My guest today is Danielle Postel-Vinay, author of "Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home," which gives you a pretty good clue as to what we'll be talking about. There's something about the French lifestyle that we Americans are enamored with.... there are a gazillion cookbooks, travel guides, and movies to devour, but there are also books about how French women stay thin and books about quintessentially French decor. But I have to say, this one feels different to me. What Danielle has done is intertwine aspects of a lifestyle that is particular to the French culture with how people in France use their homes. And since I talk all the time about creating a home that gives something back to you and a home that supports you in your daily life, I found her book to be extremely useful in this way. I always feel that when doing the hundreds of routine things to improve my home, ironing a really wrinkled tablecloth because even for my low standards, it just won't cut it, or simply vacuuming a rug or leaving the kitchen sink clean at the end of the night, if I'm separating the action from the reason why I'm doing it, it feels like a dreaded chore. But when I simply ask the question, why am I ironing, or vacuuming or even lighting a candle, and my reason has to do with experiencing simple pleasures for myself and my guests, I tend to relax and enjoy the necessity of slowing down for just a minute to care for my home. In Danielle's book, she encourages us to embrace the idea that our homes are our sanctuaries and a visual representation of who we are, which makes them very special places. I'm so excited to share this conversation with you today! Here's Danielle.
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Danielle's In-Laws Apartment in Paris: