It's been a long time since I have written about any books I have discovered and fallen in love with. There are not a lot of books that come out these days that really speak to me. But this one -- The Maverick Soul -- by Miv Watts with photos by Hugh Stewart - is one I can't stop looking at. Published in Australia by Hardie Grant Books (a publisher that really does gorgeous books), is one I have turned to again and again. I have had it for a while now (it was published in 2017) and thought I would share it with you all.
The Maverick Soul - Inside the Lives and Homes of Eccentric Eclectic and Free-spirited Bohemians is a look into the homes of artists, designers, and generally very interesting people. Miv Watts - the author - is a stylist and decorator who has also been involved in the film business. She lives between Australia and the south of France. She is also the mom of actress Naomi Watts. As you can imagine with a career as such, Miv would know interesting folks who might live in interesting homes and locales. This book is a look into 25 homes of these people. I didn't know who any of them were - except for Marianne Faithfull and Raffaella Barker (author).
The photos were taken by Hugh Stewart and they are lush, full of texture and layers. Nothing looks very styled or perfect - more as if the photos were taken by a friend when just walking in the door. There are lots of beautiful still lives of corners of homes.
Each person's home is a chapter and there is a page and half of words about each featured home owner and how they came to live in their home. Miv is an engaging writer and as I turned the pages to discover a new house or person, my world was opened up to new places and thoughts. From the Introduction, she writes "In the course of a life, if one is lucky, one meets a few people who leave a mark, touch the heart, turn a switch, leave a print on the soul. Such mentors can have an impact on one's future and they can be the inevitable catalysts of change." There are many more moving thoughts and passages as each person and home is revealed.
Here are some photos of pages from the book with links to some of the featured homeowners - there are 25 homes and people featured so this is a smattering. (I've given you quite a rabbit hole to fall down with those links!)
If you are a home junkie or like to read about interesting people and places, check out The Maverick Soul.
Simon Finch - Antiquarian Book Dealer and his home Voewood
Griffin Dune - Writer, Producer, Director, Actor - this is one of two Americans featured
Bruce Goold - Artist, Textile Designer and Aussie Icon
Victoria Alexander - Decorator, Photographer
Patrick Deedes-Vincke and Isabelle Townsend (daughter of Peter Townsend)
Nancy Howard - Artist, Philanthropist
Rebecca Purcell - Stylish, Philosopher and former Display Director at ABC Carpet in NYC
Melissa North - Interior Designer
Miv Watts' own home in the south of France
The back cover of The Maverick Soul