When my girlfriend Courtney Allison told me that she was writing her very first book, I was elated. I met Courtney, founder of the popular blog – French Country Cottage many years ago online. The story of the times – two girls admiring one another’s work on Instagram, feeling like we know each other well. Courtney and I finally met in person earlier this year at the Design Bloggers Conference and connected immediately. I couldn’t believe how beautiful and kind she was considering she’s one of the most creative and talented individuals on IG right now. Emma (my daughter) happened to be with me on this trip and we both became obsessed with Courtney. Both Courtney and I are brand ambassadors for Lamps Plus and had the opportunity to get to know one another even more during a second work trip that we attended together. We became 3 peas in a pod during that trip. One thing I learned about Courtney during our time together is that she is the most giving person.. She has stayed on the phone with me for far too long to help me out on one thing or another, and on more than one occasion. ;)
If you’re unfamiliar with Courtney, (run out and follow her on everything – now!) she is a California girl who purchased and restored an old cottage in Northern California. All of the dreamy images you will find on her Instagram and blog center around her french country cottage, both inside and out. She’s known for her use of florals, antiques, and romantic flair that comes across elegantly through every photo.
Not only has Courtney renovated this cottage herself (with help from family), but she styles every scene in a storybook-like setting. And to top it all off.. she is the sole photographer behind her social content. Incredible! Somehow she also manages to act as the editor of Romantic Homes Magazine.. but that’s another story.
I’m SO thrilled to announce that Courtney’s first book – French Country Cottage is available for purchase in stores & online this week. I received a copy earlier this week.. and friends… this book is fantastic. It’s much more than your typical interior design book. Courtney opens her heart and shares her life journey from growing up, marrying her husband, raising kids, and then eventually purchasing an old run-down cottage that no one wanted. Even the real estate agent told her that the old vacation cottage should be bulldozed and a new one built in it’s place. Of course she didn’t listen (lucky for us), and instead she has turned the vacant space into the cozy, beautiful hideaway she’s always dreamt of.
Like she does with every blog post, Courtney weaves her story-telling through stunning images that she has taken over the years. Throughout the book she shares little moments of her life that mean a great deal to her… recipes from her Grammy that she makes to this day, a special dollhouse that her father built for her after her parent’s divorce, and the reasons behind why she chose inexpensive slip-covered sofas for “plopping on”.
I love how Courtney mixes old chippy flea-market finds with shiny beautiful copper pots + crystal chandeliers. Somehow everything comes together in the most inspiring and dreamiest of ways. With each captured space that Courtney photographs, her sweet cottage comes alive. From the flower petals falling from the kitchen island to the floor.. to the cut zucchini laying next to her Lacanche range. Even an old pair of worn weathered cowboy boots leaning against an antique ladder.. All reflect life as it really is, beautiful and imperfect. Real.
Something else that I love about Courtney is her ability to design the most beautifully lit outdoor spaces. I have always loved sharing my exterior spaces during the the evening times and have felt a kinship with each frame that Courtney reveals. The only difference is that Courtney’s nighttime peeks are just a little grander in scale. ;) For example, she knows how to capture that perfect s’mores – sitting around the cozy campfire moment.. marshmallows and all. Her specialty however, has to be the elegant outdoor dinner party. With cafe lights draping over a special table full of china, sparkling crystal and tons of dripping candles. Courtney knows how to create everyone’s dreamy romantic nighttime moment – eating dinner under the stars. These are the kinds of images that pull me in the most.. All captivating and each with a mood of it’s own.
I could go on and on because I love this book so much but instead I hope to have sparked an interest in all of you to read this special story about a girl who loved and believed in a cottage more than anyone. French Country Cottage is more than just a book… it’s heart and beauty. Whether you love interior design, story-telling, entertaining, or simply beautiful images.. French Country Cottage has it all. To order your very own copy.. click here.
All images from Courtney’s book were given to me for this post. Thanks so much Courtney for sharing your heart and book with me!!
2 thoughts on “French Country Cottage – Must Buy Book of 2018”
Aww sweet friend!! What a kind and lovely post! I adore you and Emma so much and am so glad we finally met in person this year- you two are so much fun!
Thank you so much for sharing my book with your readers – and you know how much I love chatting with you and Emma! (And we need a coffee chat soon!) :) xo
Looks so beautiful! Will definitely check it out!!!