There’s always something out there that will inspire us, whether it’s where we’re standing, what we’re watching, the people and colors around us and most importantly the great compositions created by the masters in design.   It’s almost a new year which means it’s time for new trends, new colors and new designers but before we move on from 2011 we need to look at the 10 best interior design books of the year.  If you’ve got champagne taste and you’re looking for fabulous inspiration and ideas,  these books are a MUST in your collection.  They also make great and easy gifts for those last minute shoppers who try to get it all done at the 11th hour.

Jeffrey Billhuber ‘Design Basics’

Thomas O’Brien ‘American Modern’

Charlotte Moss ‘Decorates’

Michael S. Smith ‘Elements of Style’

Kelly Wearstler ‘Hue’

Suzanne Kasler ‘Inspired Interiors’

Victoria Hagen ‘Interior Portraits’

Vincent Wolf ‘Lifting the Curtain on Design’

Bunny Williams ‘Point of View’

Darryl Carter ‘The New Traditional’

What a great year in design!  I look forward to seeing what 2012 will bring

In case you weren’t aware, Kelly Wearstler is the Queen of Interiors! I happen to worship her, and I’m talking full fledged alter with candles and everything! It’s a little sick really, but anyway, her newest book HUE is coming out in November and I am SO freakin’ excited! Here is a sneak peak!


She is always on the cover, which is fine, she is a perfect cover girl…beautiful, talented, skinny!  If I didn’t love her so much I’d totally hate her!


I pretty much LOVE everything in this room! The color palette is amazing, which in my opinion, is her specialty. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why the book is called “Hue”???) I really do love this particular one though. The oranges, purples, reds, and of course black and white and a large dose of GLAM making its presence known in the gold accents. Actually, “accents” is not the right word.  She always uses her metallics in a much more dynamic way than just in accents which I think gives her interiors such an enchanted appeal.  Another thing she is very good at is using ALL of the different “hues” in a color. If she is using orange in her color palette for a space (like here) she uses peach, burnt orange, bright orange-orange, and everything in between…and the same with the purples and reds in this room. It really gives the space depth and character. So many times my clients will say “that’s not the right shade of red, it won’t match”. I want to scream- but instead I try to explain how diversifying the shades make a palette so much more sophisticated and not everthing has to “match”. I much prefer the term “coordinate”.


Kelly is also a huge fan of her geometric patterns which she uses liberally throughout her interiors.  I love how she uses them in unconventional ways too, like on the back of the sofa and on the paneled walls down the hallway. Too many of us are content to just throw some cool wallpaper on the wall and call it a day (of course that’s also a LOT less expensive I’m sure), but Kelly’s clients never seem to have a budget issue so they get custom Kelly wall panels! Fabulous! And the accent color is gorgeous! Jamie Drake uses that vibrant deep cerise color all the time in his interiors as well. (I was trying to sound fancy with “cerise”, but actually I just looked the name of that color up.  I was going to say “fuschia-purple”. Did you know every single color has an official name? Not just the silly names Benjamin Moore gives them either. You can see the list on Wikpedia.)


She’s been into a 70’s – 80’s aesthetic lately, which she somehow makes it look AMAZING! I really love pink and yellow together. It reminds me of Betsey Johnson’s apartment…but less pink and more yellow, which I kind of prefer. It makes it more sophisticated.  However, I do love Betsey’s place (see bel0w)



Ok, back to KELLY!

Here are some more pics you’ll likely see in her new book…


She does quite a few hotels, like this one here. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her husband is an uber-successful, zillionaire hotelier. Like I said, if I didn’t love her, I’d hate her!


I am literally drooling over that pink patent leather chair! Again she goes with the pinks, yellows, and oranges, which she has the ability to make so sexy with the touch of black in the shade and rug,  and so glam with the gold, but yet it still feels laid back.  Very Miami! Notice the geometric paneled wall divider (told you she loves those!)


She likes to throw in natural elements into her ultra chic interiors which helps to keep the carefree air about it. Notice the tree branch sculpture and the plants in the background. Without them in the scene, the ambiance is too stiff. They break up the monotony of perfection just, well….perfectly! It also adds a surprise element- something “unexpected”, which is always key to creating a truly dynamic space.

So, if you are now as excited as I am for her new book, you won’t have to wait to much longer! It comes out next month and I am going to get a signed edition to go along with her first two books in my collection, because like I said, I’m madly obsessed with the woman!

For The Book Lover!

Posted By susanzaring | Sep 18, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Books

Newly published books for great inspiration:


Richly illustrated, great for the coffee table or to explore the history of fashion and design through the ages. A visual journey not to be missed!

Available at your local high-end book store or exclusively through Assouline