Peek Inside the Homes of Some of the World’s Most Famous Creatives
“Few of us are aware of how much our homes, and architecture in general, shape us,” says writer Sam Lubell. “It’s almost like peeking inside someone’s body. It’s just a perfect way to get to know them: their personality, their creativity, and what’s most important to them.”
For his latest book, Life Meets Art: Inside the Homes of the World’s Most Creative People ($60, Phaidon), Lubell turned his inquisitive lens on the private spaces of creative professionals, entering the homes of 250 icons past and present, from Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens to poet Pablo Neruda to architect Norman Foster. Selecting these luminaries, according to Lubell, was like a treasure hunt through publications, archives, and word of mouth. “Once we finalized our list, I became so ensconced in these homes that I felt like I was somewhere else. Often I spent hours communing with their art or listening to their music,” he says. “I was like a character actor who doesn’t break his role after filming. I really felt transported.”
In walking the audience through each of the homes in the book, Lubell draws parallels between the owners’ spaces and their art. “There’s this phenomenal feedback loop between a creative person and their living space,” he says. “Their experience inspires their art, which inspires their home, which inspires their art, which inspires their experience, and so on and so on.”
Sometimes that connection between professional and personal life can make the process of designing a home a bit complicated. “Having not so long ago finished renovating a farm in the Oxfordshire countryside for my own family, where I was both architect and client, I can honestly say that I am my own most consistently challenging collaborator,” says architect John Pawson, whose London home is published in the book.
But other times, there’s a natural simpatico. “I am a great believer in the fact that the house tells you what it needs,” says designer Faye Toogood. The interiors of her London home, featured in Life Meets Art, closely mirror her own minimalist aesthetic. “This house needed a simple and restrained palette and decoration,” she says. “I chose white and shades of white, natural materials, and some of the objects from my own collection.”
While we as members of the public often only know artists by their body of work, looking inside the private spaces in which they live and create gives us a chance to more deeply and intimately get to know them. Here, get a glimpse inside 10 creatives’ homes from Life Meets Art.