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Florence de Dampierre French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses Hardcover – October 21, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; First Edition edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847830594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847830596
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 9.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“…de Dampierre has compiled a stunning tome of elegant, witty, chic spaces, and provides advice on how to achieve this unique look…will empower you to duplicate this certain je ne sais quois in your own home.” ~Glamnest.com

"...de Dampierre provides a context of French decorative history...and architectural elements to provide a blueprint to obtain the je ne sais quoi of French chic." ~New York Living

"...analyzes function and furnishings, leading readers through (de Dampierre's) house room by room with the help of lyrical photography..." ~Veranda

"Filled with photographs, the text is also interspersed with sidebars offering useful pointers on the je ne sais quois of French design, as well as a myriad of practical suggestions."
~Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

"...a rare kind of volume that can be used both as a historical guide and to find expert advice on." ~New York Observer

"One of the points that this books makes is that the essence of the French lifestyle can be achieved on many budget levels. It takes an understanding of history and style, some imagination and creativity! And, it doesn't happen over night. The goal is easy elegance. I'll say it again - ooh la la!" ~Surroundings.com

“De Dampierre fills the book with historical references, anecdotes and modern style tips. This would make a great gift for someone with a sense of fun and love of French style.” ~IDFX Magazine

“French Chic is more than just a decorating primer. Although it has some of the elements of Bunny Williams’ very successful book, An Affair with a House, the reader will emerge with a deeper understanding of the history of decoration and the rationale behind many ornamental elements taken for granted in today’s houses.” ~The Home Observer

About the Author

An esteemed interior designer and antiques expert, Florence de Dampierre is the author of Chairs: A History and The Best of Painted Furniture. Her interior design work has been featured in Elle Decor and House Beautiful. She lectures frequently on design topics. Award-winning photographer Tim Street-Porter is the author and photographer of many architecture and design books, including Rooms to Inspire. He is a frequent contributor to Metropolitan Home, The World of Interiors, and Architectural Digest, among others.

More About the Author

Ms.de Dampierre has distinguished herself with solid accomplishments. She is a noted interior designer, furniture historian, and author. Her first book, The Best of Painted Furniture, published in 1987 by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., has become a bestseller, having sold over a hundred thousand copies. An interior design classic, The Decorators, was published in 1989 (Rizzoli).These titles were followed by Chairs: A History (2006, Harry N. Abrams), which has become the standard reference book on the subject, and French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses (2008, Rizzoli), which uses her Connecticut home in countless full color photographs to illustrate both principles of design and the techniques she suggests to help one attain a very personal home and one using her "French Chic" visual vocabulary and techniques. Her fifth book, Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments (2011, Rizzoli) is a lavish journey around the world from the past to the present showcasing such premier decorative wall designs as fresco, wood paneling, stenciling, and wallpaper. De Dampierre shows how decorating walls can transform an interior space to dramatic effect.

A contributing editor to the much missed House & Garden magazine, Ms. de Dampierre writes lifestyle stories for newspapers and magazines. Her Connecticut home has been the subject of many articles.

She began Florence de Dampierre Antiques in New York City in 1985. This was the first American antiques shop devoted solely to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century painted furniture. The shop received great accolades, grew to become a multimillion dollar enterprise, and was housed in its own building in Soho by 1990 with a worldwide clientele. It was the subject of a New York Magazine cover story in 1990.

Ms. de Dampierre had been a contributing designer sponsored by House & Garden magazine for the French Designer Show House, and has a roster of personal design clients. She has lectured extensively around the country and has curated numerous museum exhibitions. Further attesting to her enormous visual sense, Ms. de Dampierre was elected into Eleanor Lambert's Best-dressed List as one of the twelve best-dressed women in the world.

Customer Reviews

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See all 13 customer reviews
French Chic is more than just a decorating book.
Annie Kelly
It provides a historical context for critical decorating decisions as well as accent pieces.
Mark Allen
The fact is that French design works remarkably well in the Early American home.
Ralph White

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Allen on December 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Florence de Dampierre French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses
This is more than a decorating book. It provides a historical context for critical decorating decisions as well as accent pieces. It drives you to consider the whole in addition to each part. It eases you into considering the past as well as the future. The author does not force her perspective on you, she gently envelopes you with a sense of history, purpose and style -- all of which she takes very seriously while not taking herself so much so. As you read Ms. de Dampierre's book, you want to share each page with those around you. I found myself using post it notes marked with the names of family members and friends to call out pages I know will be of interest to them. I look forward to sharing sections, photos and historical background over the holidays and into the new year. Most importantly, unlike other decorating book, French Chic is not only a "coffee table" display book -- it is beautiful -- it is a work book. I makes you want to try new things. Her use of decorative candles will have you rushing to your local candle shop to duplicate the sense of punctuation Florence de Dampierre masters in her own home. While some decorating books or magazines frustrate with an over-the-top, can't possibly do attitude about them, Florence de Dampierre's casual elegance, backed by photos and notes on exactly how to go about incorporating very specific items into the spaces of your home, had me carrying the book around the house while pushing furniture with one knee and balancing pictures, candle sticks and pillows any way I could. This book will not be collecting dust, any time soon.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict on November 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit I got bogged down in the beginning of this book. Following the "crash course" in French design history, the rest of the book was just OK, nothing to inspire me. I ended up turning the pages and looking at the photos only. The cover is one of the best parts. I recommend looking through this book in a store before buying from Amazon. You may decide that, for the price, you can live without it. However, if you are addicted to books like I am, you won't be sorry you bought it, but it may not be your favorite "go to" book for inspiration.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Maximum Toile on November 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like the first reviewer, I'm not sure what to think. I suppose its alright: there are some pretty photos, but her home (unlike the overdressed palace of Charlotte Moss) is not enough to
sustain an expensive coffee table gewgaw like this book. I guess that's where the potted history of French decoration and *Chic Advice* comes in -- they serve as filler, because there are simply not enough photos. Ms Dampierre also seems to have an excessive interest in gilt mirrors -- there is a chapter on the subject, with multiple shiny views of the glowing goldiness of it all. I am also not certain why there are so many pages on table settings & recipes. Recipes do not interest me, because Maximum Toile does not cook -- she DECORATES! My rating: B-
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Tagliarino on November 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book TOTALLY INSPIRING. First of all there is so much detail in each photo and in Ms. de Dampierre's home to study and learn from....light fixtures, color, I just go back and look at the photos again and again. I love her tips on French Chic because I can really use them.She is really smart and knows the history of the home...I enjoy reading about that, this is not just another magazine like decorating book. And, I have made a few of the dishes in her recipes and she is right, they are really fast and very "French Chic"! My guests loved them. Also her rooms are all comfortable, that is so important to me. But, most importantly, she has a very special and unique sense of decorating that mixes the knowledge of old, with the new. She has a special sense of color and of homour and I want to add more of that to my home. I am stenciling already, adding more color, more flowers, and have taken out my grandmother's candlesticks and use them now mixed with modern things. It Works ! Thank you Florence !!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ralph White on January 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When a part is used as a reference to a whole, it is a synecdoche. What Florence de Dampierre has done with this book is to offer her own home as a synecdoche for a level of French interior design that is beyond the imaginations of most of us. Located in the remarkable town of Litchfield, Connecticut, and on a row of homes dating to pre-Revolutionary days, her home is a magnificent tribute to French design. Were the Comte du Rochambeau to show up by surprise, he would find the de Dampierre lodgings very satisfying indeed. Cardinal Richelieu himself would consider himself right at home (providing Rochambeau had already departed).

The fact is that French design works remarkably well in the Early American home. What makes this home - and this book - so remarkable is the cost-is-no-object approach. De Dampierre has approached the restoration of her home with a museum curator's attention to detail. Every molding, every fabric, every lamp...chair...table has received the curator's blessing. Whether you walk from room to room or flip pages through the book, you are struck with the obsession to detail that has produced it all. Day job? What's that?

My favorite room in this home, the conservatory, is only visible in the background in some of the photos. While it may not house any treasures of French interior design, it does provide a a garden setting refuge during the long New England winters. It is a glassed-in porch, designed into to the south side of the house, and it is filled with plants and garden furniture. Perhaps de Dampierre's next book will be about French gardens. After all, she has left little to write about chic French interior design.
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