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Whether furnishing a chateau in the Loire Valley, fabled manor in Normandy, or apartment on Paris's grand Avenue Foch, the French make no secret of their love for family, affection for pets, and fervor for France. However, the old-world ?lan of their rooms may well owe even more to unspoken revelations equally instinctive.
With mystery rooted in their culture and French flair more elusive than taste, foremost interior designer Betty Lou ...
Whether furnishing a chateau in the Loire Valley, fabled manor in Normandy, or apartment on Paris's grand Avenue Foch, the French make no secret of their love for family, affection for pets, and fervor for France. However, the old-world élan of their rooms may well owe even more to unspoken revelations equally instinctive.
With mystery rooted in their culture and French flair more elusive than taste, foremost interior designer Betty Lou Phillips reveals the secrets of French design, tucking photographs eliciting awe among them.
She shares ways color solves irksome design problems without moving walls or making other structural improvements, addresses the art of hanging art and dressing salon windows, then moves into the French kitchen and bed chamber-both with a culture all their own.
In pursuit of beauty, the French penchant for detail makes decorating look effortless, yet most are exacting in their thinking. But then so are the American designers who artfully sculpt satisfying rooms indulging a passion for France while mirroring the lives we lead.
Le salon par excellence is indeed a work of art, inspired by France's storied culture and splendid architecture. Most often, however, tangible links to caring ancestors who lived centuries apart make the most abiding impression.
Unlike family cast offs that dwell in American homes only until we can afford to replace and forget them, the French treat long adored furnishings as pieces of history fit to reign forever in the most coveted spots.
But then, who could begrudge a regal armoire, the celebrated source of Gallic pride, the opportunity to pay homage to France with its magnificence? Built in the thirteenth-century for storing armor, the armoire has risen to iconic status since becoming emblematic of French country life.
Variations abound, though some stand apart. Most prized of all are those with deep carving, shaped tops, and the patina of age - the distinctive luster resulting from centuries of exposure to heat, humidity, and light, to say nothing of oil from loving hands. Yet, even an armoire that might not ordinarily merit a second look can lend a bit of grandeur when privy to an astonishing pedigree, or interesting gossip.
No matter that it inevitably overshadows other elements in the room.
C O N T E N T S
Les Couleurs de France
Sidebar: The Power of Color
Sidebar: Appreciation for Texture
Sidebar: Best-Dressed Windows
Sidebar: Fine Art of Exhibiting Art
Sidebar: Fine Dining
Sidebar: Silver Flair
Sidebar: Bed Culture
Sidebar: Getting Personal
Posted August 30, 2005
As soon as this book came out I placed my order. I was under the impression that this book would be as good as Ms. Phillips prior books but was quite dissapointed. To begin with it is very short only 79 pages and of a much smaller scale than her previous books. I also found many typos and the quality of the writing did not seem as good as her prior works. It seems this one was rushed to press. Nevertheless, Ms. Phillips has turned out more good books than bad. See my recommendations below.
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