Coffee Table Books, the New Monograph

Interior decorators are always in full swing to promotetheir craft and they leave no detail uncovered to do so.  Some have opted to illustrate their artistic skills by creating tomes of coffee table eye candy…books that were heretofore reserved for architects are being created by designers that showcases their visually stunning works.  Others simply curate, to the highest degree, the monographs of others which they’ll preciously place on their clients coffee table, just for show.

I’ve taken many images of striking homes with dramatic interiors, and have seen this effort to impress, in all its glory.  Because I have a double major in photography and graphic design, these books certainly pique my interest.  But what I also find fascinating is how the ever-so-perfectly placed book gets its real estate in the home.  Take off the cover jacket, and you’ll find even another layer of art: books embossed with cane patterns, astro turf, mylar, textured cheesecloth, crocodile leather, engraved plastic and other interesting textures and patterns which have become even more popular than the image art of the cover jacket.

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In fact, the artistry of the book design can be iconic for decades.  The Paris Hotel Boutique, purveyor of antiquities, blogs about how Osa Johnson’s 1940 “I Married Adventure” memoir has become a standard in decorating—decade after decade.  It’s zebra print cover is versatile and represents a style that designers are attracted to year after year.

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Elizabeth Bauer Design

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Vintage Girl

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House Beautiful

You can read more about these monographs of designer books in this NY Times article, You Are What You Stack.