7 of the best home decor books to inspire your summer
What better time than the summer holidays to indulge in a little bibliotherapy, and crack open the books that have been calling out to us all year? If like us you’re obsessed with architecture and interior design, or if you’re seeking inspiration for your own home reinvention, take a leaf through our top picks for sun lounger season:
1# Living to the max: Opulent Homes & Maximalist Interiors
Flamboyant furnishings, vivid colours, bold patterned wall coverings and outlandish accessories: There’s nothing wishy-washy about these high-drama homes, nor the passionate creators behind them. Here, the work of established designers like Misha Kahn are thrown in with the visions of such famous aesthetes as Dita Von Teese.
2# Arranging things
In this book, Colin King inspires us to tap into our innate creativity and elevate our space. You’ll discover how the celebrated New York stylist works his magic by the artful arrangement of objects on coffee tables, mantlepieces, bookshelves and bedside tables. Rather than rushing out to buy yet more stuff, he encourages us to dust off what we already have and approach it with fresh eyes.
#3 Slow Living: Feel-Good spaces for contemporary life
An invitation to be present, enjoy the moment and find peace in our homes through the medium of design. From Lofts Publications comes this compendium of projects by architects and designers all over the world who have embraced the ethos of slow living. Spaces inspired by nature and guided by well-being, sustainability and timeless artisanal traditions.
#4 Norman Foster
The starchitect looks back on his most career-defining projects, from the Millenium Bridge to Apple Park, in this impressive two-volume edition from Taschen. The first book includes previously unseen images and sketches thoughtfully curated by Foster himself, while the second presents a series of eight essays on the inspiration for his work.
#5 Small houses
In the world of architecture, small can be beautiful. Here we have a collection of homes spanning 25 countries and 57 architects, each neatly packed into less than 100 square metres. Hopping between Brazil, Hungary, South Korea, the Netherlands, the USA, Japan, Australia and more, the book features a number of well-known “tiny houses” such as Takeshi Hosaka’s Love2 House, Aranza de Ariño’s Casa Tiny and projects by the likes of Jakub Szcz?sny, Charles Pictet, Lada Hršak, BIG and Fran Silvestre. It’s a journey of discovery through this very modern architectural and creative movement, and a glimpse into a more sustainable future.
#6 The artist’s table
Tata García-Osende and Javier Santiso de Ossorio guide us through the evolution of the art of table dressing from a historical, artistic and compositional perspective. Fine china (Wedgwood, Vista Alegre, Sèvres, Satsuma), crystal and glassware from world-famous workshops (Baccarat, Bohemia, Murano, La Granja), pieces by today’s most sought-after goldsmiths (Asprey, Jacobsen, Tiffany) and some exquisite textiles and lace (Camariñas, Brussels, Fortuny) meet more contemporary pieces in a smorgasbord of stunning compositions. Each arrangement is accompanied by historical notes, commentary and anecdotes that reveal how the quest for the perfect tablescape has endured and evolved over time.
#7 Homes for our time
This wide-ranging volume features work by big hitters like Shigeru Ban and Marcio Kogan alongside emerging talents including Xu Fu-Min, Vo Trong Nghia, Desai Chia and Shunri Nishizawa. It gives us a tantalising peak inside some extraordinary homes, from Australia, New Zealand, China, Vietnam, the USA and Mexico to less commonly featured locations like Ecuador and Costa Rica. Modest country homes and woodland cabins rub shoulders with lavish villas and beachfront mansions, offering something sensational for every taste.