Diva Design Diary

By Holly Peterson

Diva Design Diary is about bringing the latest interior design trends and tips to our existing clients, as well as future clients...enjoy!

Coffee Table Books

By Holly Peterson

Libraries call their bookshelves "stacks," but the only purposeful
book-stacking most of us do is on our coffee tables, where books are shuffled
on and off like favorite playlists on an iPod.

Coffee tables are places for odd juxtapositions. Most people, over the years,
find themselves collecting great coffee table books. Those chic, jumbo volumes
about music and art, history and science, film and fashion. Flipping through
these books is like gallery-going without the gallery; the best of them crack
open teeming worlds of color and pageantry and intellect
and sometimes even chaos.

These three are sure to spark up conversations in your living room!

'The World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places'
Introduction by HAMISH BOWLES; edited by ALEXANDRA KOTUR

It’s been 100 years since Condé Nast acquired Vogue, and this lavish book, packed with photography from the likes of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Annie Leibovitz, chronicles the magazine’s high points and catches its plush, starry, elusive sensibility. Models, actresses, It girls, socialites and Trumps are captured in portraits and during air kisses and other unguarded moments. Paloma Picasso, in a 1981 Vogue interview, seemed to speak for everyone here: "To look good and to dress up isn’t just a favor you are doing for yourself — it’s a favor you are doing for the people around you." (Knopf, $75)

This handsome book, from the author of the four-volume "Encyclopedia of Exploration," is a chronological survey of the world’s most important and audacious explorations, from the circumnavigation of Africa in 600 B.C.E. to Roald Amundsen’s conquest of the Northwest Passage and well beyond. The illustrations — period maps, journals entries, photographs — are terrific. (Bloomsbury, $50)- New York Times

The author admits that the Paris Métro “has been a source of fascination for me since childhood,” and this overstuffed book — packed with vintage maps, photographs and posters — is a train spotter’s delight. “The Paris Métro has more to offer to the student of design than almost any other transport system,” he writes. “Its classic art nouveau entrances, art deco candelabra, white-tiled stations and idiosyncratic maps are almost as recognizable city landmarks as the Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe or the Louvre.” The lovely book will have you scanning the Web for round-trip tickets to Paris, just so you can ride around below the earth. (Penguin, paper, $25)

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