Book Review: French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg

With the pricy cost of books these days, often times, I like to try them out at my library before buying them.  If they are great, I tend to write up a post, because an exceptional book needs to be known.  This is a book worth buying!  I tend to enjoy the books that reveal more of the historical properties, because they provide a unique and fresh approach to decorating.  After looking at thousands of pictures for our many blogs, there are a few books in my library that I can look at over and over again, and they never become dull.  This is one of those books.   With close to 5 stars on Amazon, selling new for $32, and used from $8, this book can be a classic in your library.

There is a great beauty of discovering the old, the worn, something loved for years, and passed down through families.  Caroline Clifton Mogg writes a number of chapters, on the elements which make a home.

Page 12- Color, Page 24 Materials, Page 36 Furniture, Page 48 Fabrics, Page 60 Accessories, Page 72 Kitchen and Eating Areas, Page 86 Living Rooms, Page 100 Bedrooms, Page 112 Bathrooms, Page 122 Hallways & Other Spaces, Page 130 Outdoor Rooms

In this book, 140 pages covers 307 color photographs that illustrate the beauty of the French countryside.  City decorating is quite different from French country decorating for the most part.  The country approch is rustic, rough in some situations, and a bit more relaxed.

One review left this comment:

"If you are afraid of color, this book is for you. Don't let it convince you, though, that french country is not about bold colors- every other book I've seen says the opposite. That said, it is a beatiful book, with lots of rustic elements."

If you are looking for the saturated colorful interiors like this, this or this, this book covers more of the muted styles.  Intead of rich saturated colors, it works with colors that are muted.  This book certainly presents an elegant approch to the French countryside home, rather than the folk country looks with rich vibrant colors.  Certainly many of these looks that the author presents can be used in the city as well as the country. 

Pictures from the book featured on Blogs

- Trouvais Blog features page 57, 13, 122

-Painted Furniture - Page 46

-Brooke Giannetti- Page 14, 50, 102110, 12, 18, 96, 40, 49, 27

- Aged and Gilded Blog, Page 139, 138, 76

- Paris Apartment- Page 85,

-Zsa Zsa Bellagio Blog- Page 97

Here are a couple more pictures that I cannot locate in the book:

- Spectacular French Doors, here

-A Buttercup Yellow Wall Cabinet - here

Quotes From The Book:

"From gray also come mauve and lilac—either as bright as the color of violets or or closet to the quiet, almost musty tones that are quintessential French, and which look so winning when teamed with gray green, perhaps used on woodwork.  A more sophisticated combination that is sometimes seen is a gray mauve offset by a dark, almost terra-cotta red—the red known as sang de boeuf makes a particularly effective contrast. Pinks and peaches are also to be found among the range of
French country colors, but they are not childlike nursery tones—there is nothing of a sugary or sweet nature about them. Like so many French country colors, the pinks and peaches appear
almost organic, seeming as though they might have emerged from the color of the original plaster than applied on top of it,  and again, they often seem to include a hint of pale ancestry"

"A wide variety of woods is evident in rural interiors,but the woods used in different parts of France
were and are largely those from the trees growing in the surrounding countryside—fruit woods such as walnut and cherry, and traditional hardwoods such as oak and elm. Exotics such as mahogany or
maple will not be found in abundance here, for self-sufficiency is the name of the game"

Reviews:

By "Caroline Clifton-Mogg's French Country Living is a delicious book to look at; the pages are filled with beautiful, airy rooms and the accompanying text does a good job of explaining how the effect is achieved--lots of grey in the colors, painted furniture, small-sized fabric prints, etc.

By Hollygolightly- "This is French country living in the Marie-Antoinette-at-Petit-Trianon style, not truly rural la France profonde, however. The exquisitely restored rooms are filled with priceless antiques, and a cursory glance over the photo credits suggests that the majority of houses shown are located in either Provence, or the richer departements near Paris (the most famous house in Yvelines is Versailles, if that gives you an idea of what's in the neighborhood of some of the chateaux photographed). Having seen more than one room in a rural French house with vinyl wallpaper on the ceiling and door, I can only wish that all of French country life was this beautiful! "

By John Matlock -"In this book, hundreds of color photographs by Christopher Drake, illustrate the essence of the French countryside. The book is in two parts, the first emphasizes the soft, non-contrasting colors and the natural materials and textures that are distinctly France. The second part of the book looks at the overall style. It looks at the French home, starting of course with the kitchen (this is after all France). Only then does it move on to the rest of the house, ending with the French garden. And this is France, so the garden also emphasises a place to eat and drink."

By Julie BarrettZiegler- Fantastic photography, and a generous, diverse selection of beautiful interiors. From iconic over-the-top French decorating, to simple Provençal country style, this book celebrates the special environments for real living evoked by good French decorating style.

By D Thoden- I got this book as a Christmas present 3 yrs ago, and it is still one of the best decorating books I have ever owned. If you like whites, creams and soft, grayish colors, along with authentic chippy antiques shown in lovely old homes, you should love this book. It's not LOOK AT ME decorating. It's used, comfy, old furniture and fabrics, and it's divine. This book ultimately changed the look of my home. The holidays were especially rough that year; I missed my Mother and was sick while at my in-laws over the holidays. This book got me thru it all!!! I just laid in bed and read it and looked at the photos over and over.

By Gerard Brady -Love this book. I have all kind of pages marked for ideas. Beautiful pictures, descriptions. The book is in great shape as advertised. It will become one of my "go to" books for decorating. Love it!

By Savannah, GA USA- By I love this book for ideas and inspiration. My favorite part of France is the Loire Valley and Sologne. The pictures in this book show that classic casual style. I also love Paris, but the Parisian style is more formal and ornate. I like the brick and terra cotta floors, the wood furniture, the lavender and sunflowers of the countryside. This will take you beyond chicken figurines and calico prints! Great read, great price. Great book for daydreaming! Enjoy!I have also bought Italian Country Living by the same author. Another wonderful book.

By T. Brashear "Dessa"- Sumptuous photos of sumptuous French provincial houses, with helpful guidelines about what characterizes French country decors (though I agree with one reviewer that not too many French country houses look like this). I particularly like the author's emphasis on how livable the style is, and find this to be true too. Buyer beware however that French country may look a lot different in an American ranch house: a lot of the charm comes from plastered stone walls, old beams and well-worn tile floors.

By Stacey M Smith- Beautiful book. Inspiring photographs that capture French country style (obviously, note the title). My only complaint about Clifton-Mogg books is that the photos are recycled. I see the same photos is many other books. There are MANY wonderful estates, villas, and country properties out there - - - it would be nice to see more of them instead of these multi-used images. The "recycles photos" are no problem if you just have one of her books - - but if you buy many European decorating books, you may see repeat photos.

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg2

 Striking distressed doors with a neutral background

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg 12

One common paint technique we don't see today is the bottom half of a wall painted in a different color.  Perhaps this was done to clone the look of wood architectural wainscoting? 

It certainly looks amazing, and a look that can add a bit of color into a room,without having to paint an entire wall. 

Look how the pale pink on the walls picks up the beauty of the tile.  Spectacular!

Book review French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg

This is the other part of this amazing room

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg8

 An oversized urn looks grand by this stone staircase

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg 7

On page 69 shows breathtaking colors in the flooring and the walls. 

Cropped to show you the amazing details in the stone work.

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg 10

Amazing wallpaper shows a white and blue pattern that is boldly French

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg1

Painted Wood Paneling with natural rugs make a perfect combination

Featured on page 16

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg6

Have you seen a chest more beautiful? 

Black hardware perfectly contrasts the blue paint,while white trim shows off the details

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg11

Page 95 shows pictures of designer Julia Presca's home in lovely green colors. 

Book Review: French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg

 A painted cabinet bathed in green paint, with contrasting yellow pottery

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg4

While the walls are discussed in the book, the floors in this room are beyond extravagent! 

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg5

A Close up view

A combination of wood and stone create a pattern that steals the attention in the room.

Be Sociable, Share!