Arts & Culture

Our Style Director’s Spring Reading List

G&G’s style director recommends eight great design-minded books to pore over

Hibernating with a good book is my go-to form of escape and comfort, and naturally, I gravitate toward subjects with a style bent. But I don’t limit those choices to art and design tomes—the idea of beauty trickles into every part of life, from food to travel to furniture to flowers. In addition to keeping up with fresh, buzzworthy releases, I also love to reach back in time to vintage books for inspiration, or to seasoned titles I haven’t yet had a chance to explore. With that in mind, here are a few of the picks, a mix of new and old, on my reading list this spring.

The Elements of a Home
I am a sucker for trivia and the stories behind the stuff we use in our everyday lives—from down pillows to playing cards to tea kettles—so this book, out March 17, is on my short list. $20;

Family Houses by the Sea
Amazon sells a used, vintage form of this 1993 book that I am dying to order. The idea of family houses in general intrigues me, but particularly family beach houses, mountain houses, and lake houses. These types of structures are usually laid-back and focused on relaxation and calm, not perfection—a lovely idea to bring into the design of primary residences, too. $7;

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History
This book by Kassia St. Clair just came out last fall, and it is the perfect thing to read if you are remotely interested in history: It tracks how six movements in the textile trade continue to shape global economic and cultural climates in lively detail, from mummified linen in ancient Egypt to the fibers banned for use in swimsuits in international aquatic racing events. $16;

Diana Vreeland: Bon Mots
I am most interested in this new book about the iconic fashion editor and tastemaker Diana Vreeland, out March 24, for the illustrations by one of my favorite design muses of the moment: the artist Luke Edward Hall. $35;

A Natural History of English Gardening
Southern gardens and English gardens have so much in common (at least the ones I love the most), and this book, which debuted in 2015 but is a new discovery to me, is an art object as much as it is a resource—the botanical drawings are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Give me a pot of coffee and a free weekend morning with this book, and that’s my idea of heaven defined. $55;

The Bucket List: Places to Find Peace & Quiet
When I dream of locales to visit around the world, I’m always searching for spots that are as calm and quiet as they are beautiful—which is why I’m glad someone wrote this book, which came out in early 2019. $35;

Every Day Is Saturday
I hoard cookbooks, not only for the education about ingredients and clever recipes, but for the visuals. This book was released last summer, and I can’t stop studying it. I adore the premise: that you should treat every day like a Saturday. But what I also appreciate are the little traditions the author and her family repeat each week. For example, in lieu of proper supper “rules,” one night a week they throw together grazing boards of delicious snacks to share as a family. I love the relaxed, unpretentious spirit of everything in it. $18;

A Place Called Home: Print, Colour, Pattern
And finally, one for the preorder pile: I have been a nut for the author of this book, Cath Kidston, for fifteen years. Blame it on my Anglophile roots, but I fancy a bit of British quirk, and I am obsessed with color and pattern. Kidston never disappoints, so I’m putting this one in my cart now. $45;