It's Time For Some Shelf Indulgence: We've Asked Some Excellent People For Their Top Interiors Reads.
I think we have all noticed that the inspiration and research for many goes no further than the tapping of a screen. And while the internet and apps have been a marvellous gateway for discovery, the algorithms they put in place mean we are all being fed the same inspiration. I delight in adding to the Tat library and thought I would ask a few people I greatly admire for their go-to books. Those which I didn't already have all been swiftly procured.
"Mario Praz’s ‘History of Interior Decoration’ is THE go-to for historical interiors, and I think it has been in print since it was first published in 1964. You can see the legacy of its influence in hundreds of rooms over the last 60 years."
These are aspirational interiors, not the kind you can create on a modest budget! But what a tribute to the achingly elegant homes Saint Laurent and Bergé created together. The photographs by Ivan Terestchenko are wonderfully intimate, such as close-ups of a desktop at eye level, as though you are sat to it. I like the illusion of being in the room. And the auction catalogue for Christie’s sale of the couple’s collection (there is a hardback tome available) accompanies this book nicely."
"I love Jaime Paralade’s book on Decoration, endlessly inspiring use of colour."
"Has to be Greek Style - old, lovely, classic. It is not full of silly OTT photos with Naf accessories in them. Just real houses GREEK STYLE!"
"Mine would be The English Room by Derry Moore and Michael Pick. A showcase in the mastery of light and an archive of grand yet intimate interiors. As a stylist, I find it a continuous source of inspiration for both design ideas as well as image composition."
Benedict Foley, Designer & Maker
Treasures of the Alhambra - A colour-illustrated book published in 1979, although based on the writing of Washington Irving (1783-1859), the diplomat/biographer / essayist / storyteller. I used to spend hours pouring over it as a child. My mother bought it after visiting Granada before I was born. I used to love trying to understand how the decoration was created from the photographs, if you’ve seen Nasrid murqanas vaulting you’ll know what I mean! I visited with Daniel in October for my birthday, one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Washington was also the author of Sleepy Hollow as a niche side note, what’s not to love!
"Two books I find not only wonderful but extremely practical and helpful are by Terence Conran. The Essential House Book & Bathrooms simply add water."
Charlie Porter, Founder Of Tat London
When it came time to select a book for this article, despite having requested contributions from others, I found myself at a crossroads. My journey in interior design has been profoundly shaped by an extensive collection of design books, a cherished part of my education in this field. These books are a significant presence in my home, residing alongside a substantial assortment of magazines. Among my treasured collections are all of Ros Byam Shaw's insightful works, as well as those by Miguel Flores-Vianna. I hold a special fondness for "The Swedish Room" by Lars Sjöberg. It was Hannah Hyden, the curator behind the captivating Instagram @domicile.file, who introduced me to "Country Houses of England" by Barbara & René Stoeltie, a 1999' publication that quickly became a favourite. My latest acquisition, "A Tower in Tuscany" by Beatrice Monti della Corte, stands out as an exceptional find. This book is a treasure trove of stunning interiors, featuring, among many wonders, the bed of my dreams.