Today Kim from Kimberly Hite’s Pariscope Home is on the back porch with me. She’s a serious Francophile! You are just going to love her Frenchy home! Here she is in her own words.
Hello everyone! I’m Kim from the blog Kimberly Hites’ Pariscope Home. I’m so happy to be joining Anita on her back porch even if it is virtually. Being a southern girl I’m always eager to sit a spell outdoors on a porch as beautiful as hers…..with a glass of iced tea and my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in my lap. I’ve always enjoyed Cedar Hill Farmhouse and feel that Anita and I are kindred spirits with our shared love of French Country design. She and I will be missing each other in Paris. She tells me she is going later this year. Wouldn’t Paris be a “mahhhvelous” place for us to meet in person “dahhhling”??? Mais Oui!
1. Why did you start a blog?
I started a blog because of my love for French antiques. The first blog that I read consistently and was totally inspired by was European Antique Market written by Shawn Stucker from my home state of KY. Although she no longer writes the blog she is still involved in French antiques and has become a friend of mine. Some of you may remember her. Her blog made such an impression on me and I have now visited her several times at her shop in Louisville. I began searching for any blog with French Country décor topics. I had left the education profession and was longing to re-claim my original career path of design while connecting with like-minded people who shared my love of French Country style and French antiques. My blog has been through a couple name changes: what started as La Belle Époque Home (because that’s the name of my house but was too hard for most people to pronounce) changed to The Beautiful Home which was too vanilla, and recently I chose Pariscope Home. What I hope doesn’t confuse readers is that my brand is really my name and has been my URL from the beginning so you’ll always see Kimberly Hites…that will never change!
2. What was the most exciting thing that has happened to you because of your blog?
My answer may be cliché, but it’s definitely been the friendships I have formed and people I have met. I would never have gone to Normandy if I hadn’t met my friend Cat (Sunday Brocantes) thru blogging and I’ll be meeting up with Tracey from French Larkspur in Nice because of blogging. I can’t even begin to tell you how I value dear friends like Shirley (Housepitality Designs) and Kim (Savvy Southern Style). We made memories of a lifetime when they went on the Bloggers Brocanting Tour to France with me last fall. I enjoyed many conversations with Yvonne (Stone Gable) at the Haven Conference last summer and I think I could sit and talk to her for days! And meeting people who live near me like Janette (The 2 Seasons) has been a blessing. I have been featured on several different blogs and it’s an honor to be in the company of so many kind, intelligent, gifted and talented ladies in blogland.
A really incredible thing happened recently that completely surprised me. I had done a post a while back about a French artist named Charles Levier HERE because I had just acquired a piece of his artwork. It wasn’t necessarily a great post, but special to me since it involved French art. A few weeks ago the artist’s daughter who is in her 70s and lives in France made a comment on the post and contacted me personally through email saying how much she appreciated my post about her father’s artwork. She even sent me never before seen private photos of him. I still can’t believe it. He might not be the most well-known French artist but Frank Sinatra and Jackie Kennedy collected his work. The power of the internet is amazing and makes the world so much smaller. My husband can vouch for my excitement as I came screaming through the house when I received her message. My Charles Levier painting currently hangs in my family room over the sofa.
I’m living some of it now as I travel to France a couple times a year in search of antiques and vintage décor. It’s funny it seems so surreal as I’m finally doing what I always dreamed of doing since being bitten by the Francophile bug. I’ve been dealing in art and antiques for years and I have plans for expansion in the future which might include container sales. A highlight for me was meeting Charles Faudree and listening to his lecture on interior design. I currently have a Ruby Lane shop on-line where I offer some pieces I bring back from France. I am committed to historic preservation and some of you know that I’m looking for an historic house from the late 1800s to 1920s to restore. Eventually I would like to restore multiple historic homes with added signature French touches while offering French fabrics and other accessories to the design trade. I used to do a lot of educational training classes for large groups of teachers and I would love sometime in the future to give lectures to audiences about French design and antiques. I’ve never been afraid of public speaking!
Let’s see….I’m a neat freak with an obsession for organization. When I was in interior design school in college I had to refinish furniture (strip, repair, stain or paint) and sew drapes which is probably why I don’t like to do either now. My emphasis was on historical interiors & interior architecture which explains why I love historic homes. That said, I have to have modern conveniences. My favorite social media has become Instagram…I’m completely hooked and spend more time on IG right now than blogging. I’ve been a church pianist since the age of 7 and I was a primary school teacher for many years. I am a breast cancer survivor and by the grace of God have been cancer-free for 9 years. I was involved in the beauty pageant scene for a long time…at one point I was Miss East KY in 1983 and participated in the Miss KY America pageant and I was Mrs. KY 1993 and had the privilege of being in the Mrs. USA pageant.
It’s definitely French Country, but I like to further define it by saying it’s my interpretation with Southern charm. I prefer light and bright uncluttered spaces but have rich dark pieces blended in. I am very detail oriented and I love to mix old and new, contemporary with antique, and high style with everyday objects. These days I’m more simplistic in my approach to decor. I want livable and comfortable and adhere to a “less is more” philosophy now. The French have a way of blending beauty and elegance without ever being pretentious or stuffy. I will continue to evolve as my tastes change but my roots will remain grounded in French and European style. I think Country French is as popular today as it ever was and of course it’s timeless. I know it will go in and out of favor over time as all design styles do, but it’s such an easy look to work with and update. (BTW…French Country or Country French? Both are correct. I just tend to go with what the famous Pierre Deux called it)
6. What are your top 3 favorite posts?
Although most of my content is French Country style related, I’ve been known to have fun with posting random things from DIY and napkin folding to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, travel, and a trilogy of vintage wedding ideas HERE, HERE, & HERE. I’ve even blogged about my toile pajamas HERE! I especially enjoy sharing decorating ideas at Christmas.
I guess the following 3 would qualify as some of my favorites:
Christmas Has Come Early At My House. I enjoyed sharing about finally obtaining my “dream” piece of furniture for my master bedroom
Family Room Media Wall Reveal. I actually got to do something about a wall that had been bothering me since we built the house.
Potting Bench Makeover. This post was just plain fun for me. I really enjoy outdoor inspiration in the summer.
7. What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Blogging is a gateway for many wonderful opportunities so don’t be afraid to seize them. There are many connections and networking possibilities that exist in blogland.
1. Follow your heart and stay true to yourself and your interests. Post only what you want to and what you are passionate about. Keep it real by being authentic and don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easy to get caught up with numbers and statistics of how many comments and followers, etc.
2. I would advise to only choose a couple other social media outlets to focus on in addition to your blog because too many can be overwhelming. Be good at a few and not haphazard at many. I am guilty of this one and I’m in the process of paring down.
3. Post the best photos you can and don’t post too many….that is something I am still working on. Everyone’s time is valuable. You want to leave your readers wanting more!
4. Time management skills are a must so find what works for you and stick to it. Blogging takes a lot of time. Determine how often you will post and don’t worry if it’s not every day. It took me a while to realize that posting a couple times a week fits into my schedule and I’m comfortable with that. You are the only one who can determine whether blogging will be a business or a hobby. Joining Linky Parties like The Scoop are a great way to meet other bloggers with similar interests. That really helped me early on.
Wow, that was packed with great stuff. Thanks Kim!! Next time, let’s meet in Paris!!