We love coffee table books! Not only are they full of inspiration and beauty but they really do look great on coffee tables - or effortlessly scattered about, stacked in piles or organized on shelves.
We just received a nice, big order, which means you'll find some of us sneaking off to a quiet corner in the store to happily flip through the new arrivals.
This fall's crop of books is one of the best we've ever seen: drop-dead beautiful photography, clever and inspiring subject matters and good writing that makes turning their pages a visual - and cerebral - treat.
I can't decide on a favorite so I'm sharing my top picks that have arrived at the store:
I adore Mark D. Sikes. He's a great designer and has trademarked an all-American vibe in his charming, preppy-meets-chic way. The book is divided into five sections, each with its own theme: traditional coastal, Mediterranean, country and beautiful (a peek into Mark's own Hollywood Hills home) - and is brimming with gorgeous photography by Amy Neunsinger.
Next up: Live Beautiful by designer Athena Calderone. I absolutely adore her clean, pared-down but chic style so this book is a feast for my senses. She delves into the details that make a room unique, like layering textiles, the importance of contrast and composition and the importance of treasured collected pieces that add personality and originality. The photography is stunning (by Nicole Franzen) and this book is a showpiece of exquisite design.
When we were placing our book order, we had to include this gorgeous one. Remember gatherings? They seem sort of prehistoric right now, but I'm optimistic we'll be gathering glamorously soon. And this book will inspire you, I promise, with stunning photography of French-inspired entertaining scenarios that will have you drooling.
For kitchen inspiration, check out The Perfect Kitchen by Waterworks founder, Barbara Salick. Along with beautiful photography from top-notch designers, the book's narrative explores all the ins, outs, pros and cons of designing your perfect kitchen.
Speaking of beautiful kitchens, please dive into New York Times food writer, Melissa Clark's new book, Dinner In French. Clark playfully deconstructs classic French cuisine with a topspin of contemporary, fresh ingredients and recipes that will have you "bon appetite-ing" in no time at all.
With a nod to our country's great design history, Michael Smith's Designing History is an insider's look at the decoration of the Obama White House. Michelle Obama wrote the foreword and the book is rich with extensive photography, behind-the-scenes stories, and rich, archival material.
And, of course, we couldn't pass on anything funny and French so we absolutely had to order this charming title, "Older, but Better, but Older" by Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas, authors of "How to Be Parisian." These two writers nail what smart, savvy French women think and feel about life and love as they hit the big 4-0 and beyond.
What are your favorite coffee table books? We'd love to know (and if we don't currently carry them, we'd like to!)