Top positive review
138 people found this helpful
Not Really What I Expected ...
on March 23, 2003
I expected a book filled with photos of French and Italian villas - houses and estates outside cities, perhaps some at the seashore, for passing leisure time. Instead, it is a book filled with text on French and Italian style as applied to USA decorating. ALL the photos seem to be of American homes, most in Texas, some containing some pieces "found in a Paris flea market..." etc., and ALL done in beautiful taste and with very generous-(Texas oilman?)-sized budgets! Having said that, however, I assure you that the book is filled with excellent photos of absolutely beautiful kitchens, bedrooms, gardens, baths, living rooms, porches, filled with great fabrics, elaborate window treatments, chandeliers, sconces, wonderful wrought iron, porcelain, ceramics, woods, rugs, marble and all the things you either love or hate about French and/or Italian style. The text is also very helpful, although occasionally a little gushy, and I could have lived without the recital of so many details of European History. (Okay, I admit it, I'm an uncultured swine. So sue me.)
If you want a book of vacation villas on the shores and islands of the Mediterranean, this isn't it; but if you want ideas for beautiful, comfortable homes for "gracious living" -- then this book is a gold mine.