Photo: Distinctly Modern Interiors

We checked Amazon for some of the finest interior design books we could set a settee on and now we’re sharing them with you. Note: CandysDirt.com may collect a small commission or other compensation (Bezos hug) from the links on this page. Items are priced correctly and in stock at time of publication.

When you think about Dallas interiors, you probably think cow skulls, antlers and a room full of leather, but you know what? We’re more than that. We’re also modern, contemporary, traditional and transitional. Not every home is a smaller scale Bass Pro Shop and not every home is a buy it, ship it, set it Rooms To Go style either.

In Dallas, we like fashion and big hair and accessories. Our houses are an extension of that. If you find yourself on a mission to makeover your space, but aren’t sure where to start, start right here with a list of some of our favorite home decorating books available on Amazon. We did our best to get a little of this and a little of that so pop your bunny slippers on the ottoman and dig in because it’s a fun read.

French Refreshed, Betty Lou Phillips

Price: $49.99

The Book: Simple and sophisticated, French Refreshed, is exactly that, a fresh look at Parisian décor in a modern era. Throughout the pages, author Betty Lou Phillips shows us how to pair down to the absolute elegant essentials.

What Buyers Are Saying: Who cares? Listen to this sample from Phillips herself. “And so, with gentrification nudging not only Parisians but also those living in large cities elsewhere, we open the window to a world awash in options…” AWASH IN OPTIONS. Want more reasons to love her? She lives in Dallas and SHE’S BEEN ON OPRAH.

To order the book, click here.

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photos by Danny Piassick

Meet the author as she signs copies of French Refreshed, Wednesday, October 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ralph Lauren in Highland Park Village. Ten percent of sales during the event will be donated to Children’s Health hospital. RSVP to curtis.gribble@ralphlauren.com.

Betty Lou Phillips has written 30 books, 14 of which are on French and Italian design. The prolific, award-winning interior designer’s work has been featured in countless glossy magazines and newspapers, and the Dallas-based designer has also been on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Clearly, she loves design work and loves writing about it.

Betty Lou Phillips

But, did you know, she first started her career writing about football and cheerleaders? 

That may help explain how Phillips’ latest book proves so perfectly that simplicity is the new era of design chic. Icy formality and the overly ornate are gone, passé. Far from the stuffy extravagances and opulence associated with three French kings, whose chairs none of us find very comfortable anyhow, clean beautiful design is the true reflection of the culture of French design.

Oh, how we hope so many people read her book. Required reading indeed for every high-end luxury agent!

Through stunning photography by Dallas’s own Danny Piassick, a photographic genius who has beautifully shot all of Phillips’ books, and her always clear prose, French Refreshed (Gibbs Smith, $50), focuses on clean-lined, French-inspired interiors that incorporate sumptuous colors with contemporary art and furnishings. 

“People do not respect the French when there is highly unusual taste,” says Phillips. “More-is-more no longer works. Even the grandest dames of Parisian hotels gleam now with pared-down sophistication. Rooms we are fashioning today are a lot less formal.”

Even French rooms, and even Dallas. Our city, says Phillips, is a sophisticated metropolis and we are building on tradition with a definite emphasis on pared-down decor.

 

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French chateau
I have had a love affair with this Preston Hollow French chateau at 5939 Deloache Avenue longer than I can remember. It began a couple of years after it was built in 1985. I was a photography stylist scouting locations for Neiman Marcus. The directive was to find the most beautiful French estate possible for a Christmas catalog shoot. We were advertising, of all things, bright red trash bags with the Neiman’s logo emblazoned on them — in which to ostensibly dispose of your Christmas wrapping paper. A uniformed butler was to hold the bag gingerly on the steps of the chateau. So off I went to scout.

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