July 23, 2024

Architectural Design Kingdom

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12 Of The Best Interior Design Books, According To Vogue

5 min read

In the era of Pinterest and Instagram, it’s easy to find interiors inspiration with a flick of the index finger – sometimes too easy. The endless scroll is just that, serving up an onslaught of random photos that often lack originality. A better option? Browsing one of the best interior design books, as chosen by Vogue.

The best interior design books, according to Vogue:

Decorating the Way I See It

Very few know how to work tiger-print Scalamandré fabric or a robin’s egg blue wall into the mix without overpowering a space, but Markham Roberts is one such person. Roberts made a name for himself at Mark Hampton’s legendary firm before striking out on his own in 1997, rising to the top of that era’s class of designers. A step-by-step guide to approaching design, this book is a must-have for any aspiring aesthete.

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Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses

“Karl Lagerfeld,” writes Patrick Mauriès in the introduction to Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses, “changed his decor even more often than his image.” Indeed, the 13 homes belonging to the late Chanel creative director that are featured here are remarkable in their aesthetic range – whether his art-deco Paris apartment from the 1970s, his 1980s Memphis-design Monte Carlo pied-à-terre, or his spare yet luxurious weekend retreat in Biarritz. As Mauriès summarises: “Lagerfeld collected interiors in the same way that Don Juan notched up conquests.”

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Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator

To this day, Mario Buatta is considered one of the most influential figures in interior design – the “Prince of Chintz” more or less defined two decades of decoration with an Americanised take on English country house style. After cleaning out his archives following his 2013 death, his former protegé Emily Evans Eerdman examines the central tenets of his style – and his legacy – in Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator.

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Inside: At Home with Great Designers

It’s the job of interior designers to interpret the fantasies of their clients through their own creative lens. But, left completely to their own devices – more specifically, within their own homes – how do they decorate? Inside: At Home with Great Designers chronicles the personal spaces belonging to the world’s greatest decorating minds, including Faye Toogood, Miles Redd, and Vincent van Duysen, providing a fascinating insight into their unencumbered creative ethos.

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Rose Uniacke At Home

Rose Uniacke is known for her light yet luxurious interiors that effortlessly combine modern touches and antique ones. In Rose Uniacke At Home, a monograph published by Rizzoli, she explores the defining characteristics of her style through her own 19th-century dwelling.

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Woman Made: Great Women Designers

Woman Made: Great Women Designers shines a spotlight on the pioneering – and oft-overlooked – female makers of the 20th and early 21st centuries, from the Bauhaus movement to Memphis design to post-modernism. The book pairs a short biography of the maker with one of their works, making it both a visual ode and an educational tool.

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Japanese Interiors

Japanese Interiors explores 28 different private residences in Japan, from brutalist buildings in Tokyo to concrete seaside escapes in Kantō. In the process, it gives a rich visual history of the minimalist decor tradition of the country, which has inspired countless aesthetics, not only within the country’s borders, but around the world, too.

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Ralph Lauren: A Way of Living

More so than any other American brand, Ralph Lauren sells not just clothes, but a lifestyle: “I never liked fashion,” Lauren told the New York Times in 2021. “I like things that get better with age.” Chronicling the many houses of Ralph Lauren and his wife Ricky – from a New York City apartment to a Bedford Country estate, a Colorado ranch to a Jamaican villa – Ralph Lauren: A Way of Living offers an unprecedented look inside the family’s impeccable homes.

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Haute Bohemians

Photographer Miguel Flores-Vianna roamed from Tangiers to Antwerp, Ibiza to Montauk, to capture the eclectic homes featured in Haute Bohemians. Included in their number: artist Alessandro Twombly’s paintbrush-strewn studio north of Rome, the one-time bolthole of his father, Cy; Castello Gardena in the Dolomites, owned by the Franchetti family since the early 20th century and famed for its tiled stoves and Tyrolean panelling; and World of Interiors founder Min Hogg’s bougainvillaea-draped bolthole in the Canary Islands. See, too, Flores-Vianna’s follow-up, Haute Bohemians: Greece.

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Studio Ashby: Home, Art, Soul

Published to coincide with 10 years of her practice, Sophie Ashby’s first monograph, Home, Art, Soul, includes photographs of both her own houses and those of her clients, from a Victorian bathhouse in Brighton to a 17th-century bolthole on the Left Bank. Yes, flipping through its pages is a welcome escape into a Pierre Frey-printed world, but there are worthwhile time-saving lessons to be gleaned from its pages, too, from how to create a bijou “moodtray” that encapsulates the aesthetic of a room to budget-friendly solutions to common decorating problems (say, taking apart a coffee table book and framing its pages if you’ve got blank walls to fill).

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Francois Halard: A Visual Diary

Released in 2013, Francois Halard’s debut, A Photographic Life, offered a glimpse into the homes of fashion greats ranging from Schiaparelli to Richard Avedon to Yves Saint Laurent. (One of Halard’s first assignments as a 23-year-old photographer was, in fact, to capture Saint Laurent’s home at 55 Rue de Babylone.) His sophomore effort, 2019’s A Visual Diary, homes in on artists as well as designers: Dries Van Noten’s Ringenhof, set in 55 acres of parkland near the mediaeval town of Lier; Eileen Gray’s E-1027 in the Alpes-Maritimes; The Menil House in Houston, Texas, designed by Philip Johnson and decorated by Charles James… Even more intimate? Last year’s Francois Halard: New Vision, the final volume in this triptych, which is worth ordering for the shots of Michelangelo Antonioni and Monica Vitti’s La Cupola in Sardinia alone.

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Beata Heuman: Every Room Should Sing

Beata Heuman launched her own practice in 2013 after years spent under the tutelage of Nicky Haslam, and her raison d’etre in the decade since has been infusing homes everywhere from Nantucket to North London with personality, colour and warmth. Every Room Should Sing uses the Swedish designer’s projects to illustrate key design principles (the importance of contrasts, the value of cosiness). Take, for example, the tiny mews apartment that Heuman reimagined in Paddington, inspired by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice – a masterclass in making the most of limited space – or the 17th-century Sussex cottage where she has “layered” different design movements (a Charleston-inspired library, a 1930s funkis-filled kitchen) to glorious effect.


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