Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

On My Coffee Table: Design Books for Spring and Summer


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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I don’t know about you, but I’m loving the weather this spring; while I dread the hot and sticky and brutal Atlanta summers, I do look forward to watching my herbs sprout from seeds and eating farm-fresh veggies. One now-classic favorite of mine is Edible Estates, which will have you looking at your yard with loads of new ideas.

I also look forward to fleeing north and hitting the New England coast as an escape. Even if you don’t have a dreamy beach house to decorate, it’s time to switch out that dark heavy quilt and throw pillows for some lighter textures and colors. Take some California seaside inspiration from Interior designer Tim Clarke’s recent release, Coastal Modern, is one of my favorite new books on the market. He presents a spare and uncluttered aesthetic that’s still warm and inviting.

Going across to the opposite coast, one of my new favorite coffee table books is Yankee Modern: The Houses of Estes/Twombly. These architects have such a great way of capturing the spirit of the vernacular architecture in a contemporary way when they are designing these beautiful homes.

Well, Sal may have been unjustly fired from Sterling Cooper (I wish he’d some back!), but the actor who played him, Bryan Batt, is not only running his chic New Orleans home boutique, but also wrote this fabulous book, Big Easy Style. It’s full of great style and wit, as Batt has a discerning eye and a killer sense of humor.

What’s on your coffee table at the moment? Please share your favorite design tomes in the comments section.


Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Coffee Table Book Must Have


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Ah, an afternoon post – I was very sidetracked as my Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor arrived today. I got so into it I haven’t even read David Rohde’s daily installment of “Held by the Taliban” in the Times yet, and that is a seriously riveting serialized read. I thought most of it would look familiar because I flip through my Elle Decor issues again and again and save and make tear sheets galore, but actually, a lot of it was new to me, and the familiar shots were all tear-sheet worthy. The book is set up by space – bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. They range from rustic Martha’s Vineyard bathrooms to opulent “Marrakesh retreats”.

Best of all, Margaret Russell, author and Elle Decor E.I.C. spares the reader from the usual flowery writing for the sake of having X amount of text on the page copy that is so common in such lovely, glossy design books. I mean really, how often do we actually read these books? 85% of the time, I buy interior design books just for the pictures, as they are usually worth a thousand words. Russell sticks to giving a nice introduction to each section, and “Style Guides” at the end of each section. In the guides, she pulls together what we can learn from the spaces and gives easy-to-follow, pragmatic advice about how to glean style skills from the images. This book is one I will pore over many times, and it also makes a great gift.

Who are your favorite interior design writers? Mine include Russell, Celerie Kemble, Jonathan Adler, Billy Baldwin and Dorothy Draper. Please share yours in the comments section.

images via, from Elle Decor: Style and Substance, by Michael Mundy and Henry Bourne, respectively.