Coffee Table Books for Holiday Gifting

I firmly believe that books are the best gifts to give and receive, for the holidays and beyond! Recently there have been so many great design coffee table books released that I think would make for great holiday presents, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite new releases as well as older favorites. With Amazon Prime in the mix books also make a for a great last-minute gift so that’s a bonus too!

Susanna Salk: The Power of Pattern

Susanna Salk has written several coffee table books and after reading this one I’m dying to get my hands on her whole collection. I absolutely LOVED The Power of Pattern, which comes as no surprise seeing as color and pattern are my two main loves when it comes to interior design. Susanna breaks the book into pattern sections: Toile, Chinoiserie, Animal Prints, Ikat, etc…and then shares a bit about each, designers’ thoughts on them, and images of her favorites in the category. It was a delight to page through this book and take in the classic patterns that we all know and love, in addition to ones that I’d personally never seen before. Can’t recommend this one enough!

Patrick Sutton: Storied Interiors

Patrick Sutton is a designer who I wasn’t familiar with before this book, and I’m happy to have become acquainted with his work. Patrick grew up the son of a travel journalist, and his work was deeply influenced by the glamorous and exotic places that he was able to explore during that time. In the book he talks about his tenets of design (Light and Dark, The Importance of Texture, Art, etc), and then delves into sharing his work, with a focus on the stories that interiors facilitate in the lives of his clients. His work is definitely more masculine than I usually gravitate towards so if you have a design loving friend or family member whose tastes lean more towards that category I think they would love this book! *

Jeffrey Dungan: The Nature of Home: Creating Timeless Houses

Jeffrey is an architect and so this book is all about his architectural work and his philosophy behind designing homes and buildings. His ethos is really about  taking into account nature and the surrounding landscape as he designs, and it was fascinating to learn about how he does that. Design and architecture are so intertwined, and as a lover of design I’m ashamed to say that I’m woefully ignorant when it comes to architectural design! So it was really great to learn more about it and hear from someone who is not only immensely talented, but deeply passionate about the subject. The book is beautiful and also very educational, which is the best combination in my opinion! I mean truly, his architectural work is simply stunning and captured so beautifully in these pages, and it was really interesting to read a book and be more focused on the architecture rather than the design, when for me it’s usually the opposite. *

Veere Grenney: A Point of View: On Decorating

A BEAUTIFUL book, not only in terms of the designs shown in its pages but the book itself, which is printed on thick, gorgeous paperstock and has the prettiest pink cover underneath the jacket (I notice these things!). Veere is incredibly talented and shares a lot about his beginnings in the field, how he decorates and more. There are a lot of beautiful projects in this book and there’s also a lot of writing, almost like a memoir-ish vibe. Veere is simply a master of English design (even though he’s actually from New Zealand!) and I loved getting more acquainted with the impressive breadth of his work.*

Jennifer Boles: Inspired Design: The 100 Most Important Designers of the Past 100 Years

This book is AWESOME! As someone who loves design but go to school for it, I’ve always felt pretty ignorant about the “greats” of the field. I’d read magazines and things and see people referring to Billy Baldwin, Cecil Beaton, Dorothy Draper, etc, and though I heard the names over and over I didn’t really know anything about the designers themselves or their contributions. This book is an education in that way. Jennifer worked exhaustively to compile a list of the 100 most important designers, and I like that she didn’t just include the well-known greats like Albert Hadley (although they are there!), but also included others who may not be considered household names. Her guiding principle was that all 100 had to have “influenced the course of design and made a lasting impression.” I learned a lot and I love this book as an introduction to design history. My one quibble is with the imagery in the book – a lot of the pictures are blown up beyond the appropriate resolution and therefore blurry, and I would have preferred if they’d just kept them small and clear. Since she’s writing about many designers from the early part of the last century I imagine it might have been hard to find good (or any) pictures, but in that case I also think it would have been preferable to instead include artists renderings of the spaces (she did include one, and it is beautiful!). There were no color photos of the Greenbrier which I found disappointing. That said, many of the photos are great and the Les Touches cover is obviously beyond! I absolutely love this book and I consider it a must for any design lover’s library. *

Now for a few older interior design coffee table books that would make for great gifts if someone doesn’t already have them!

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well

I mean, does any person interested in design not have this book? If not, you’re about to get them the best gift EVER. This book has practical, real advice, the most charming illustrations, and is just so good – a classic, really. Former domino editor and current T Magazine contributor Deborah Needleman shares her uniquely laidback perspective on making a home and living a life that’s, well, perfectly imperfect…a very appealing ethos! You’ll want to be friends with her and to be invited to her house!

Domino: The Book of Decorating

Another total classic! Who didn’t love the old domino? This book captures the spirit of the magazine and features many of its most beloved projects.

Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life

Again, I’d be surprised if anyone who loves design doesn’t have this. Erin has a unique voice that comes through on her blog and in this book. She mixes design advice/writing with personal essays that allow her sense of humor and humanity to shine through, which is what makes this book a real pleasure to read. Aside from that, the book also features tons of amazing design, so overall it’s just fantastic (and you can’t beat that striped spine!).

Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style

The title is apt – this book is beautiful! It’s chock-full of Mark’s singular American style and signature blue and white palette, but also includes lots of other projects of his that may surprise you if you’re not completely familiar with his work. Chapters on his use of red and safari-esque shades of sand and taupe will keep you turning the pages and feeling ultra inspired!

Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating

This could well be my favorite decorating book of all time. Lauren is insanely talented and this book is FULL of useful information. It’s almost like a textbook or crash course on design (hence the “field guide” title), but written in a totally readable fashion and not at all dry or boring. I loved seeing her work, learning about how she designs, and just soaking in all of her extensive knowledge. Her design style couldn’t be more different than mine and yet it doesn’t matter at all – I think her designs are amazing and she makes you understand the choices she makes. I admire her so much and I think out of all the design books out there, this one is a true standout.

Good Bones, Great Pieces: The Seven Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime

I’m a huge fan of mother-daughter design duo McGrath II and I loved their book. In it they share their top seven pieces that they feel every home needs, from a demilune table to a loveseat and more…classics that will stand the test of time, can come with you from home to home, and will always look fresh in any space. It’s a great concept for a book and just a really enjoyable read. I hope they write another book!

Dream Design Live

I love Paloma’s work and her book was such a fun read and full of eye candy…check out my full review here! It actually came out really recently so I’m not sure why I included it in the older books but oh well!

I’m sure I missed a ton of great books – if you have any suggestions on what I’m missing from my library feel free to leave a rec in the comments!

Items denoted with a * were sent to me for review – thank you to those publishers! All opinions are my own 🙂

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