Tobi’s Top Ten Design Books for Holiday 2013

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I love books. I really love design books. I collect them. And in the publishing industry, like in the movie industry, the holiday season is the BIG release time for the best design books of the year. Just last week I was on my monthly segment of Good Morning Arkansas with many of my favorite design books for the season. Here’s the segment…

And today I am thrilled to bring you my favorite design books for gift giving this holiday season. So in no particular order because I own and adore each of these titles, here are my 10 favorite this year…

Alexa Hampton’s new book is exquisite and charming just like Alexa. But it’s also a fabulous how to–really a design encyclopedia including photos of Alexa’s favorite furniture styles outlined for you.


Aerin Lauder is today’s most chic style maven. An accomplished entrepreneur in her own right, Aerin is the granddaughter of cosmetic giant Estee Lauder. Today Aerin has her own cosmetic company and has crossed over into the home category with great success. This book tells you about her family history, her childhood and how she lives today. Aerin’s book is a must have!


Recently named to the exclusive AD 100 list, Architectural Digest’s list of the top 100 designers and architects in the World, Dallas-based designer Jan Showers’ follow up to her gorgeous book Glamorous Rooms is her latest book, Glamours Retreats. You won’t want to miss the fabulous destinations she’s designed for her new book. They are certainly Glamorous!!


Old is the new “new”. And blogger, contributing magazine editor and design historian Jennifer Boles has created an iconic design catalog that is a must for every design library. From Acrylic to Chinoiserie all the way to the letter Z, Jennifer defines design terms, collections and styles to help you be your own decorator or be educated when you hire one.


I featured Suzanne’s book just a couple of weeks ago and I am still day dreaming about this gorgeous book. I have found amazing inspiration for my own home from this book and since I’ve been in several of Suzanne’s projects that are featured in Timeless Style, it’s really fun to see it in print.


Remix, written by my friend, blogger and product designer Jeanine Hays and her husband Brian Mason is a fresh, diverse and exciting look at infusing family, culture, heritage and collections into your home particularly based on her African-American heritage. I love this book!


California designer Suzanne Tucker brings handsome, interesting, exquisite and cosmopolitan spaces to her latest book, the Romance of Design. Suzanne does Traditional like no one else, infused with her California aesthetic for a sophisticated but not stuffy result. These spaces make me want to visit them in person.

fifth avenue style howard slatkin cover book review

Candle magnate Howard Slatkin brings his VERY ornate aesthetic to his new book Fifth Avenue Style. And whether this look is your taste or not, the fabulous thing about this gorgeous monograph is that Howard really focuses on the hard working rooms of the home–the silver closet, the pantry, the flower room if you are lucky enough to have one and of course the space where he stores his candles. I adore the floor plan rendering on the inside cover (reminiscent of a Clue game board), before and after shots, details and scrapbook-style inspiration pages that help you get into the mind of this talented designer and understand his process.


Brian J. McCarthy, also a new addition to the AD 100 list, has a stunning new book that is truly a mouth-watering collection of Brian’s most gorgeous work. This is eye-candy in it’s best form.


And as I mentioned Monday, the new book called House Beautiful Color, the Perfect Shade for Every Room, not only includes my work, but has a plethora of gorgeous design projects, perfect paint colors with names and items numbers, and hundreds of tips for making color work for you.

So you can’t go wrong with any of these gorgeous books for yourself or the designer or design lover in your life this holiday season. Of if you are like me, I suggest adding them all to your collection.

Happy Shopping Y’all!


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4 Responses to Tobi’s Top Ten Design Books for Holiday 2013

  1. Cindy says:

    You are a mind reader. I was just thinking of adding a few books on my wish list, and really was wondering about some new ones. What a wonderful surprise to open up your blog page, and have the answers! Merry Christmas to you!

  2. This is a great collection of style, fashion and beauty in these new books! We are honored to make furniture collections for Alexa Hampton and Suzanne Kasler. We are also honored that you, Tobi, choose to turn to our craftsmen to make pieces for your clients in our Hickory, NC workroom! Happy Holidays to you!

  3. Howard Slatkin says:

    Hi Tobi, Thank you so much for not only including my book in your Top Ten list, but for also talking about it on your television segment! What a huge honor, I am deeply grateful. I love your blog—–full of beauty, inspiration and joy——so to be included is a great honor. (Can you please email me your address?) With grateful appreciation, Howard

  4. Veronica says:

    I totally collect books written by designers as well. I have quite the collection too! I proudly display them inside my design studio and they make for great conversations in my home as well. I have been eye-ing a few of the ones on your list. Maybe Santa will bring me a couple :-). I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for the inspiration