5 Coffee Table Books an Interior Designer Would Choose

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A quick stroll through the "Art and Design" section of any bookstore will tell you that there are a lot of coffee table books out there. Like, a lot. And while the astounding selection may excite (or overwhelm) many, the sheer volume of colorful texts you'd have to weed through to find those perfect ones would still be a laborious process, indeed.

Luckily, we've made that selection process easier. Our Chief Designer Mark Cutler has compiled a few of the coffee table books he's hand-picked over the years as the go-tos in his projects. As a professional interior designer, you can imagine he's seen a lot of coffee table books in his day—and while perhaps he hasn't made it through the entire section yet, we'll admit he's pretty dang close. Here are the five that made it to the top of his list throughout the years, and what gives them their edge:

Image via One Kings Lane

villa

This is one of my favorite books of all time. About a villa John Saladino bought and took years to restore, this book is a love letter to the property and the things it inspired him to create. It was so well received, Veranda magazine proclaimed it “a master class in interior, architectural and garden design,” and “one of the best design books of 2009–or any year.”

In my opinion, Saladino is in a league of his own in this book, and he invites you behind the curtain to see how he creates magic.

gaia

The founder of Cirque de Soleil went into space and took surreal, birdseye photos of earth from the International Space Station. Needless to say, the results are out of this world. I love seeing the familiar in a whole new way.

Image via Assouline
Image via Assouline

windows

If interior design is about creating making our fantasies into real life, then the windows at Bergdorf cataloged in this book are about taking real life and creating fantasy. Amazing.

cabinet of natural curiosities

The collection of animals, plants and insects of Amsterdam-based pharmacist Albertus Seba gained international fame during his lifetime. The illustrations of each strange and exotic specimen he commissioned were gathered into a catalog that remains famous long after it.

This is a classic. I am a big fan of this book and you will find a copy in almost every project I have done. Great cover, great content and a book that is meant to impress.

Image via Taschen
Image via One Kings Lane

poolside with slim aarons

As designers we strive to create environments for our clients that represent the ideal life they want to live. Could anything be more inspiring than images of these glamorous folks doing just that?

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