Decorating & Design

Coffee Table Books

Last week I wrote about coffee table styling. Art and design tomes act as the perfect foundation for a coffee table display — but they do more than just look pretty. They act as conversation starters and sources of inspiration. Whether you’re decorating, designing or creating a mood board, inspiration comes from a variety of places: art, fashion, music, nature, travel… the list is endless.

Here are a few I’d like to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon leafing through:

1. Gypset Travel (2012 Assouline)

Join travel writer Julia Chaplin as she follows in the footsteps of bohemian travelers. Chaplin explores the haunts of gypsy jet-setters — from Kenya to Uruguay — and captures their experiences through intimate anecdotes and stunning photos that will inspire your free spirit.

2. Glittering Images (2012 Random House)

Cultural critic Camille Paglia’s latest book is an illustrated account of 24 key works that have transformed our visual world — including everything from Early Cycladic sculpture to digital pioneers like George Lucas. Think of it as Art History 101 as told through a smart and sassy friend.

3. Kate Spade: Things We Love (2013 Abrams)

Kate Spade fans will be familiar with Things We Love from the brand’s website: a blog of quirky and inspirational photos collected and posted by the in-house creative team. Many of these photos have been amassed in this new anthology, peppered with tips and advice, to celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary.

4. My Ideal Bookshelf (2012 Little, Brown)

A friend was gifted this book at her birthday dinner recently and I had to pick up a copy for myself. My Ideal Bookshelf profiles cultural figures — everyone from Malcolm Gladwell to Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy — through the books that have influenced and inspired their lives. Each bookshelf is illustrated in a colourful hand-rendered drawing by Jane Mount.

5. Undecorate (2011 Potter Style)

This is the only one on my list that isn’t new, but it’s been on my wish list for a while — will someone buy it for me already?! I’m a big fan of Christiane Lemieux’s unconventional, organic approach to interior design. Decorating should be intuitive and Christiane’s interiors always convey that. Plus, the photos are to die for!

Photo credits:
1, 3. Amazon
2. Random House
4. Ideal Bookshelf
5. Random House