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MILIEU’s editors suggest the following new reads for the fall season, the best time of year to curl up with a book, especially one about great design.

Jean-Louis Deniot: Interiors
(Rizzoli; $65)
By Diane Dorrans Saeks; Photographed by Xavier Bejot
Release date: September 30, 2014

“I aim for my interiors to be eclectic, chic, as well as serene.” That’s what Jean-Louis Deniot, the much-celebrated Paris-based designer and architect, says of his work. It sounds like an easy goal, but only he seems to know how to achieve it consistently. His version of refined, classical interiors is a new exemplar of contemporary French style. Not surprisingly, Deniot is much in demand around the world and he has transformed, as these pages reveal, Parisian apartments, French country houses, and a variety of residences from Moscow to India, New York to Chicago to Los Angles, and beyond. Deniot is distinctive in the world of design in that he approaches many of his projects as an architect first. Once he has established a neoclassical architectural language, he then links it with the proper décor, managing to keep his eye on history, while also incorporating the best of twentieth- and twenty-first century design. What he has single-handedly created is a new classical style — and one that works everywhere.

Designing Paradises: Robert Couturier
(Rizzoli; $60)
By Robert Couturier with Tim McKeough; Principal photography by Tim Street-Porter; Foreword by Carolyne Roehm; Afterword by Caroline Weber
Release date: September 23, 2014

Perhaps the best and most revealing way to truly understand the aesthetics and visions of interior designers is to see how they live in their homes. In this case, the reader is brought inside the Kent, Connecticut, home of Robert Couturier, the New York architect and interior designer known for the way he sculpts his rooms — ones filled with his carefully curated European art, furniture, and decorative objects.  Surprisingly, this is the first monograph to examine his work and design philosophies. His is a kind of conversation between an Old World–style elegance and decidedly contemporary motifs. In every project, Couturier admits to wanting to stimulate all the senses — whether its from the feel of an upholstery fabric to the ways certain objects reveal themselves in a space and, in so doing, lead a viewer’s eye around the room. As Couturier opens the door to his own home, he also reveals his penchant elsewhere for the neoclassical, for his ability to create rooms and houses and even gardens that evoke early American vernacular styles. Proof of his versatility is found in his many other projects, including contemporary apartments, Mexican villas, and a stately English manor. Everything he creates is, as the title suggests, a touch of paradise.

 

Nancy Braithwaite: Simplicity
(Rizzoli; $50)
By Nancy Braithwaite; Foreword by Dara Caponigro
Release date: October 21, 2014

For the Atlanta-based interior designer Nancy Braithwaite, creating simplicity is not an easy discipline to learn. But she has mastered it in the more than forty years she has been in business. Here, in her first book, with a foreword by former Veranda editor Dara Caponigro, Braithwaite reveals her methods and reasons for creating interiors that embody simplicity. So pure is her aesthetic that she is sometimes likened to fostering a modern-day, Shaker-esque purity. Yet, her work is never predictable. She is as comfortable designing an art deco residence as she is a country abode. However, no matter what the style or scale of the project, Braithwaite is adamant that every element within it be simple and powerful. She believes that a room’s very power or force is the result of scale, the repeating of elements within, gradations of colors, and a choice of forms that are beautiful. This guide to her design philosophy examines, in her own words, what simplicity means to her and the ways readers can achieve it for their own homes — whether the style of their residence is country, classic, or contemporary. Her solutions are simple ones all can adopt.


Artfully Modern: Interiors by Richard Mashaan
(The Monacelli Press; $65)
Interiors by Richard Mishaan; Written by Richard Mishaan, Judith Nasatir
Release date: November 4, 2014

Richard Mishaan believes that every room in a home merits, at minimum, one small luxury. That might mean a custom embroidered wall covering, or a pattern of brass nail heads along a chair, or a privacy screen made of an unconventional material. What results is a space unlike any other in the home, one that has its own signature. Mishaan’s style has been characterized as a kind of contemporary fusion — but what that really means is that he has an uncanny ability to layer interiors with furnishings and decorative objects from many eras and styles, and in a manner in which all of the elements cohere. What may at first seem counterintuitive is, instead, a masterful understanding of how furnishings interact. Artfully Modern showcases the designer’s best completed projects from the past five years — interiors that reveal an ability to transform spaces of any scale. The book brings readers into some of the many city apartments he has designed, expansive estates in the Hamptons, and even the presidential suite at New York’s St. Regis Hotel. No matter the scale, each of his projects is bold and glamorous and, as he deems most important, comfortable.

 

Paul Vincent Wiseman & The Wiseman Group: Inner Spaces
(Gibbs Smith; $75)
By Brian D. Coleman; Photographed by Matthew Millman; Forewords by Frank O. Gehry and Paul Goldberger
Release Date: September 2014 (expected)

When Paul Vincent Wiseman and his team at the Wiseman Group begin an interior design project, they start, of course, by selecting the right furnishings and decorative objects, but they also always add in something, too, that no other design firm does: peace. Somehow, in their mix of often-custom furnishings and colors, textures and patterns, the firm has been able to foster a sense of serenity in the homes they create for clients. Inner Spaces is the first book to examine in detail many of the best projects from the San Francisco–based firm. Their work is varied, but consistently harmonious. These pages feature such projects as a wholly reinvented Victorian house situated on San Francisco’s Russian Hill, a glamorous art deco apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a modern lakefront high-rise in Chicago, and a kind of tropical sanctuary in Ka’upulehu, Hawaii. That there are forewords by both “stararchitect” Frank Gehry and architecture critic Paul Goldberger is further proof that what the Wiseman group creates is worth noting — and living in.

 

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South Hampton, New York residence featured in the Spring 2014 issue of MILIEU.

South Hampton, New York residence featured in the Spring 2014 issue of MILIEU.

South Hampton, New York residence featured in the Spring 2014 issue of MILIEU.

Designer Ladye Kay Allen featured in the Spring 2014 issue of MILIEU.

Designer Ladye Kay Allen featured in the Spring 2014 issue of MILIEU.