15 best coffee table books that serve as inspiration and decoration

The best coffee table books to buy in Australia

1. Close to the Beach by Real Living, $44.75 (usually $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 spanning four decades, this book takes readers through the catalog of homewares, fashions and designs that defined an era.

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

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Artist and wife of the late iconic Brett Whitely, Wendy Whitely created and maintained a public garden for 20 years at the foot of her Lavender Bay home. This reading involves how she used the grief of her husband’s passing to cultivate a harborside sanctuary – affectionately known as Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden – for all to enjoy.

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

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With over 200 female designers from over 50 countries, Woman makes illuminates the untold history of women in design – spotlighting some of the best designers and their inventions in the industry.

5. Interior portraits by Alex Vervoordt, $120, Flammarion

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Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt infuses nature and art into his interior spaces to cultivate an atmosphere that spans the past into the future. Here, through portraits of 18 newly designed homes, the Belgian designer sheds light on his approach to creating a home that promotes 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 was written by the culinary masters of Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that has been named the best restaurant in the world four times. Chef and co-owner René Redzepi and head of the fermentation laboratory David Zilber shares his step-by-step instructions for recreating Noma’s sprawling ferment pantry at home.

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

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Belgian writer and photographer Thijs Demeulemeester captures 20 whimsical houses of travelers filled with unique tokens collected during their adventures abroad.

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

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From semi-arid settings to lush green havens, Claire Takacs profiles gardeners and designers to showcase the diversity of Australian gardens – especially those that have been tended to sit gently in their surroundings.

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

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Offering insight into the homes and travels of high society, iconic photographer Slim Aaron’s A place in the sun documents the elusive playgrounds of the who’s who.

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

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If there’s a special place in your heart (or belly) reserved for sushi, Sushi Shokunin is an elegant guide – through in-depth portraits and profiles – to some of the world’s best sushi artisans and restaurants.

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

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

12. Musk Farm by Stuart Rattle by Paul Bangay, $31.75 (usually $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 enduring project: Musk Farm. Purchased in 1998, as a labor of love, Rattle transformed a dilapidated Musk schoolhouse and its 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 both experimental and alluring. Cards created with vegetables to lobsters painted in gold, visual feast captures the voracious curiosity and creativity of food staging.

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

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Designer and mastermind behind Tasmania’s The captains are resting getaway, Sarah Andrews writes a timeless, hands-on learning tool for style – featuring insights, tips and skills she’s accumulated while working on key projects and her favorite pieces.

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

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Featuring lush gardens in all sorts of settings, Life in the garden by garden designer, owner of outdoor store Garden Life and contributing writer for Beautiful Richard Unsworth is full of tips for incorporating the details of his gardens into yours. A perfect read for those with a green thumb.

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