pink dress shirts and polo shirts so I feel myself it would not make the rooms too “fru fru” for men as well. Which ever way you decide, I am sure it will be beautiful which ever option you choose.


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