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French Country Living Paperback – April 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Paperback, April 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Drake was born in South America, brought up in Norway, and now lives in London. He started his career as an in-house photographer's assistant at Vogue, then moved into interiors photography. His work is now featured in an international range of magazines, including Architectural Digest (Germany), Victoria Magazine, Homes & Gardens, World of Interiors, and Country Living. For Ryland Peters & Small he has photographed Hallways, Corridors, & Staircases and Enrica Stabile's Open Air Living and Comfortable Country.

CAROLINE CLIFTON-MOGG is an acclaimed journalist and author who writes about interiors and gardens among other subjects. She contributes to magazines such as House & Garden. Her books include Accessorize Your Home, Tuscan Escapes, Provencal Escapes, Italian Country Living, and French Country Living, all published by Ryland Peters & Small.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845976185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845976187
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Matlock on July 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Outside of Paris and the other bustling cities, France's image is of small farms, atmospheric medieval villages, and of an age well past but well preserved with an understated elegance. Even newly built houses are often designed with a view towards looking like the 19th century.

In this book, hundreds of color photographs illustrate the essence of the French countryside. The book is in two parts, the first emphasizes the soft, non-contrasting colors and the natural materials and textures that are distinctly France. The second part of the book looks at the overall style. It looks at the French home, starting of course with the kitchen (this is after all France). Only then does it move on to the rest of the house, ending with the French garden. And this is France, so the garden also emphasises a place to eat and drink.

This is an absolutely delightful book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I could give 2 1/2 stars I would. After reading the customer reviews I purchased this book with great expectations and was very disappointed. The photographs are stunning. Five stars to Christopher Drake! It's Caroline Clifton-Mogg's writing that is so much blah, blah, blah.

In the text all you have to do is concede to the fact that the French originally invented every style, that they don't like color - except when they do, they only like simplicity - except when they don't and that everything must have a purpose - except things that don't. Example: On page 74, in describing a kitchen, Ms. Clifton-Mogg says "A French country kitchen has no need of any ornament that has only a decorative purpose. Each element, including the most ephemeral - a string of dried herbs, for example - is decoration enough." So, one wonders just what practical purpose the starfish and carved birds in the kitchen pictured on the page before serve. Or the empty bird cage suspended from the ceiling in the kitchen a couple of pages later.

I would have suggested skipping her written text and just reading the photographic descriptions but these are also a problem. Besides what I mentioned above, some of the descriptions just don't match the photos. In the bathroom section - as one example - she's talking about how the tub is painted to match the blue walls. The tub is white! No matter how you look at it, that tub has no blue tint to it at all. As I looked at the photos on the rest of the page, I found the blue tub in a completely different bathroom. And so it goes in the rest of the book. Sometimes she writes just to be using words. Her thesaurus must be worn out.

Bottom line - If you like lovely photographs and can get ideas just from them then you will like this book. If you want to read about French country style - try something else. This would be a waste of your time.
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Format: Hardcover
Caroline Clifton-Mogg's French Country Living is a delicious book to look at; the pages are filled with beautiful, airy rooms and the accompanying text does a good job of explaining how the effect is achieved--lots of grey in the colors, painted furniture, small-sized fabric prints, etc.

This is French country living in the Marie-Antoinette-at-Petit-Trianon style, not truly rural la France profonde, however. The exquisitely restored rooms are filled with priceless antiques, and a cursory glance over the photo credits suggests that the majority of houses shown are located in either Provence, or the richer departements near Paris (the most famous house in Yvelines is Versailles, if that gives you an idea of what's in the neighborhood of some of the chateaux photographed). Having seen more than one room in a rural French house with vinyl wallpaper on the ceiling and door, I can only wish that all of French country life was this beautiful!
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Format: Hardcover
If you are afraid of color, this book is for you. Don't let it convince you, though, that french country is not about bold colors- every other book I've seen says the opposite. That said, it is a beatiful book, with lots of rustic elements.
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Format: Hardcover
Beautiful book. Inspiring photographs that capture French country style (obviously, note the title). My only complaint about Clifton-Mogg books is that the photos are recycled. I see the same photos is many other books. There are MANY wonderful estates, villas, and country properties out there - - - it would be nice to see more of them instead of these multi-used images. The "recycles photos" are no problem if you just have one of her books - - but if you buy many European decorating books, you may see repeat photos.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a gift to a dear friend who loves country french decor. The book had beautiful photography, but a style of decor that relied too much on the architecture and not enough accessories to make it work in our modern USA homes. If you purchasing the book for lovely old french country homes, look at this book, but if you were looking for ideas for remodels, and accessories, I would not recommend the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic photography, and a generous, diverse selection of beautiful interiors. From iconic over-the-top French decorating, to simple Provençal country style, this book celebrates the special environments for real living evoked by good French decorating style.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was okay but NOT the best by far. I was rather disappointed with its contents and lack of style.
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