Home Design

Five Art and Design Books for Your Winter Reading List

Flora-forward interiors, covetable Scandinavian abodes, and beautiful libraries from around the globe.


reading list

Photo by Eric Clark

1. The Nordic Home, edited by John Arne Bjerknes
Scandinavian design is having a moment—and it extends far beyond the images dominating your Instagram feed. In The Nordic Home, 36 abodes showcase the region’s signature use of natural materials and designs that blend into their surroundings. Look closely or you may miss the Icelandic villa disguised by its greenery-topped roof.

Out 8/8/18, $50, Images Publishing.

2. Kerouac Beat Painting, edited by Sandrina Bandera, Alessandro Castiglioni, and Emma Zanella
Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road may be one of the most important works of the Beat Generation, but his visual art went undiscovered for decades. See how the Lowell native incorporated the same radical ideas that marked his literature into his sketches and abstract paintings, compiled for the first time in this tome.

Out 8/28/18, $40, Skira.

3. Architects’ Houses, by Michael Webb
Nothing unleashes the creativity of architects like the chance to design for themselves. For proof, consider the home supported by Styrofoam beams that the couple behind Ensamble Studio built on top of three converted garages in Brookline. Peek inside the spaces of 42 architects in Michael Webb’s most recent hardcover, packed with daring ideas.

Out 4/24/18, $50, Princeton Architectural Press.

4. Wonderplants 2, by Judith Baehner and Irene Schampaert
From bamboo and macho ferns climbing a sitting room wall to potted peace lilies and philodendrons perching atop kitchen cabinets, plants transform 20 city homes into urban jungles in Wonderplants 2. Leaf through 250 images of viridescent interiors shot around the globe, including an indoor patio overflowing with elephant ears and thatch palms in São Paulo, Brazil.

Out 8/31/18, $45, Lannoo.

5. Massimo Listri: The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, text by Georg Ruppelt and Elisabeth Sladek
Visiting such diverse locales as a Peruvian monastery and Paris’s Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (which inspired the Boston Public Library), Massimo Listri documents 55 of the most heavenly bibliothecas on earth. Bookworms are bound to pore over the 500-plus pages of gilded shelves, glowing frescoes, and ancient relics.

Out 8/4/18, $200, Taschen.