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Conventional wisdom has it that we cannot have the best of all worlds. But, this just is not so. As if to prove the point, no dwelling with impeccable "bone" structure, flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet connections, fitness facilities, and beds laid with fine linens is complete these days without an enviable mix of treasures, however modest, culled from assorted of nations circling the globe. A look around, quite simply, opened our minds to the bazaar of choices, giving us cause to disregard this/a widely-held belief. How else to explain the revolution in our leanings, rendering sole loyalty to France passé?
The United States, of course, has long been home to a cadre of furniture designs, encouraging the embrace of whatever manner of stylish living we please. Certainly, there are few taboos when either building or expanding our own mini-empires. There are, however, ample challenges. For most, an artful mix of comfort and chic is a priority emblematic of the twenty-first century.
For a generation, at least, the assumption was that it was best to stick with one style furniture and period. And now? Moving beyond that notion, we push the borders of design, fluently sculpting distinctive, pleasing interiors that are at once a bit English, a dash Swedish, a trace Italian, to say nothing about ties to other central European countries or even the Far East. Still, most living spaces are so noticeably French that no one would suspect that there is tension between United States and France over Iraq and other issues, much less a weak dollar.
Even if America has not exactly seen eye-to-eye with La bella France recently, a chance survey of sprawling high rises as well as commanding mansions suggests otherwise. At the center of savvy stateside tastes are pieces whose enduring beauty -- provenance, painstaking carving, and mellow patina of age -- offer a glimpse into our souls aside from simple/ definite pleasure.
That travel has lost some of its gleam lately is beside the point. Carrying baggage from our past, we make The French Connection -- effortlessly mixing and mingling in a far from stylistically limiting way -- sometimes satisfying our cravings close to home, other times taking far-flung journeys to places that ultimately revolutionize our thinking.
Betty Lou Phillips, ASID Interior Stylist