When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, or so the saying goes. That much is true for the outstanding individuals featured in Life Meets Art: Inside the Homes of the World’s Most Creative People, a new book published by Phaidon; their creative drive and passion are as aptly represented by their abodes, which offer intimate insights into their way of life.
Featuring over 260 homes of architectural icons, influential musicians, blue-chip artists, contemporary designers and literary giants, the book’s extensive selection almost reads like a glossary of the most acclaimed creative names in the past two centuries. Encompassing everything from English Romantic poet John Keats’ 19th-century house to the flamboyant residences of British musician David Bowie and fashion legend Gianni Versace, these homes represent each individual’s ubiquitous style and life’s work, while offering a snapshot of the zeitgeist.
“Homes are much more than creative accomplishments. They’re physical histories, embedded with our stories, and the stuff of our lives,” shares Sam Lubell, the author of the book. “A home is a perfect way to get to know (the owners) and what’s most important to them. We knew we had to include the homes of well-known creatives, but we also wanted a lot of surprises; we looked to get a wide cross-section in terms of geography, race, ethnicity and gender representation.”
Lubell, who has worked as a journalist for close to two decades, has a lifelong passion for architecture and design. The Paris-born writer recalls being “surrounded by beautiful structures from the start”; his love of architecture deepened while studying art and architectural history at Brown University in Rhode Island. He worked with Phaidon editor Virginia McLeod and her team, poring over hundreds of homes in eight months, before shortlisting and researching on the final selection for this compilation. “The most important commonality is that (the homes selected) are a reflection of their owners’ life, creativity, and spirit,” says Lubell. “Without the human element, an interior is just a pretty space.”