Liz’s Favorite Art + Design Books
We always have at least a few books laying around the office for inspiration when we hit “the wall.” Nothing gets my design brain going again like looking at the beautiful work of other designers. Inspiration is key to my process. I’m also a voracious reader and have a true love of recommending books to others that I think they will love. When it comes to art and design books, I have a few that I love to recommend over and over again.
Seven Days in the Art World. I first read this book in 2010 and I have been recommending it ever since. Sarah Thornton is an amazing journalist and spent a different day with a different type of professional in the art world. You’ll get to peak behind the curtain of the art world with an artist, someone who works in a gallery, an auction house and as an advisor. Absolutely informative and a page-turner. How often does that happen?!
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark. This is another book that I read years ago but keep coming back to read again and again for it’s pearls of wisdom. This book looks in to why a piece of art costs what it does. The art market can be an incredibly difficult thing to explain but this author does just about as well as anyone can while also giving amazing and fantastical anecdotes.
Made to Last. My assistant, Tina, recently gave me this book for my birthday and I have really enjoyed going through each story. First, it’s beautiful and every bit the book you would want to leave out for your guests to peruse through. Second, each story talks about different artisans and makers making quality art and products around the United States. This book highlights some pretty incredible people and things and I’m amazed by each different feature.
Emily Henderson Styled. It’s no secret we really love ourselves some Emily Henderson around the Adore Your Walls offices. Her styling is so approachable yet inspirational. It’s really hard to walk that line and she seems to every time. Original photography just for the book, and tons of real-world tips that you can re-create in your home. It’s a book I pick up regularly when I need to fall back in love with design.
Living with Pattern. This book is in my shopping cart as I write this. I have long been an admirer of Rebecca’s pattern making and textiles. (You can see an example on that gorgeous cover.) She’s extremely adept at knowing what the perfect pattern looks like and pattern mixing which can be tricky. It really feels like a natural fit that she would create a decor book talking about that very thing.
It’s been a dream of mine to create a big, beautiful coffee table book about decorating with art. While I work towards that dream, these books have been both educational and the perfect inspiration when I need a good dose of gorgeous design or want to dive deep into learning more about the art world.