A La Carte

The Elements of an Elegant Home
By Sherrill Canet

Design / Style
October / November 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9823585-4-2
176 Pages / Over 175 Illustrations

$65 USD

$65 USD

From the architect’s floor plans, Sherrill Canet Interiors creates furniture placement schemes.

The clapboard house with classical detailing, right, was once a summer residence and is now the Canet family’s year-round home. The imaginative ornamental metal screen door for the front entrance of the house, left, was designed by Lindeberg more than ninety years ago and is still in place.

A beveled mirror is at the center of the trompe l’oeil fretwork panels in the Canet family’s dining room. Like a clear, reflective pool of water amid a dizzying display of graphics, the mirror invites the eye to relax.

In order to keep the large game room from feeling disjointed, Sherrill restricted the palate to three colors: peacock blue, paprika, and gold. The woodwork is playful and vibrant and the furniture pieces are full of personality.

Vaulted archways and paneled bay windows, right, lend gravitas to any game room, as does the inglenook (a traditional seating configuration built around a fireplace for cocktails and conversation), featuring yew wood paneling, benches, and a velvet ottoman, left.

The graphic playing card pattern of the Jeu de Cartes fabric from Clarence House covers the large ottoman and offers a lively counterpoint to the classic Oriental carpet from Stark.

Hand-painted with a graceful Chinese garden motif, the wallpaper from De Gournay in London is the star of the formal dining room. The eighteenth-century French gilt mirror, the crystal chandelier, the French 1940s Bagues sconces, and the tall candles enhance the romantic ambiance.

The large kitchen, in a newly built house on Long Island, effortlessly melds modern equipment with an Old World aesthetic and neo-gothic architectural detailing.

With its graceful and arched double doors and low-hanging roof, this Long Island house by Stuart Disston recalls the timeless appeal of French country manses.

The armchair, graced with intricate gilt work, left, and the painted Italian console, right, both date from the eighteenth century. The chair’s upholstery reflects the rosy pinks of the delicate flowers on the console.

In a Long Island living room inspired by a traditional French salon, the sofas and armchairs in soft tonal fabrics are demure and comfortable, while the bright velvet pillows and the contemporary glass-topped cocktail table provide unexpected touches. Sherrill relies on luxurious textures – silks, velvets, wools – and painted furniture to create a grand but understated elegance and charm.

To create a sense of effortless elegance in the dining room of a charming country home, Sherrill chooses one special element and then tones it down with other objects. She contrasts an abstract painting with the wallpaper’s elaborate, decorative style, far left. A farmhouse style table and contemporary dining chairs, right, are durable and accent the wallpaper, while the sisal carpet adds to the casual look of the room.

The style sheet for the fourth chapter: Ingredients that Make Up a Chic Tailored Look.

In an apartment at the Plaza, an eighteenth-century baroque mantelpiece is the focus of the living room, where modernist pieces are interspersed with elements of the past. A round, channel-back De Angelis sofa and a collection of Chinese Export porcelain vases are in keeping with the blue-and-white color scheme.


For New York-based interior designer Sherill Canet, the past is something to be recreated with relish and ambition. The decorator takes her cues from disparate periods, regions, and artifacts to craft an unmistakably refined aesthetic: eighteenth century French and English antiques, chinoiserie, painted furniture, Art Deco, the glamour of the Gilded Age, and the mansions that once dotted the Gold Coast of Long Island, New York – a region Canet also calls home – are all incorporated. Illustrated with principal photography by Michel Arnaud, A La Carte brings together Canet’s work and commentary to create an exclusive tutorial on decorating in a range of elegant styles, from Old World traditional to chic and tailored. Whether your library is a modern den or a gentleman’s English country retreat, Canet’s advice on choosing the room’s essential elements is always keen – with comfort and function in mind.

About the Author

Incorporating a love of antiques and fine detail into all of her projects, Sherrill Canet creates gracious and comfortable settings which mix the old with the new, giving her clients’ homes a classic and timeless appeal. Canet attended the Inchbald School of Design in London and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Fordham University. She has offices in Manhattan, Locust Valley, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida.


Why We Published This

Sherrill Canet has the unique ability to create tailored rooms which incorporate ideas, motifs, and pieces from vastly disparate inspirational resources. By illustrating exactly how Sherrill achieves such balance and elegance, the book encourages would-be designers or homeowners create what, in the end, everyone dreams of—a happy, wonderful to live-in home.

See Also

House Home Heart *OUT OF PRINT*
The New Bespoke
Making Marks
Picture Perfect
Italy of my Dreams