• Lisa Gillaspie

French Inspired Style....starts with your front door!

Updated: May 20

As I strolled through the streets of Paris I was enveloped in shades of grey and cream which gives the blocks of concrete and stone an elegant welcoming feel. The magnificent doors of the buildings drew me in.....beckoning me to reach out and finger the door knockers and admire the artisan hardware that the French do so well. Of course my mind started racing with thoughts of how to bring this beauty home to inspire my clients. I couldn't help but feel the presence of Coco Chanel and her classic elegant style as I took it all in.

One of the things that I love about traveling is that there is always something new to explore. There is nothing like stepping onto a new street and taking it all in for the first time. I try my best to remember to look up....you never know what you might find. The buildings have so many magnificent details. The intricate stonework that outlines the edges of the buildings, doorways, and windows are such a sight to see. The French pride themselves on their sense of style and you will rarely see a building that does not look like it has been there for centuries, even if it is rather new.



When I sat down for lunch at a bustling Bistro I looked through some of the photos I had been snapping and realized that a great place to start is with their Front Door! A simple way to add that tailored, elegant style. It was really about the details.....the shape, the moulding, and the hardware. The color was typically a deeper color than the building and rarely loud. A door that is sturdy, tall, and welcoming all at once.


Doors of Paris to give you inspiration!






My next stop was Bordeaux, I boarded the train and began to wonder how the two cities would compare. With Bordeaux being known as the Wine Capital of the World, I could only imagine what was in store for me. As I ventured beyond the doors of this beautifully quaint city steeped in tradition, I discovered winding stairs, beautiful iron railings, and rooms adorned with simple yet elegant treasures.



Being a designer I am always paying attention to colors, textures, and shapes when I explore a city. Bordeaux had lots to offer, from limestone, brick, & marble; to copper, iron, brass, & silver details. This is one of the reasons I prefer to explore a city on my own for the first time. I take my camera and start to capture what I see and how it makes me feel....which makes me a poor travel companion at times LOL.


It was tempting to hop on the electric train that would take me to and from the various locations of the city, but...if I was on the train....I would miss all of those beautiful doors!! I chose to explore the city on foot and was glad that I did. Meandering down this way and that, I discovered all sorts of fun little shops, wine bars, and cafe's behind the unique and plentiful doors of Bordeaux.


The doors of Bordeaux were a bit more rustic than in Paris, but beautiful just the same. As I snapped my shutter repeatedly I felt the warmth of this region. The people were friendly, elegant, quiet, and understated. A different feel from the streets of Paris that hustled and bustled at all hours of the day and night. I felt completely safe walking through the streets even after dark.....using Google Maps as my guide I found the various places I was searching for and had no trouble getting back to my hotel. Funny how the doors I had been admiring were now becoming familiar as I retraced my steps....like new friends.


Here are some of my favorites to inspire you!








So many lovely shades of blue & grey! I love the random pop of orange and merlot as well. What color inspires you? If you dare😉share!



About Me

Having been on this earth for more than half of a Century…I have lived through black & white television, the days of operator assisted calls, vinyl records, flip phones….and now embracing the age of everything at your fingertips.

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