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MILIEU Spring 2020

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.

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United States
Pierce Publishing
R 99,20
R 284,77
4 Issues

in this issue

4 min
cleaning house

A few years ago, while on a visit to my home in Normandy, my friend Lady H. presented me with three handmade British dish mops. I may have previously hinted to her that I had been longing for such a thing. Finally, I possessed a mop with the quality, utility, and obvious durability that I desired and needed. Her gift led me in pursuit of other “below stairs” (i.e., servants’ work areas) British-made household products of simple, utilitarian beauty that I admire. Last summer while visiting Lady H. at her home in Kent, her son, Simon, and I drove to the nearby town of Hastings, a lively, if a bit down-at-the-heels locale of Tudor origins and mixed charm on the southeast coast in East Sussex. After lunch and a long walk…

3 min
architecture in color

Architect Michael Imber has painted thousands of watercolors—poetic scenes that display soft, finely-honed architectural details, vibrant, inventively blended colors, and a keen eye for texture, line, and luminosity. But he rarely shares them with anyone. Displaying, he notes, is not the point. It’s about digging into a building or a place, and really being there. And not just recording something, but understanding it, and bringing his own humanity to it. “You’re forcing yourself to really see what you’re drawing—all your senses come alive,” says Imber, whose San Antonio practice, Michael G. Imber Architects, creates traditional designs across North America. “You’re smelling the sage of the plain or the dampness of the river below your feet or the heat of the sun on your back, or the wind.” Imber started creating this type…

4 min
repeating patterns

Liz Jaff does something to her completed artworks that likely no other artist anywhere does. Once she has meticulously cut her repeating patterns of white paper, folded them into shapes, sometimes sewing the pieces together with thread, and displayed them, her next act of creation is even more startling. “After I take the work down from a gallery space, perhaps within a week, I destroy it,” she says. “It never exists again.” Just as the act of creating the works is a kind of meditative ritual she practices in her Brooklyn studio, so, too, is the act of destroying, or what she prefers to call “recycling.” “I’ve conducted fire ceremonies, sometimes I’ve had cutting ceremonies where I will cut the works into pieces so fine they become dust.” But the artist, whom…

6 min
a gusto for life

PEOPLE AND THEIR HOMES grow up together. Ever since Cris Briger and her late husband moved into the house they built in 1999 outside San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, she has watched herself and her home change. “Just as you advance in life, your house has to advance with you or else you get stuck in time,” says Briger, who divides her time between a Modernist condominium in Palm Beach and this expansive seven-bedroom home in San Miguel, the latter being the place she calls her family’s “home home, though we don’t live there full time.” She and her children—especially Charles Peed, her son with whom she operates Casa Gusto, an exuberantly curated antiques store and interior design business in West Palm Beach—do, however, visit the house near San Miguel often and…

5 min
lost but found

FOR MANY YEARS, Beverly Jacomini operated a thriving, Houston-based interior design practice, but dreamt of owning a place where she could retreat and furnish her own home. “My husband and I had three children,” she says, “and I wanted a place in the country. I wanted to have a garden, and to be able to can preserves and get back to nature.” Soon after she and her husband, Tom, began looking, they purchased a large, bare parcel of land adjacent to a lake in the Winedale area near Round Top, Texas. Since then, the town has become famous as the site for one of the nation’s best-known antiques shows, as well as a choice destination for Houstonians seeking a second home, without the hours-long drive west into Hill Country. “When we…

5 min
rooted in georgia

NESTLED AMID PASTURES and wooded grounds peppered with century-old oaks near the Appalachian foothills in North Georgia, the weekend home of Pam Sessions and her husband, Don Donnelly, possesses much of the charm of the nearby historic houses. But inside the dwelling, every room is laid out and finished to accommodate a thoroughly contemporary lifestyle. “We wanted the interiors to reflect who we are and how we live today,” says Sessions. “At the same time, we wanted to pay homage to the elaborate nineteenth-century mansions around us.” As the founders of Hedgewood Homes, a company that designs and builds custom homes and plans entire neighborhoods, both husband and wife have mastered the art of creating houses that reflect both the personalities and pragmatic needs of their owners. So when they opted…