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: 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.