Friday, 9 December 2011

Books for lovers of good design

Some gift inspiration for those who take pride in their coffee tables...

For design geeks Stop off at SCP for a trio, or even a quintet, from this small set of gorgeously put-together books collating graphical highlights from, above: Peter Blake, the Festival of Britain and David Mellor cost  £12.50 per book, except the Festival of Britain one, which is £14.95. Titles also feature the best of GPO Designs and the brothers and artists Paul Nash and John Nash.

For foodies with aesthetic appreciation I'm still drooling over this beautiful set of slim, Penguin paperbacks about food since posting about them a month or two ago. Buy individually from Penguin, at £6.99 each or get the whole 20-part set for a ridiculously barginous price of just £15 from the Book People (do it that way and you can give some away – and get to keep a few for yourself). And...
...The Geometry of Pasta, above, by Cas Hildebrand and Jacob Kennedy, £14.99 from Magma, is a stunning paean to the art of ... well, pasta. (Jacob Kennedy is the chef/owner of the spectacular London restaurant, Bocca Di Lupo – where I had one of the best meals of my life.)

For nesters and just-moved-home-ers The three design books of the year for me (above), and (below) a golden oldie worth revisting. Decorate, £16.20, by the Decor8 blogger, Holly Becker, and Joanna Copestick, is fantastically practical and beautifully presented. A perfect present for anyone revamping their home, looking for inspiration or moving house. Ditto, Design Sponge at Home, by Grace Bonney, which also has her trademark craft projects section (which is large and very welcoming even for people as crap at craft as I am). I have been leaning hard on Grace's book for great ideas for a flat I'm currently working on. I really love Caravan Style store, Emily Chalmers', lived-in looks and have also found Modern Vintage Style, £13.36, extremely practical as a resource, and not just full of pretty pictures (though there are certainly lots of those too). The perfect recipe for doing old without looking shabby.

Equally, Domino, left, £10, named after the sadly defunct US magazine of the same name, is a mine of accessible ideas for homes on any budget.







For Seventies fans (below) The House Book, by Terence Conran, an early 1970s version if possible, is the ultimate gift for lovers of classic interiors. Go for a modern imprint if Seventies chic is not your recipient's thing; but the rules and ideas are just as good in the original version, which you can find on Amazon. 70s Style and Design, Kirsty Hislop and Dominic Lutyens, £16.10



For textiles magpies (below) Pop Patterns, published by the V&A, is £7.99 and would please retro-loving textiles nuts. I also love the Novelty Patterns version, which was published a couple of years ago, and look out for the stunning Heal's one (centre) is due out in April, and available to pre-order now. Looks wonderful...
For makers (below) The Liberty Book of Home Sewing, £11.38, is so beautiful it almost makes me want to learn to sew. Almost. And ReadyMade, £10.57, is not new but it is totally inspiring and brilliantly illustrated and explained, for those game enough to try to make their own Eames Style shelves out of cheap as chips materials.


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