Synopses & Reviews
WHAT OUR HOMES REALLY MEAN TO US
We invest our homes with our passions and our personalities; we remember—happily, sadly, nostalgically, even painfully—where and how we grew up. "We never had our own rooms; that's why home means so much to me now," writes Jasper Conran, one of the voices in Home, a collection of essays by 50 extraordinary people about their relationship to the places they have called home.
Along the way, we decorate these spaces to reflect the chapters of our lives and fill them with the treasures we find and adore. Playwright Doug Wright admits to a certain voyeurism when looking at the things in other people's homes—"not because they're beautiful," he says,"but because they're meaningful."
And just how meaningful and beautiful are our abodes is the essence of Home. What are the things that make up a home? Is it our choice of furniture, or is it the way it "feels"—something much more enigmatic? Does it vary from one generation to another, one country to another, and is it affected by fashion, by economics or by technology?
From architect John Pawson and fashion designer Donatella Versace to Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe, Home lets you in for a series of most unusual and personal visits. Through 123 intimate pictures, you can see the mind of designers such as Catherine Levy and Kenzo Takada at work as they apply their artistic sensibilities to their own places. For some, that means constancy and continuity: Jonathan Miller describes homes unchanged over the course of 40 years. For others, like designer Tommy Hilfiger, the pendulum must always keep swinging, as in fashion, and he continually looks forward to change.
The "definition" is ever changing, too. That proverbial "heart of the home" is the kitchen to Arlene Hirst, Donna Hay and Fergus Henderson; For Michael Graves, it's the garden. For lulu Guinness, what counts is light. For many it's about work as much as about the opposite of work.
But a home is so obviously much much more than a place to decorate. It's a place to welcome the world or to shut it out; to show off or hide out; to soothe or to energize; to re-create the past or to reinvent it. "Since I was 15, I've never put my key in the door and thought I was home, never," writes creative director Isabella Blow, who has lived in 29 houses but "having got Eaton Square, I'm not going to be going anywhere else." Maybe actress Miranda Richardson has the last best word on what makes a house a home: "It's our individual energy that holds a place together."
Intimate photographs and stories reveal the private spaces of public figures.
Whether it's the memory (or fantasy) of our childhood home, or the place we decorate, show off, work from, or take refuge in as adults, it's always rich with meaning or fraught with intent.
To understand it better, 50 remarkable people of our time, many of whom have made their mark in the fields of architecture, home design, and the decorative arts, open their homes and their hearts to the subject. Their emotional responses—rich with design ideas, thought-provoking philosophies, and surprising obsessions and eccentricities—both fascinate and inspire.
- Famous contributors include Donatella Versace, Paul Smith, Michael Graves, Miranda Richardson, David Rockwell, Tommy Hilfiger, Andree Putman, Sebastian Coe, Donna Hay, Kenzo Takada, Jonathan Adler, and Lulu Guinness
- Great inspiration—clever design ideas, innovative philosophies, and endless enthusiasm
50 remarkable people unabashedly share their homes and their hearts. Their stories are filled with personal obsessions and eccentricities, memories, plans, and happiness, all told through interior spaces that are well worth coming home to.
About the Author
Design consultant and art director Stafford Cliff has spent a lifetime designing catalogs and magazines relating to the home. Working with Sir Terence Conran he produced the very first Habitat catalogs and, in 1974, designed The House Book, one of the first truly design-led guides to interior furnishing, which became the biggest selling home book of all time. Since then he has produced dozens of books on aspects of design and the home— most recently The Way We Live, a remarkable 480-page survey of homes around the world, and two titles for Artisan: Home, a groundbreaking investigation into how we feel about our homes, and 1000 Garden Ideas, a visual sourcebook featuring garden and patio elements from around the world.