Wednesday, 2 March 2016

4 books for your coffee table

A source of new ideas? Something to inspire? A talking point for guests? There's a lot we demand from our coffee table books. They are permanently on display, after all. The list above is by no means exhaustive and it can be difficult to find books which tick all the right boxes. But hopefully I've done all the hard work for you! Below are 4 books which you won't be disappointed by, you'll just have trouble deciding on which one to buy... 


In order to produce the clever and modern furniture we have today, we've had to learn from the past. The author of this book, Tim Gosling, shows that decoding a historical design's DNA is an intrinsic tool in creating successful contemporary work. This book takes us on a journey through 300 years of design, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, relating key periods to the author's own projects as well as superbly illustrating the old and new in drawings and stunning photographs. It is beautifully put together and the text is both lively and authoritative. Each chapter is carefully laid out and is a wonderful resource, particularly if you want to re-create a specific look in your own home. More than that though, it represents how we've come to where we are today and the beauty in both classic and contemporary furniture design.


There are some shops which seem to tempt you in... You walk past and have to stop, inextricably drawn across the threshold, without quite knowing why. What is it that makes them so beautiful? How have they managed to create such a welcoming atmosphere?

This book is delightful. It peeks inside the houses of some of the creative owners of independent shops and shows how their displays and decorating ideas can be translated for the home. Pictures of the house interior and shop are laid next to each other so you can pick out how they recreated their look inside their own home. An incredibly unique book that will be a real talking point.


A visual feast, this fascinating book will spark conversations, ideas and controversy. This is not a technical book. Nor is it about pattern as surface decoration. Instead, it is a fabulous collection of picture references interspersed with musings on the nature of pattern. The visual content largely consists of pictures of nature or everyday life juxtaposed with stills from the fashion world. This book takes you on an uplifting journey of pattern-related subjects, taking in Fibonacci, the golden ratio, Buddhist ideas and chaos theory. It gives you a visual springboard from which you can leap off and dive into the topics touched upon. 


Lighting is too often neglected in our room scheme planning. It's so easy to focus more on paint colours, accessories and furniture. We have good ideas in our head, but once the paint is on the walls, it might end up looking all wrong. And this might not be because of the colours and ideas, but it could be all down to the lighting. Lighting can bring a home from doom to va-va-voom. 

This wonderful book is an intelligent and practical resource that is at once useful and beautiful. The writing is sensitive and comprehensive, combining psychology, technical details and tricks of the trade. There are chapters on lighting techniques and case studies which are weaved together with photographs so you can easily replicate any idea at home. An inspiring and interesting book to create the right lighting language for your room.

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