Even if you’re perfectly happy with the way your home looks, it’s always worth having a few design books around to keep you inspired (and to see what everyone else’s space looks like). Thankfully, interior designers and architects publish new monographs every year in droves—these tomes often document a series of homes they’ve worked on, products they’ve created or monumental buildings that they’ve built out from start to finish. They’re a bit hefty, sure, but they look great on a coffee table next to a few stylish vases or trays. Here, a few of our favorites from this year’s crop for you to stock up on.
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Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity
Workstead has been designing interiors for residential and hospitality projects since its founding in 2009, creating interiors that feel restrained—but never too spare—allowing the craftsmanship of individual furnishings to really shine. The book takes the reader through 10 homes that they’ve contributed to over the years, but leaves space to showcase the firm’s lighting manufacture, where artisans create otherworldly designs like the Orbit chandelier and Chamber pendant.
Omer Arbel’s resume is an eclectic one. He’s built homes on concrete “lily pads” as part of his architectural practice; he’s consistently reimagined how glass can be used to create more artistic lighting as part of the manufacture that he founded, Bocci. His book takes the reader through all of the above numerically (Arbel titles all of his works with a number) from his completed projects to those that are still in the works, like an idea to use raw lightning to create dynamic sculptures.
Lake | Flato Houses: Respecting the Land
Lake Flato’s architecture offices are in San Antonio and Austin, but they’ve designed homes for clients all over the country. What’s consistent in that wide-ranging oeuvre is a sense of place: In every instance, Flato works to use local materials and employ local artisans. The result is a series of modernist homes that look different from all the others (in a good way) and reflect a city’s roots.
Koichi Takada: Architecture, Nature and Design
Koichi Takada’s architecture reflects contemporary needs and concerns, namely, the desire for more biophilic buildings and interiors that incorporate aspects of the outside world. His book takes the reader through a few of these projects, like his award-winning gift shop at the National Museum of Qatar (on the cover) that resembles an undulating wooden cave, as well as his plans for a 30-story high-rise in Brisbane that’s covered in trees. It may even inspire you to add a fiddle-leaf fig or two to your own space after reading.
As I See It: A Life in Detours
Scrolling through Instagram can eat up a lot of your time, but it can also provide a healthy dose of interior inspiration. New York-based architect Tom Kligerman has long documented his travels via cell phone camera and posted them on the ‘gram—now, all of those photographs have been compiled into one IRL book. It’s a testament to the power of an iPhone lens, and offers a unique perspective on the different architectures of the world, as many of the photos are placed side-by-side like an Instagram grid.
Yves Behar: Designing Ideas
Swiss designer Yves Béhar has had a hand in just about every product category you can think of. He’s worked on everything from office chairs to underwater research centers and robotic bassinets, a staggeringly wide-ranging oeuvre that’s never been in conversation with itself until now. Readers can flip through Béhar’s many ambitious designs for inspiration on a futuristic redesign, or if they’re just interested in learning more about his products.
Shawn Henderson: Interiors in Context
Shawn Henderson’s interiors evoke a sense of tranquility without looking too bland—or too much like a far-flung wellness resort. Above all, they take his client’s lifestyles into account and reflect their personal tastes and day-to-day lives. His book chronicles 14 of these residential projects—two of which are his own homes in New York City and upstate New York—incorporating a wide range of properties, from farmhouses to beach retreats.
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