Bring France Into Your Home


Bring France Into Your Home

So, I’m probably understating it when I say we are living in unprecedented times. The devastating impact Covid-19 has been having on families the world over is almost too horrific to be believed.

Some of us are in lockdown at home, others are choosing to self-isolate and so many of us are grieving. For loved ones, for freedom, for peace of mind and for lost jobs, amongst a myriad of other things. 

And then there are those grieving for postponed adventures. While a cancelled vacation may not be the worst thing in the world at the moment, I do feel for anyone out there who’s missing out on their dream of travelling to France. This is especially true if you’ve been unable to get a refund on elements of your trip – that really sucks!

It’s safe to say that none of us will be travelling too far in the foreseeable future. And for those of us who aren’t currently planted on French soil, it’s hard to say when we’ll be able to get back to France. But one of things I love most about the strength of French culture, is the fact that you can transport it to every corner of the globe. So today I thought I’d share five ways to bring France into your home. For these unusual days when you can’t actually leave your home.

Can’t Travel To France? Bring France Into Your Home

  1. Open up a book about France. Pop yourself on the sofa with a cup (or a glass) of something yummy and let your imagination take you away. Recently I’ve been drawn to the beautiful images that are generally found in coffee table books. But you might turn to a memoir, a novel or a guidebook. Regardless of your volume of choice, you’re sure to feel closer to France just a few pages in.
  2. Dig out your French – or French inspired – linen. There’s something comforting about the softness of linen. And like humans, it just gets better with age. Whether you choose apparel, sheets, pillow slips, or a simple tea towel, linen is an easy way to bring France into your home.
  3. Spritz on your favourite French perfume. You all know I’m a fan of French fragrance. I wear it almost every day of the year. But I’m doubling down at the moment. Wearing my best French perfumes always lifts my spirits.
  4. Cook up a French feast. I’ve been trying some recipes from a brilliant new French cookbook recently (stay tuned – the review is coming soon). Admittedly, supermarket shortages and delivery restrictions have made it difficult to get my hands on every single ingredient. But even with a couple of comprises, a plate of French flavoured food can take me back to France in a moment.
  5. Add an element of French style to your stay-at-home outfit. Personally I prefer to dress stylishly and comfortably while I’m working from home (which I’m lucky enough to be able to do). I also do my hair and makeup every day – even if I’m not turning on my video camera. It just makes me feel better. And when I want take it up a level, I add something French to my outfit. Whether it’s ballet flats, a scarf or a striped top, a little French style goes a long way.

I’d love to know. Have you been doing anything recently to bring France into your home? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sending you love, wherever you happen to be in the world.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.


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11 thoughts on “Bring France Into Your Home

  • Françoise Dureau

    Hello Janelle,
    Always so good to read you. But the times we are going through makes it even more special.
    It warms my heart to know that France is still on your mind.
    Here locked down in our homes we do our best to keep up with our French way of life, spending more time with friends on the phone or cooking our best recipes.
    I’m lucky enough to be at my love in the countryside where I can have an jour walk in nature every day without meeting anybody. I also take advantage of this situation to pick up food in nature: salad, mushrooms. Spending time with my love when I’ Not teleworking is à gift in itself.
    We unfortunately can do little to help except stay at home and realize How much we need a strong healthcare system.
    I wish we’ll be able to learn from this tragedy and change our priorities. Maybe move back to basics and build a more humane society.
    Carpe Diem.
    Take care of yourselves.

  • Françoise Dureau

    Some things i have forgotten…..
    Just like you Janelle i spend time carefully chosing my clothes. They have to be cosy but elegant with my French touch.
    I do my hair as usual even if i try to save my hair products as i don’t want to order online during the containement. I don’t want anybody to take risk for me to be delivered shampoo !!!
    The same way i use home made body scrub and hair mask.
    I wear make up every day and since i am lucky enough to have bought my spring make up before lockdown i have tome to test it.
    As for perfume i try to have my dear Chanel number 5 last as long as possible. Having shower gel and body lotion helps.
    French women will always be French women…..
    Take care.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you so much Françoise for both your thoughtful comments. I love what you say about using our resources wisely at the moment – I absolutely agree that none of us want to put anyone at risk by having to deliver things that might be considered unnecessary!! And like you, I’m using the fact that I’m not seeing anyone (other than Scotty) to test a few new makeup techniques…something of a positive in an otherwise difficult situation. I’m so glad that you are maintaining your way of life and that you are able to get out in nature on a regular basis. It really is one of the basics I think you are referring to and like you, I hope this whole situation helps us to grow as a global society. Sending so many good wishes xx

  • Taste of France

    France is a state of mind as much as anything.
    A good meal, beautifully arranged, with a glass of wine does wonders for one’s mood.
    It is such a shame, as the weather is gorgeous and everything is bursting into full bloom, that people from around the world are unable to share the beauty of France at this time. I hope people won’t give up on travel when the crisis is over.
    To quote Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
    Wishing you and Scotty and your whole family good health. Santé!

    • Janelle Post author

      Catherine, I’ve always loved your perspective that France is a state of mind. It provides those of us who love France something to hang onto when we can’t actually be there….whether that’s because of normal life circumstances, or extraordinary challenges like we face at the moment. Like you, I am hoping people are willing and able to travel when we reach the other side of this. I know we’ll be keen to explore again – travel has changed our lives for the better in so many ways!! Sending all the love to you and yours xx

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much for this Kairosia – yes I think like minds are starting to focus on looking forward and keeping life joyful, rather than focussing on the sheer hardship we are collectively managing. As for the photo, it was actually taken in St Remy at Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole on a gorgeous spring day. We were very lucky to experience the beauty. Sending you all our best wishes.

  • Alisa

    A few years ago, I rented a Paris apartment that was surrounded by church bells and one Sunday morning I made a recording of the bells. When I am in the US, I just need to play the sound file to feel transported…
    Janelle, thank you for reminding us that there is more to life than our four walls while we are confined!