"Don't judge a book by its cover." It's something we've been taught since grade school. It's a sound concept, because oftentimes, the thing that's inside doesn't match its exterior (this is applicable in humans, bottles of wine, and actual books--a concept I spoke on a few years back). But there are some instances when I think we should get a pass on judging a book by its cover. Say, when it comes to coffee table books...
You see, no matter how top-notch the language and imagery bound within a copy of Wuthering Heights or Brave New World, their value is something you'd be hard-pressed to discover without cracking open the cover. Enter: the coffee table book--publications that preach all manner of wisdom (and happen to look smokin' hot while doing it). If you've ever stopped by the cityhomeDESIGN office on South Temple, or if you've ever been to my space in the Maryland, you're apt to find a slew of prettily-bound books. And for good reason. As I mentioned before, "because we know that the book will be viewed most often from the outside in, we consider, second to its content, its outward contribution to our physical, interior space." Over the years, I've acquired a (rather sizable) collection of coffee table books that have crazy good content, without sacrificing the integrity or the design of the space. Here are my 10 favorites.
1. Axel Vervoordt, Wabi Inspirations
2. Holly Moore, Domestic Art, Curated Interiors
3. Michael Borremans, As Sweet As it Gets
4. AvroKO, Best Ugly: Restaurant Concepts and Architecture
5. Robert O'Byrne, Romantic Irish Homes
6. Francois Halard, Francois Halard
7. Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri, Commune: Designed in California
8. Paul Moorhouse, Gerhard Richter Portraits: Painting Appearances
9. Stefan Fischer, Jheronimus Bosch: Het Complete Werk
10. S. Ehmann, Rock the Shack: The Architecture of Cabins, Caccons and Hideouts