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The Essential Coffee Table Books for Every Interest

The Essential Coffee Table Books for Every Interest

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Sometimes it is the little things that can tell you a lot about a person, such as the music they have playing in their apartment or the books they have lined up on their shelves. One of the best ways to get to know someone, is by some of the books they have on their 'coffee table' for it gives you a perfect look into an individual's creative inspirations and interests, some of which may surprise you. 

Therefore, we've put together a list of some of the best coffee table books that will most-likely be on the tables of everyone from the fashionista to the interior designer and the photographer to the world traveler. 

Take a peak below and check back for more to be added!

For the Wanderluster

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Travels With Chufy

From the savannahs of Kenya to the glacial bays of Iceland to the soaring mountains of Patagonia, de Betak shares her favorites: settings where wildlife and adventure abound, the lines between a hotel and its surroundings are blurred, and visitors are welcomed like old friends. All the senses are awakened, imagining the sound of a rushing river, the smell of baking bread, or the sight of an impossibly clear sky painted with stars. Including must-try dishes and essential souvenirs, Travels with Chufy: Confidential Destinations details the elements of each haven that should not be missed. With these vibrant, animated stories, travelers will be keen to explore beyond the known and experience the euphoria of cultural immersion and discovery.

 

Estancias, Great Houses and Ranches of Argentina

This book presents more than thirty estancias from all over the country. The diversity of styles in the architecture, interiors, parks and gardens of these Argentine rural buildings accounts for a unique fusion of Creole and European traditions. Xavier A. Verstraeten's photographs colorfully capture the charm of everyday life in these settings. Additional antique photographs in black and white help revive Argentine rural legends and reality.

 
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Living in Morocco

With its mountainous and desert landscapes, labyrinthine souks, delectable cuisine, exquisite rugs and textiles, vibrant mosaics, fragrant odors, mesmerizing music, and welcoming people, Morocco is a most alluring and tantalizingly exotic destination. Digging a little deeper into the myth of Morocco, Barbara and René Stoeltie bring us this eclectic selection of homes that demonstrate all that is most wonderful about Moroccan style. Flipping through these pages of fairy tale interiors (ideally whilst sipping a steaming cup of sweet, fragrant mint tea) you’ll be instantly transported.

 

Gypset Travel

Following her best-selling 2009 Assouline title, Gypset Style, travel writer Julia Chaplin explores the little-known enclaves of gypsy jet-setters around the world. From the Aeolian Islands in Italy to Lamu, Kenya; North Goa, India; and José Ignacio, Uruguay—Gypset Travel delves into the glamorous yet casual lifestyle of these bohemian wanderers through intimate photography and first-person anecdotes.

 

Living in Provence

This land, known as Provence, has inspired such writers and artists as Alphonse Daudet, Frédéric Mistral, and Vincent van Gogh. Paul Cézanne loved the region’s Mont Sainte Victoire so much that he immortalized it in his famous paintings; his Provence studio, which still looks the same as it did over one hundred years ago, is featured herein, as is the house where Mistral, 1904 Nobel Prize–winner, lived and wrote. Also included are photographs of the famous Hotel Nord-Pinus in Arles where Jean Cocteau sojourned and Picasso stayed when he came to see the bullfights. Bringing together the region’s most remarkable interiors, classical and contemporary, this book paints a gorgeous picture of Provençal living.


For the Fashion Maven

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Alaïa

More like a sculptor of dresses than a ready-to-wear designer, Azzedine Alaia has influenced fashion for more than thirty years. Appearing on the scene at the beginning of the 1980s, the Tunisian innovator remains one of the most remarkable personalities in the world of fashion. Constantly researching new materials and pioneering the art of the cut, this book shows why Alaïa is still so revered by his fanatic celebrity clientele and the fashion world at large.

 
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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Arguably the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer’s career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. It features his most iconic and radical designs, revealing how McQueen adapted and combined the fundamentals of Savile Row tailoring, the specialized techniques of haute couture, and technological innovation to achieve his distinctive aesthetic. It also focuses on the highly sophisticated narrative structures underpinning his collections and extravagant runway presentations, with their echoes of avant-garde installation and performance art.

 
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Influence

Admired for founding the luxury brand The Row, Ashley Olsen is a designer, entrepreneur, actress, and style icon not to mention, one of the most influential young women in the fashion and entertainment industries. The Row, launched in 2006, was quickly picked up by high end retailers globally. Following on the heels of The Row, Ashley ventured with her sister Mary-Kate into the contemporary market with the Elizabeth and James brand.

 
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Suzanne Syz: Art Jewels

This beautifully illustrated book explores everything from Syz’s love for art, her family, and her inspirations, which are categorized as “Pop,” “Naturally,” and “Contemporary.” Organized in an alphabet format, with each letter representing an important aspect of her boundless originality, this title also features an interview-style text by art critic Nicolas Trembley that delves into the visionary jewelry designer’s inner workings. With original photography, personal photos, and imagery of some of her most magnificent pieces, Suzanne Syz: Art Jewels is a delight for jewelry lovers, art aficionados, and creatives everywhere

 
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The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style

Based on the wildly popular fashion website, The Coveteur is a photography coffee table book offering exclusive access to celebrity closets and homes.
 


For the Surf and Skate Culture Lover

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Locals Only: California Skateboarding 1975-1978

One afternoon in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland drove up Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and encountered skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. Immediately transfixed by their grace and athleticism, he knew he had found an amazing subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, for the next three years Holland never tired of documenting skateboarders surfing the streets of Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and as far away as San Francisco and Baja California, Mexico.  During the mid-1970s, Southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders

 
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LeRoy Grannis: Surf Photography of The 1960s and 1970s

At a time when surfing is more popular than ever, it's fitting to look back at the years that brought the sport into the mainstream. Developed by Hawaiian islanders over five centuries ago, surfing began to peak on the mainland in the 1950s—becoming not just a sport, but a way of life, admired and exported across the globe. One of the key image-makers from that period is LeRoy Grannis, a surfer since 1931, who began photographing the scene in California and Hawaii in the longboard era of the early 1960s.

 
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Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

 
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Surf Craft: Design and the Culture of Board Riding

Richard Kenvin looks at the craft and design of surfboards from a historical and cultural perspective. He views board design as an exemplary model ofmingei, or art of the people, and the craft philosophy of Soetsu Yanagi. Yanagi believed that a design's true beauty and purpose are revealed when it is put to its intended use. In its purest form, the craft of board building, along with the act of surfing itself, exemplifies mingei. Surf Craft pays particular attention to Bob Simmons's boards, which are striking examples of this kind of functional design, mirroring the work of postwar modern California designers. Surf Craft is published in conjunction with an exhibition at San Diego's Mingei International Museum.

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The History of Surfing

Matt Warshaw knows more about surfing than any other person on the planet. After five years of research and writing, Warshaw has crafted an unprecedented history of the sport and the culture it has spawned. At nearly 500 pages, with 250,000 words and more than 250 rare photographs, The History of Surfing reveals and defines this sport with a voice that is authoritative, funny, and wholly original. The obsessive nature of this endeavor is matched only by the obsessive nature of surfers, who will pore through these pages with passion and opinion. A true category killer, here is the definitive history of surfing.


For the Photographer

Halsband Portraits

Including Portraits from 1980 to the present with selections from The Rolling Stones 1981 Tour, Musicians, Artists, Ballet, Nudes, Surfing, Cuba with Hunter S Thompson, AC/DC and the new 8 x 10 camera portraits Statement by Michael Halsband

 
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Michael Dweck: Habana Libre

Habana Libre is a stunning contemporary exploration of the privileged class in a classless society: a secret life within Cuba. Michael Dweck's photographs are exhilarating, sensual and provocative, with a sexy and hypnotic visual rhythm. This is a face of Cuba never before photographed, never reported in Western media and never acknowledged openly within Cuba itself. It is a socially connected world of glamorous models and keenly observant artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers captured in an elaborate dance of survival and success. Here too are surprising interviews with sons of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as well as many others who define the creative culture of Cuba and give it texture and substance.

 
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Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright

Published to accompany an exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright focuses on the photographer’s early work from 1998 to 2003, the year of his solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

 
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Irving Penn: Small Trades

The Small Trades was Penn’s most extensive body of work, and he returned to it over many decades, producing ever more exacting prints. Two hundred-six unique images from the series are flawlessly reproduced in this book.  In addition, the introductory essay describes the history and context of The Small Trades series and its importance to Penn’s career and the history of photography.  An interview with Edmonde Charles-Roux, the chief editor for French Vogue from 1952 to 1966, who assisted Penn on the assignment in Paris, provides fascinating insights of the Paris sittings. 

 
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The Best of Leifer

From sports to politics and from celebrities to celebrations, Neil Leifer has traversed the world since 1960, capturing major events for Sports IllustratedTimeLifeNewsweek, and other leading publications. His artistry, composition, and unerring instinct for photographing just the right moment are evident in the memorable pictures included here. Among his best-known images are a triumphant Muhammed Ali defeating Sonny Liston, thought to be the best sports picture of all time; a dazzling Kristi Yamaguchi in midair on her way to Olympic gold; Michael "Air" Jordan slam-dunking; and countless other pictures of sports superstars. For decades Leifer has attended premier sports events, and the photographs he has taken at them allow us to have ringside seats at many of the most exciting competitions of the last half of the 20th century.


For the Interior Decorator and Designer

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New York Living Rooms

Using the remaining available stock of the discontinued Polaroid Colorgraph type 691 film, Dominique Nabokov has, over the last several years, photographed the extraordinarily varied living rooms of celebrated New Yorkers. The effect is satisfyingly voyeuristic; the stillness of the living rooms without their inhabitants is both unsettling and thrilling. Some of these riveting images first appeared to wide acclaim in a "New Yorker" photo essay. In this book, she expands this unique series by including over 70 living rooms of well-known New Yorkers.

 

David Hicks on Decoration—With Fabrics

From carpets to fabric, legendary decorator David Hicks established a reputation for his breathtaking interior design. This vibrant book of patterns dives into the many ways to experiment with fabric in decor

 
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Surf Shack

Take a peek into the laidback bungalows, cabins and trailers that surfers around the world call home. Featuring vibrant photography from the sunny spaces of long-time swell seekers and enthusiastic newcomers, this book reveals the soulful lifestyle of wave-riders from Australia to Malibu.

 
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Tile Makes the Room: Good Design from Heath Ceramics

Tile Makes the Room, by Heath’s owners Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, winners of the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, is about exceptional spaces and places—the kind you want to step into and examine each and every detail of—where tile is the main ingredient, though not the only star. From the dwellings of notable designers to everyday homeowners, grand installations and subtle designs all showcase tile’s role in the form and function of architecture and interiors. The book, for design professionals and aficionados alike, features inspiration on every page; a look at tile making; a unique perspective on color, pattern, and texture; and public installations around the world to visit and enjoy, Tile Makes the Room is essential reading on interiors and tile.

 
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The Scandinavian Home: Interiors inspired by light

Niki Brantmark, owner of the interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, presents a wide-ranging collection of these beautiful homes and explores how the Scandinavian lifestyle is reflected in them all. The first chapter, Urban Living, features styles ranging from minimalist to bohemian, and pale palettes to dramatic dark colors. By contrast, the Country Homes tend to have a softer, calmer feel, through color and textiles, in line with a slower pace of life. Finally, the spectacular Rural Retreats include a mountain cabin, beach house, and rustic summer cottage, and demonstrate how having somewhere to escape to is so important to many Scandinavians. This collection of stunning interiors will put Scandi style within every reader’s reach.

 

Surf Shacks: An Eclectic Compilation of Creative Surfer’s Homes from Coast to Coast and Overseas

Surfing is a way of life. A life dominated by the waves and the tide with a cozy place to pause in between. Creative personalities crafting bold homes, Surf Shacks illustrates how surfers live both on and off shore.

In Pictures: Bam! Arquitectura Reimagines this Unique Buenos Aires Space

In Pictures: Bam! Arquitectura Reimagines this Unique Buenos Aires Space

Robert McKinley's Beach House Is A Surfer's Paradise Done Right

Robert McKinley's Beach House Is A Surfer's Paradise Done Right