how do they do it?

frech interiors, the art of elegance

NOTE added tuesday, november 9th:  if you’re interested in receiving one of the books here please send an email with your address to and the first few writers will win a copy of the ones i have on hand. i can’t choose so hurry!

bonjour everybody, i hope you’re having a good weekend and are nice and cozy where ever you are. i guess it’s that time of year where we feather our nests, break out throw blankets, add another layer to the bed and generally make home a little more snuggly. i’ve recently been sent a lot of books about doing just that,  some from authors i know, others are blog friends and others i just admire.

it’s amazing  just how much these women accomplish and the great talent that’s between these covers! you probably know vicki archer from ‘my french life’ and her blog, french essence. well her new book just came out and she’s hosting a giveaway for it on her blog. it was shot by carla colusion who also has a book, paris tango. i don’t know where they find the time but these ladies are beyond inspiring. i was lucky enough to meet them both at the blogger round-up in paris last month and am thrilled for them to have this new project finished!

another one of my gurus is betty lou phillips who has written her 10th book!   she just sent me her latest and it’s shot by our mutual friend, dan piassick. they’re an incredible team and are blowing me away with what they accomplish together!

and if you’re a blogger than chances are you have run across the fabulous fifi who has just traveled the country shooting with other bloggers and putting out her new book! these ladies are killing me, my christmas list is getting way too long!


ok i could go on and on but this one is written by one of my favorite french ladies, ines de la fressange. she’s a legend and her new book is one i haven’t gotten my mitts on yet but, well, put it on the list!

while i was finding the links i came across these. suffice it to say there’s a lot of passion, talent and great taste flying around out there right now! if you’re a book lover, you know this is the tip of an enormous iceberg but hey, it’s a start. if you want to win one of the books listed here, just leave a comment and i’ll draw the winners on tuesday. till then, have a great weekend and stay cozy with a good book!


November 6, 2010. Books.


  1. à la parisienne replied:


    I am ashamed to say it’s been years since I’ve purchased a decorating book. There are so many on my “too buy” list and yet I never actually buy them. Vicki Archer’s books are there and I should definitely read La parisienne;) Paris Tango sounds intriguing…
    Thank you for this giveaway! All of these books look divine!
    Bon week-end!


  2. Caroline C replied:

    I love a good decorating book! These all look and sound so lovely.


  3. Gabriela replied:

    Oh my the books are so gorgeous!! I would love to have one , especially the Vintage French interiors!! I just love the cover. So pretty, it just brightens my day to look at it. thanks so much for the lovely blog you have, its a lovely inspiration in my very stressful days at work. Thanks , Gabriela


  4. Splendid Sass replied:

    I follow Vicki, and I can’t wait to get her book! I didn’t know Fifi had one out, so I will check on that. I am also dying to have Betty Lou Phillip’s book! The hot pink book is gorgeous.This is a great list, Claudia! I am going to need a wagon to haul the books I am getting this year.
    Have a great weekend.


  5. susi replied:

    sometimes I take decorating books out of the library. Not able to keep too many of them, space is limited for things that never get out of fashion.

    have a nice weekend


  6. Vicki Archer replied:

    Thank you Claudia, xxv


  7. Beatriz replied:

    There are so many beautiful books. I just moved and am currently decorating my little apartment. I need to go look at some of these books for inspiration!!


  8. Judith replied:

    Hi Claudia!
    I was JUST at the bookstore and I was looking for some of these titles, they never have them there and I always have to special order or Amazon the books I want.
    I could spend hours reading these gems! Please throw my name in the hat for one :) What a lovely giveaway, especially now that so many are using the Kindles, etc. It’s so nice to appreciate a good book in the hand.
    Have a fantastic weekend, hope you are feeling better!!!



  9. Maegan replied:

    ooooh, vintage french interiors, yes please!


  10. Bonnie replied:

    Oh you are so thoughtful Claudia! It’s the perfect time of the year to sit by the fire with a good book, and interior design books are my favorite. Im going to check the links out in more detail. I would love to win any one of these wonderful books. You forgot to include YOUR book… although I already have that one! Thank you! Bonnie


  11. Lorena G replied:

    Je serais si tres content de recevoir un de vos livres
    delicieux!!!! There is always passion in such accumulative
    wisdom. I promise to share! As always,enjoying the FUN.


  12. Write Girl replied:

    I love new books and I certainly would like to immerse myself in everything Paris. I adore the cover art of Paris Tango. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll have to add these to my book list!


  13. mydesignchic replied:

    So many delicious design books…great ones to add to my ever growing collection!!


  14. Linda replied:

    Put me on the list. They all look fabulous.


  15. Sara @ Purses Pastries Etc... replied:

    Very inspiring post! Evidence enough of what a person can accomplish if we just stop procrastinating, right?!
    I’m so glad to have wandered over here from Bardot in Blue… this is a gorgeous site!! I’ve subscribed to your feed — I’d love for you to visit and follow too if you like :)


  16. Cris replied:

    Its starting to get cold enough here in Chicago that I’m switching from painting (the temp of my brick walls must hover around 40-50 degrees) to sewing. Definitely time to cozy up with some design books and gather more inspiration. Of course, that is why we come here to Paris Apartment!

    Thank you for the great list to track down or one to win. A little luck is what we all need each day.


  17. Hannah Chan replied:

    So many fabulous looking books to add to my ever increasing wish list! x


  18. Fabulously French replied:

    All look fabulous, and I would love a new book to snuggle up with as the forecast is for a cold and wet week here in SW France and I am sure that there will be more to come.

    A tres bientot,

    Leeann x


  19. Jackie replied:

    WowSy! What fab books Claudia!! I have so many that I’ve had for years, I refer back to them now and again!
    this is a wonderful give a way you’re having!! Enjoy your weekend1


  20. Sandra @ DebutanteClothing replied:

    Oh my gosh, all of these books sound amazing. I’ve got my eye on the Balenciaga, Venet, Givenchy one! Great contest!


  21. Lorelei replied:

    What delightful inspiration! Thanks for the great list of reading fancy.
    xoxo Lorelei


  22. Petite replied:

    I cant wait to smell the pages…my fave part of a new book mmmm!! next to the genius works of art going on inside. please please let it be me!!


  23. Laura replied:

    Wow! So much eye candy! How would one choose just one? Thanks for posting about so many great books!


  24. Lee Ann at The French Maids Place replied:

    Oh! How wonderful! Books are how I get through football season at my house. He watches the game, I curl up next to him with the latest book, and we light a fire! See, winter isn’t so bad now, is it?

    I’d be thrilled with any of these!
    –Lee Ann


  25. Wanda Rigopoulos replied:

    I have always loved the French look- a little Paris makes me want to giggle….Thoughts of Champagne and red lipstick…Crystal Chandeliers and old books, and wonderful old paintings and the colours!! Faded just to the right Turquoise and greys and accent in Black!


  26. Design Elements replied:

    …I’m going to amazon…:-) happy Sunday evening!


  27. Nancy replied:

    So many great books to choose from! Guess I will just have to add some to my Christmas wish list. :) Our San Diego days have been warm, but I did add another layer to the bed last night…


  28. starrydeborah replied:

    Ohhh la la, two of my fav things in the whole world, Paris and decorating, I even have a Paris guest bedroom to prove it, lol.
    Add me to your giveaway hopefuls,
    merci beaucoup,


  29. Kandee Acuna replied:

    I too love Vicki Archer. As it turns out, we both have the same kind of hair, only I gave up on mine. I have stacks of french decorating books which I sometimes arrange high enough to use as a table. Or I stack them under my Louis XVI furniture so the cat can’t get underneath the upholstery and sharpen his claws. I have acute motion sickness so I’ll probably never make it to Paris. I depend on wonderful books to provide me with ever lasting dreams–thanks for the fantasies!


  30. Chatelaine replied:

    I know whar I’m asking Santa for!


  31. Ann replied:

    They deserve to be collected and browsed daily…

    Those books give so much inspiration:)

    And even just by looking one gets a beautiful feeling…


  32. atelier cheri replied:

    Violets in goblets. Vélos and baguettes. A harlequin nightfall in Paris. And a bangle that dangles from an icon’s wrist. Now, THOSE are book jackets!


  33. Patriciann replied:

    You have been a v-e-r-y busy woman, not just with the release of your new book but in compiling this list of *must haves* as well. I’ve been remodeling my personal space for the *second* half of my life and your blog has given me oodles of inspiration. Keep up the FABulous work!


  34. Maryann replied:

    Thanks so much for your wonderful blogs.
    I was lucky enough to spend two summers in Paris in the 90’s while studying. It is of course my favorite place in the world.
    Your book selection is the best!


  35. Audrey replied:

    I am new to following your blog. It’s nice to see and read about everything Paris through your eyes. I am hoping one day to get their myself.
    Thanks for everything. I love the decorating books and would love to be the winner and start a collection.
    Thank you and Happy Monday!


  36. L Jackson replied:

    Ah Claudia,
    Paris has always been the inspiration for beautiful, timeless design. Thank you for the wonderful blog and the new list of books to find. Would love to read every single one of them.
    Best regards


  37. lancerika replied:

    Belle Claudia,these books
    are so delicious looking
    How do you do it?
    I need this *french* inspiration
    Would you be so kind to count
    me in?


  38. Fabulous Finds Studio replied:

    I see plenty of books to add to my Christmas list…thanks, Claudia!


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