Saturday, December 28, 2013

French Country Signature by Charles Faudree

I keep thinking about Charles Faudree and the incredible work he did within his lifetime.  He passed away this past November 27, 2013 at the age of 75. On December the 9th I wrote a post titled, “Are you doing what you love?" The post was about finding your passion in life as Charles Faudree had. My intention of this post was to write about all the work that he accomplished, but I don’t think I could even come close to sharing with you his enormous portfolio of work in a single post. Instead I am going to share with you my book review of the first book that he wrote, “French Country Signature,” which he published in 2003. In the acknowledgements he thanks his mother, “for always allowing me to express myself, starting when I was only ten years old. She let me choose the color for the front door. It was a Dutch door with shutters and I got to paint it every year in whatever color I chose – Wedgewood blue, pink, apple green. I got that out of my system early on in my design career. Now I much prefer black.” This makes me wonder how much more creative people might be if they were allowed and encouraged to do something similar to this in their own childhood.  charlesf23Charles did not begin his actual design career until he was 38 years old. In “French Country Signature,” he states. “Ironically, I did not begin to design for clients until I was thirty-eight years old. I just felt I wasn’t doing anything significant with my life, so I moved back to Muskogee, where my mother, Ruby, and sister, Francie, still lived, and redecorated my sister’s home. That was the beginning of a design career that now spans more than twenty five years.” Remember this book was published in 2003. Prior to returning to his hometown he worked in Dallas, Texas, “in the realm of home furnishings accessories.”
This book is divided by the different rooms within a home. The entry, living room, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room, and details. 


Charles tells us how important the exterior and the entry are to a home. “If the exterior  of a house entices, the interior ~ especially the entryway ~ must enthrall.” The book has an array of gorgeous rooms that I have spent many hours over the years studying and enjoying. Every time I look at one of his spaces I find something new of interest.
This room below is the back entry at his home he calls the “Roost.” He states, “Even a back entry can make guest feel welcome At The Roost, an antique bench dressed with toile and embroidered pillows invites guest and their canine companions to enjoy the pleasures of a casual weekend.”charlesf3

Living Rooms:

“The rich, fullness of furnishings and fabrics and an artful use of symmetry characterize many of the living rooms I design. In the French Country style, they are formal yet wonderfully casual, giving homeowners and guests a feeling of opulence with so much to see. They are overflowing but never cluttered or overpowering, even in the smallest of spaces.”
This room below is one of my favorite rooms and prior to be shown in this book it was published in Traditional Home magazine. “In his French chateau-style home, the room is divided by a center table displaying canine candlesticks, tortoiseshell objects and treasured books. Each side of the room is dressed in a symmetrical but not identical fashion.” Charlesf5

Sitting Rooms and Libraries:

Personally sitting rooms and libraries are probably my favorite rooms, although not necessarily private rooms they do evoke a sense of coziness to me, and yet they are rich and evocative.  “Whatever the design and color motif, these charming spaces invite rest and relaxation, reading and reflection ~ just the kind of treasured leisure pursuits for which sitting rooms and libraries are created.”  Charlesf6
I can just feel the sun warming me in this cozy sitting area. “In a sunny sitting area, an antique bench displays needlepoint and Aubusson tapestry cushions with period passementeric.”



“A successful kitchen is one where host and guests feel perfectly coddled and comfortable. It is a space that functions both as a working kitchen and an informal living area ~ perfect for the kind of comfortable and casual entertaining people enjoy today.” Throughout this book you will see rooms full of details, both architecturally and in the furnishings that complete the room itself. In the room below for instance notice the ceiling detail, the door and even the hardware on the door itself.  He considers every detail within a space.  Charlesf9
I have many interior design books in my library, but I must say I pick this one up again and again. I adore the way Charles pulled everything together and I study each item within the space and see how it all works so beautifully together. This is a book you will never tire of. It is full of gorgeous details that you can incorporate into your own rooms.

Dining Rooms:

“A dining room is more than a setting for bountiful dining and lively conversation. It is as much a room to display collections as it is a place for elegant and gracious dining.”
charlesf12If you are familiar with Charles Faudree’s work then you are familiar with Nicholas, his beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is a star in his own right by, “twice appearing on the cover of Traditional Home and fifteen times within the pages. Nicholas has starred in two Home and Garden Television network presentations. He resides with his owner in Tulsa Oklahoma.”


“I seldom play favorites when it comes to rooms. I live all over a house. But I am unequivocal about color. Red is my favorite. Design 101 suggest you should never have a red bedroom because it is not considered a restful color. But I have never designed by rigid rules. I painted one of my bedrooms a rich red that was quite soothing.”
The room below is in his own country cabin. “The original plan was to whitewash the logs. But after living in the space during the winter while I was redecorating, it seemed quite cozy and I thought it might be “sacrilege” to paint the logs. In that same bedroom, there was another challenge to solve. The cabin’s original front door was in the bedroom. To hide the door without going to the expense of removing it, an iron tester was added to the circa- 1800 Edwardian bed so the headboard and fabric panels of blue-and-white check would conceal the door.”



“A bathroom is one of the most fundamental and functional rooms in any home. But it should be designed with elegance and lavished with as much style as the major living areas. Colors should be rich and warm ~ always as comforting as a heated bath. And why not? We often start and end our day in these spaces of intimate refuge , so these rooms should be soothing to our soul.”  bath18
Who doesn’t want such a lovely place to begin each day? I think my love of sconces comes from his designs.

Dressing Rooms:

“While a dressing room is a very private atelier in most homes, this is never a room to scrimp on design. No room is ever too small or too private to have an abundance of style. Wallpapers can be lavish. Ceilings can have special beamed treatments. Carpet can coordinate beautifully with the furnishings. Shelving accommodate not only fashion necessities in an extremely neat and tidy order, but also allow space for decorative displays.” charlesf20


“A great deal of the pleasure in decorating is found in the special details that comprise each room setting. While one unique piece can spark the creative design for a room, it is the finishing touches ~ those unusual details ~ that make a dramatic impact and create a lingering memory.”
Charles Faudree went on to write five more interior design books. He has appeared in numerous magazines. He was named Designer of the year in 2005 by Traditional Home and was chosen as one of the top designers of the year by House Beautiful for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004. His works stands on its own. He will be greatly missed. Do you own any of his design books? If you would like to purchase this book you can go to amazon and purchase any one of his books.

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  1. What I love about his work is that it is absolutely timeless! One could never figure out what year it was. Also, everything looks cherished. I love the dog statuary collection.

    I really enjoyed this! I just might have to splurge and get that book. I think I too would spend hours looking at it.

  2. Patty,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this review of Faudree's first book. So much to absorb that I agree one would always find something new on each reading.


  3. Looks like a wonderful book and I love his 'story'!

  4. Such a terrible loss to the world of design…I believe I have all of his books and reference them often…just sad to know that there will not not any more for us to enjoy!…thanks for this lovely post!

  5. Patty, thank you for this wonderful look into one of my favourite designers who put his own signature on everything he created. I admire his talent for arranging colours, patterns and textures in such picture perfect ways!! I think I just may purchase this masterpiece on my next trip to Canada, which I hope is soon!


  6. His work will be sorely missed. He had such flair and courage the way he could push the envelope and it always turned out amazing!

  7. Patty, thank you for sharing this! I adore his work! He will be greatly missed. You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash tomorrow! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  8. Dear Patty with a "y" - I come over to visit from Make it Pretty Monday. I am in awe of all of the beauty you've shared in this post. What an amazingly talented man Charles Faudree was. Thank you for sharing. I've never visited your blog before so I'm off to take a peek.
    Patti with an "i"

  9. Lovely post, visiting from The Dedicated House. Thanks for sharing this, well done..

    kelly @ cowboy's daughter design

  10. So beautiful! One of my favorite Designers also.

  11. Patty dear ~ Went right out and bought this one, followed by his inspiring floral volume. Enjoyed
    both immensely. What a creative genius, sadly missed. Your blog is inspirational.

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