MILIEU Book Reviews2023-04-30T11:38:58-05:00

From around the world of design, the MILIEU INSIDER features stories, events, gift guides, and book reviews, exclusively for our online readers

Camera Ready

It makes sense that the chapters of Kathryn Ireland’s new book, A Life In Design (Cico Books), would be named for her favorite movies. Even though she generously cites her “wonderful crew” and many enlightened clients for whom she designs interiors as reasons for her success, she remains the star of every project she undertakes.

Back To The Land: A New Way Of Life In The Country

New York’s Hudson River Valley, my home for decades, has become a destination and a brand as hip as Brooklyn. Just 90 minutes north of New York City, visitors here enjoy excellent hiking, shopping, inns, museums, and historic sites, though much of the beauty and charm of our region is deeply rooted in the earth around us—earth now being worked by a new generation of farmers.

Star Style: Interiors of Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Regarding the namebrand interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, he is as much a star as the stars for whom he creates homes. In his new book, one of his favorite clients (and friends), Cher, writes in the foreword that “Martyn’s talents lie not only in his ability to design in literally any style, but —equally important—in his desire to work hand in hand with his clients.

The Design of Retreats: Cabins, Cottages and Hideouts

It’s always illuminating to see the homes owned by leading interior designers, but it’s also exhilarating to see where they go when not at home—or at least where it is they go for a different version of home. The design writer Laura May Todd focuses on 40 getaways that leading designers have either fashioned for themselves or for their clients.

Collecting Keepsakes

Most of us are unable to throw out anything of sentimental value. And, so, we should make no judgments on the celebrated English textiles designer and interior decorator Flora Soames, who admits, in her new book, The One Day Box: A Life-Changing Love of Home: “The fact I still have my dachshund Enid’s whiskers in a pot on my mantelpiece from fifteen years ago probably tells you all you need to know.”

Bunny Williams: Life in the Garden

Bunny Williams decorates the room outside her house with the same care and vision that uses for the spaces inside. From every room of her 18th-century manor house in Litchfield County, Connecticut, the noted interior designer’s garden “rooms” are visible

Country Life: Homes of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley

There are several “escape” places that New Yorkers know about—those locales some two hours away from Manhattan that serve as respites for weary city folk. Of all the regions, though, the adjoining Catskills and the lush Hudson Valley have long been the favorites.

A Life In Design

A real-life conversation with designer Kathryn Ireland is one of the great pleasures of life, and while most of us may not have met her in person, here she is in print, with as much gusto and presence as if she were in our own living room.

Sense of Place: Design Inspired by Where We Live

This mother-daughter team of interior designers, who are also noted travel writers, have recognized something fundamental but profound in what makes a house into a home. Flemming and Goebel look to the world around them—and wherever they go—with an attention to detail that any one of us can adopt.

Create: At Home with Old & New

It’s a frequently uttered remark by interior designers—the desire to mix old and new items. While it’s an easy concept to say, it’s not so easy to execute. But seasoned interior stylist and writer, Ali Heath, shows us a series of perfect examples of rooms that combine vintage and antique finds with decidedly contemporary elements.

A Fiesta Of Style

Newell Turner has been consumed by an obsession that he has finally addressed in his new book, Mexican: A Journey Through Design (Vendome).

A Greek Idyll

Miguel Flores-Vianna has been everywhere in the world and has met, seemingly, everyone worth meeting in it, “Greece has been a constant part of the rhythm of my life.” In his new book, Haute Bohemians: Greece, the Argentine-born Flores-Vianna writes of his ongoing travels to the southernmost country in Europe.

Suzanne Kasler: Edited Style

For those who know and follow the work of interior designer Suzanne Kasler, it’s a particular thrill to see her own home as the first featured project in her new book, Suzanne Kasler: Edited Style. Long known for her ability to fashion elegant, serene interiors in every type of residence in every part of the world in which she works, here in this volume we begin with her Regency-style home in Atlanta.

Creative Interior Solutions

For more than 40 years, Wolf has endured as one of the designers of our time. His rooms are like no one else’s–with a purity, sense of restraint, elegance, and form that immediately reveal Wolf as the maker. While this book looks in detail at many of his projects, the most exciting chapter of all is one that delves into his own New York City loft.

Michael Del Piero: Traveled and Textural

In a perfect alliteration, which mirrors the very harmony of her rooms, interior designer Michael Del Piero’s new book is arranged in four sections: Relaxed, Refined, Rough, Restrained. While Del Piero’s style is always identifiable as hers alone, no single completed project of hers is the same.

Suzanne Rheinstein: A Welcoming Elegance

Among the most memorable phrases that the late Suzanne Rheinstein had used to describe herself is “few things but better things.” No interior designer was better able to adhere to her own self directive. In her new, and alas, last book, published just days before her death, viewers see exactly how she was able to create rooms that incorporate seemingly disparate elements, but which result in spaces that are cohesive, refined, and elegant.

McAlpine: Romantic Modernism

We’re not afraid to admit that Bobby McAlpine is one of MIILIEU’s favorite architects, having featured his projects in numerous issues of the magazine over the years. Why do we love his work? Because every house he designs is unexpected; he is never derivative of anyone else, nor does he ever repeat himself.

Brilliant English Gardens

Some people have a special talent for growing gardens. Clive Nichols has an uncanny talent for photographing them. The English garden photographer (who MILIEU has featured in numerous issues) takes us here into gardens throughout his native England

The House of a Lifetime: A Collector’s Journey in Tangier

Something about the Moroccan city of Tangier that continues to inspire artists and writers. Here, the noted Italian writer and horticulturalist, Umberto Pasti, opens the actual door to his own villa in the city, filled as it is with Moroccan artworks and objects, as well as furnishings, textiles, rare tiles, and ceramics that would qualify to make his home into a private museum, should he ever wish to do so.

Arranging Things

Illuminating the often misunderstood role of an interiors stylist, Colin King’s Arranging Things (Rizzoli) is a masterful look at the numinous, even sacred, nature of objects and an introspective musing on their dynamic placement. King writes how styling “can be a daily practice, one that empowers you to see the world differently and find new meaning in your surroundings.”

Cocktails With A Curator: The Frick Collection

Xavier Salomon, Aimee Ng, and Giulio Dalvit began to broadcast, live and unscripted from their own homes, something called Cocktails with a Curator, a series watched by some 1.8 million viewers. Now that the museum is fully open again, a new book of the same name (published by Rizzoli) features shortened versions of those web performances.

The Ultimate Bath

Barbara Sallick remembers a particular shower she took nearly four decades ago. As she recalls in her new book, The Ultimate Bath (Rizzoli), she and her husband had purposely checked into a deluxe suite at London’s Claridge House so that they could try out the bathroom—use that very room as inspiration for what was then their still-nascent company, Waterworks.

Getting Possessive

Maria Hummer-Tuttle understands the objects she owns—that they needn’t be valuable to be of value. Although she has long appreciated this perspective on the artworks, statuettes, jewelry, dishware—even the crayon drawings done by her grandchildren—in her possession, Hummer-Tuttle came to understand it in a profound way years ago while in her Los Angeles home.

House Proud

Even though Rose Tarlow, the noted furniture and interior designer, calls this book Three Houses (Vendome), it’s really about four houses. It seems her East Coast girlhood home, Windrift, which burned down in 1966, remains the idyllic dwelling through which she wanders constantly in her imagination.

Visite Priveé: Artists & Creatives at Home

Being creative sometimes relies, in significant part, on where we live. The actual rooms in which we socialize and sleep, cook and entertain often determine our creative states of mind and our creative output.

Living by the Sea

The title alone says what most of us wish. Whether it’s a view of an ocean, a Great Lake, a pond or even a stream, something about living in a house close to the water that speaks to our collective aesthetic selves.

Woods + Dangaran: Architecture and Interiors

Architects Brett Woods and Joe Dangaran admit to a passion for midcentury Modern design—so much so that they are often commissioned to restore the best examples of the genre, including Craig Ellwood’s iconic 1965 house, known as the Moore House.

Jean-Louis Deniot: Destinations

Although it’s often long in the making, a new name in interior design does seemingly vault to the top overnight—and stay there. An example of that would be Jean-Louis Deniot a French designer who lives in Paris, but whose designs are seen around the world.

Jacques Grange: Recent Work

The world’s best-known style maker, Jacques Grange, is regularly commissioned by the most illustrious tastemakers of our time to design their interiors.

Stephen Sills: A Vision for Design

Stephen Sills begins every project with a mood board, each a work of art in itself. These documents, of sorts, relate the inspirations, the insights, the methods he seeks to employ for his clients’ homes.

The Evolution of Home: English Interiors for a New Era

Upon reading this book, it makes sense that designer Emma Sims-Hilditch began her work in film production for Ridley Scott. When she later founded her namesake firm in 2009, she took those visual cues and translated them into residential interiors.

The Façades of Paris: Windows, Doors, and Balconies

It’s the flâneur, the wanderer, that is, who really sees Paris. Anyone visiting the capital can find their way to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, but it’s the casual observer of its urban life who finds the city’s other treasures.

In Print

During these past months, we have all spent more time at home than likely ever before. As a result, we’ve come to look at our rooms with a new perspective.


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