Artists' Houses

Posted on March 07 2019

One of our favorite vintage interiors books is called Artists' Houses by Gerard-Georges Lemaire, with photographs by Jean-Claude Amiel.

Artist Painted chest of drawers

Gabriel Munter's palettes and paintbrushes.

Published in 2005, Artists' Houses seems to be out of print, but is widely available from used booksellers online. You can find a copy here, here, and here

Andre Derain Painter

This is one of those books that we come back to over and over. With beautiful, intimate pictures, biographies, and stories about artists such as Andre Derain, a French cubist who was a colleague of Henri Matisse and friends with Jean Renoir and Alberto Giacometti.

Andre Derain

Andre Derian's studio in his home in Chambourcy, France. 

Andre Derian The Artist and his Family c 1939

The Artist and his Family, Andre Derain, c.1939

Duncan Grant's artist studio

Duncan Grant's studio at Charleston. 

The Bloomsbury Group, an influential ensemble of intellectuals, writers, and artists in England in the first half of the 20th century, spent many happy hours at Charleston, an eighteenth-century farmhouse in Sussex, that Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf's sister) and the painter Duncan Grant decorated with a creative bohemian diy charm that was the aesthetic antithesis to Victorian stuffiness. 

Vanessa Bell painted cupboard door

Don't you just love this painted cupboard door in Vanessa Bell's Studio?

The painted fireplace in Duncan Grant's studio

The painted fireplace in Duncan Grant's studio at Charleston.

The Garden Room at Charleston. The Bloomsbury Group.

The garden room at Charleston. Vanessa Bell stenciled the walls, and Duncan Grant painted the chimney breast and designed the fish rug. A self portrait by Vanessa Bell hangs by the fireplace.  

William Morris

A detail from the work of William Morris, the famous British textile designer, applied artist, and poet who founded the style known as arts and crafts.

Morris owned a stone manor house in the Cotswolds called Kelmscott Manor, where he continued his pioneering work in the decorative arts and also founded a private printing press, the Kelmscott Press. Morris's work was heavily influenced by his interest in Medieval design and craftsmanship, but he always looked forward, keeping his designs modern, and advocating the ideal of beauty in the service of utility. 

"Everywhere there was but little furniture, and that only the most necessary, and of the simplest forms."
-William Morris, News from Nowhere, 1890


Clerkenwell bowl william morris tablecloth

 Our Clerkenwell fruit bowl on a William Morris tablecloth. 


A couch in Frederick Church's Studio in NYC

A couch in Frederick Church's studio in New York.

blue and white tiles in Claude Monet's kitchen

Beautiful blue and white tiles in Claude Monet's kitchen at Giverny, in France. 

Gabriele Munter

The hallway in Gabriele Munter and Wassily Kandinsky's home in Bavaria. 

Rene Magritte's dining room in Brussels.

Rene Magritte's dining room/studio in his home in Brussels.  

These are just a few highlights from this beautiful and inspiring book. We love to just flip through it for a quick shot of artistic brilliance and can-do on a rainy day. It is definitely worth picking up a copy if you happen across it.  

A quick online search shows a number of new books with similar titles and themes. We haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but we are busy forming a pile on our virtual coffee table, and will let you know if we come across something special.

After reading Artists' Houses, you can try:

Artists' Homes by Tom Harford-Thompson

Artists' Handmade Houses by Michael Owen Gotkin

Artists' Homes and Studios by E. Ashley Rooney

The Maverick Soul by Miv Watts


Paintbrushes Artist Studio Scene