Off the Shelf ... Zandra's Top 3 Design Books

Since our theme this month is “Pleased to Meet You,” I thought it might be appropriate to introduce my aesthetic through sharing the design books I’m currently loving.   I hope some of them tempt you to add a new book of inspiration to your own libraries.

xoxo Zandra

Etcetera by Sibella Court

Sibella Court is a haberdashery personified!  The hats she wears range from author, to stylist, product designer, blogger and shopkeep.   She has a number of gorgeous design books, although that might be too narrow a description.  They really encompass a whole lifestyle of being connected to everything that comes in through the front door and finds a spot to live inside your home. Bowerbird is about the practice of collecting and displaying collections. Nomad discusses ways to incorporate the experience of your travels into your visual and tactile aesthetic.  But it’s Etcetera, her first book, where she shares the foundations of how she styles the physical representations of her inner life that I think is required reading for all of us who have a passion for design.   She’s currently working on her newest book, Gypsy, which is a further exploration of interiors inspired by travel.


Heirloom Modern by Hollister Hovey, with photography by Porter Hovey

This is one of those books that you simply swoon over, starting with the cover and on every page thereafter.   Hollister Hovey and her sister, Porter Hovey not only share a jaw dropping-ly beautiful apartment in Brooklyn, they are also the team behind their eponymous interior design business.  (I’m pretty sure that any parents who have the foresight and good taste to name their girls Hollister and Porter are guaranteeing them a fascinating life).  Heirloom Modern is their debut book and they are focusing on the homes of today’s “heirloomists,” people who have a passion for the history behind the curious collections of the past.  The Hoveys show how contemporary lifestyles, mixed with antiques collected over time, create eclectic, story-driven interiors.


Visual Contrast by Tim Rundle

I’ve just recently stumbled across Tim Rundle and his book, Visual Contrast.  What I love about it is how he takes two pages, facing one another, the same color scheme for each, but on one side, the primary color is the main thing that pops out, while on the other side, the vignette is bathed in it.   He also shows this contrast through the silhouettes and shapes of objects, sometimes in the foreground and sometimes receding.  It’s the best visual “ah ha” moment I’ve had regarding composition because instead of trying to describe it in lofty art history terms, he simply presents the concept through arresting photography.


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