Posted November 9, 2018

13 Coffee Table Books for Art & Design Lovers

Entertaining

Part décor, part conversation starter, coffee table books always add a little flair and a certain je ne sais quoi. If you’re starting to dabble or need a last-minute gift idea for a fellow art and design lover, you might want to bookmark this list from Kimpton’s design team.

kimpton gray image credit laurie joliet

Simple, monochromatic and beautiful. This selection of coffee table books at the Kimpton Gray Hotel is worth a second look. Image Credit: Laure Joliet.

The Classics

  • “The Figurative Pollock” – You can’t go wrong with anything Jackson Pollock, but we especially love this recent compilation. It brings attention to 100 figuration paintings and sketches rather than his famous drip painting technique.
  • “Georgia O’Keeffe: The Watercolors” – Featuring stunning full-scale color reproductions of watercolors, the work spans a two-year period in the early 20th century where Georgia pulled inspiration from the Texas desert.
  • “Agnes Martin” – Simply titled, this one’s more literary than visual once you pick it up. Insightful essays tease apart Agnes’s contributions to the art world and are coupled with the Canadian-born artist’s personal musings, drawings and watercolors.
  • “Chair: 500 Designs that Matter” – The Eames Lounge Chair is synonymous with timeless luxury but it’s not the only one that’s made waves. This book spotlights the chair’s place in history from the practical to the museum-worthy.

 

kimpton rowan palm springs image credit laurie joliet

Fancy a glass of wine and a light read? This cozy spot at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel was made for just that. Image Credit: Laure Joliet.

Bold & Graphic

  • “Josef Albers in Mexico” – The work within has also been on exhibition and contains meticulous photo collages, paintings and prints that capture the Albers duo’s trips to Mexico over three decades. As a bonus, we also love the fuchsia-hued two-toned cover.
  • “Sonia Delaunay: Art, Design and Fashion” – Sonia didn’t limit herself to a canvas. Revered on the global stage, she was named to the French Legion of Honor and made her mark on textiles and stage designs such as Cleopatra.
  • “Slim Aarons: Great Escapes” – This book not only doubles as a journal, it looks good every which way with its gold foil edges and accents. Slim captured the Golden Age of Hollywood and everything in between.

 

kimpton mason rook image credit cris molina

It’s easy to while away the afternoon at the Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel in Washington D.C. Image Credit: Cris Molina.

The Unexpected

  • “Snarkitecture” – It’s not an imaginary word but the name of a New York design studio that remixes, repurposes and reimagines art installations, products and spaces. The gorgeous book looks minimal at first glance but will go with almost everything in your existing library.
  • “The Polaroid Book” – The humble Polaroid made photos into instant memories. This collection houses 400 Polaroid images, the cameras and people that captured them, and makes you remember why it continues to thrive.
  • “The Art of the LP: Classic Album Covers, 1955-1995” – There are artists who put their heart and soul into designing album covers and this book pays tribute to that hard work. The covers are organized chronologically but thematically, creating a highly flippable experience that hits on a multitude of genres and artists.

 

kimpton glover park dc image credit: laure joliet

We love the pop of color (in the form of a James Turrell book) lending visual interest at the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Image Credit: Laure Joliet.

Splurge-Worthy

  • “John Pawson: Plain Space by Alison Morris” – An architectural dream, the book walks you through the contemporary architect’s approach to not only spaces but everyday objects.
  • “Visionaire 37: Vreeland Memos” – Whether she was shaping Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue or consulting at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there’s only one Diana Vreeland. Her employee memos were so memorable, many were saved and published in the ribbon-bound Visionaire, revealing the inner workings of a legendary fashion icon.
  • “KAWS: Man’s Best Friend” – From the MTV Moonman trophy to larger-than-life sculptures, Kaws continues to have a prolific career with his satirical eye on pop culture. The book showcases his paintings, illustrations and more well-known 3D work for readers to step into his imagination.

 

kimpton solamar liaigre twelve projects

Liaigre: Twelve Projects by visionary French interior designer Christian Liaigre is a classic coffee table selection at the Kimpton Solamar Hotel in San Diego.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to scour the vintage books section for most of these. All of the coffee table books above (and a few more we couldn’t squeeze in) can easily be found online.

—Faith Yi

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