Though precious objects, rare finds, artistic details, intricate finishes, old-world craftsmanship, signature flourishes and magnificent materials make her designs beautifully distinctive, one never feels her rooms are pretentious. She proves time and time again that the noble and the humble can coexist in perfect harmony -- sisal and silk, pottery and crystal, cashmere and cotton.
|A breakfast room features a Louis Philippe bibliothèque, refitted and rejuvenated with fabric that matches the cushion on the chairs|
|In a California home, unassuming sisal, sumptuous fabrics and a mantel from Reims, France|
|In Italy, a wrought-iron bed with inset tapestries.|
|Here France and Italy live happily together. The walnut table is Italian (circa 1820) while the chandelier from the same period is French. The rock crystal candlesticks were discovered at Paris's famous Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.|
|Betty Lou's Fortuny napkin rings. How chic is that?|
|It's always all about the details isn't it? Here a delicate layer of lace gives this pillow personality and presence.|
- Supposedly, Roman Emperor Nero (A.D. 54-68) sent men trekking into the Alps for the expressed purpose of collecting snow for making flavored ice.
- Catherine de Medici (1519-89) is credited with defining acceptable table manners at the French court. She also arrived from Italy with silver dinner forks in her luggage.
- While we're on the subject of good manners at table: In Italy one does not twirl spaghetti on a tablespoon and in France one fills only one-third of a wine glass. (From my experience, an attentive host keeps the glass filled at that level most of the evening.)
- The word "boudoir" comes from the French verb bouder, to sulk. Thus a boudoir is a room for sulking.
- Louis XIV adored strawberries.
- Louis XV's bathroom, legend has it, housed two copper soaking tubs. In one he would soap himself; in the other he would rinse off.
|Another thing I love about perusing Betty Lou's books, there is always something we can "take away." Aren't these sunflowers divine and the cluster of vases placed on a tray, in a tray a great idea? Details, details, details. . .|