A new beginning

I’m getting a bit more personal than usual today, so please, brace for impact.

A new beginning | FrenchByDesign

Last year, something shifted in me and in my blogging journey. I was living one of the most amazing experiences of my life during the making of How the French Live, knocking on strangers’ homes whom I had connected only through email exchanges, and shooting their home, speaking for hours with them, hearing their stories, their memories, their struggles, their joys. It was magical, and when I was returning to this space, it just did not feel right. I was sharing beautiful interiors and content, but it felt like it lacked substance. It lacked the reality and the real story of that interior, the one we can relate to as human beings.

There was a disconnect between what I was going through, and the ‘sameness’ and the ‘safeness’ of this blog, its look, and its content. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already shared with you how I feel about beautiful interiors and curating amazingly well put spaces. But when I was visiting all these families, I was also experiencing a strong human connection with them. Since I was alone with my camera and lenses and legal forms and a voice recorder, trying to hustle it all at once – and sometimes failing terribly at it – I was able to view and perceive interiors in a whole new way. Not just pretty spaces, but spaces with memories, stories from their owners, I could see the shining eyes of the hostess when she was telling me about her favorite piece in her décor, or the family stories of sharing all their meals on that very special kitchen table. Objects were not just pretty, they meant something. And as the bond between the family and me occurred, it was even more magical to be able to connect so deeply with people – who were strangers to me only a few hours ago – over a shared impromptu meal after the photoshoot had ended.

And I’d come back here, feeling like I was expected to post beautiful, but random interiors. I honestly don’t know why I felt expected in any way, surely not by you guys. In the past, we’ve discussed similar topics, like this post, and you were always super supportive of me evolving with my blog. Maybe it was me, I had it in me, but the timing wasn’t right.

And then, after months of soul searching, something shifted in me. A strong shift from within, a need, an urge to let go. Completely let go, be myself unapologetically. A human loving humans and beautiful interiors, and aiming at inspiring people to live their décor more authentically.

So, I decided to change. Everything. Me [more on that soon!], the look of the blog, [happening very soon now], and the tone of it – more authentic, more visual and more than ever with my authentic voice and photography. I’m still trying to figure out how to articulate all of this in one space, so please bear with me if I’m not as present as usual these days. I’m thinking it through, assessing, asking myself what it is I can bring to this blogging community and to you. I recently read a quote on Marie Claire that said “What’s the point of learning if you’re not sharing with others?” This resonates so much in me! I think this is it, I feel the magic, I can sense it. Maybe that’s what it feels like to find your real purpose. Love and light, always. Si-


Pictured : The beautiful – and so very Parisian – entryway of Elodie and Lily. The extra long curtain masks the (sometimes) messy kitchen in such a theatrical way! Photography by me for How the French Live


J O I N    T H E    L I S T

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30 thoughts on “A new beginning

  1. Bravo! Your blog has been a standout as far as originality, but more stories will be appreciated, too.
    The thing that initially attracted me to blogs was the authenticity. But the proliferation of them, especially in the quest of earning money via sponsors, has turned too many into pale imitations of the shallowest parts of women’s magazines–buy this, wear that, this gadget will turn you into a chef, that gadget will make you thin, this other thing will bring you love. The originality, ingenuity and authenticity has gotten quashed by consumerism.
    Homes are interesting because they are our palettes for self-expression. They show, whether intentionally or not, what’s important to us, what our aesthetic is. I look forward to hearing the stories of real people that go with the interiors.

    1. Eloquently said, TOF, and I concur.

      As for you, Si, wherever this new journey takes you will be an adventure for us readers as well. Cheers to all, Ardith

      1. Thank you @Ardith! Love the idea of a shared new adventure! ♡♡♡

    2. Thank you so much @Taste of France for your kind words!

      I agree with you on the consumerist content and imitation, but I also understand that bloggers, like any other entrepreneur, need to have a business plan and earn their living, so I’m not bothered by sponsored content or affiliate links, as long as it fits a blogger’s ethos. Readers often reproach blogs to make money, but don’t mind buying an $8.99 magazine, with half the content being pure ads. There must be a way to meet halfway I believe, and for a blogger to collaborate with brands and create great content for the reader, while still staying authentic.

  2. I always loved reading your blog and the content was often magical… so looking forward to reconnecting and seeing what other magic you will reveal to us!!

  3. BRAVA! Happy dance going on over here! Love this spiritual awakening in you, Si. Can’t wait to watch it all unfold. Taste of France said it really well. xo

  4. Bravo! je te félicite de cette démarche et d’oser de te laisser porter par cette expérience. Rien n’est perdu lorsqu’on se laisse porter par notre intuition et le désir d’être vrai d’abord à soi! C’est ce qui fait que je reviens toujours à ton blog. Ça transparaît dans tes post et dans la manière que tu réponds à nos commentaires. Bon vent!!!!!

  5. Good on you! It’s your blog, so you do you and whatever feels good. No doubt you will experience some reader anguish (we all know how unforgiving people are when it comes to change and all that they expect of you, but that’s life – change is the only constant.
    I will recommend the best book I read last year – Sarah Knight ‘You do you’. I really think it may help you as you start this magic, authentic journey.
    I can’t wait 😊✨

    1. Thanks @Nicole. I do realize that not everyone will be on board with my approach, and I’m ok with that. I’d rather inspire 10 readers I engage with authentically, than have 10,000 visitors that just come for the pretty pictures. I am not a blog stat, a number of page views or likes or comments on my Instagram, this space is very special to me and I want it to evolve with me and take pleasure posting here. I sincerely thank you for your support and will definitely check “You do you”. Thank you so much! Xo-

  6. I really relate to your post Si – it’s weird because yours is one of the only blogs I read these days (after a massive purge last year). I was feeling overwhelmed! But I have always liked your simple formula approach and I connected with you visually as well. So FBD stayed. Me too, I have been feeling like I wanted more from my own work and creative enterprise… so how nice to find a kindred spirit echoing my 2018 thoughts and ideas. Brava ma bîche! I can’t wait to see what’s next. xx

  7. Have always loved the authenticity of your blog. Very much looking forward to the next phase.

  8. I so resonate with this, Si. I’ve been feeling a shift, with my blog, for quite a while too. I’ve been posting far fewer interiors (I miss that sometimes – still trying to find how to bridge the gap) and writing more about life. Love the quote from Marie Claire….so so true. Can’t wait to see what is next for you! I’ll be sticking around! XO . Trina

    1. Thank you @Trina – happy to learn that a few fellow bloggers feel the same way. Cheers to more authenticity and real sharing! Xo

  9. YES! Change is so good when it comes from your most important brain, THE HEART. Good for you, Si! I’m so proud to say “I knew you when….”

    BTW, this happens when the babies start leaving the nest. Truth be told, I’m on the cusp of a change too. We should have monthly Shape Shifter meet-ups :) I’m behind you all the way girl! Bravo, Yvonne

  10. Ton blog est parmi mes préférés depuis que j’ai commencé l’aventure du blog, tu transmets une vision vraie et sincère depuis toujours et que j’adore.
    On ne se connait qu’à travers le 2.0. mais je trouve que cette évolution naturelle pour ton blog te correspond tout à fait, et j’ai hâte de découvrir cette nouvelle étape.
    Bises :) Flo

  11. change is always good, and even more when you feel you need it! I know what you feel and I had the same experience a couple of years ago (and I wan’t travelling taking pictures of French families ;-) … I had to take a break and think about what I wanted. That’s when it changed the way it looked, new designer and new name, and its content. and ever since, I’ve never stopped loving blogging again! FBD was probably one of the very first blogs I discovered when I started reading blogs (and mine was not even a thought). I’ve always loved the way you talked about the interiors you shared, it was not just nice pictures, there was a person behind it who told us why she picked it. and that’s why I loved it. And now that I know you in person I can even say that the voice was the same even without the sound :-) I can’t wait to see and read your new-you … we grow and change is part of it, let’s face it :-)
    Bises, i.

  12. I love your blog ….always read it …I have found you to be most authentic….
    I have been with you for years . Thank you for bringing so much beauty in to my life ..

    1. Thank you @Grace! This means the world to me! I hope I can still inspire you through beautiful and authentic content! ♡

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