Today, I’m sharing the living room in our new home as well as one of my favorite pieces, an old church board from France.
There’s one item in our home that I get lots of questions about, and that’s the antique French church board. Every time it’s shown in photos, I will get several emails inquiring about it. What is it? Where did it come from? Do you want to sell it?
So, today, I thought I would share some photos of the living room in our new home, and also tell you a little bit about this rare piece that just happens to be one of my most cherished pieces.
Our living room is bright and sunny on most days with a large bank of windows looking over the back yard. It has high ceilings, hardwood floors, fireplace, and gorgeous crown moulding, which are all details that I love.
The architectural details, such as the pair of columns framing the opening to the dining room, are some of my favorites.
I’m not a huge fan of open concept designs, and while this home does have a partial open concept floor plan, it’s not totally open. It still has plenty of walls to define the spaces, and lots of walls for decorating.
One of my most cherished pieces is this antique French church board. Every time it shows up in photos, I get lots of questions about it. It definitely gets lots of attention whenever someone visits, and it tells a story all on it’s own.
I found the board many years ago at my favorite monthly estate sale.
It had been imported from France and dated to circa 1860, and originally, it had been the attendance board in a French Catholic orphanage.
In faded letters at the top of the board is “Enfants de Marie” which translates to Mary’s Children.
When I found it at the estate sale, I literally couldn’t walk away from it, and knew that it had to come home with me.
It’s painted in beautiful French blue with red accents and gilded in gorgeous gold leaf. It had become very worn over the last century with lots of chipping and wear, but that only attracted me more.
The one thing that spoke to me about this piece more than anything else, was the small slips of paper that the nun’s had written the children’s names on.
The slips of paper are very fragile and oh, so sweet.
The piece hanging at the top of the board is not original. It’s a salvaged pediment from a Station of The Cross that I found in Florida a few years ago.
I’ve had so many people ask if I would sell it, but it’s not something that I think I could ever part with.
It’s definitely a one of a kind piece and I doubt that I will ever find anything similar.
The living room, as well as all of the rooms, is a work in progress. It’s far from finished, and will evolve a few more times I’m sure before I’m done. I’m looking for a large sideboard to place on the wall below the church board, so what you see there now will be moved to another location at some point.
Above the fireplace is a vintage Italian Florentine mirror with Florentine sconces on each side, and on the mantle are a trio of metal wreaths on stands.
To the right of the fireplace is a large French armoire that I purchased a year ago from a friend of mine. He is a passionate collector of all things French, and I was able to buy a few beautiful pieces from him when he was downsizing. The armoire is gorgeous with it’s original blue and gray paint. It was perfect to hide the tv in.
A new piece that I found a few months ago is the large angel on the left. You might have already guessed it, but yes, I found her at the monthly estate sale that I always attend in Mobile, AL.
She has such a great weathered finish from years spent out in the elements. She stands on an old gilded architectural pedestal that I found about 20 years ago.
The Louis XV wing chairs sit in front of the windows with an antique lyre game table in between that belonged to my precious mother in law.
I just realized you can see Miss RubyLou’s tennis ball in the corner! Oh well, it’s just a sign that we do live here!
I love decorating with antiques and vintage items. They can bring such a sense of history to your home, and a “collected over time” feel”. Everything in this photo is vintage or antique picked up at various estate sales or antique markets.
The candelabra sconces flanking the church board are from an antique market in Florida. They came out of a Catholic Church that had closed and I love the milk glass lilies that are on each one. As you can tell, I have a soft spot for religious pieces.
This next view is looking from our entryway toward the back door with the breakfast room on the right. I love the wide crown moulding, and I’m so glad that I won’t have to add it to this room like we did in our last home.
I have plans to paint the walls and the crown moulding and I’ve been looking at paint colors. I’m still drawn to the colors we used in our previous home, and I may end up using them again.
The only other planned changes in the living room are to add window treatments, and replace the ceiling fan with a pretty French style chandelier.
We’ve taken the last few months to settle in before we start tackling projects, but I’m getting anxious to start painting walls and making a few changes!
Miss RubyLou is loving her new home and her large backyard, and she’s so excited every time she meets a new neighbor! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the living room and learning a bit more about my most cherished piece, the antique French church board.