“We lose ourselves in books. We find ourselves there too.” ~Anonymous
I’ve always had stacks of books over every surface across my home – they are not limited to the coffee table! They are moved around and shuffle with the season or with a change in furnishings; my creativity has a mutually dependent relationship with books of all types and like any relationship we go through ebbs and flows of deep connection. I am drawn to them as a source of inspiration but also respect their aesthetic as a functional object in its own right. Their weighty, exquisitely crafted covers, their shape; the feel of the pages between the fingers and the smell of them! I can dive deep down a Pinterest hole, but it just doesn’t compare to the experience of consuming in the flesh. So while we’re at home, and sometimes using the coffee table as a desk/school room, we’ve compiled our top 10 coffee table books – from the classic interiors go-to Remodelista to Jacques Dworczak’s incredible catalogue of Pierre Jeanneret’s designs and the history of Chandigarh, to the homes and stories so eloquently captured in Natalie Walton’s This is Home – each is a wonderful source of inspiration, escapism and both visual & tactile indulgence. ~ Dx
Jeanneret Chandigarh by Jacques Dworczak/Assouline
Pierre Jeanneret expert and historian Jacques Dworczak searched for years to collect and authenticate many of Pierre Jeanneret’s design, and the results of his efforts have been put together in the Catalogue Raisonne Du Mobilier: Jeanneret Chandigarh by Assouline. With over 400 illustrations and an incredible photographic catalogue, it details Dworczak’s wide travels and insights on these iconic and coveted mid-century designs. It is a comprehensive look at a singular design movement – when French modernism met the natural materials of Northern India, wonderfully laid out in both French and English.
Studio KO by Karl Fournier & Oliver Marty
Written by the brains behind prominent and sought after architecture practice Studio KO, this monograph showcases their considered, tactile design with use of local and natural material, from public projects such as the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech and their ever growing projects in private houses including Villa E in Ourika - which we’ve had the immense pleasure of visiting. Through the lens of photographer Dan Glasser and his immaculate photographic documentary, you are permitted to zoom in an out on the details; the textures and materials reference modernism and are inspired by the landscape. Each page is as beautiful as the next.
Ibiza Bohemia by Renu Kashyap & Maya Boyd / Assouline
A beautiful portrait of the one of the most magnetic places on earth – Ibiza – from the artists, hippies and party people who have settled there. Within it you are transported by luscious photography of sea, landscape, architecture and humans – to the place that for decades has been where one can reinvent themselves and discover bliss. With over 200 illustrations and such a cast of characters, Ibiza Bohemia is an escape you will always enjoy.
The New Mediterranean by Gestalten
Featuring Tigmi Trading alongside some of our favourite designers including Laurence Leenaert (LRNCE) and Sarah Ellison, The New Mediterranean follows the designers and architects leading the way in a new, down-to-earth modernism that combines Mediterranean folkloric influences with contemporary aesthetic. It’s a brilliant curation of inspiring interiors from around the world and breaks down the elements in each to show you how to bring this sumptuous, sun-drenched style into your own home. Beautiful imagery and so many individual stories to pick up and read.
Connections: Moroccan Carpets by Francoise Dorget
Like us, Francoise Dorget - who is well-known in the Paris design scene - was enamoured by Morocco; it captured her heart and she would return time and time again. Also like us, over the years she amassed a large collection of Moroccan rugs from several regions all over the country, and Connections is her vast collection on display. Using her extensive knowledge of design and art, Dorget pairs each carpet with a work of art, architecture or a personal photograph taken on her travels, creating a personal, cultural and meaningful link between the two. Connections also features information on each region’s design and weaving processes and works by some of our favourite designers including Isamo Noguchi and Ettore Sottsass. A delicious and intellectual compilation featuring our favourite thing – rugs!
This Is Home: The Art of Simple Living by Natalie Walton
A passion project that encapsulates over 10 years worth of lessons learnt as an interior stylist and writer, This Is Home is wonderfully warm and charismatic. In it, Natalie Walton steps inside fifteen homes across the world to meet the people who made them and to discover whether there is some universality to what makes us happy in the space we inhabit. Filled with beautiful photography, transporting stories and practical advice – including my sister Simone McEwan in her London abode – it reminds us to nurture the space that helps makes our lives possible.
Remodelista by Julie Carlson
The go-to for home design enthusiasts, remodellers, architects and designers – with a clearly defined aesthetic that we completely agree with; classics trumps trends and considered presides cluttered. Remodelista gives you so many tools to put this aesthetic to work in your own space, with in-depth tours of incredible homes, DIY projects, the ‘Remodelista 100’ – a guide to the best everyday household objects, as well as comprehensive how-to’s on the remodelling process. It’s the fundamental interiors guide everyone should have and one that I keep going to time and time again.
The Alchemy of Things by Karen McCartney
Another collection of fascinating homes, The Alchemy of Things invites you in the homes and minds of eighteen UK, Australian, US and European creatives. These artist, interior designers, architects, collectors, gallerists, stylists, furniture designers and vintage retailers take you on an eccentric, whimsical, curated and clever tour of their interior design and décor. My favourite is the philosophies behind their creativity.
Nomad Deluxe: Wandering With A Purpose by Herbert Ypma
Reawaken your deep-seated desire to escape to the most distant reaches of the globe (especially right now!). From the remote Siwa Oasis in Egypt to the rugged Adirondacks, to the craters fo the arid Atacama Desert, this vibrant book is an authentic guide to being a modern day nomad. Herbert Ypma’s commentary, gripping anecdotes and remarkable photography are always a welcome infusion to the daily grind.
Houses: Modern Natural/Natural Modern by Ron Broadhurst
A curation of innovative structures that maintain a sensitive relationship to their natural contexts, this is an authoritative volume on some of the most incredible environmentally sensitive residential design of last decade. Over five continents, Broadhurst’s selection demonstrates the inexhaustible potential of the modern house to enter a dialogue with nature by incorporating innovative design with some radical rethinking on the use of ‘traditional’ materials. Written ten years ago it’s even more pertinent now – I find it really gets the wheels turning in your mind about how we can do things better; it’s beautifully put together with striking photography, plans and elevation drawings too.