I like beautiful books and I cannot lie. They are the definition of form meets function and can instantly add color and pattern and elevate a coffee table, console, or shelf. Amazon is where I get the majority of mine, but I have also found a couple at HomeGoods and have helped a friend find great ones at Half Price Books (tip: take the jackets off!) A coffee table book is always on my Christmas wishlist as well. Here are the ones I’ve dubbed the best of the best currently!
I am obsessed with this book. It includes the homes of twenty designers who have been influenced by their travels. My favorite chapter was Found Objects, but honestly every chapter was great and taught me something, ending with a how-to guide. My favorite chapter’s guide was “Navigating a Flea Market.” I learned so much!
The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles & Details
This book reads as somewhat of a manual or resource for aspiring designers about designing with quality in mind. There’s so much information about the history of all of the elements you put into a home (from flooring and wallpaper to lighting, textiles, furniture, and accessories). My favorite chapter was “Accessories.” I love the images taped to the mirrored vanity and that bar cart styling against the moody wall is everything!
The House That Pinterest Built
I will admit that I bought this book based on the black and white cover and my love for Diane Keaton. I was also intrigued by the idea of designing a house based on favorite Pinterest pins. “Pinterest was the inspiration, the reference, and the guide.” The house is somewhat cold, but very unique, which I like. It’s definitely not what everyone else is doing design-wise. My favorite images are of a bedroom and the exterior off her kitchen. And the hilarious quotes people have made to her since she built that she included at the back of the book!
Old Home Love
This book is authored by Andy & Candis Meredith, hosts of several HGTV shows. Each chapter showcases a different old home. My favorite is the playful 1800s Banister Home. Even though I live in a new build, I aspire to add vintage character to my home at every turn!
Remodelista is a field guide of sorts from the team behind the home site Remodelista.com. It is filled to the brim with design and decorating ideas that are easy to incorporate into your home, including DIY. It’s a great example of how form and function can both be considered. My favorite homes from the book are from London and Brooklyn. And I bookmarked the “10 Rules to Live By” years ago!
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Josh surprised me with a trip to NYC for my 30th birthday. He knows travel is the way to my heart! I purchased this book at the museum after being so in awe over this Alexander McQueen special exhibit: Savage Beauty. Even if you don’t love fashion, this book is full of stunning images (and doubles as Halloween decor on my coffee table in the fall). My two favorite dresses are part of the Romantic chapter.
We have 5 museums on the list for France (two that are large and three that are on the smaller side). I hope to be as inspired by them as I was by this exhibit!
I cannot pick a favorite chapter of this book by plant guru Hilton Carter! It’s all too good. From the chapter that shows 10 places in the world to add to your list if you love plants and the plants he think will be the next 10 “it” plants.
On my wishlist…
This is Home: The Art of Simple Living
Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Sorts of Styles
Elements of Style