books Posts

4 Design Books to Inspire You

By: The Balance Design Team

There’s something about a beautiful, hardcover design book that all the internet browsing in the world just can’t compare to. If you’re on the same page (ha ha ha) as us, we think you’ll enjoy this list of some of our favorite inspirational sources!

If you love color, pattern making, and rugs, Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro will inspire you to paint, mix color, and just create! As designers and entrepreneurs, finding space in our lives to be creative is essential. This time spent unplugging and pondering art and design is sacred, and this book takes us there.

Noted father/son architect duo Eliel and Eero Saarinen are most famously known for their neo-futuristic music halls, Finnish train stations, the Washington Dulles airport, and the St. Louis arch (just to name a few). Saarinen Houses is a fascinating look into their lesser known ventures designing and decorating houses all over the world with their signature style. It’s a classic study on mid-century modernism, rife with inspiration for newer generations of designers.

Nomad Deluxe is the perfect book if you’re looking to connect with the essence of the author and the subjects. Through gorgeous travel photography, this book links people and cultures on a deeper level, which we find helps guide our design process in a more meaningful way.

The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents may not be your typical “design book” (because it’s a plant book), but that’s what’s so inspiring about it. There are well known succulents as well as rare cacti with shapes, colors, and textures you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a welcome reminder that beauty comes in an infinite amount of forms, and that not fitting into the mold is something to be celebrated — not feared.

We think online resources for creative inspiration (like Pinterest and Instagram) are fantastic tools, and ones that we use every day! However, there is a deep joy in the tactile experience of holding a beautifully curated design book in your hands and leisurely flipping through the pages. It really is an art form all its own, and being able to proudly display the author’s work on your shelf or coffee table is a privilege.

Design Folio: 3 Summer Design Must-Reads.

By: The Balance Design Team

Stephanie’s pick: “Nomad Deluxe” by Herbert Ypma

NomadDeluxe

Photo courtesy of Assouline.

Nomad Deluxe is my dream book. I keep it on my coffee table and open it up every morning to see the location of a new place in the world, read the the well written creative description, and then look at the luscious pictures. I am the consummate traveler and lately I have been making my bucket list of places to go from this beautiful book! Today I read about Bali, Indonesia. I saw a huge stone statue of the Hindu god Ganesh overgrown with lush greenery. I also read about the Hindu nurturing culture, the Dutch colonization, and the different vibes of Ubud versus Uluwatu. Bali is definitely on the bucket list.

Shelby’s pick: “Smoke & Fire” by Holly Peterson

SmokeandFire

Photo courtesy of Assouline.

In a world of Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram it is so easy to become overwhelmed and somewhat intimidated by technology. It seems that the days of cookbooks and recipe cards are all but gone. But then there is this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! The recipes are simple, delicious, and completely easy to tackle (I can even pronounce the ingredients). The entire book is an aesthetic dream. Beautiful photos, typewriter font reminiscent of old fashioned cookbooks, and the recipes are reinvented favorites from every region.  

I love that I can turn the TV off, go outside with friends or family, and make dinner an event. Not only are we cooking delicious food, but we are having fun creating together. I will continue to use this book over and over throughout the year. It is definitely a new staple on my bookcase.

Danielle’s pick: “A Touch of Style” by Carlos Mota

TouchOfStyle

Photo courtesy of Assouline.

As a former student of photography (and subsequently a major photo snob), Touch of Style is pure eye candy. Full page and double page spreads of incredibly styled environments boast Carlos Mota’s highly enviable skills. From a critical standpoint, the photos are flawless; Mota expertly plays with scale, visual weight/balance, and color impact in unexpected and exciting ways. But also, the spaces are just plain beautiful — I would love to live in any of them! This book is double threat: it’s a beautiful coffee table book that will look great and add interest, but it’s also a fantastic reference for any time you need a jolt of inspiration. 

Beauty and Brains: Coffee Table Design Books

By: Danielle Cornely

Perhaps we’re a bit biased, but we think there should be a few great design books on everyone’s bookshelf. These are just a few we’ve got our eye on at the moment.

image: architecturaldigest.com

image: architecturaldigest.com

image: amazon.com

image: amazon.com

Remodelista.
Step by step advice and instructions paired with beautiful images. The perfect combination from one of our favorite design blogs.

image: restorationhardware.com

image: restorationhardware.com

image: assouline.com

image: assouline.com

The Big Book of Chic.
The description of this book on assouline.com promises “an inspiration to anyone interested in spirited, eclectic design.” If the above image is any indication of the rest of the book, we have to agree.

image: blog.designpublic.com

image: blog.designpublic.com

image: booktopia.com.au

image: booktopia.com.au

Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your House.
Top names (and personal favorites!) in the design world come together to create a book that is beautiful and helpful. Gorgeous photos visually inspire, and “how to” style content empowers readers to use grandma’s chair in a completely modern way.

image: modcloth.net

image: modcloth.net

image: katyelliot.com/blog/

image: katyelliot.com/blog/

Domino: The Book of Decorating.
Big on photos, with unobtrusive blurbs and captions, Domino’s Book of Decorating is a feast for the eyes. Don’t let the eye candy fool you — this book will teach you everything you need to know. One of our favorites!

image: amazon.com

image: amazon.com

image: taschen.com

image: taschen.com

1,000 Chairs.
Of all of the different types of furniture in a home, the chair is the piece that most clearly distinguishes styles. This book is an informative visual survey of seating in the last 150 years. With its big, beautiful photos, it is an affordable must-have coffee table book for any furniture lover.

Whether used as reference material or great coffee table content, we think good design books are a staple in any home.