We’re suckers for a beautiful design book. We’re not talking cheesy how-to guides or decluttering manifestos, we’re here to recommend beautiful and interesting books that’ll draw you to leafing through them, while at the same time going a long way to being objects of decoration. After all, we’re big believers books can furnish a room.
Here are eight design-focused coffee table looks you’ll actually want to display. Hot tip: they also all double as excellent gifts. We won’t tell if it’s for yourself.
1. A Room Of Her Own
A Room of Her Own, Inside the Homes & Lives of Creative Women is by best-selling author Robyn Lea. This book is a worthy addition to any book collection because it highlights some of the world’s most dazzling homes and the private lives of the women who inhabit them, including artists, designers, makers and curators.
Twenty women are featured in the book including Australian Heidi Middleton, Milan based American fashion designer JJ Martin of La Double J fame and renowned French wallpaper artist Claire Basler.
2. Absolutely Beautiful Things
Authored by Australian interior design darling, Anna Spiro, Absolutely Beautiful Things is full of images of Spiro’s recognisable patterns, bold colours, and perfectly eclectic design aesthetic. This book is one for colour lovers… or those who like the idea of clashing patterns but are not sure how to make them work.
3. Rockett and St George: Extraordinary Interiors
You know a design book will be good when it’s authored by a duo who owns a renowned design and antique store. Jane Rockett and Lucy St George, of Rockett St George in Hassocks, Uk, have authored Extraordinary Interiors, a book of beautiful images, broken up with snippets of advice for creating magical, inviting, and imaginative interiors. The pair’s concept of ‘home’ and how to create it is insightful and presented in a beautiful hardback.
4. Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet
Authored by Sandra Piesik, Habitat melds architecture, history, geography and engineering, to look at different structures from around the world that have stood the test of time in their differing environments. A beautiful, sturdy coffee Table Book, Habitat is both interesting and a talking point.
5. Jungalow: Decorate Wild
Authored by New York Times bestseller Justina Blakeney, Jungalow: Decorate Wild is big, bold, and one of the most beautiful books we’ve come across. Jungalow is the term coined by Justina for the brand that embodies her wild but warm style. With photos from around the world, Blakney curates a very particular look – If you’re a fan of colour in all things design, this one’s for you.
If you love the Jungalow aesthetic, there’s a fabulous Instagram account of the same name, serving your colourful home inspo daily.
Shelter is a collection of photographs of shacks, cottages, and farmhouses from all over Australia. Kara Rosenlund, the author of Shelter travelled across Australia, down dusty tracks and to remote coastal areas to gather photos of Australia’s most character-filled, rustic, and interesting structures. Shelter isn’t so much a design inspo book, as it is a talking point and interesting addition to your coffee table.
7. Resident Dog
Chances are you’ve already seen author Nicole England’s photos, either here on Hunting for George or in other design publications you love. Nicole is a renowned and prolific architectural and interiors photographer. Resident Dog is a book that was born from Nicole’s realisation that her favourite shoots were ones with a little canine influence. Dogs naturally loosened up the style of the shoot and added a touch of the ‘every day’ to homes that otherwise may have appeared stiff or imposing. Resident Dog is a stunning addition to any coffee table or shelf and combines two stellar subjects – design and dogs!
8. India Hicks – Island Style
In this book, three-time author India Hicks displays her timeless, pared-back style and shares her Island Style which combines Caribbean culture with British colonial form and formality. The photos scattered throughout the book are stunning and the writing is warm and humorous with many insights into design and the author’s family.