Sitting around your friend's living room, sipping on your favorite evening cocktail surrounded by those who bring you great conversation and laughs, you're distracted. An eye-grabbing book lies on the surface of the space's centerpiece, the coffee table, and you can't help but imagine what wonders you'd see underneath the hard, matte-finished cover. You don't want to interrupt your friend who's discussing their favorite new podcast, but the book is tempting you to grab and explore every inch of it.
That's the power of a successful coffee table book. On a superficial level, it can hold more beauty than any one piece of decor, for each page is a new opportunity to see something spectacular. Additionally, coffee table books can be selected for their exterior color or design to complement the other decor you have on your table. On a personal level, they create an experience for the owner and guest of a space. They can be picked up, pored over, and provoking. Coffee table books can be inspirational and representational. Maybe you're a car enthusiast, so Be Extraordinary, The Spirit of Bentley by Assouline sits on your living room's coffee table. Your friends learn you might have an interest in the luxury, English automobile and your passion stares back at you every time you kick back and enjoy your space with loved ones or alone.
Selecting the right topic for your coffee table book might not be difficult, but choosing one that rises to the level of your interior design might take a little extra leg work. To make things easier, we'll tell you our favorite coffee table book publishers, great books for different interests, and some of our most-loved pieces.
We gravitate towards the coffee table book publishers Assouline and Taschen for two distinct, and different, reasons. If one of your interests falls under Assouline's categories, you will most definitely want to purchase their book on the topic. They think about design from every angle, and the pieces they produce never disappoint. Taschen, on the other hand, offers a variety of books. Their products can come in a wide range of designs and sizes, so you might not always get that large, hardcover, piece of art with Taschen. But don't be mistaken, they do publish that iconic coffee book style and they're sure to carry a book that covers a topic you're interested in.
Since design is our specialty, here are some rich books on design, ranging from fashion to architecture.
FOOD AND DRINK
Whether you're a creator or enjoyer, beautifully composed photos of food & drink never let you down. If anything, they inspire you to recreate the recipe for your next dinner party (or find a friend who will).
Some of the best books are the ones that take you away, show you a different side of a culture or landscape that you've never seen but now dream to.
There are some coffee table books we often style our homes with, whether it's because they play with the color scheme, we know the client will love the topic, or both. Tom Ford by Tom Ford and Bridgett Foley is a go-to book for us. It's an extremely versatile decor piece and the photography is unmatched. The Chanel collection from Assouline is similar, as it's black and white, allowing it to fit any sleek, modern space.
Bvlgari Roma and Whiskey Cocktails are new finds for us that we love! Bvlgari Roma is a great color-pop piece while Whiskey Cocktails perfectly accents any bar setting.
You've seen a wide variety of books based on interest, style, and design — it's time you select a coffee table book that'll inspire and represent you. If you find multiple you want (and it's very likely you will), we're close to the holidays — put them on your gift list! Coffee table books make fabulous gifts for the holidays or for that house-warming party you've been invited to. They're thoughtful, beautiful, and sure to get well-used for years.
Furniture and decor stores like West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and IKEA dominate their market for a reason — they create attractive showrooms and catalogs that allow consumers to easily purchase their curated designs. All one simply needs to do is find a room they like through one of the store's "inspiration" sources, and they can purchase everything pictured, from the sofa and coffee table to the wall art and floor planter. These stores make it extremely convenient for people wanting a DIY interior makeover.
When it comes to designs for the individual, however, these brand-name stores fall short. They appeal to the masses, that's simply their nature. And that's ok because every piece in one's home doesn't have to be custom-made. In fact, incorporating a few unique, eye-catching pieces is all it takes to personalize a space.
Where do you find such items? Local shops.
Located in Dallas's Preston Hollow neighborhood, the curated modern art and decor store, Kasart, offers a variety of pieces sure to transform one's room. When customers shop here, they know they're receiving something special, as owner and interior designer Mariana Tagle only sources "items that are different and not easily accessible or too commercial."
The Peruvian designer moved to Dallas seven years ago, quickly making the modern aesthetic her market niche. Her professional background and travels around the world helped shape her cosmopolitan taste, and she wanted to share this with the Texas city. "In the past, Dallas had been built and decorated in a more traditional style," Mariana said. But she found clients to be extremely excited about "bringing contemporary life into their homes," and the success of her client consultations drove her to want more. So after six years of balancing a design business, her three children’s busy schedules, and waiting for the perfect location, Mariana opened her dream store, Kasart, in May 2019.
The inspiration behind Kasart was Mariana's desire to offer clients an opportunity to add a modern twist to any space. "I believe your home should be a place that brings you joy and nothing brings more joy than being surrounded by beauty. This doesn’t mean everything has to be modern but adding a few pieces can really elevate one's decor."
She carefully curates her collection, selecting pieces that are unique and full of personality. The art she brings in comes from "artists who are growing their presence so it’s a quality investment for the clients."
It's hard to find personality and uniqueness in your staple home and decor stores, which is why it's so important to branch out and visit your local shops like Kasart. We hope this Shop Talk has inspired you to do just that!