sneak peek: carol’s ‘basic french’ escape

today’s second and final sneak peek is near and dear to my heart. for years i’ve loved (and shopped) the online store basic french and it’s served as my portal to a dream world where i live like amelie. so i was overjoyed to hear from basic french owner carol b. neiley last week and just about fell off my chair when i saw what she was emailing me. based in the hudson valley where she lives with her two daughters, carol recently bought and renovated a gorgeous abandoned farmhouse in les monts du lyonnais (outside of lyon), france. to say that carol is living my (and probably lots of our) dream life is an understatement. the idea of leaving the states and escaping to rural france to renovate a farm house could not sound more fantastically romantic to me if it tried. obviously there is a lot of work behind a project like this but i think the results, and the lifestyle change, are absolutely worth it. i hope you’ll enjoy the photos of carol’s french retreat above and below. thank you to photographer ellen silverman for sharing these lovely photos with us. also, if you love the black frames, fur chairs and black mirrors in carol’s home, they’re made by a design company called objet de curiosite (formerly meubles grange) and can be purchased through carol at basic french. [thank you to carol and her daughters for sharing their beautiful french home with us]








  1. katrina says:

    oh my gosh!
    i love this.
    holy moly.

  2. Minna says:

    yum, yum, yum. thanks for the coffee break escapism.


  3. victoria says:

    both sneaks are completely different, but equally gorgeous! what we need is a place in the city, AND a place in provence – so we can decorate them completely differently! okay…that’s the plan! :)

  4. Shay says:

    Love Love Love !!!
    Thanks for making my Monday.

  5. Kristin says:

    wow. what a perfect way to spend my lunchbreak – poring over lovely and inspiring photos.

  6. Lucy Gazelle says:

    J’aime beaucoup.

  7. Katelyn says:

    What a beautiful home! I love the decorations, the simplicity and the landscape is gorgeous!

  8. ebeth says:

    That fireplace is giving me palpitations! sacre bleu!

  9. Solveig says:

    This is the best post ever. It is just totally poetic.

  10. Raven says:

    I want to move RIGHT NOW!

  11. Samantha says:

    This is so beautiful! Thank you :)

  12. sarah sgt says:

    so inspiring, so thoughtful,
    thank you for sharing.

  13. nathalie says:

    Aww I love Amelie is one of my favorite movies :)
    While reading this post it just hit me that we always want what we don’t have :) I am living in Dublin, but i am Italian with a French mum, and my parents bought a house recently in Provence, although its a beautiful & peaceful place , i keep thinking my perfect life would be if i had the chance to live in New York or San Francisco, my dream would be to leave Europe for the States….

  14. ThePeachTree says:

    This has sent me whirling to another plain :) Ah, to live this way indeed…. You’re not alone with the Amelie fantasy!

  15. wow. that’s all i can say.

  16. Michele says:

    Carol, Halliday and Abbie are friends and I want to say they are as cool and as beautiful as their amazing home!

  17. Uncle Beefy says:

    I’m looking at the pictures. Oh, it’s in France…interest peaked. Lovely. Nice. That’s beautiful. Then….the picture of the outside of the house…fade to black and white…tinny silent-movie music starts as the tears come to my eyes and I fan a handkerchief to avoid a fainting spell! Mon Dieu! C’est magnifique!

  18. donnia says:

    Can I just suggest to Nathalie from Dublin, I live in Seattle, and I would gladly house-swop for awhile if you didn’t want to go to your home in Provence. ANYTIME.

    Funny I thought only I wanted to buy an old farmhouse, renovate and just live.

  19. nell says:

    you are brave to follow your dream

  20. Bhavna says:

    Sigh! This is like a dream come true! Lovely home

  21. rakimou says:

    Very nice! Just moved to France myself just two weeks ago, from Sweden. But I, sad but true, don’t live like this…

  22. Michelle says:

    What a great s.p. Best one yet, but I always say that.

  23. Mansi says:

    Your blog is awesome…its soooooooooo cool…i can spent hours reading…
    love looooooove it

  24. caroline says:

    Beautiful, magnifique ! very authentic.
    Although as a French my dream would be to escape to the US and live in one of those houses featured here on DS !
    the grass is always greener…

  25. clara french says:

    ah, a dream come true…lovely story, details and photos!

  26. llubav says:

    what a lovely home…it looks very peaceful.

  27. Isabelle says:

    I can confirm: the house is as stunning in the photos as it is in real life!!!!
    I have met Carol, Halliday and Abbie when Carol opened Basic French ( I am french and spent 10 years living in NY). I congratulate them for beeing brave enough to make the move and set a fantastic french life for themselves. France is proud to have them. Elles sont incroyables!!

  28. Stacey Testa says:

    Isabelle , who made a recent post, has mentioned Carol to me admirably often. I can now see what she has been speaking of… very beautiful home and talent behind rennovating it! Lyon now seems to be a whole design story, so many talented artists/designers live there! Isabelle Grange is one as well! Glad to be a part of the chain of wonderful people!

  29. Bebe says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous home. Truely inspiring. Love it and thank you for sharing that with me Is……….Fabulous.

  30. this home is amazing and the basic french store is adorable. Makes me want to move to the south of france tomorrow!

  31. Dream life indeed! I’ve always loved basic french. Her house is delicious icing on the cake.

  32. Carol so deserves this lovely home. She is a beautiful,creative woman who has worked and worried very hard to achieve her dream for her self and her daughters. She , Hallie and Abbie are among my very best friends. I love them. Barb

  33. a says:

    drooling. the most beautiful white walls!

  34. Dani says:

    Inspiration for my dream home!!!

  35. tressa says:

    The same stool in so many photos…cheater. Beautiful, though.

  36. Kit Samford says:

    This is such a TREAT to see! I love knowing a woman who has set a brave and positive example for her daughters…..and the rest of the world. This home represents perseverance, and great taste. What I love the most is the comfortable, simple beauty of the spaces and design. Minna…You’ll have t fight e for the fireplace….

  37. Michelle says:

    OH! the light, glorious light…I’m walking toward the light….

  38. Harbeck Gill says:

    Wow! How wonderful is this home!!!!

  39. Phoebe Griffin says:

    I love it. Go for it, Erin

  40. àngels says:

    super house!!!! Good taste!!! You are really cool!!!!

  41. Carol, we miss you! Now I see why you are in France, what a fabulous house!!! And you did such a beautiful job on the renovation and the decor. Hope you and the kids are well and thriving. A bientot!

  42. Kim says:

    Love Carol’s home in France. I enjoyed the personal tour on her blog as well! I agree, we all long to visit places we have never been before. I think this comes from an inner desire to see new things and be inspired! France is on my list! Love the outside of the home as well as the inside. This home is definitely what you think of when you imagine a home in the countryside of France! Ah—the dream of switching homes to come there and see what life is like in France! Not possible for me in this stage of life—but a nice thought! Thanks for sharing the beauty of Carol’s home she would like to rent. Enjoyed seeing it!


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