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Fabulous Books – #10 Romantic French Homes

July 17, 2013

2013 is for reading and enjoying fabulous books.

Decor-Art is happy to announce that our cooperation with Cico Books and their sister company Ryland Peters and Small (RPS) has opened up brilliant opportunities to introduce you to their new publications on crafting, gardening and interior design. Every month we will be reviewing amazing books that inspire to create and to recycle, books that encourage to discover and to shape beautiful surroundings.

All reviews can be found on this Blog under the category called “Fabulous Books” (right hand side).

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This is a book that will let you have a glimpse at the way the French live. Remember the saying “joie de vivre” – a cheerful enjoyment of life? Oh, yes, they do know how to lead a beautiful and joyful life!

You’ll travel through centuries, finding out interesting historical facts, treading city streets of Paris, breathing in the coastal air of Normandy, opening doors of classic country houses and chateaux… I do promise you an extremely colourful journey!


The author – Lanie Goodman – must have put a lot of effort into finding out the tiniest details about the 14 properties that have been chosen for this book. (A word of warning – this isn’t an interior design book, you won’t find advice on what colours go well together or where to hang your mirrors.) This book explores how romantic homes have been shaped throughout their existence – times and owners change, but everyone, who’s been in love with these places, tend to leave their mark.


But let us start with the word romantic. How would you describe it? What do you think a romantic home should look like?

Charles Baudelaire is said to define this word in terms of intimacy, spirituality and colour. No wonder the featured French interiors seem to evoke vibrant emotions – one feels as if entering a fairy tale, a fantasy world, where flowery wallpaper, handpicked objects d’art and things, that have been inherited from past generations, create an extremely warm atmosphere.


Well, if you need a break from your routine, you have a chance to escape to this special world.

The very first pages will offer a feast for the eyes and the well written text will take you to meet famous people, who have become icons of modern culture. For e.g. you might have never known that Renault, French automaker, was a very pragmatic person who “constantly sought to improve every acre he owned” – he had 42 gardeners working for him and “tried to develop his domain into an agricultural utopia”.


This book will definitely serve as an inspiration guide and will enlarge your knowledge and vocabulary (I now know another brilliant French expression that I will use to describe my vintage and antique finds – coups de cœur –something you fall in love at the first sight!).

Summing it up – a must have for a well educated, always curious individual who loves art, culture, history and heritage.


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Romantic French Homes by Lanie Goodman (photography by Simon Brown) is published by Cico Books at £30.00 and is available from

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