8 Books For Design Devotees

For that special someone on your list who loves a good book and enjoys great design: nothing could be more apropos after a long couple of years than a diverting and informative read that encourages making the most of the spaces we call home.

Kelly Hoppen’s Essential Style Solutions for Every Home by Kelly Hoppen (Frances Lincoln)

Photos courtesy of Frances Lincoln

In her latest book, Hoppen – designer, businesswoman and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) – combines design inspiration with practical tips for transforming a home. The volume features descriptive text with eye-catching images to spur creativity, accompanied by checklists to appeal to the left-brained among us.

Quick quote: “More so than ever before, our home is our sanctuary. We live in a world that is constantly changing and very different from what we have been used to during the past few years, but we all still want and need to be surrounded by beauty, warmth, luxury and practicality.”

Take It Outside: A Guide to Designing Beautiful Spaces Just Beyond Your Door by Mel Brasier, Garret Magee and James DeSantis (Clarkson Potter, releases December 7)

Photos courtesy of Clarkson Potter

The authors, hosts of Bravo TV’s Backyard Envy and owners of the Manscapers landscaping company, show readers how to create the outdoor space of their dreams. They offer tips on setting a mood, creating activity zones, selecting plants that are both pretty and practical, and enhancing outdoor spaces with accessories.

Quick Quote: “Use hardscaping to highlight focal points in the garden. Maybe your yard is graced with a centuries-old specimen tree that’s been overlooked for years. Design a plan around it to maximize its potential. If your garden lacks a natural star attraction, consider installing a water feature or artwork like statuary or sculpture – anything that fits with your concept and lures you outside more often (or gives you something to look out on during the colder months)…. We especially like a focal point with a rich origin story that sparks conversation.”

Home Stories: Design Ideas for Making a House a Home by Kim Leggett (Abrams)

Cover photography by Leslie Brown | Right Photo courtesy of Harry N. Abrams

In this 224-page volume, Legget, the author of City Farmhouse Style and the owner of City Farmhouse in Franklin TN, describes the ways in which we can bring warmth, personality and meaning to our homes.

Quick Quote: “Telling the story of our home means so much to me. Nearly everything brought in and styled within our own house is connected to our lives in a personal way – whether it’s the history of the piece itself or a past or present memory.”

The Monocle Book of Homes: A Guide to Inspiring Residences by Tyler Brûlé, Nolan Giles and Andrew Tuck (Thames & Hudson)

Cover photo: courtesy of Thames & Hudson | Right Photo © 2021 Winkontent Limited of Midori House, 1Dorset Street, London, W1U 4EG

This book welcomes readers into homes around the world – urban, suburban, rural, on the coast, in the mountains, or deep in the woods – in celebration of the havens people create for themselves. It provides tips and inspiration for outfitting your own home, and a list of furnishings and fixtures curated by the authors.

Quick quote: “Even the best homes aren’t ever really perfect, as much as they are perfect reflections of those who reside in them.”

Home: A Celebration: Notable Voices Reflect on the Meaning of Home, edited by Charlotte Moss (Rizzoli USA)

Photograph by Pieter Estersohn | Right Photo courtesy Rizzoli New York

This compilation of essays gets to the heart of why the concept of home – both literally and figuratively – means so much. Interior designer, author and philanthropist Charlotte Moss has pulled together text and images from luminaries in a wide variety of fields, including Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler, Chef Alice Waters and Historian Jon Meacham. It’s a heartwarming endeavor in more ways than one; sales of the book benefit No Kid Hungry, which aims to end childhood hunger in the United States.

Quick Quote: “Home is a place for people to come and go, filled with love and family, somewhere that is lived in and never too perfect. Everything has a memory tied to it and every room represents different times and places in my life.” – Tory Burch

Houses: Robert A.M. Stern Architects by Gary L. Brewer, Randy M. Correll, Grant F. Marani and Roger H. Seifter (Monacelli Press)

Photos courtesy of Monacelli Press | Right Photo by Eric Piasecki

Architecture buffs will enjoy this look at 17 projects from the famed architecture firm. Follow the thought process as RAMSA’s partners describe the steps they took to transform homes in a variety of environments – from the beach to the mountains to the city. Learn about how collaboration between the architects, interior designers, landscape designers, builders and tradespeople can elevate a project and see how the firm translates a variety of styles for modern living.

Quick Quote: “The house has always been at the heart of the architectural practice I founded in 1969…. We have enjoyed these commissions not only as opportunities to explore the possibilities of a wide range of architectural vocabularies appropriate to each site and to the tastes of each client, but also – more importantly – as a means of satisfying the needs and aspirations of families we have come to know so well.” – Robert A.M Stern

Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility by Andrew Cogar and Marc Kristal (Rizzoli)

Photos by Eric Piasecki

Cogar, of New York City and Atlanta, GA-based architectural firm Historical Concepts, teams with journalist Kristal to present his design philosophy – rooted in tradition, with an innovative flair. Beautiful images of interiors and exteriors in a variety of styles are interspersed with architectural sketches that enhance understanding of the architect’s process.   

Quick Quote: “When we look around homes, what do we see? Furniture and photographs, family heirlooms and sentimental keepsakes. But the things we perceive most vividly – those that invest a home with real value and purpose – aren’t visible to the naked eye. These are the memories. The kids’ first steps. Glasses raised to birthdays and anniversaries. A thousand good mornings and as many good nights. Homes are where we create, and immerse ourselves in personal history. And the longer we live in them, the more layered and evocative our memories become until, eventually, an act as simple and casual as crossing a room can bring forth a wellspring of emotions….”

Gray Malin: The Essential Collection by Gray Malin (Abrams)

A famed photographer with a passion for interior design, Malin has pulled together images from some of his most iconic shoots along with never-before-published photographs. The collection includes stunning shots from Malin’s extensive journeys on all seven continents, with backstories on how each image was created.

Quick Quote: “From a young age, I learned to view interior spaces as a form of art as my mother had a deep passion for interior design that she passed on to me. This particular insight allowed me to appreciate design and influenced me to create work that would complement the inside of a home.”

Looking for a host gift? Check our blog next Friday!