Coffee table books make great gifts! They are also a good way to fill shelves without using a lot of trinkets. Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests. I have tons of interior design books, which isn’t surprising, but someone else might gravitate toward books on fashion, travel, photography, art, nature, or gardening. Coffee table books come in an array of sizes and colors, making it possible to find a beautiful book on a subject you love that also fits well with your interior. To display coffee table books, you can stack them, lay them side by side, or simply leave out one book at a time. Your collection will tell an interesting story. Here are some of my favorite coffee table books to get you inspired!
1. Rothko: An amazing introduction to Rothko’s work!
2. Abstract Expressionism: A beautiful look at the abstract expressionism movement in NY following World War II.
3. Andy Warhol: Features the life and work of the iconic Andy Warhol.
4. The Art Book: A fun, accessible compilation of artists from medieval times to present day.
5. The Little Black Jacket: Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld’s reinterpretation of Chanel’s iconic little black jacket.
6. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Gorgeous displays of natural wonders!
7. Dealer’s Choice: Lush photos of homes belonging to the world’s foremost anitquaires.
8. Big Book of Chic: A lavish book featuring Miles Redd’s unique designs.
9. Cohler on Design: Cohler’s classic interiors interspersed with amazing inspirational design images.
10. Marilyn Monroe: Text from Normal Mailer’s biography of Marilyn along with Bert Stern’s incredible photography. I am so fortunate to have an edition of this book from my mother.
11. A Photographer’s Life: Everyone should have at least one book by Annie Leibovitz!
12. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty: A look at the full breadth of McQueen’s amazing career.
13. Woman in the Mirror: Richard Avedon’s poetic portraits of women.
14. By the Light of the Sea: Always a go-to book!
15. Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time: Influential photos of the rich and famous in their exclusive surroundings.
What kind of story do your coffee table books tell?
One of the things I love about having my office in Greenwich is the great shopping. Greenwich has become something of a shopping mecca for designers with some fantastic storefronts. It’s so nice to have the option of shopping right here and supporting the community that supports my own business. Along the center of town and down a couple of side streets, you can find these places that aren’t always your typical, mainstream store. Here are some of my favorites:
Greenwich Tile: This is my go-to source for tile in any size. Vita, the owner, is creative and innovative. Greenwich Tile isn’t just a supply house; they love design and will mix materials to create an energizing, unique palette. You can visit them at 402 W Putnam Ave or call (203) 869-4773.
Mark Inc.: I’ve known Mark for a while now and he is such a great guy. He does custom mohair rugs in hundreds of designs. The level of capability that goes into his products in unbelievable! The classical thinking behind his rugs is evident. I love that you can even see progress photos of your rugs on the loom! Mark Inc. is located at 34 E Putnam Ave.
Exquisite Surfaces: Amazing source for flooring, including salvaged and reclaimed options. Visit them at 11 E Putnam Ave.
C. Parker Gallery: The gallery’s storefront opens at 17 E Putnam Ave with the holiday season, but this year has remained open. With an extensive collection of impressionist paintings, the gallery is a wonderful source of art close to home. I love the concept of C. Parker Gallery; they host events, are available for private consultations, and install purchased artwork.
Trovare Home: They have a great knack for mixing vintage items and reproductions with modern pieces. The accessories are great, and you can really tell the owner has a clever eye. Trovare Home, at 245 E Putnam Ave, also has good sized abstract art that’s well priced. The store consists of such charming vignettes that you want to scoop them up and install them just the way they are.
Room: With a showroom in NYC as well, Room is a great addition to Greenwich shopping. They feature custom crafted pieces by a variety of artisans and designers, but what I really like is their lighting. I was once working on a project here in Greenwich with a short lead time. Their bocce lamps were perfect — like jewelry for a room. Everything is customizable too, making their pieces suitable for almost any decor. You can find Room at 36 E. Putnam Ave.
What kind of local shopping do you like to do?
Brass was a popular finish in the 1970s on furniture and accessories, and in the 1980s brass fittings, plumbing, and hardware were mainstream choices until the clean look of polished nickel edged it out of common use. Lately brass has made a comeback, and not in an over-the-top, opulent manner. Brass can be tactfully done to add warmth and elegance to a space. It can be chic, lend an art deco feel to a room, and have a visually grounding effect. Similar to using gold accessories, brass can be that pop of something extra in a beautiful interior. Here are some of my favorite examples of using brass in interior design!
3. Brass Coffee Table by Mastercraft
5. Brass Console Table by Taylor Llorente
7. Brass Sink
8. Iacoli & McAllister Brass Pendant Lamp
9. Brass Door, image via Fffound
10. Folded Brass Wall Decor from Dwell Studio
11. Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry
12. Brass Door Handle, image via Dwell
Cover image: Steampunk Panel from Spoonflower
I was fist introduced to the Charlotte Brody clothing line by Will of Holland and Sherry’s Bespoke store in NYC and I immediately loved what I saw. I’ve always been inspired by fashion. Interior design and fashion are two separate worlds that are connected by trends and creative influences. The intricacies of a beautiful fashion piece are things I can incorporate into design. Charlotte Brody’s collections feature exactly the details and qualities that appeal to me. I really appreciate such well tailored, well made things.
Charlotte Brody’s fashions show a great use of color. It’s a very well-edited collection, with such interesting key pieces. Apparel from the Cabana line is ready to wear, or clients can choose their own fabrics to create a specific and unique wardrobe. Charlotte Brody’s fabrics include Italian cashmere, Scottish tweed, silk, and linen and are hand embroidered by select artisans.
Even items like bags and accessories show smart choices in their design. The jewelry is great!
Pony skin is an element of fashion and design that most people either love or hate. I, for one, love the way it looks! Pony skin isn’t just limited to ranch-inspired style. It can make a stunning impact with either a dramatic pattern or a more subtle, sophisticated look.
In interior design, pony skin is great for accents like pillows, rugs, and lamp and imparts an upscale, chic look with fantastic texture and so many variations!
What do you think of pony skin? Let me know in the comments!
A few years ago, Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen started a remodeling project that sparked a unique idea. After spending countless hours clipping ideas from magazines and books to plan their remodel, Tatarko and Cohen decided there must be a better way to gather ideas and plans in one place. Their desire for such a place led to the launch of Houzz, a website devoted to interior design, architecture, and home improvement. Since its launch in 2009, Houzz has grown to a collection of over half a million photos which have been used by members to create nearly two million idea books. The site has grown to include products, discussions, and networking to connect home owners with design professionals. Tatarko and Cohen certainly realized their goal of creating the perfect inspirational tool.
The beauty of Houzz, for me, is being able to accurately share my ideas and visions with general contractors, architects, and clients. It’s the perfect resource for articulating exactly the look, colors, and products I’m thinking of. It’s an unbelievable resource for finding inspiration and communicating ideas. It’s also user-friendly and simple to translate from an online idea to real-world use.
My own office will soon be renovated, and Houzz will definitely make it easier to share my ideas with my contractor. The office was originally home to a heating company and really has no character to speak of. I plan on using modern barns as an inspiration, creating an environment that isn’t overdone or distracting for clients, something subdued and tactful in design.
I’m trying to decide between a concrete floor and a beautiful, traditional wood floor. Adding both to my Houzz idea book makes it easy to go over options with the contractor as well as see how my various ideas play off each other.
I love the idea of using steel windows. It will definitely keep with the modern feel of my office while adding a unique touch and different texture to the space. I found great examples on Houzz!
For my fireplace, I want to go with a slab design. Each of the fireplace ideas I found on Houzz is very different in color, material, and texture, but they each convey the same smooth feeling from sleek lines. The truly difficult part is choosing between them!
Houzz even inspires accessories. Products listed on Houzz often include pricing and link directly to sources for buying. An idea book can include even small details or specific products, like these amazing shelves.
What would be in your Houzz idea book?
For most people, the cooler weather and colorful leaves of fall signal the start of a cozy, relaxing time of year to enjoy the season with friends and family. For me, fall also means it’s time to bring out the boots! My love of fashion is no secret, and boot season is something I find myself looking forward to as summer winds down. Here are some of my favorite examples of fabulous boots. Which would you choose to wear?
1. B Brian Atwood – Fortosa Leather Platform Ankle Boots
2. Alexander Wang – Cameron Mesh and Suede Boots
3. Sorel – great all weather winter boot for snow and slush.
8. Manolo Blahnik Rugginaclo Slouchy Wedge Bootie – Super sexy wedge.
9. Alexander McQueen Floral-Stud Ankle Boot
10. MICHAEL Michael Kors Emory Suede Wedge Boot – Love the wedge!
12. Kent -Jimmy Choo
Mirrors make essential home accents. They provide reflection and lighten a space and can even make a room appear larger. I even really like the distortion of a convex mirror! Here are some of my favorite examples of mirrors in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
4. Ramo Mirror
10. Moxham Mirror
11. Shell Mirror
There’s a great shop in Wesport, CT called Bungalow that offers unique furniture, antiques, home accessories, and jewelry. I often visit Bungalow as a source for my clients and it was during one of these shopping trips that I stumbled across some really stunning pottery. The artist behind these incredible pieces is Lauren Gelgor Kaplan.
Lauren Kaplan was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her early creativity was heavily influenced by her grandfather’s paintings and sculptures. She began creating her own ceramics and pottery more than 25 years ago, inspired by the surrounding African bush and native wildlife like the zebra. Lauren spent a few years living in Europe and now lives in the United States, but her life in Africa still inspires her work.
I am just mad for this pottery! I’ve purchased many pieces of Lauren’s beautiful art. Each unique piece has so much texture and individuality. They can be grouped or stand on their own as home accessories.
I’m not alone in my admiration of Lauren Kaplan’s work. Her work has appeared in atHome Magazine, New England Home, and Westport Magazine. She’s also recently been featured with an incredible window display at Bergdorf Goodman!
A few days ago while shopping for fabric in NYC, I found myself stopped short by a window display in the D&D building. The display included a stunning arrangement of vintage glassware and I had to know more about it. I learned that the display featured items from a shop on Hudson Street called The End of History.
The End of History opened in 1997. Since then, owner Stephen Saunders has amassed an amazing international collection of mid-century glass and ceramic ware. In fact, The End of History boasts the world’s largest collection of 50′s and 60′s glass in the world. Hand blown glass and rare ceramics All this vintage glassware is beautifully categorized by color, making shopping here a real experience. The store is impressively curated and staffed by friendly people who are more than happy to welcome shoppers drawn in by those glowing window displays.
In addition to the store, the End of History maintains a blog to showcase their glassware and describe where each piece originates. The blog features writing and photography by Daniel Petix with input from store proprietor Stephen Saunders. It’s a great way to browse the store’s offerings and learn about the history and styles of various glassware. The pieces range from funky to stunning, from unusual to sophisticated.
If you’re in New York, you can stop by The End of History at 548 1/2 Hudson Street or call them at (212)647-7598 to inquire about hours.