The books, manuals, catalogs and essays that interior design enthusiasts can not have in the bookstore. Art, design, creativity, but also fashion, costume, culture.

Loving design does not mean just furnishing your home with taste and style, but also surrounding yourself with culture, having properties of language, traveling, reading, writing. In the living room of a design addict there is certainly a design bookcase full of books of all kinds and origins. Art, fashion and costume, culture, creativity, architecture, design, history, photography. This is the background of those who love to surround themselves with beauty, but also with knowledge.

The essay on design

“The coffee pots of my great-grandparents”, by Chiara Alessi, Publishing House: Utet

What makes an object an immortal icon of design? What is the difference between icon and archetype? And between icon and cult? Can an object be expected to become an icon? And how can a product lose its iconic value? The answer to all these (legitimate) questions exists, and is called “The coffee pots of my great-grandparents”, an essay by Chiara Alessi, journalist and author, who tells the most curious anecdotes of some renowned brands that have been able to create immortal objects. Publishing House: Utet. The format is small, practical and pocket-sized, to be taken also on the road (to always feel at home).

The manual on fashion

“Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” by
Susan Brown; DK Publishing, Inc.; Smithsonian Institution. DK Publishing


Is not fashion one of the most superfine forms of art that exist? “Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” is the costume history manual that traces lines, colors, icons and trends of about 3,000 years back in time. From the H-style linen tunics of Ancient Egypt, to Marie Antoinette’s French crinoline, through the golden years of Hollywood (does Clara Bow tell you nothing?), to the crazy revolutions of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. The abandonment of the corset at the end of ‘800, the invention of the miniskirt, the evolution of materials and fabrics, the color palette trends … Everything, but really everything you need to know about the history of costume and fashion – this book is a real celebration of the theme that, after centuries and centuries, does not cease to influence and inspire thousands of artists in the world.

Lexington bookcase with shelves in hide leather and statuary white Supermarble, Bontempi Casa.

The cult novel

“Clara and Mr. Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland, Neri Pozza Editore

Among the many – numerous – novels inspired by real facts that talk about iconic characters and brands – there is “Clara and Mr. Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland. Published in 2010 by Neri Pozza Editore, it tells the true story of Louis Comfort Tiffany, a painter of orientalist paintings, and of Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company, the company producing the Art Noveau style glass lamps, famous and loved all over the world. Manhattan, 1892: this book tells the story of a young woman in the American city, Clara Wolcott Driscoll, ready to dive into the great artistic adventure of the twentieth century (and to become an integral part of its history).

The photographic book

Africa Rising” by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, Vanessa Obrecht and Design Indaba; published by Gestalten

Africa as an inspiration. Africa as an experimental laboratory. It is thus possible to summarize the mix of stories contained in “Africa Rising”, the illustrated book published by Gestalten that showcases the work of young African talents alongside the most established artists of the continent. The African scene is a fertile, rising, highly diversified creative one between the Northern, central and Southern regions, as illustrated by the photographic volume edited by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, Vanessa Obrecht and Design Indaba, an observatory on African artistic disciplines based in Cape Town in South Africa. A new wave of African creatives is making a name for themselves in design, fashion, photography, art and architecture – with their typical aesthetic made of vibrant colors, patterns and traditional craftsmanship. An amazing photo book, to browse through with open eyes and heart, when you are looking for inspiration, evasion, emotion.

The creative book

“The Brutalist Colouring Book – Add color to concrete”, by Marc Thomasset (TM)

The trend is increasingly taking hold. Take crayons and markers, and get to color relaxes, outstretches body and mind, frees imagination and creativity. So the color-therapy books are in full swing, with graphic designs of all kinds: from those that represent the universe to those of Buddhist or Hindu origin. Here, for architecture lovers, more or less neurotic and with an absolute need for relaxation, it is fresh in print “The Brutalist Coloring Book – Add color to concrete”. 36 pages of recycled paper with drawings of the most iconic buildings of all time, all united by the aesthetics based on the use of raw cement. Transforming them with color will be an exercise in style, relaxation and creativity. Designed and produced by Marc Thomasset of TM, the first edition has 500 numbered copies. A must.

Lexington bookcase with veneered oak wood shelves, Bontempi Casa

The green book

“Evergreen. Living with Plants” by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten and Victoria Pease); published by Gestalten

Green oasis hidden among the courtyards of the houses, roofs that are transformed into small (and large) urban gardens. Atelier of the most famous green designers of the world. All this is “Evergreen. Living with Plants “, a book edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten and Victoria Pease, published by Gestalten. Browsing through the pages of this book – that certainly wins a place of honor in the bookcase of a woman who loves design – there are ideas to decorate the home with plants and flowers, following the advice of some renowned professionals of the green. Not just florists, but true creative minds of green design, able to make unique compositions.

The timeless classic

“Da Cosa Nasce Cosa” by Bruno Munari, Editori Laterza

Munari. No other words. Among the books of the great Bruno Munari, designer, author, artist, “Da Cosa Nasce Cosa” is the one that best represents him as a genius and visionary of the design world. Written with a lightness that enchants and an awareness that enriches, this manual by Editori Laterza – published for the first time in the early 80s – is a classic must have for art lovers at 360 degrees. To read, browse and study when you have a project in mind. Attention: useful to everyone, but really everyone – not just budding designers.



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