Book Review – Through The French Door: Romantic Interiors Inspired by Classic French Style

I love design and decor books. Slowly leafing through designs that I’ll never be able to afford is my guilty pleasure. But, I can dream AND get my family to rearrange furniture. No sofa was harmed while writing this review for HOMES Publishing on  Through the French Door.

Through the French Door

Through the French Door: Romantic Interiors Inspired by Classic French Style

By Carolyn Westbrook, Photography by Keith Scott Morton Ryland Peters & Small, 2012 $25.70 Hardcover

Designer and entrepreneur Carolyn Westbrook shares her passion for French country decor — and her home — in her latest book, Through the French Door: Romantic Interiors Inspired by Classic French Style, as she takes readers through her Texas plantation. The 53-acre site also houses several outbuildings that echo the French brand found inside the home.

Westerbrook believes that a home should tell the story of everyone who dwells there. She follows her advice for the circa 1800s plantation that is still a working farm and proves that “French” and “Farm” can work together beautifully. Eggs gathered from the hen-coop are eaten daily for breakfast in a quirky country kitchen dripping with well-used antiques.

The first chapter is devoted to “Inspired Interiors” and spans the bulk of the book. It tours us through the rooms of Westbrook’s sprawling house and also a city mansion and townhouse belonging to others. A modern white kitchen balanced with a time worn island is juxtaposed with a stunning all-black kitchen in this section. Comfort is key with plush upholstered furniture and a willingness to gamble on colour as Westbrook does to great effect in her lime-green bedroom.

The second chapter explores the grounds and outbuildings of the plantation and the third chapter briefly touches on entertaining. Even in the hunting lodge, Westbrook creates a whimsical sense of French country with antique paintings and collectibles.

Although this ode to a beloved home is a pleasure to read, it’s not a coffee table book, and is best borrowed from the library. Leaf through the lush photographs at your leisure and dream of the possibilities for your own home’s story.

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