A sneak peek inside our latest release with the leading voice in family-oriented design and lifestyle
Since it was founded in 2003, MilK has always sought "to give you a taste of the times," explains Isis-Colombe Combréas, "but most importantly, it has been our exploration of modern families that have shaped the history" of the publication. As the Founder and Editorial Director of the French-based magazine, Combréas has been an instrumental figure in their approach to documenting a new generation of parents and homes. Their commentary during this period deserves perusal—fusing the fabrics of family inclusivity with great design. Ahead of our forthcoming release, we go behind the curtain to understand the concept behind Inspiring Family Homes.
"Year after year, we’ve sought to capture the spirit of the times in the pages of our magazine—all through the lens of striking images and a deep appreciation for bold imagery," explains Combréas, "we’ve captured the zeitgeist through fashion, lifestyle, social issues, travel." The magazine is her brainchild, which originated while being surrounded by her husband Karel Balas during the birth of their two children. This moment of family consciousness inspired her to start documenting families and the notion of nourishing inclusivity through design and lifestyle.
"Through the years we’ve compiled a gallery of vivid and distinctive portraits of people who make their interiors a place to express their creativity, their personality, and their art de Vivre," she outlines in the book's preface. Throughout MilK's artistic and editorial vision, the team never stage portraits, instead, they create something that Combréas calls "personal interpretations." The intention is to create an environment where interior enthusiasts become the curators of their own decor. She tells us that "in this aesthetic adventure, my team and I had the privilege of discovering, photographing, and deciphering the interiors of the most inspiring modern family homes."
Milk's publishing debut, in collaboration with gestalten, captures family homes both in the city and countryside. The profiles traverse through renowned design capitals such as Paris, Milan, London, New York City, Brussels, Stockholm, and Toronto to name a few. Peaceful and rural homes are also documented in the book, including in Japan, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. "Whether in Berlin or Brooklyn, this compilation offers readers a distillation of our various adventures over the years. From the living room to the kitchen, from the parents’ bedroom to the nursery, the distinct zones of the home begin to merge, and the worlds of the young and the old fuse and blur," Combréas outlines.
From one continent to another, from family to family, influences of the most incredible variety make an appearance: whether collector, bargain-hunter, minimalist, or nostalgic, everyone embodies their unique brand of style—which is at the center of MilK's lens. Inspiring Family Homes is a holistic look back at 18 years worth of legacy and intimate accounts. Made up of aesthetes and hedonists, these families are "part of the community of taste that we have built over time." The magazine's ability to poetically shine the light on the dynamic and developing nature of life at home is how it created a rapport with a global community.
“Stay home, stay safe”: this is probably the mantra you’ve heard the most as Covid-19 spread across the globe, imposing lockdowns and requiring us to retreat to our homes. Personal beliefs and family habits have been forced to change, leading to one underestimated consideration: the importance of home. This cultural shift has converted our interiors into safe sanctuaries: refuges to comfort and inspire us, argues Combréas. From day one, the underlying goal of MilK was to show that spaces can be shared by both adults and children—while still being tasteful and design-conscious.
The book demonstrates this balance through the personal profiles of Anna and Florian Cor in Berlin, who beautifully share a 170 m2 (1,830 ft2) apartment in the heart of Mitte with three children and a dog. Another shining example is architect couple Zoe Chan and Merlin Eayrs' converted factory home in London, who have embraced a creative space for their two young children and themselves. In the Japanese countryside, half an hour outside of Niigata, Japanese jewelry designer Satomi Sekiya and her husband Yoshikazu have forged together a wooden retreat that blends ancestry with modernity. The pair wanted to create a nurturing environment that encourages their two young children to adopt nature and experience Japan's renowned changing seasons in the flesh.
In New York City's cosmopolitan Bedford-Stuyvesant, clothing designer Hannah Kristina and her contemporary artist husband Landon Metz transformed a top-floor brownstone apartment into a space fit for a family. Opting for joyful designs and a color palette that harnesses natural light, a strong visual art identity shapes a creative education for their daughter and two cats. Franco-Australian couple Alix Petit and Onur Kece left the Big Apple behind for the peaceful French countryside in Vexin. They followed the calls of nature for their family and designed a minimalist barn environment which they share with their two daughters. Together, they've gracefully captured metropolitan style with the charm of the outdoors in an idyllic setting.
In identical fashion to the magazine, Inspiring Family Homes captures the essence of achieving exceptional design and interiors in a space befitting the needs of a modern family. "The diverse domestic worlds showcased in this book encapsulate MilK’s DNA and remind us that whatever the location, size, or shape of our homes, what’s important is the way we surround ourselves with objects and interior design narratives that boost our mental and physical well being," explains Combréas. She concludes by saying that "more than ever, we are the architects of our own happiness—and family might just be the most precious medicine of all.
Find out more about Inspiring Family Homes - Family-friendly Interiors & Design, available from August 24 and in America from October 19.