Cover A colourful private residence in London named Floral Court, designed by Studio Ashby (Image: Philip Durrant, courtesy of Studio Ashby)

In light of World Book Day, we’ve gathered the inspiring design titles that will look as beautiful on your shelves and coffee tables, too

Additional reporting by Hong Xinying and Kissa Castañeda 

Coffee table books hold a special spot in the literary sphere. They marry an aesthetic visage with an erudite charm, forming a visual ode that gives insight into your personal preferences. When hosting guests in your living room, your choice of beautiful books laid out on the coffee table or on your shelves make for conversation starters, too. 

For World Book Day this year, we’ve gathered design tomes with stunning exteriors and equally mesmerising content. These newly-released publications will make for both interesting reads and expressive decor pieces.

See also: 9 New Books You Should Read In April 2021

1. By Design: The World's Best Contemporary Interior Designers, published by Phaidon

Design aficionados and enthusiasts will delight in this new encyclopedic book. By Design shines a spotlight on more than 100 of the most influential designers and decorators of the generation, nominated by an esteemed group of industry experts. The book reveals a diverse global selection of current trailblazers in interior design, introducing designers such as Kelly Wearstler, Norm Architects and Singapore design studio Takenouchi Webb, as well as a number of different projects that they’ve helmed. 

Available at online at Amazon

2. Flower Colour Theory by Darroch and Michael Putnam, published by Phaidon

Take inspiration for your next botanical tablescape from Flower Colour Theory, a new book by US florists Darroch and Michael Putnam of Putnam & Putnam, who count Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart among their star-studded clientele. Published by Phaidon, this tome features vibrant and elegant arrangements that explain how you can combine flowers of different hues with various colour schemes.

Available online at Amazon

See also: 5 Tips On Flower Arranging At Home, According To The Experts

3. Provence Glory by François Simon, published by Assouline

Feast your eyes on the impressive architecture and design of sun-soaked châteaus and monumental buildings in this bright coffee table tome. Provence Glory celebrates the historical province located in southeastern France. With vivid imagery that will whisk you away to Provence, the book showcases the rich tones and culture of the city, made even more unique with a Mediterranean cultural blend. 

Available online at

4. Mok Wei Wei: Works by W Architects, published by Thames & Hudson

The first monograph from Singapore’s leading architect Mok Wei Wei, the book explores Mok’s illustrative career that spans over almost four decades. Besides journeying through Mok’s career from the 1980s to the present, the three chapters also highlight his creative ethos. Drawing on examples of completed projects through his firm W Architects, Mok reveals his solutions when it comes to the challenges of designing for an urban city. 

Available online at Amazon

5. Every Room Should Sing by Beata Heuman, published by Rizzoli

The hotly-anticipated debut monograph of London-based interior designer Beata Heuman, Every Room Should Sing reveals a comprehensive look at Heuman’s innovative design approach for the very first time. Heuman, widely known for her signature exuberant style and playful bespoke furnishings, delivers an in-depth insight into some of her most creative projects to date. With each chapter organised according to various design principles, the coffee table tome makes for a valuable addition to any reading collection.     

Available at online at Amazon

6. Paris Chic by Oliver Pilcher and Alexandra Senes, published by Assouline

International travel might be limited for now, but you can journey through the city of Paris via this picturesque book. Photographed by Oliver Pilcher and written by Alexandra Senes, the captivating book provides readers a slice of Parisian life. Through chic bistros, charming alleyways, artists’ studios and unique characters, the City of Light’s elegant architecture and design style is revealed. 

Available online at Amazon

7. Life Meets Art: Inside the Homes of the World's Most Creative People by Sam Lubell, published by Phaidon

Get a glimpse into the private living spaces of some of the world’s biggest creatives of all time through this title. Penned by Sam Lubell, take a tour of over 200 stylish homes belonging to notable designers, architects, artists, musicians, and more. Notable names include Faye Toogood, Mario Bellini, Diane Von Furstenberg, whose homes form an inspiration for one to foresee the innumerable styling potential and prospects when it comes to home decor. 

Available online at Amazon

See also: Home Tour: Inside Designer Lee Broom's Stylish, Monochromatic Penthouse in New York

8. Control Chaos: Redefining the Visual Cultures of Asia by Phunk, published by Thames & Hudson

Singapore art and design collective Phunk celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of a new monograph. Authored by local design writer Justin Zhuang, the artistic title features three main themes that journey through the collective’s early days to current global works. The title pays tribute to the group’s iconic artwork Control Chaos, which was first produced in 2003 as a silkscreen print for a New York gallery exhibition.

Available at leading bookstores and online at

9. A Tale of Warp and Weft: Fort Street Studio, published by Rizzoli

Luxury carpets maison Fort Street Studio give the lowdown on transforming a watercolour painting to a lustrous silk carpet in this visual title. The highly-lauded carpet studio—whose clientele list includes the likes of Madonna, Brad Pitt, and Pierre Alexis-Dumas, creative director of Hermès—unveils the step-by-step intricate process of creating a hand-knotted silk carpet. The volume also covers founders Brad Davis and Janis Provisor’s journey in Asia, where they discovered unique materials, traditional craftsmanship, and even noteworthy cuisine. 

Available online at Amazon

10. Decorative Art 60s by Charlotte & Peter Fiell, published by Taschen

Inspired by the psychedelic vibrance and energetic creativity of 1960s interiors, design writers Charlotte and Peter Fiell take a deep dive into the decade’s design trends in this book. Highlighting pop iconography, lighting trends and the likes of iconic designers Ettore Sottsass and Paolo Lomazzi, Decorative Art 60s is dedicated to the groovy, retro era. 

Available online at Amazon

11. Drama by David Rockwell, published by Phaidon

Renowned architect and designer David Rockwell is set to release a new book titled Drama. The fourth book from the famed New York architect, Drama explores Rockwell’s design principles, known to be drawn from aspects of performance and theatre, as well as the importance of cross-disciplinary creativity. With six chapters dedicated to each of Rockwell’s fundamental concepts, the book also serves as a visual manifesto of projects from his eponymous cross-disciplinary practice Rockwell Group

Available online at Amazon

See also: Architects Wong Chiu Man And Maria Warner Wong On Building A More Sustainable Future

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