After I mentioned Suzanne loaning me some of her vintage design books, I received an email from a reader asking me which design books I would recommend. This is a little tricky, but let’s start with Suzanne’s stack. I adored The Power of Style, though it is not really a design book. Billy Baldwin – most definitely and it is a delight to read. (Yes, read.) Vogue, how could I have doubted you and your astronomical price tag? I’m not sure I can say it’s worth every penny, but it is very, very good. World of Interiors, yes. Hicks? Actually, I prefer the newer one for all the reasons his son mentions in the forward. I know it’s sacrilege, but I would pass on this.
Now, mine. The thing is, to me, a design book doesn’t have to be a home run to win me over. A few good images can keep it near and dear to my heart.
Home – a fabulous read I wish I’d thought of myself. Browning’s book, de Wolfe, Hampton (mine is a signed first edition – I’m showing off) and the Van Day Truex bio all have amazing content. Tarlow has some of the best decorating advice ever. Ever. Well Lived Life I refer to often. So Chic allowed me to clear out most of my Elle Decor tear sheets; it’s all in there.
Any of the vintage House and Garden books should be snapped up, but the 1960 is my favorite. Inspirational Interiors I would clutch to my bosom as I fled my burning house assuming my family was safe. Gomez, absolutely wonderful. Again, Baldwin, this time “Remembers” is a delight – more to read than to look at, though there are knock-out rooms as well.
Adore Southern Accent’s Color. Adore. Hoppen’s Perfect Neutrals is a new favorite and I love the way she has compiled so many designers’ work. Influential Interiors is essential. The aforementioned Hicks is a must have as is Smith’s Elements of Style and Rooms to Inspire does just that.
A few are too large for the under-the-window-seat shelf (which is just to the left of my desk – handy) and are on the bookshelf just behind. von Kersting’s book is a complete delight and I almost feel like I have to wear white cotton gloves when I look at it. The paperback binding will surely not withstand my constant pawing. Farrow & Ball is gorgeous.
These I had on my desk for a while, but, as I am so messy, they kept taking up space I need to pile, well, stuff.
Albert Hadley I go back to again and again and the new Vogue Living keeps offering up surprises every time I am on the hunt. I have so many on my wish list, the first being the Parish Hadley. As you can see, I need it.
I did not link to all of these books because the post would have looked like it was hit with buckshot and I couldn’t stand it. I believe if you click on the photos you can see each spine clearly.