Coffee Table Books for the Design Lover
I have an obsession with CTBs. They are everywhere in my relatively small apartment, and I can't seem to stop collecting them. There's so many CTBs on my CT that David frequently announces he's about to lose his mind if I don't clear 4 square inches of space for a glass of water. I'm talking, of course, about coffee table books.
For me, coffee table books are an enormous source of design inspiration, and having them in every nook and cranny of my home brings me a lot of joy. Their often colorful and happy covers are a great way to brighten up any space, and I love that they reflect the personality and interests of whoever sets them out. For instance, if I catch a glimpse of Wes Anderson or Matisse on a friend's coffee table — Anthropologie candle flickering nearby — I immediately know that we will be buddies. And so I present to you, (just in time for holiday shopping), 5 books I have and love and 5 that are on my (growing) wishlist:
MY 5 FAVORITES
I adore this book and highly recommend it to anyone with an inkling of interior design curiosity. "With one hundred essays from one hundred interior designers, spanning stylistic genres from classic to modern," the descriptions reads, "this book highlights the knowledge, experience, expertise, insight, and work of established design legends." It goes on to say that "opening Interior Design Master Class is like sitting down to the best dinner party you’ve ever attended," and I can't say I disagree! You can find the book for sale here.
This architect hails from San Antonio and is the father to an amazing, beautiful daughter. It's super bizarre — his last name also happens to be Imber. This collection of some of his best work and beautiful watercolor renderings is a must-have for lovers of traditional or southwestern-inspired residential design. Find it here!
I've always had an infatuation with the aesthetic of the 20s. On top of that, (while my French has declined rapidly over the years), I've studied French my whole life, studied abroad in Paris and am a bit of a Francophile. My brother gifted me this book and I nearly cried! Simply breathtaking images. You can splurge on this stunning oversized coffee table book here.
Anna Spiro is a designer out of Australia, and I'm madly in love with her bold and brave use of color and pattern. Her work is so happy, and her projects draw you in with endless details to discover. "A bright and colorful life" is exactly what she stands for. Take a peak at her beautiful portfolio here, and you can find the above book here.
Admittedly, I didn't know who Carlos Mota was when I bought this book. The vibrant chartreuse cover pulled me in before I ever even opened its pages. "Mota is the mastermind behind the amazing photographs seen in all the top design magazines, including Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and Interior Design, to name a few. His gifted and educated eye for selecting furniture, textiles, accessories, and art has produced some memorable imagery." I really enjoyed learning more about him and pausing to appreciate the art of styling! You can purchase this vivid book here.
I interned with Beth Webb in Atlanta during college and fell in love with her sophisticated, timeless eye for design. She is a master at neutral rooms that are anything but boring — her use of textures and tone on tone patterns, the way she layers. I just want to pour a glass of Zinfandel and hop into the pages of this book. You can purchase this beautiful book here.
I've been eyeing this book ever since it was published! Author P. Gaye Tapp highlights the timeless style and elegance of some of America's most chic fashion and social icons of the 20th century. "The book is presented in four sections that describe the aesthetic approaches that the ladies took in decorating their abodes: “The Fashionably Chic”, “The Unconventional Eye”, “In the Grand Manner”, and “Legacy Style." Available for purchase here.
I mean, DOGS! Enough said. Dogs sell. They are the ultimate models. Photo of settee without dogs: 2/5 stars. Photo of settee with TWO dogs: 6/5 stars. I just adore this book and I've never even held it in my hands. Get your own copy here.
This is a prime example of a CTB whose cover alone makes you want to add it to the collection. What a way to snazz up the coffee table! Plus, Pierre Frey's fabric line is one of my favorites, with a huge collection of vibrant and playful patterns. "Since 1935, the Parisian company Pierre Frey has designed and manufactured some of the most coveted textiles and wallpaper in the world." The colorful book "celebrates a family-owned company that has flourished by preserving centuriesold crafts and techniques to both reproduce period textiles and design eclectic, contemporary creations." For purchase here.
I absolutely adore Veranda and Clinton Smith, the Editor in Chief. I had the opportunity to meet him in Houston while he was touring with another one of his fabulous books, Veranda: The Romance of Flowers, and he's just incredibly friendly and talented. Can't wait to get my hands on this one! Find it here.
Last but certainly not least —this one isn't exactly design related, but it's inspirational nonetheless. Just the cover alone sparks a fire in my soul of beauty and love. You can buy it for me here.