An embroidered chocolate-brown silk-velvet tapestry hangs between living-room windows; its lively pattern sets off the graceful lines of an eighteenth-century camelback sofa. The black-horsehair fabric on the sofa, though a splurge, was a good investment -- it is virtually indestructible. The coffee table, originally a galvanized freezer rack, is the ultimate in functionality.
Six Secrets of French Style Just like the furnishings, French country fabrics create an artful, engaging potpourri. Toile is the quintessential print for this style, but toss in a few notes of gingham, stripes, florals and solids for a pleasing pastiche. Textural fabrics, such as linen, tapestry and matelassé, lend the tactile interest that the look demands. Stay away from formal textiles such as damask, which can feel too prim.