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French Home Hardcover – September 1, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Claire Richardson is a former design editor of Country Homes & Interiors and homes editor of Wedding and Home. She now works as a freelance stylist and photographers for numerous magazines and large companies.

JOSEPHINE RYAN was born in England to an Irish family. She spent her childhood summers at her grandmother’s house in County Limerick

and when she was 12 her family moved there permanently. Josephine now combines a career as an antique dealer with one as a stylist and over the past 18 years has developed her own distinctive look. She divides her time between

homes in London and Uzès in the south  of France and visiting Ireland to see friends and family. Josephine is also the author of the best-selling French Home and Essentially French (both published by Ryland Peters & Small).



Hilary Robertson is an interiors stylist and journalist who writes about design and architecture and directs photo shoots for clients such as Harrods and Zoffany. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845974506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845974503
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Happily, for those of us who truly love French style, viewpoint and decor, there are some very fine books available. This is one of them.

I was dismayed at some earlier reviews because this book truly captures the french respect for time and process, connection with Nature and the eye for placement based on function,soulfulness and items well loved. It is entirely appropriate that one reviewer who missed the point praised the Betty Lou Phillips books which are always only a sterile surface amalgamation of what rich Texans GUESS french style is about.

Like all the important things in life, you either get it or you don't. HOCKEY FAN needs to stick to hockey.
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Format: Hardcover
What is a French Home anyway? Is there such a thing as an American Home?

I was smitten by this book -- it was love at first sight. I'm not necessarily a big fan of French decorating per se. I do like the European country look, however. I also happen to like Japanese home-decorating style, which has a lot more in common with the look presented in this book than you might think, and I actually mix the two in my own home.

The reviewers who were disappointed in this book probably associated "French" with rich, opulent, fluffy, and even ornate. This book isn't about ornate. It's about rustic. It's about valuing history and character in the homes you live in and things you live with.

It of course is not the way ALL French people live.

And as a response to the reviewer who were disappointed because the book showed photos of objects, not of rooms, I'd like to say: In decorating you need to see the big picture as well as the small pictures. Often, it's the small things that really tell the story. If you are looking for ways to add that special touch to your rooms, this is a great book because the photos give you lots of ideas and inspiration. If not, you may not get much out of the book.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the book, and I've been looking at it every day.
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Format: Hardcover
I decided to borrow this book from my library before purchasing it and am glad that I did.

Although I like to view spartan decorating that's so different from my own style, I didn't find inspiration here. Too many of the rooms felt depressing. For instance, one bedroom photo shows a bed all in white and that's nice. But on the wall behind the bed is a row of four tiny, bleached animal skulls with antlers mounted on plaques. Many of the living areas lacked warmth and appeared uninhabitable. The title of this book doesn't seem accurate.

It seems to me that the rooms in this book are not for living in but rather looked like abandoned places. I think they would be perfect for an avant garde film about alienation. They definitely say something but with a cold voice.

I really wanted to like this book. But when I couldn't imagine people in the spaces I knew something was off notch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Happy to report that I found this book had lots of useful and chic ideas that can be easily translated to "Kiwi" New Zealand interiors. I happily recommend this book. Sumptuous images and an easy style. There is even a painting in one of the rooms by a New Zealand artist whose work I also have...what a small world!
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Format: Hardcover
Full of beautifully photographed vignettes that capture the essence of French style. The photographed interiors featured are not lavish or ostentations, but instead, pleasingly simple showcasing a style that is easily accessible. The book offers ideas for every living space--indoors and out. Interesting historical bits provide background information with a sensibility that is relevant to today's modern living. The French have a consummate knack for blending the old with the new. If you have a love for all things worn, this book is delightful and inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
After careful study of this book for ideas on French country interior design, I have learned how to achieve this look in 6 easy steps! Simply do the following:

1. You don't need to purchase new furniture! Simply place your existing furniture outside in the sun, rain & snow for about 20 years. This included upholstered pieces such as sofas and chair cushions. It doesn't matter if it's water stained, moth-eaten, frayed or even rotting - it's all part of the look you're trying to achieve.

2. If furniture falls apart, simply glue it back together - functionality is not essential to your design. Looks are.

3. Now that your furniture is complete, start on the house interior. Buy cheap milk paint. Mix in a 2:1 ratio with dirt. Now paint every. single. surface. This includes walls, doors, floors, ceilings, stairs, and your newly "distressed" furniture. Don't worry about sanding, priming or taping off - well, anything. Again, it's all part of the look.

4. Hit your local thrift store. Buy the most enormous, sparkle-studded, vampire-inspiring chandelier you can find. Don't worry if it's rusty and bent, again, it's all part of the charm. Hang it in your dining room for that special conversation piece. You can paint it too.

5. Now start your search for linens. You are looking for white fabrics here - bedding and curtains - the gauzier the better to catch the wind for that special "ghosts-live-here" look. Curtains should be about 3 feet too long.

6. Now for the final touch - hang a sign that says "Mrs. Havisham lives here". You're done!

I gave a 4-star rating because the way I see it is, to each his own. The pictures were done very well.
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