7 glam coffee table books
1 Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture
Details: An ode to one of the most recognizable brands in the world, this book is covered in pop artist Takashi Murakami’s colourful take on the LV monogram that has made the handbags of Louis Vuitton so coveted (and so reproduced). Between the covers, you’ll find essays and photos of recent collaborations between Vuitton and luminaries from the art and architecture world such as Zaha Hadid, Takashi Murakami and David LaChapelle, under the direction of once-chunky, now-hunky fashion superstar Marc Jacobs.
Who will love this: Fashion addicts and Louis Vuitton devotees. Owing to its bright colours on a white background, this square, thick book will steal the show, and will probably look best on a sparsely decorated surface. It’s the perfect coffee table book for someone just starting his or her collection.
2 Hue, by Kelly Wearstler
Details: California decorating goddess Kelly Wearstler strikes a supermodel pose on the coral-and-citrine-coloured cover of her latest book, Hue. Narrow and thick, Hue features the interiors of her own eye-popping mansion, along with other maximalist homes and hotels she’s decorated. "Colour is strong, sensual, luxurious and dramatic," Wearstler says, a statement the photography in this tome fulfills. Her use of coloured marble, graffiti-style pattern and sexy Seventies leather furniture is super-edgy.
Who will love this: Colour lovers. Hue is a celebration of often-overlooked shades ranging from Peridot to vermillion. It’s also a fabulous pick for anyone hooked on interior design reality show Top Design, of which Wearstler is a judge.
3 High Style, by Woodson and Rummerfield
Details: Covered in an embossed velvety matte black fabric, this gold-gilded book is demurely glam on the outside, yet riotously sexy on the inside. It features the dramatic interiors of magnetic L.A. design couple Woodson and Rummerfield, who clearly have a love affair with their city. "Los Angeles is the epitome of high style," they say, taking the reader on a virtual tour with photos of parties, striking architecture, and glorious SoCal sunsets. Because this book is black, it’s the perfect little black dress for just about any coffee table.
Who will love this: Those who love vintage furniture, trellis patterns, Dwell Studio bedding and glam Hollywood Regency style. Admirers of Apartment Therapy and the late Domino magazine won’t be disappointed with High Style either.
4 Jim Olson Houses
Details: A glistening infinity pool nestled in a mountainside setting implores you to open the covers of this intriguing book on architecture. Jim Olson is a Seattle-based architect known for creating graciously proportioned modern homes in locales as disparate as Georgia, Hawaii and Hong Kong. This is the kind of coffee table book you’ll find a friend deeply immersed in and quite possibly drooling over when you return from the kitchen with a tea tray. Rectangular and slim, the sophisticated matte blue-and-slate cover colours of this tome will pair well with a stack of other books on just about any coffee table.
Who will love this: Architecture buffs (floor plans and sketches abound) and people who wish they lived in a gorgeous Pacific Northwest glass-and-wood house (calling all grown-up Twilight fans). It’s also great escapist fare for those stuck inside when the weather is bad, the cover will have you dreaming of a poolside dip.
5 Chanel: Collections and Creations, by Danele Bott
Details: Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel’s signature flower, a crisp white camellia, graces the glossy black-and-white cover of this luxe coffee table book about the collections from her revered fashion house, ranging from jewelry to perfume. Inside, you’ll find delicious never-before-seen photos from the fashion house’s private archives, plus gorgeous illustrations from longtime Chanel designer, Karl Lagerfeld. In the pages of this heavy, square book with a beautiful white spine, it’s evident what a lasting impact Chanel has had on the world of modern design. This compendium is a relative bargain at $31, on the low end of what coffee table books often cost. Much like the fashion of the House of Chanel, it will look timeless on any coffee table today, and in twenty years from now.
Who will love this: Fans of the 2009 Audrey Tatou film Coco Before Chanel; anyone in love with the classic modern style that Chanel evokes. Because the book is black-and-white, it'll blend beautifully in any type of decor.
6 Majestic Metropolitan Living, by Sue Hostetler
Details: The deep fuschia sans-serif title of this glossy book, Majestic Metropolitan Living, neatly sums up it's raison d'etre -- to showcase jaw-dropping urban homes. There are no sprawling suburban McMansions within the pages of this wide, square book, but rather a carefully curated selection of oversized city interiors, complete with detailed essays about each space. One fave: the 28,000 sq.ft. Manhattan house (seriously) that takes up three floors of a huge building. With its relatively slim spine and big footprint, this book would look smashing by itself on a coffee table.
Who will love this: Diehard city dwellers who crave space, and renovators with deep pockets. This book will provide aspiration to those who will never abandon metropolitan living, and inspiration to homeowners who are going to renovate in uber-luxe style.
7 Cars: Freedom, Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything by Stephen Bailey
Details: The pleasingly dappled neutral taupe covers of this weighty book on automobiles come tucked neatly in a black holder. It won’t stay closed for long, though, as this book is a guaranteed icebreaker -- one of those irresistible coffee table fixtures guests will pore over and chat excitedly about. Billed as "a love letter to the most beautiful 86 cars ever manufactured," car columnist Stephen Bailey takes the reader through designs from the Ford Model T to a swinging-Sixties Jaguar to a smoking hot latter-day BMW. Owing to its thick but relatively traditional look, Cars can be stacked up with other, more colourful books, yet can hold its own as part of a coffee table vignette.
Who will love it: Cars has a surprisingly universal appeal and will inspire envy in nearly every reader. Automobile fanatics are an obvious fit, but just about anyone, from kids to grandmothers will enjoy flipping the pages and either drool or reminisce.