Spring’s Best Design Books for Gifting (or Keeping!)

Here's what's on our reading list.

May 6, 2022

While a bottle of wine or a hand-tied bouquet is always a welcome gift for the gracious host or hostess, a beautiful book makes for an everlasting token—and, if properly chosen, an especially meaningful one. We’ve rounded up some of this season’s best new design books worth wrapping up in a bow. But be warned: You might have to order an extra copy for your own library!

For the Daydreaming Decorator

In her debut monograph, designer Summer Thornton takes readers on an exuberant journey through her masterful reimaginings of classic, sophisticated interiors with a fresh and buoyant point of view.

Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating (Rizzoli), $41, bookshop.org.

For the Effortless Entertainer

Inspiration abounds in this compendium by Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and designer Shelley Johnstone Paschke, who asked 34 women to share their favorite tablescapes, recipes and holiday traditions. From a Bastille Day celebration with Cathy Kincaid to a first birthday hosted by Annabelle Moehlmann to a Sunday dinner chez FREDERIC’s own editor in chief Dara Caponigro, each event is as beautiful as it is heartfelt.

A Loving Table: Creating Memorable Gatherings (Gibbs Smith), $50, bookshop.org.

For the Social Butterfly

Designer Ruthie Sommers and photographer Nick Mele go behind the gilt-embellished doors and manicured hedges of Newport, Rhode Island’s “summer cottages” for a rarely seen look at one of America’s most storied vacation destinations.

A Newport Summer (Vendome), available May 31, $55, bookshop.org.

For the Artful Eye

Billy Cotton’s debut book is an ode to his skill at creating spaces that meld new and old, artfulness and ease, serenity and drama for a list of clients that includes major art world players like photographer Cindy Sherman and gallerist Janelle Reiring.

Billy Cotton: Interior and Design Work (Rizzoli), $60, bookshop.org.

For the Eccentric Aesthete

A veritable cabinet of curiosities, Diane Keaton’s new tome is filled with paraphernalia from her personal collection—childhood scrapbook pages assembled by her mother, her brother Randy’s horror-tinged magazine collages, her own flash photos taken along Hollywood Boulevard—that, together, tell the story of the actor’s intriguing life.

Saved: MY PICTURE WORLD (Rizzoli), $50, bookshop.org.

For the Homebody

A complement to her popular video series, “Quintessence At Home With,” Susanna Salk’s latest book invites readers inside the homes of designers like Suzanne Rheinstein, John Robshaw and Johnson Hartig.

At Home with Designers and Tastemakers (Rizzoli), $46, bookshop.org.