15 Best Coffee Table Books that serve as inspiration while also serving as decoration



The best illustrated books on shopping in Australia

1. Near the Beach by Real Living, $44.75 (normally $59.95), Are Media


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Australian sun, surf and sand are integral influences in the 20 coastal homes featured in this book from the team behind Real Living.

2. Ken Done: Art, Design, Life by Amber Creswell Bell, $80, Thames & Hudson


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Documenting Australian artist and designer Ken Done’s extensive design practice over four decades, this book provides readers with an insight into the catalog of homewares, fashion and designs that defined an era.

3. Wendy Whitely and the Secret Garden by Janet Hawley, $57.25 (usually $79.99), Penguin Australia


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Wendy Whitely, artist and wife of the legendary late Brett Whitely, has spent 20 years planting and tending a public garden at the base of her Lavender Bay home. This read includes how she used the grief of her husband’s death to create a waterfront sanctuary — affectionately dubbed Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden — for everyone to enjoy.

4. Woman Made: Great Designers by Jane Hall, $87.80, Phaidon Press


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With more than 200 designers from over 50 countries, woman made sheds light on the overlooked history of women in design, highlighting some of the industry’s best designers and their inventions.

5. Portraits of Interiors by Alex Vervoordt, $120, Flammarion


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Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt infuses nature and art into his interiors to create an atmosphere that spans from the past to the future. Here, through portraits of 18 recently designed homes, the Belgian designer explores his approach to creating a home that encourages a sense of well-being.

6. The Noma Guide to Fermentation by Rene Redzepi and David Zilber, $56.40, Workman Publishing


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This comprehensive guide to fermentation comes from the culinary masters at Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that has been voted the world’s best restaurant four times. Chef and co-owner René Redzepi and chief of the fermentation laboratory David Zilber shares his step-by-step instructions for recreating Noma’s extensive pantry of ferments at home.

7. Homes for Nomads by Thijs Demeulemeester and Jan Verlinde, $74.35 (normally $99), Lannoo


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Belgian writer and photographer Thijs Demeulemeester captures 20 quirky traveler’s homes filled with unique tokens collected on their adventures abroad.

8. Australian Dreamscapes by Claire Takacs, $51.25 (usually $70), Hardie Grant Books


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From semi-arid landscapes to lush green oases, Claire Takacs profiles gardeners and designers to highlight the diversity of Australian gardens – especially those that have been cared for to blend gently with their surroundings.

9. A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, $100, ABRAMS


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Iconic photographer Slim Aaron’s offers an insight into the homes and travels of high society A place in the Sun documents the elusive playgrounds of the Who’s Who.

10. Sushi Shokunin: Japan’s Culinary Masters by Andrea Fazzari $170, Assouline


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If your heart (or your belly) holds a special place for sushi, Sushi Shokunin is an elegant guide – through detailed portraits and profiles – to some of the world’s finest sushi artisans and restaurants.

11. Architectural Digest at 100 by Amy Astley, $116.50 (normally $180), ABRAMS


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Celebrating the magazine’s 100th anniversary, this special edition book celebrates and highlights the publication’s rich visual history – featuring the personal spaces of notable figures such as the Obamas, David Bowie, Truman Capote and David Hockney.

12. Stuart Rattle’s Musk Farm by Paul Bangay, $31.75 (normally $39.99), Penguin Australia


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With photographs by Earl Carter and Simon Griffiths, Australian designer Stuart Rattle takes readers on a journey through his most sustainable project: Musk Farm. Purchased in 1998, Rattle has lovingly transformed a ramshackle Musk schoolhouse and surrounding grounds into a sanctuary of free creative expression.

13. Visual Feast by Gestalten, $75.75, Die Gestalten Verlag


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The art of food presentation is experimental and seductive at the same time. From cards made with vegetables to gold-painted lobsters, visual feast captures the insatiable curiosity and creativity of food staging.

14. Style Principles by Sarah Andrews, $49.99, Simon & Schuster


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Sarah Andrews, designer and mastermind behind Tasmania’s Captains Rest getaway, writes a timelessly practical styling learning tool – including ideas, tips and skills gleaned from working on key projects and her favorite spaces.

15. Garden Life by Richard Unsworth, $38.50 (normally $49.99), Penguin Australia


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Showcasing lush gardens in all sorts of settings, garden life from garden designer, owner of outdoor shop Garden Life and contributing writer for Lovely Richard Unsworth is full of advice on how to incorporate details from his gardens into your own. A perfect read for those with green fingers.

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