Design Guide Blog
In her tenth design book, acclaimed designer and award-winning author BETTY LOU PHILLIPS authoritatively translates fervent beliefs that have long defined the French art de vivre, while artfully sculpting satisfying rooms that that owe more than a little to French influences.
And unlike other design books, FRENCH IMPRESSIONS, offers insight into the manners and mores of the Parisians themselves FRENCH IMPRESSIONS, which is already in it's second printing, showcases the true essence of French culture and style. Photographed by Piassick Photography, Betty Lou shares the classical splendor of French artistry, attitude, style and far more in the 225 sumptuous color photographs aptly featuring her own work.
About the Author
A respected member of the American Society of Interior Designers, BETTY LOU PHILLIPS has appeared on the Christopher Lowell Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and her work has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and popular magazines, including Veranda, Southern Accents, Traditional Home, and Decorating. Her first foray into children's books, Emily Goes Wild, won the Texas Institute of Letters prestigious "Friend of the Austin Public Library Award For Best Children's Book." Phillips lives in Dallas, Texas. Her three sons all married interior designers.
Phillips (The French Room) has written a number of books on French-inspired interior design for amateurs. She now focuses on the craftsmanship of contemporary American designers and artists who create furniture, architectural details, landscaping, and decorative accessories that can be used to add a French touch. A list of resources is provided. Recommended where this home decor style is popular.
Read an Excerpt
FOR CENTURIES as we well know, fine French furniture in all its forms has been revered by the people of France and adulated by a broad swath of people on this side of the Atlantic. And little wonder it has held the design world in its thrall. Without question, it is amazingly graceful, actually markedly distinct, with carved ornamentation springing from France's twenty-six well-defined regions, where local craftsmen once passionately reinterpreted the noble style of royal cabinetmakers using local woods and hardware.
Predictably, some early furniture was hardly worth writing about. But many other pieces were attention-getting, true works of art, radiating the aristocratic appeal of the French courts while toning down the ostentation that would eventually bring the monarchy to a tumultuous end in a bloody revolution that began on July 14, 1789, with the storming of the Bastille, a detested Parisian prison.
Yet, pledging sole allegiance to fine French furniture whether crafted during the reign of the ancient régime or an era later has lost some of its luster on our shores. And it's not, like-minded style setters are quick to say, because economic uncertainty is giving luxury a bad name. Despite an ongoing obsession for eighteenth-century rock crystal chandeliers, densely woven tapestries, statuary fit for kings and, for that matter, seeing ourselves in gleaming gilded mirrors, we have developed new appreciation for furnishings from myriad cultures outside the French Republic.