New from British interiors writer Ros Byam Shaw, with photos by Jan Baldwin, Perfect French Country: Inspirational Interiors from Rural France takes readers on a tour of a dozen homes in the French countryside. “In a world that can seem overcrowded, the French countryside still feels big, gloriously empty, and refreshingly untamed,” she writes. “One of the great pleasures of writing this book was the lunches provided by hospitable owners who insisted we interrupt our work and sit down, if only for twenty minutes. Without exception these were simple, but memorable meals, eaten outdoors under a tree, or a vine-draped pergola.
“But this is not a book about food, it is a book about interiors, and how people arrange and decorate them. Here again, the French excel. Ever since the 17th and 18th centuries, when France led the way in all things fashionable including interior design, the French have displayed an enviable degree of domestic chic. When it comes to creating rooms that are both relaxed and elegant, French country house style is hard to beat. Fortunately, it is not impossible to emulate or borrow from, even if your own slice of paradise is on a different continent.”
Here are some favorite rooms from the book: