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Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores-Vianna, Vendome Press, US $65.00, Pp 312, September 2017, ISBN 978-0865653399

Miguel Flores-Vianna has been working as an interiors editor and photographer for the past quarter-century. As part of his job, he has been capturing the classic interiors of bohemian houses for the international design magazines. In Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores-Vianna takes us on a visual tour of some twenty of these houses. Many of these houses belonged to the world’s most respected designers, artists, and intellectuals. These houses are chic but also very personal. Each house reflects the personality and taste of its inhabitants.

Introducing the houses, Miguel Flores-Vianna says that his love for interiors was not necessarily a love for a specific style but went deeper. He writes, “The rooms that touched me were those that reflected a personal vision, a private self, the one-of-a-kind rather than a fashion. And that applied equally to grand and humble places. Most of the places I came to admire were owned by people in creative fields, and they were done by the owners without third parties involved.” They were, of course, a reflection of their owners’ income, but more importantly, they were a reflection of their owners’ selves regardless of their wherewithal. These rooms became windows onto other worlds, and Miguel Flores-Vianna discovered those worlds in such rooms. They were generous and giving.

As far as the choices of houses went, Miguel Flores-Vianna was interested in owners who were poets or heroes. He writes, “It is the poets and the heroes who dream of new world orders and forge new paths. That applies to the very simple and sacred act of making a home for oneself.” Miguel Flores-Vianna says that he finds poetry in these rooms and is moved by how rooms come together. They are creations and art for him. “Such rooms are reflections of a cultivation of the eye, and the cultivation of the eye comes with a great cultivation of the mind… These houses are magnificent repositories of diverse cultures and visions and beautiful descriptions of the geography of their owners’ lives. They are like maps of their desires and like images of how they see themselves.”

Editor of AD Amy Astley says that Miguel has an artist’s eye. His images — romantic, haunting, memorable — are redolent with history, documenting and evoking the passage of time. Miguel has the rare ability to intuit the soul of a house and to gently reveal its secrets. He can handle rooms grand or modest with equal skill, but what he cannot countenance is a house made without passion. Miguel believes that the photographers and editors have the responsibility to seek stories that will prove inspiring and relevant to many people, whether they live in a cottage or a castle, an apartment or an estate. He does not tidy or over-style the interiors but rather leaves them as the inhabitants actually live. In his photographs, the bed linens are seen a bit rumpled, books in vertiginous disarray, computers open, desks messy.

Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores-Vianna offers images of creative people’s stunning houses from all over the world by a creative photographer. Miguel Flores-Vianna photographs the places that are the most personal. There is a lot of information in it to give a personal and creative touch to your house. This will also give you the opportunity to have a glimpse into the Bohemian people’s lives. Although these photographs were done for the AD, they actually are timeless. Haute Bohemians is a most beautiful coffee table book.

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