Give a fresh update to your bookcase with our edit of interior design books: from in-depth monographs charting the work of the world’s best interior designers to visual collections to inspire your own home interiors, we’ve got it covered. Browse our interior design library for some visual escapism, inspiration and creativity. 

Interior design books: the latest monographs of the world’s most celebrated creatives

David Rockwell: Drama

Blue book cover of Drama by David Rockwell
Phaidon, £39.95. Photography: Robert Clyde Grima

A thematic overview of American designer David Rockwell’s expansive body of work, this new interior design book explores the main topics recurring throughout his oeuvre. The book’s chapters include Audience, Ensemble, Worlds, Story, Journey and Impermanence, each demonstrating how Rockwell applied the principles of set design (his original area of expertise) to a wider spectrum of interior design projects, using performance, showmanship and, as the book’s title suggests, drama to create his spaces. The book includes the Rockwell Groups’ works for theatre and designs for the Oscars, as well as products, interior design and installations. In collaboration with Bruce Mau, edited by Sam Lubell, and filled with in-depth details of Rockwell’s most striking projects, Drama is a celebration of the designer’s immersive creative universe. 

Assemblage 6: Unlearning by Faye Toogood

Maquettes of chairs in tape and paper on a spread from the book by Faye Toogood
Apartamento Publishing, €30,00

The process behind Faye Toogood’s Assemblage 6 collection is documented through a book featuring images of the creative process behind the designs. Nearly 300 maquettes of chairs, lamps, stools and daybeds made of wire, cardboard, tape and canvas are featured throughout the pages – seventeen of these pieces were chosen to eventually become life-size works. The book, the designer explains, ‘gives space to all the original maquettes and their occasional passage into the real world of furniture and sculpture.’ The book by Apartamento publishing opens with a short story by Sophie Mackintosh, while an essay by Glenn Adamson forms its epilogue. In between, the images speak, visually showcasing what Toogood calls her ‘new vocabulary’.

Patrick Norguet Dialogues

Hands on sofa photograph from Patrick Norguet Dialogues Book
Abrams, $75.00

The emblematic figure of French design, Patrick Norguet, has spent the last two decades making beautiful furniture and objects with a degree of frustration. ‘Whenever I saw my objects photographed in the catalogues of companies, it seemed to me that a part of them remained outside of the frame,’ he says. In 2019 Norguet began planning for a book that would be part-catalogue raisonné and part-exhibition in print. The result – published in English this month by US publishing house Abrams – is Dialogues, a handsome 216-page ‘poetic story-board’ created in collaboration with the British photographer Alistair Taylor-Young. Fifty of Norguet’s pieces were recontextualised by the duo over a five day shoot. ‘Any project is a love story – you share something – and then after the product needs to live without you. This book is a contextual project. It’s the meeting of people, energy, creativity. It was a therapy for me.’ Writer: Dal Chodha

Omer Arbel

Works by Omer Arbel created by combining metal and glass making techniques
Phaidon, $89.95

Best known for founding lighting company Bocci, Omer Arbel’s career spans design, architecture, sculpture and experimental creation: his work is now chronicled through a new monograph that details his eclectic creative output. The book showcases Arbel’s affinity for parametric design, experimental glass and metal sculptures (pictured above), architectural works and more, divided by thematic chapters that include titles like “Uncanny,” “Entropy,” “Transdisciplinary,” and “Futurism.” A further glimpse into his universe is given by a plethora of drawings and collections of ephemera, as well as texts from works by Sigmund Freud, Robert Smithson, and science fiction author Bruce Stirling offering cultural context to Arbel’s oeuvre.

Design Commune 

A spread from Design Commune interior design book featuring domestic interior photography
Abrams, $60.00

Since 2004, Roman Alonso and Steven Johanknecht of design studio Commune has developed an aesthetic firmly rooted into its Californian heritage, creating a striking visual language that has garnered cult status among contemporary interior design. Their new interior design book forms a visual archive of their projects across various creative disciplines, from private and commercial spaces, artist collaborations, products, packaging, and graphics. ‘The design of the book is based on the stream of consciousness process we embark on with every project,’ explains Johanknecht. ‘[It] has no chronology or parameters, we juxtaposed images focusing on ideas and the way we look at things. It is driven by emotion, the power and relationship between images and the diversity of the work.’ Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture

A spread from Pierre Yovanovich interior design book featuring interiors by the French designer
Rizzoli New York, £35. Photography left, Matthieu Salvaing. Right: Jose Manuel Alorda

Our 2019 Wallpaper* Designer of the Year’s oeuvre is full of rigour, whimsy and humour, and now we can experience this in a new tome. This interior design book is drenched in Yovanovitch’s bold style, including exclusive shots of his own property in Provence – ‘this book marks an important milestone in my career.’ Delve into a theatre of the Parisian master’s work, from a remodelled mansion in Ixelles Ponds in Brussels (right) to Fabrègues castle in Provence (left), right from your sofa. Writer: Sujata Burman

rizzoliusa.com

Liaigre Creation

A wooden spiral staircase and marble floor in an interior shot from the book on Christian Liaigre design work

Rizzoli New York, £60. Photography: Mark Seelen

This interior desing book is a window into the extraordinary world created by Parisian designer Christian Liaigre, whose sophisticated aesthetic is chronicled through five key residential projects he created before his departure from the company in 2016. A Japanese house overlooking hot thermal springs; a modernist palazzo in New Delhi; a villa in St Moritz; a Parisian mansion and a Bavarian-style project in Munich (pictured) were all created in collaboration with the current creative director Frauke Meyer, who was tasked with taking the maison’s heritage into the future. Also featuring in the book is a ‘behind the scenes look into the company’s creative laboratory,’ which includes an essay by French art historian Françoise-Claire Prodhon alongside captivating photography – a small window into this incredibly rich visual universe. Writer: Rosa Bertoli

rizzoliusa.com

Interior design and beyond: design curiosities in book format

U-JOINTS – A taxonomy of connections

U Joints book open on a metal table in a workshop

Following a memorable 2018 exhibition at Fuorisalone, U-Joints – A Taxonomy of connections is a new tome exploring the world of joins, ‘from the technical to the poetic.’ Curated by Anniina Koivu and Andrea Caputo, with an extensive taxonomy of 1300 joints by Eleonora Castellarin and design by Graphic Thought Facility, the 900-page book is the most comprehensive publication on the topic. The book was fully backed on Kickstarter and will become widely available in 2021. Writer: Rosa Bertoli

u-joints.com

Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure

Colourful tables by Charlotte Kidgermade of polyurethane foam dust

Ludion, £25

‘This is a book about waste,’ says design writer and critic Katie Treggiden, whose latest effort explores the way trash can be repurposed through design. Treggiden explores a vast array of waste, from coffee grounds and denim offcuts to leftovers swept off the floor of recycling centres, and how these have become new imaginative materials through 25 case studies (pictured above, Charlotte Kidger’s tables and vessels made of polyurethane foam dust). The book forms an important tool for exploring the future of design materials and their potential. ‘Craft, design and creativity have an incredible power to bring about positive social change, and perhaps nowhere more so than when it comes to the existential threat to the environment currently facing the world’s population,’ adds the author. ‘There is hope in the solutions proposed by a new generation of optimistic designers and makers. Indeed, they are perhaps the only hope we have.’ Writer: Rosa Bertoli

katietreggiden.com

 

tat* 

Vintage picture of a terrier included in a collage by designer Andy Altmann
Circa Press, £45, to be published April 2021

‘As an art student in the early 1980’s I stumbled across a fading newsagent in my home town of Warrington, that was clearing out its old stock. Amongst the dusty shelves were quirky musical birthday cards, tiny comics, B-movie jigsaws and cheap plastic novelties; I eagerly purchased two bags for next to nothing.’ recalls art director Andy Altmann. ‘As I admired my new haul of graphic treasure strewn across the bedroom floor, my mum enquired “What are you going to do with all this rubbish?” – now I finally have an answer for her.’ Published by Circa Press, his book of ‘tat’ is just that: a personal collection of images that range from the nostalgic to the intriguing, gathered over three decades and including a lot of printed ephemera, old-school typography and what Altman affectionately calls ‘graphic nonsense’. Writer: Rosa Bertoli

www.circa.press

Exquisite books for interior design inspiration

By Design: The World’s Best contemporary Interior Designers

Phaidon By Design Interior design book front cover in green gold and blue
Phaidon, £49.95

An atlas of global design creativity, Phaidon’s By Design offers a dynamic overview of the world’s best interior designers operating today. Selected by an international committee incuding Wallpaper* editor in Chief sarah douglas, curator Aric Chen and Designer Nikki Haas, this interior design book covers creatives from 30 countries and including hospitality, retail and interiors. Names to look out for throughout the book include interior design household names from Neri & Hu to Kelly Wearstler and Pamela Shamshiri, as well as Italian film director Luca Guadagnino. 

The Little Book Of Colour: How to Use the Psychology of Colour to Transform Your Life

A colourful kitchen interior with green cabinets, pink wall and multicoloured objects on the shelves
Penguin Books, £10.99. Courtesy, Philipp Shurev/Shutterstock

A feast for the eyes as well as the mind, Karen Haller’s interior design book explores the power that colour has in improving your happiness, wellbeing and confidence. Her knowledge in applied colour psychology aims to guide the reader in redefining their relationship with colour. The book highlights historical ways of seeing colour, notably featuring Issac Newton’s discovery of the rainbow of light. Vibrant inside and out, the book futher intensifies the importance of colour in everyday life. Writer: Tilly Nathan

The Iconic Interior: 1900 to the Present Day

A spread from The Iconic Interior design book featuring modern interiors imagery
Thames & Hudson, £24.95

Inspired by a century of changingg interiors, journalist and writer Dominic Bradbury and photographer Richard Powers have created a sophisticated interior design book featuring a tour of exceptional domestic spaces from the early 20th century to now. From Coco Chanel’s Parisian apartment to Henry Moore’s Hertfordshire estate, this interior design tome travels different styles and movements to feed the imagination. Leaf through for remarkable craftsmanship, animated essays, unique compositions and vibrant photography. Writer: Tilly Nathan

 

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