Fine Print: Best Design Books of 2013

One of the best perks of my job is the opportunity to review books. Although I’m wired 24/7, I love, love, love books; especially rich, glossy, design books. Luckily, I have substantial bookshelves lining my living room, so I kind of need them too. This year I received a number of impressive coffee table books, which line the shelves, and are stacked on the coffee table and the console table behind the sofa. I’m often running behind, so I haven’t had time to do individual blog posts on many of these, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re great. Here’s a quick roundup of the best design books of 2013.


Remodelista by Julie Carlson (Artisan Books)
$37.50 at Anthropologie

axel-vervoordt-living -with-light

Axel Vervoordt: Living With Light (Flammarion)
$45 at Amazon


Heirloom Modern by Hollister Hovey
Photos by Porter Hovey (Rizzoli)
$50 at Bigger Books


Fifth Avenue Style by Howard Slatkin
Photos by Tria Giovan (Vendome Press)
$60 at Abrams Books


Irving Harper: Works in Paper (Skira/Rizzoli)
See my blog post here.
$45 at Rizzoli Bookstore


Thomas Pheasant: Simply Serene (Rizzoli)
$60 at Rizzoli Bookstore


Tom Scheerer Decorates
Photos by Francesco Lagnese (Vendome Press)
$55 at Barneys New York


Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living
by Ronda Rice Carman (Rizzoli)
$45 at Bigger Books

jan-showers-glamorous -retreats

Glamorous Retreats by Jan Showers (Abrams)
$50 at Barneys New York


Martyn Thompson: Working Space (Rizzoli)
$49.95 at Rizzoli Bookstore

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Fine Print: Oberto Gilli Home Sweet Home

Although it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, stores are fervently blasting Christmas tunes to get shoppers in the mood. I prefer to do my shopping online, with my sound shut off.  Between intrusive tunes and the disappearance of brick and mortar bookstores, I thought it would be helpful to start featuring the best design-related coffee table books that have been published recently. While I’m anti-paper in most aspects of my life, I still adore a glossy book. This one makes a beautiful holiday gift.

Oberto Gill: Home Sweet Home, Rizzoli, October 2011

Oberto Gill: Home Sweet Home showcases “sumptuous and bohemian interiors” shot by Oberto Gilli throughout his career. (His work has appeared in House & Garden, Town & Country, Vogue.) There are photos of more than 40 homes shown in full, from New York City penthouses and artist lofts to seventeenth-century Italian villas and country homes in Morocco. Here is a sampling:

Decorator Muriel Brandolini’s first apartment in New York, 1992

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Oberto Gili’s home in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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Oberto Gili’s home in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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Artist and photographer Andres Serrano, New York City, 2000

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Artist Ellsworth Kelly’s studio in Spencertown, New York, 1996

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Vineyard owners Laura di Collobiano & Moreno Petrini’s 16th century abode in Tuscany, 2007

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Oberto Gili’s home in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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Paola Igliori (poet, photographer, writer, filmmaker), Villa Lina, Lazio, Italy, 2008

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Oberto Gili’s home in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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Landscape architect Paolo Pejrone’s home in Italy, 2010

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Artist Anish Kapoor’s house, Notting HIll Gate, London, 1998

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Gallery owner John Cheim’s loft in New York City, 1989

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Oberto Gili’s home in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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Isabella Rosselini’s barn in Bellport, Long Island, 2010

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Oberto Gili’s studio in Piedmont, Italy, 2010

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For more about the man, I recommend New York Social Diary’s fantastic tour of Gilli’s brownstone in the West Village.

Fine Print: Victoria Hagan Interior Portraits

Victoria Hagan’s design book Interior Portraits (Rizzoli, October 2010) came out back in October, but I’ve been so busy these last few months I’m just catching up on my reading now. I’ve been a fan of Hagan’s work for years. Her environments are quiet, yet strong, perfectly balanced and sophisticated. I especially admire her sense of composition, serene aesthetic, and way she incorporates statement artwork.

Designer Victoria Hagan Blue Library

This blue library is much more saturated in color than Hagan’s usual spaces. The blue/green walls have an ombré effect. I adore oversize artwork and that teal velvet chair. 

Designer Victoria Hagan White Living Room With Statement Artwork

A great big canvas adds life and color to a neutral room, picking up on the colors and lines of the rug.

Designer Victoria Hagan Brown Living Room With Statement Art

A double contemporary portrait paired with an Oriental carpet and luscious cranberry velvet sofa.

Designer Victoria Hagan Study With Wood Paneling And Blue Sofa

A photo adds movement to this wood-panelled study.

Designer Victoria Hagan Living Room With Green Drapes

I love how the drapes on the French doors correspond to the fireplace surround.

Designer Victoria Hagan White Hi Res Office

A room with a view, and an extra large mirror to reflect all that light.

Victoria Hagan Interior Portraits Book Rizzoli October 2010

Victoria Hagan, Interior Portraits, Rizzoli, 2010