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Autumn Book Recommendations

Our calendars have taken us into Autumn and with cooler temperatures, the need comes to enjoy cosy indulgences that fuel us through the longer evenings: Hot cups of tea, fluffy blankets, candles and our favourite, reading by the fire. We have gathered our favourite design books to keep you inspired and curious throughout the season…

Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Colour by David Coles

We love colour but did you know that it has a rich history, seeped in human invention? ‘Chromatopia’ guides you through the ancient world to modern times, exploring how colour has developed due to leaps in technology. From grinding up beetles and setting fire to animal bones, this book reveals the origins and stories behind the most vivid pigments. Vibrantly illustrated, this is the book for the artist, history buff, science lover and the design fanatic.

English Eccentric: A celebration of imaginative, intriguing and truly stylish interiors by Ros Byam Shaw

This book shares a collection of unique homes created by people who have a strong visual sense and the courage and flair to be original. We love peeking behind the doors of new spaces and thought you would too! The home owners include artists and designers, a director of wildlife documentaries, a hairdresser, a politician and a ringmaster. Also showcased is the home of artist Adam Calkin who we had the chance to chat with. Find Adam’s ‘Meet the Maker’ blog post here.

An Anthology of Decorated Papers: A Sourcebook for Designers by P. J. M. Marks

A dazzling book and one of our favourites. This book brings together a collection of decorated papers dating from the 16th to 20th century. The papers showcased were produced for a wide variety of uses including wrappers and endpapers for books, backing for playing cards and even as linings for chests and cases. All rich with ornamentation, the papers were collected by Olga Hirsch (1889–1968), a trained bookbinder who left her collection of some 3,500 papers to the British Library. They remain one of the largest and most diverse collections of decorated papers in the world. This book will inspire anyone with a love of pattern and decoration.

Every Room Tells a Story by Kit Kemp

Autumn is a season for storytelling and our book Every Room Tells a Story is a great choice for exploring what makes each of our rooms distinctive and engaging. This is an intriguing look at our way of styling an intoxicating mix of contemporary and antique elements and our playful approach to fabrics and colour.

Walls: The Revival of Wall Decoration by Laura May Todd

We are endlessly inspired by interiors that show us how to put a personal stamp on the spaces we inhabit. This book highlights that every wall is an opportunity to create beauty. It goes beyond the wall being a blank canvas and shows what can be achieved with creative details such as trims, cornices and mouldings. The author inspires with examples from actual interiors and illustrates how you can get started yourself.

We hope you’ll grab something to read and get cosy. Autumn is a season to enjoy the indulgences of new ideas, curiosity and inspiration.

If you’re looking to discover a great novel, join our Firmdale Book Salons at Charlotte Street Hotel. Hosted in the hotel’s Drawing Room, bestselling authors explore and discuss their works with journalist and author Kate Maxwell. Our next event is with Clover Stroud on Thursday 20th October. Find out more about her book ‘The Red of My Blood’ and our upcoming Book Salon here.

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