Wine + Windows Workshop at the French Farmhouse

 All photography courtesy of  Stephanie Fishbein

All photography courtesy of Stephanie Fishbein

In August, Provenance Rentals teamed up with the French Farmhouse for a unique decorating workshop called Wine + Windows. Nestled in the Riviera Village in Redondo Beach, it is a shabby chic home decor store that carries anything from gorgeous furniture like farmhouse tables (mais, oui) all the way down to the tiniest little details like fixtures and velvet strawberries (tres mignon). One can easily spend hours in this adorable shop and leave with endless inspiration and chic decor. Robin, the store's owner, is nothing short of amazing: she is warm, friendly, and nurturing. She loves her store and her customers and it shows, which is why she is creating a calendar of classes and events at the French Farmhouse.

 Pictured above Robin, of the French Farmhouse, and Anna, of Provenance Rentals.

Pictured above Robin, of the French Farmhouse, and Anna, of Provenance Rentals.

Provenance Rentals and The French Farmhouse fashioned this workshop to inspire creativity and create a carefree environment to mingle  with friends. The class opened up with dinner and drinks while I presented general interior design tips, followed by the myriad uses of using windows for home decor, and topping it off with students decorating their windows.

I was so excited to teach this workshop about home decorating with architectural salvage (old windows). As much as weddings, or any events, can be beautiful, I am extremely passionate about interior design. One reason it speaks to me is the stability, tranquility, and permanence you feel in your home; the decor that sets the tone.  It is something you see and experience every day. You can instantly evoke a mood, feeling, or vibe--so choose wisely. I thought it was important to educate as well as have fun. I shared these tips and more and they will come in handy whether you decorate with windows, or anything else.

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1. Surfaces attract clutter. So clean up your space/surface area before decorating it.

2. Measure. It is so important to measure the space, or area, in which you plan to place decor. It will help you cut down on non-essentials, and aid in balancing proportions. 

3. When decorating something like a mantle or an entry table, use the window as the focal point.

4. Abide by the rule of three. This is the most natural way to style vignettes. Two is too predictable and too symmetrical, more can be too cluttered, but three is the most balanced design principle. It can be applied to objects, fabrics, colors, furniture and more. For instance, you can use books, a vase, and sculptural object to create a styled vignette.

5. Use trays for grounding. If you have a lot of little items, a tray can really pull things together. Great for kitchens and bathrooms where lots of little things can clutter an area.

6. Books are great for stacking. A set of vintage, hardcover books nestled near an old window would look gorgeous on an entry table, mantel, coffee table, or nightstand. 

7. Break planes with some objects going horizontal and some going vertical. Too much of the same, or in one direction, is boring to the eye.

8. Don't be afraid of a little color. Even if you have a neutral color palette (we see a lot of beach/nautical-inspired decor in South Bay), don't be shy about a little accent color like coral. It can work on a pillow design, or an object. Color should be divided 60/30/10 -- that is primary, secondary, and accent.

9. Incorporate something personal. A memento from your travels, or wedding, an heirloom, or anything special speaks more than the fanciest, expensive decor. Making it meaningful sparks a conversation and makes you and any guest excited about your design choice.

10. Edit. I cannot stress this enough. If it doesn't work, don't force it. Look at your vignette, then take a little 360 turn, or snap a photo. if something stands out, it is usually a bad sign. It is just as important, if not more, to edit, than over style. 

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Following design tips we discussed the ways in which windows could be used: general decor, menus, welcome signs, frames for photos, a gallery wall, a coffee mug station (just add some decorative hooks), garden tool station, add a seasonal wreath to evoke a homey feel, artwork in a room (add a cute pennant banner or some lettering), back the glass with pretty paper or old maps, and so much more. The students then did break away sessions--working on design/decorating, applying stencils and painting, adding chalkboard backing, and much more. We were so impressed how excited the ladies were and how creative they got. Some even grabbed items from the store like cotton wreaths and metal objects to make something that mirrored their personalities and styles. 

The workshop was a success, and only the beginning of the offerings both Provenance Rentals and the French Farmhouse have in the works. Also, be on the lookout for Stephanie Fishbein and her photographic talent. She will also be teaching some photography classes and providing portrait sessions at a Christmas tea that will be hosted at the Farmhouse this fall. Be sure to keep up with all of us below. xo

Credits: Photography Stephanie Fishbein | Venue The French Farmhouse | Design + Workshop Provenance Rentals