Home & Garden

MILIEU Winter 2015

In MILIEU, every story captures the look and feel, the mood and character, the style of a place - its milieu. The milieu that defines a great house or garden, the unique character of a design professional, the message conveyed in a thoughtful essay about home life, the creative strategies for accomplishing the look you want for your home - these are the elements of our magazine.

United States
Pierce Publishing
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4 Issues

In this issue

2 min.
editor’s say

Not everyone knows my favorite color is white, but it is and has been for as long as I can remember. I’ve been asked many times, “Why white?”, and my answer is usually the same. Because I work around color every day, I want my own, personal surroundings to feel calm and serene. With this second issue of MILIEU, I decided to pursue this question further, and I sought to discover and highlight designers who also embrace white as their favorite hue. London was my first stop, and it was there that I met the inimitable Helen Amy Murray, an artist who sculpts leather and other textiles in the most tactile and beautiful ways. I ventured deep into the English countryside, visited busy market towns, and strolled coastal villages, coming upon…

2 min.
furnishings meet fashion

When we met Helen Amy Murray in her London studio, we couldn’t refrain from tracing with our fingers the elaborate designs on her sculpted leather fabrics. So luscious were they, so detailed, that we decided to see if rather than just covering furniture they could also be used to dress a woman. For ten years, Murray’s eponymous label has produced sculpted textiles that figure onto her furniture, wall coverings, rugs, and other items. We saw right away that her fabrics are a marriage of contrasts — light and shadow, masculine and feminine, hard and soft — created through a unique sculpting technique. From bolts of leather, silk, suede, and felt emerge three-dimensional flowers, birds, and structured geometrics whose shapes change depending on lighting and the angle from which they are viewed. MILIEU…

4 min.
fully recovered

Houston-based upholsterer Manuel Ruiperez makes house calls. When he receives an inquiry from prospective clients, he visits their home to see the furniture in need of his care. He runs his hand over each piece, inspecting not only what is visible to the eye but also what lies beneath the fabric — springs, padding, and frame. Upholstery done right, he believes, changes the outward appearance of cherished furnishings and it refreshes them from top to bottom. “It’s like turning back the hands of time,” he observes, “to when these pieces were first made.” What has become a lifelong passion for Ruiperez began as an after-school job, helping out in his uncle’s upholstery shop in Madrid when he was just fifteen years old. “I had always been good with my hands, and…

4 min.
guest appeal

Any visit to Barnsley House begins with the garden. The moment the seventeenth-century house comes into view from the road, a kind of Roman temple is seen, lit from within and fronted with a shallow pool and stone paving; in fact, it’s a garden folly. It is tempting, too, to follow a path arched with overhanging trees, a place known as the Laburnham, one of the most photographed garden pathways in England. An alleé of topiary-perfect hedges leads to the entrance of the stone house with projecting dormers and Gothic-style details, its towering chimneys registering the smoke of fireplaces. When we walked in, logs crackled and snapped in a vaulted hearth, and visitors lounged on chic white sofas. Suddenly, it seemed as if we had made a mistake and entered…

1 min.
england envy

There will always be an England for us at MILIEU. While we were in London and beyond scouting projects for this issue, we kept finding buildings and interiors, antiques markets and artifacts, stores and statuary whose inherent design inspired us. The classic London black taxicab. The imposing Victorian-era Tower Bridge vaulting the Thames. The moody canals of north London parked with houseboats. The elegant curves of all-white Regency townhouses in Belgravia and the expressive statuary in Kensington Gardens. London continues, too, to be a hive for new fashion and fragrances, as we discovered at Egg clothing boutique and Avery Fine Perfumery in Mayfair. The streets of Richmond, that elegant town just outside London, are lined with neoclassical and neo-Georgian residences. Proving that remodeling is not a new concept, Winchester Cathedral…

1 min.
walls of white

One of the most colorful aspects of white is its ability to let you indulge in pattern, especially when it’s white on white, as in these eight distinctive wallcoverings. Florals and geometrics, minimalism and dots in shades of whipped cream and quartz, alabaster and supernova all make for designs as delicious as, well, dessert.…