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OUR FAVORITE FALL READS

Haute Bohemians
By Miguel Flores-Vianna
Foreword by Amy Astley
(Vendome Press, $65)

Many pages of what the MILIEU reader sees are the result of what Miguel Flores-Vianna has seen first. He is one of the magazine’s chief contributing photographers and we have long witnessed how Miguel approaches every one of his assignments. He manages to look not just at the finished work of an interior designer and how it can best be revealed on a printed page, but he looks also at the people who live in the home with those designs. He discerns the occupants’ characters before recording how they occupy their rooms at home. In his new book, Miguel traveled around the world—four continents—to meet with fashion designers, landscape architects, artists, and, most notably for us, interior designers in their own homes. In MILIEU’s Fall 2017 issue, for instance, we feature his work on the Canary Islands home of Min Hogg, the legendary founder of The World of Interiors. Our readers see not only the rooms of her residence, but the ways, too, in which Miguel has captured them (her home is included in this book). Wherever he goes—a country cottage or a bungalow on the beach, a chateau or an East Village apartment—we experience and know the place through his lens, which is always in focus.

The Authentics
A Lush Dive into the Substance of Style
By Melanie Acevedo and Dara Caponigro
(Clarkson Potter, $60) 

The photographer Melanie Acevedo and the founding editor of domino magazine, Dara Caponigro, went in search of homeowners who they considered originals, people whose work actually help to define our present-day culture. Eventually, they focused on Miles Redd, the New York–based interior designer known for the Technicolor palette he often employs in his projects; the actress Peggy Lipton, who starred in The Mod Squad, the 1970s counterculture TV series, as well as Twin Peaks; and Johnson Hartig, founder of his decidedly liberating Libertine fashion line. The goal for their book was to find out what makes a person talented, tasteful, and trendsetting. To reveal these personalities, Acevedo used a mix of color and black-and-white photography, while Caponigro conducted lengthy interviews in which the featured personalities reveal more than even they likely expected to. Both the authors and their subjects understand style and the making of art and they reveal those variables in a thoroughly engaging book.

A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House
Written by Gil Schafer III, Photographed by Eric Piasecki
(Rizzoli, $55)

Just because a family lives in a home doesn’t mean that it feels like home. Architect and interior designer Gil Schafer seeks to make sure that every house he designs reflects his client’s wishes for a place that embodies the ideals of home. He accomplishes this, in part, through Classical tenets of architecture, a style for which the New York City–based Schafer is renowned. As he writes in this new book (which follows in the wake of his hugely successful The Great American House), he designs residences “not for an architect’s ego, but [for] the beauty of life, the joys of family, and, not least, a heartfelt celebration of place.” To further prove his claim, Schafer highlights seven houses in a variety of styles, each of which reflects what some critics refer to as his “comfortable classicism” aligned with his also being a “modern traditionalist.” The main characters who occupy his book, apart from his engaging self, are a Northern California cottage, a Connecticut neo-Colonial, an Adirondacks camp–inspired house, a luxurious Fifth Avenue apartment, a new stone and timber barn in New England, a complex of related dwellings in Georgia, and his own modern house on the coast of Maine. He and these other “characters” tell us how to live well at home.

Poetry of Place: The New Architecture and Interiors of McAlpine
Written by Bobby McAlpine and Susan Sully
(Rizzoli, $55)

No matter where the talented architect Bobby McAlpine builds his houses, they always manage to reflect the vernacular roots of their locales while also embodying a universal modern sensibility. Since he established his firm in Montgomery, Alabama, some thirty-five years ago, McAlpine has expanded to include office outposts in New York, Atlanta, and Nashville—though his work takes him around the world. McAlpine works in partnership with architects Greg Tankersley, Chris Tippett, John Sease, and David Baker, and interior designers Susan Ferrier and Ray Booth. In his newest book, McAlpine profiles twenty of his most illuminating projects, doing so not only through photographs but, more importantly, via his writerly voice (that’s where the poetry of the title becomes evident). He tells the compelling story of each house he has designed, ranging from a stone tower folly to an extravagant Florida Panhandle beach house. In so doing, we learn about great design and how a master practitioner works on a daily basis. 

Beth Webb: An Eye for Beauty: Rooms That Speak to the Senses
Written by Beth Webb, Foreword by Clinton Smith, Text by Judith Nastir
(Rizzoli, $50)

Atlanta interior designer Beth Webb began her career as an art dealer, and the lessons she learned and employed while doing so she applies now to her projects around the world. After more than twenty years in business as an interior designer, she is adamant that a home should have a soul just as a fine work of art does. And by soul, she means a home in which all of the elements featured within directly reflect its owners. From her former life in the fine arts, Webb examines the ways form, line, and scale animate the rooms of a home and foster a pervasive sense of well being, yet another design goal of hers. No design detail is too small to contribute to the overall mood of a home, each room of which functions as a separate environment within a larger context. Webb recognizes, too, another seemingly simple, but profound concept: While everyone has his or her own style, everyone seeks two things for their home—comfort and beauty.

Living in Style Paris
By: Caroline Sarkozy Photography by: Jean Francois Jaussaud
(teNeues, €49.90)

It makes sense that one the world’s most stylish and accomplished tastemakers would lead the reader on a style tour of Paris: interior designer Caroline Sarkozy. She not only knows Paris, but she knows the right Parisians, taking the reader into the city’s most beautiful personal living spaces, some of which she created. Sarkozy is one of those interior designers whose talents are not just actual but that rely somehow, too, on a “je ne sais quoi” factor. In this second edition of Living in Style Paris, Sarkozy has worked as a kind of curator for the reader, choosing to focus on interiors that are especially timeless and inspiring. She looks at the work of design greats such as Muriel Brandolini, Juan Montoya, Joseph Dirand, Christian Astuguevieille, Luis Laplace, Olivier Dwek, Chahan Minassian, and Studio KO, among others. She has long been known for an insatiable design curiosity that is evident in her own projects, ones in which she daringly mixes styles, textures and colors. She shows a similar passion for sharing the rooms created by others.
—The Editors of MILIEU