Provence is known for its traditional colorful styles. Located in the South East corner of France, by the Mediterranean, Provence enjoys beautiful blue skies and mild temperature nearly year round. Far from the bustle of Paris, this laid-back region has refined over the years a rich tradition of home décor, especially when it comes to the table. One of the most striking examples is the Provençal tablecloth. Bright colors are the background for intricate designs illustrating the region. Patterns include lavender flowers, olives, cicadas, sunflowers and other local specialties. Typically made of cotton, these tablecloths do not spend much time in drawers; instead they are an everyday dining tool. French washing machines being usually much smaller than what we are accustomed to in the States, the idea of an “easy care” Provencal tablecloth makes a lot of sense.

French Coated Sunflower Tablecloth from I Dream of France

French Coated Sunflower Tablecloth from I Dream of France

The new generation of easy care Provençal tablecloths was developed a few years ago and is the ideal combination of tradition and technology. The Provençal fabric is coated with a thin layer of acrylic before it is cut and sewn into tablecloths, placemats and more. The coating is hardly noticeable to the naked eye and not too obvious to the touch. When liquids or sauce are spilled on it, they simply rest atop the fabric. A quick swipe with a damp sponge and voila, it looks as good as new! If the tablecloth is just too dirty to clean with a sponge, perhaps after a typical four-hour-long French lunch, it can be washed in the washing machine, line dried and even ironed! They are a must if you have small children. The acrylic coating also helps blocking the UV rays, so the fabric will never fade, perfect for the outdoors. They are now available in the US from I Dream of France in many colors, designs and sizes, starting at just over $50. These tablecloths are as tough as they are pretty, be ready to keep one for years to come!

–Jean-Michel

I Dream of France Logo

French Gifts for Your Valentine!

Visitez I Dream of France to order beautiful and useful gifts for others, or treats for yourself (we won’t tell). As always, orders of $75 or more ship free! No coupon code required. (Alaska and Hawaii pay $10 extra.) Also, we now ship to Canada!

Faience Jewelry from Brittany

From HB Henriot Quimper Faience, maker of popular collector tableware patterns such as Tradition and Fleuri Royale, this line of handmade jewelry featuring hearts, crosses, and original designs is hard to find in the United States, but we have it! Every piece comes with a gift box and a certificate of authenticity.

Quimper Faience Jewelry

Gifts for Foodies

We are so pleased to announce the debut of our French Foods line! We offer fruit candies from Provence, salted caramels from Brittany, and the perennially popular Herbes de Provence!
Our hand-painted Provençal spice mills (herb, salt, or pepper) are a topselling gift year-round, and now we have a new design with a heart for Valentine’s Day!

L'Ami Provencal Raspberry Old Fashioned Candy Le Petit Saunier Fleur de Sel CaramelsHerb Mill with Herbs, Salt or Pepper - Heart
 

Gifts for Hostesses

Cupcake or macaron? We vote for French macarons! Cast your vote with a terry kitchen towel from Coucke.

Coucke Terry Square Towel - Macarons

The three-bar box set of Gingembre (ginger and spices) scented soaps from Roger & Gallet Paris is so beautiful, you don’t need to wrap it!

Roger & Gallet Blue Ginger 3 Bar Box of Soap

Gifts for Nesters

Get cozy with a French flair! How about a Paris throw pillow, or fabulous reversible coated placemats?

Paris Postcard Pink Roses Ruffled Throw Pillow

Le Cluny Coated Reversible Placemat Lisa Red

–Brett

I Dream of France

Every order until Christmas will be shipped Priority mail!

Now through Christmas day, take advantage of our shipping special and get free Priority Mail service upgrade!. Pay just $5 and your order will be shipped within 24 hours via Priority Mail. As always, orders of $75 or more ship free! No coupon code required. (Alaska and Hawaii pay $10 extra.). We also have the option of Expedited Service, which will be shipped via Fedex Express Saver. Need overnight service? Give us a call at 1-888-96-FRANCE (1-888-963-7262) from 10AM to 6PM Pacific time.

Gifts for Foodies

Check out our selection of Provençal cooking aprons and kitchen towels. Our aprons are made of cotton coated with acrylic to make them stain resistant. Just wipe clean, perfect for a busy cook!

Provence Coated Apron

Beauville Kitchen Towel

Gifts for Hostesses

The Honey Soap 2-bar gift box is one of our top-selling gifts! These boxes have it all: a honeycomb pattern, a bee motif, and a calligraphic story of honey in faded letters on the box itself (the whole story's inside). Packaged in lovely decorative boxes tied with raffia, containing two bars of 3.5 ounce soap.

Apiana Honey Soap 2-bar Gift Box

Fleur de Lys bottle opener: From the French Bourbon Dynasty, the Fleur de Lys is the true mark of royalty. Now available as a bottle opener! This is an easy gift because everyone can use a bottle opener.

Fleur de Lys Bottle Opener

Gifts for Messieurs (Men)

Sommelier apron: For the French cook, wine lover or barbecue enthusiast, this sommelier apron will inspire any man to cook (or keep you company with a glass of wine)!

Sommelier Apron

Jean-Marie Farina Cologne: One of the oldest fragrance products in France, its unisex scent has been worn by men and women alike for over 200 years.

Roger & Gallet Jean-Marie Farina Perfume

Gifts for Nesters

Get cozy with a French flair! How about an all natural bath or shower gel, or an artful block-printed table runner? Table runners are a great gift because the size works for everyone. Lay it lengthwise or crosswise on a table, dresser, buffet, or secretary desk. How easy is that!

Lavender Shower or Bath Gel

Couleur Nature Table Runner

–Brett

Thanksgiving is the time when everyone comes together to break bread, give thanks for life’s blessings, and kick off the holiday season. It’s the top travel holiday in America. How many will be coming to your home this year? Be prepared to set a beautiful table with a French tablecloth from I Dream of France. Whether you need a longer cloth to cover your table with its leaves in place, or a square or round cloth to fit a secondary table, we’ve got you (and your table) covered.

Le Cluny Cezanne Blue Damask Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Le Cluny Cezanne Blue Damask Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Make Cleanup Easier with Acrylic and Teflon

An acrylic-coated tablecloth wipes clean to welcome children at the table, yet is beautiful to please the adult eye. A teflon-coated cloth helps spills bead up before sinking into the cloth. Choose either to ease your workload on the big day. (Save your energy for shopping and football.)

Vent du Sud Teflon Coated Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Vent du Sud Teflon Coated Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Not so Formal?

If you’re keeping things small and/or informal this year, we have plenty of runners and placemats for low-key entertaining with a French flair.

Couleur Nature Fig Table Runner from I Dream of France

Couleur Nature Fig Table Runner from I Dream of France

–Brett

The Tustin Area Museum, an outreach of the Tustin Area Historical Society, has two of our French Country coated tablecloths on display! Come sit a spell at one of the tables in front of the museum and see our tablecloths. These shades of red and gold look great against the old brick, don’t you think?

The museum is located in the Knights of Pythias Building, constructed in 1925. The building has been used as a drug store, variety store, City Hall, post office, and a TV and appliance store. The building has a full basement (unusual for earthquake-prone California) where local Boy Scouts used to meet. The intersection of Main and El Camino Real (formerly D St.) was the center of activity for Tustin residents many years ago…and is still plenty busy today!

Le Cluny French Country Sunflower Red Tablecloth at Tustin Area Museum

Le Cluny French Country Sunflower Red Tablecloth at Tustin Area Museum

Le Cluny French Country Sunflower Red Tablecloths at Tustin Area Museum

Le Cluny French Country Sunflower Red Tablecloths at Tustin Area Museum

Tustin Area Museum in Old Town Tustin

Tustin Area Museum in Old Town Tustin

–Brett

Titian's Assunta

Titian’s Assunta

August 15 is Assumption Day in France, a major holiday (celebrating Virgin Mary ascending into Heaven).  Nearly every business and government office closes, and it’s a very popular time for people to take a summer vacation. In fact, the entire month of August is quiet and slow in France, as people take a long break and go out of town. (For our business here in the States, we have to be careful to get what we need from our French suppliers by the end of July, or we may have to wait until September!)

Where do people in France go for vacation? This a funny question from an American perspective, considering most French people are already somewhere I like to imagine myself being! But everyone has to get out of town once in awhile, no matter where home is, so many head south–somewhere warm, bright, and on the water! Corsica, the Spanish coast, the Balearic islands (Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza), Venice, or the Riviera.

Corsican Beach - Photo Courtesy of Serenity Holidays Ltd.

Corsican Beach – Photo Courtesy of Serenity Holidays Ltd.

Even if you do not find yourself in Corsica or Venice this August, you can still relax like the French and enjoy warm summer days at home. I Dream of France has plenty of colorful accessories to help make it happen. As always, orders over $75 ship free.

Red Malaga Melamine Coaster - Sold in Set of Six at I Dream of France

Red Malaga Melamine Coaster – Sold in Set of Six at I Dream of France

Red Malaga coasters are made of melamine so you can use them indoors or out.

Vent du Sud Tamaris Lilas Acrylic Coated Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Vent du Sud Tamaris Lilas Acrylic Coated Tablecloth from I Dream of France

Tamaris Lilas tablecloth by Vent du Sud is acrylic coated to use indoors or out — just wipe with a damp sponge to clean — similar to old-fashioned oilcloth but softer and more modern and beautiful. Also available in teal blue!

–Brett

I Dream of France was reviewed by the blog Paint Your Town Red! Paint Your Town Red is dedicated to the promotion of locally owned fashion boutiques and specialty shops, focusing on Southern California (Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties).  The blog’s editor came to visit us one afternoon and took photos of our shop and product dispays. She especially liked our soap selection and Crazylibellule and the Poppies solid perfume sticks. Such a nice person and what a great idea for a blog! Merci, Paint Your Town Red!

I Dream of France Photographed by Paint Your Town Red

I Dream of France Photographed by Paint Your Town Red

–Brett

The April issue of Elle Decor magazine is themed “the travel issue” and is full of luscious dwellings abroad. Capturing my heart is, of course, an apartment in Paris overlooking the Rue de l’Université on the Left Bank of the Seine. The apartment belongs to a glass and ceramics designer named Olivier Gagnère who has worked for Bernardaud among others. Ceramics are a particular passion of mine, and we were lucky enough to tour the Bernardaud factory in Limoges a few years ago. Peeking into the private home of one of their designers shows another facet of the creativity of this world. What a treat!

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

Gagnere Paris Apartment - Simon Upton for Elle Decor

What I love: the liberal use of the colors lavender and tangerine; the striped Basque tablecloth (similar to our Saint Jean de Luz coated tablecloth); the wall collages of framed drawings, watercolors, and photographs; the bright red dinosaur perched above a cabinet; the pint-size kitchen with a full-size table set for four. These are among the best things in life…color, humor, breaking bread with friends. Wouldn’t you agree?

Mother’s Day is coming up fast on May 9! Want to honor your mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, sister, or other dear lady in your life? Stumped for gift ideas? Check out our gift guide. I Dream of France has something for every taste and every budget.

Bougies la Francaise Angel Ball Candle

Bougies la Francaise Angel Ball Candle

Live in Tustin or the western portion of Irvine? Check your mail this week for a coupon book called Savings in Tustin or Savings in Irvine (West Irvine edition). I Dream of France is in it! The offers are different from the other ads we’ve had in local papers (Foothills Sentry, Tustin News – Orange County Register). This is our first time buying ad space in a coupon mailer so we can’t wait to see what the response will be! The company that makes the coupon books sent a photographer to our boutique and designed the ad for us with a collage of different photos, including our coated tablecloths and French children’s clothes. We think it turned out very pretty and eye-catching.