Design Book Favorites

Janet Ramin - Being a designer, my wish list for design books is VERY long, so I’d like to share some of the books that inspire me and maybe they will end up on your wish list for the New Year, too! These books come from all industries – I don’t limit myself just to my field of interior design. You never know where inspiration may come from, so keep yourself open and attuned to all trends in other fields. 

From Design Magazines:

Abitare, an Italian design magazine launched in 1961, informed the world of the latest trends in the design world, from interiors to accessories to graphic design, bringing it all under one cover. This compilation reproduces the best articles of the magazine in Italian and English.

 From Photography:

The Museum of the City of New York is currently hosting a retrospective of Photographer Cecil Beaton’s works – a beautiful reminder of the work that’s he done including photographs of the beautiful and famous as well as illustrations of costume designs for the opera. Beaton photographed icons such as Greta Garbo, Truman Capote, Audrey Hepburn, and Andy Warhol.

"We all get dressed for Bill," says Vogue editor Anna Wintour of Bill CunninghamNew York Times Photographer. His column, On the Street, for the Style section is a must-see for the fashionistas as well as for those who aspire to be street photographers. 

From Fashion Design:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently hosted a blockbuster retrospective on the recently deceased fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The exhibit was jam-packed with his breathtaking creations and equally jam-packed with viewers! If you weren't lucky enough to see the exhibit, then this book will give you a taste of his genius. 

This book is covered in fabric using one of Pucci’s fabulous patterns (you have several choices) and quite hefty, hence very expensive. But the author spans Pucci's fashion creations throughout his career – great snapshots of la dolce vita - molto bella!

From Jewelry Design

For some serious bling, take a look at the recent book on jewelry creations by Tony Duquette and his partner, Hutton Wilkinson. Duquette designed spectacular pieces for the Duchess of Windsor, Liza Minelli, and other celebrities.

Lark Crafts compiles the best jewelry work from top designers into a very inspirational collection. Each page shows great photos of their work.

From Architecture:

  • Neutra by Barbara Lamprecht

My dream house was always a modernist house – full of glass walls, intersecting planes, with spectacular views out the window – a house designed by Neutra, for instance! This beautiful wood-covered book on Viennese architect Richard Neutra is chockfull of photographs and drawings of nearly 300 projects, most of which are in California.    

From Interior Design

Decorator Thomas Jayne handpicks iconic interiors that reflect the best of interior design in America. Some rooms include the Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright, Vizcaya House, and interiors by Bunny Williams and Albert Hadley. 


Thanks to the Sheffield School in NYC for permission to reprint this article. Are you i
nterested in learning more about decorating and accessories? Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design. At Sheffield, you'll learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.