Tips from author of Unmistakably French, and interior decorator, Betty Lou Phillips:
1. People can mix French furnishings with English, Italian and other elements when decorating.
2. Most French kitchens do not have cabinets with doors to conceal the clutter.
Designer, Henry Brown:
1. Mix modern and traditional styles against a neutral background.
2. Do not use matching China dinnerware, instead mix it up.
3. The best color palette includes putty, raffia, gray, sand, celadon, khaki and white.
4. The accent color can be a simple as charcoal or a Chinese red.
5. Put fine things with not necessarily fine things.
6. Put rough things with smooth things.
7. Put texture with gloss.
8. Put contemporary art with period furniture.
9. Put vintage pieces in a modern bookcase.
10. Use grand scale objects, like big candleholders, large architectural elements and oversize paintings.
Large things give a room a less predictable look.
11. Use vertical elements like hanging draperies from the ceiling and using floor to ceiling mirrors.
12. Use solid fabrics for upholstery.
13. Splurge on a small amount of silk or cut velvet for wonderful pillows.
14. Vary the style of little tables you place beside a sofa, bed or chair.
15. Put one Asian element in your room be it large or small.
16. Floor lamps give you light and free up table space.
Artist and interior designer, Lucinda Lester:
1. Bring outdoor accents in, like old shutters to lean up against a wall.
2. Use salvaged porch columns and old garden sculpture.
3. The French love large scale, lived in, not too perfect rooms. One large piece is better than a lot of
little pieces sometimes.
4. Add warmth to a room by using several textures and colors to create interest.
5. Add a touch of whimsy to a room by using a topiary or outdoor sculptural plants in urns.
6. Use stone, tile or wood floors in varying patterns throughout the home.
A Producer, former antique's dealer and weekend interior designer, Michelle Bedard:
1. Every room needs to have something a little off, and do not take things too seriously.
2. Prefers chips and scuffs on furniture to a flawless finish.
3. Put a contemporay white sofa next to an 1800's armoire.
4. Avoids any pattern but a stripe.
5. Make walls visually calm using cream, camel or chocolate walls and sea grass floor coverings.
6. Try hanging a trio of empty guilt frames.
7. Try placing a mirror outside the home's front door, exposed to the elements.
8. Place furniture in unexpected places, bring outdoor furniture indoors.
9. Vary the heights of pieces in a room.
10. Rooms should be more functional and personal not formal and perfect.
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