We all can’t live in a perfect 19th century Paris apartment with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, herringbone wooden floors, a fireplace and fabulous architectural detail, but we can learn a few secrets from those who do!
Hang a Chandelier:
Paint Your Walls White:
Mix Antique / Vintage with New:
Add an Element of Surprise:
Invest in an Oversized Mirror:
Add Fresh Flowers:
Bring Your Outdoor Furniture In:
Most importantly though, Parisian decor is –
Never Quite “Finished”:
Ready? Let’s do it!
Since you’re in a French mood, you might like an easy recipe for French Bread – bon appétit!
No Knead French Bread (recipe from Simple-Veganista makes two loaves)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast and salt. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Takes only a minute if that. You don’t need to knead, just mix…you’re not looking to make it come together into a dough ball. It will come together as it rises. You just want everything mixed well, no streaks of flour left…then you’re done.
Cover container loosely, let it rise and then fall a bit…may take anywhere from two to four hours depending on temperatures.
Dust your hands and flat surface with flour, or cornmeal, so it won’t stick. Take your dough, about the size of a grapefruit if only using a portion, and place it on the floured flat surface, gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface.
Place your dough ball onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper (if not using parchment paper, place on flat surface dusted with cornmeal or flour), and let it rest for at least 40 minutes. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more, until it’s no longer chilled.
Twenty minutes before you’re ready to bake, put a cast iron skillet, pizza stone or large oven safe pot/skillet in the middle rack of your oven, this will be your baking utensil. Also place a rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan in the bottom rack (this is for one cup of water that will be added later). Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dust some flour on top of your loaf, and slash the top about 1/4 inch deep cross, tick tack toe or scallop pattern (this helps the bread expand when baking while also giving it a rustic look).
After twenty minutes of preheating, it’s time to bake. Gently place your dough along with the parchment paper (if using) onto your preferred baking dish. Once that’s done, quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the cookie sheet/roasting pan and close the oven door to keep the steam inside. Bake for about 30 – 40 min, until you get a nice brown crust. Remove and let cool.