Florence, I’ve loved many of your books. Chairs: A History, French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses are two personal favorites. French Chic Living was inspired from your childhood memories of time in France with your family. Can you share more with us about your early life abroad in such a romantic setting?
Thank you very much. So happy that you like my new book as well. It is a very personal book, close to my heart. It mix together a lot of my memories from my grand-mothers. They were both strong characters in their own way and both had a way of making people and family around them at ease and happy.
Food and smells still are anchored in my mind,and to this day triggered lovely memories.
The food was relatively simple but always with fresh products. Fresh eggs from the farmer down the road along with milk directly from his cows with the cream on top. All was used to make cakes. Leftover were always reused doing something delicious. No waste was ever a possibility for anything.
I love that this is a true lifestyle book, offering a reader everything they need to know to set up house and garden in true art de vivre style. What inspired you to share this wisdom with readers?
My friends have being for ever asking me about recipe for one thing or another or are marveling at some things I am doing. I realized how much of a desire for getting things done is out there and also wanted to share how easy many things are when you know what to do.
In the book you offer exceptional information on tips for selecting, storing and preparing food using natural ingredients - as well as recipes we can follow. I would love to hear about some of your early memories of cooking alongside your grandmother or mom and shopping for menu items at French markets. Any great stories to share?
For me shopping at open market is a always such a pleasure. I love to look and to try things. It is a total experience and fun experience
Your brand collaboration with A&B Home provides us with many of the French living essentials outlined in the book. From the perfect cream throw to gorgeous garden urns and elegant lanterns. It must me absolute bliss to see those ideal imagined creations come to life! How important is frequent international travel to your design process for products and interiors?
Frequent travels are very important as it keep your creative juices flowing and keep you with the finger on the pulse of what is happening.
Yes it is almost magical to see products that you designed and dreamed of becoming reality . It is a great feeling.
The holidays are coming up quickly. Given your decidedly European approach to entertaining, could you offer insights on creating a relaxing and welcoming environment for large family gatherings? Any special tips to help us a create stress-free atmosphere as we cook up the most important meals of the year?
My first tip would be to do things that you can do easily.Do not be over ambitious and try to cook, prepare and organized more than you can master. The goal is to spread joy and happiness around you. Not to be stressed out
So pace yourself and do not do everything at once. Organization is key and knowing where to buy what, is good! A lovely presentation of a delicious store bought product is not a bad thing!.
And finally, what can we expect from Florence de Dampierre next?
Many more products for sure, to make your life better.