My 10 favorite coffee table books

After nearly two weeks spent on the kenyan beach and savannah enjoying a temperature of 33 degrees (Celsius) I am now back in Paris where it is freezing and snowing. As today is my last vacation day before going back to work on Monday and as I feel nostalgic about my wonderful vacations ( I really want to go back!!! pictures will soon follow)  I needed to do something relaxing, inspiring and uplifting so I had a look at some of my coffee table books. Here below are my top 10….

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1. “Life and work” from the Danish fashion designer Malene Birger.
The book contains beautiful pictures of Malene’s homes in Mallorca where she used to live and in Copenhagen.

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2. “Move and work” from Malene Birger.
It again contains pictures of her homes but also of her arts, showrooms as she stopped as fashion designer and started an art and interior collection few years ago. I personally find her graphic ink drawings very inspiring as I am drawing and painting with black ink as well.

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3. “Pierre Soulages“.
This is a catalogue exposition about the french painter Pierre Soulages, known for his black and abstract work and it is a great source of inspiration for me as I have a passion for black ink and other techniques used by the artist.

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4. “Elle decoration country“.
I display these magazines as coffee table books as they look like it and illustrates beautiful homes in the countryside.

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5. “The Kinfolk home.
I already mentioned this book in this previous post and I appreciate it as it is encouraging us to create homes where we can “slow down”.

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6. “Cereal“.
Like number 4, I display them as coffee table books and I enjoy their invitation for travel through astonishing pictures. I also have their Copenhagen and Paris city guides.

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7. “The natural home” from stylist Hans Blomquist.
I’ve had this book for many years now but I can spend a lot of time looking at it again and again and still be in awe of the fantastic pictures showing still life, homes with natural look. This book is a “must”!

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8. “Bringing nature home” from lifestyle photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo
I love flowers and I love this book for its simplicity and practical tips. It includes inspiring pictures and tips about floral arrangements, seasonal bouquets in order to “bring nature home”.

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9. “La botanique de Rousseau”.
This book is in french and I don’t think it is actually available in other langages. As botany is a source of inspiration for my drawings and paintings I find great “models” in this book. The book reflects the passion of the french writer Rousseau for botanical science and includes paintings from Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

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10. “Claire Basler“.
As you can read in my previous posts here I visited the beautiful Château of the artist Claire Basler where she lives and also exposes her work. The book is a reflection of this beautiful place and amazing work.

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I have many other art books about Caillebotte, Picasso, Braque, Hopper…. but that will certainly be the subject of a new blogpost!

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Have a nice weekend!

Volez Voguez Voyagez

Last Sunday I went to the beautiful Grand Palais in Paris to see the exhibition called “Volez Voguez Voyagez” (“Fly Sail Travel ” in English) about Louis Vuitton.
I must say  that I was a little bit sceptical about the exhibition thinking that it will just be a display of luxury goods…. but I was wrong!

The exhibition is an ode to a passionate, dedicated, hard-working, innovative, courageous, talented person.
The exhibition is an ode to quality craftsmanship. It is so good to see, in our industrial world, what human hands can do with beautiful natural materials such as wood!

This luxury brand started with a simple man coming from a modest family who had talents, who was visionary and innovative and who had a passion. I personally admire people with an entrepreneur spirit, with a passion, with a taste for quality and who starts something from scratch. It was definitely the case for Louis Vuitton!

The scenography of the exhibition is well thought and beautifully executed! It is all about travelling as the products from Louis Vuitton was first of all travelling accessories.

When you go around you have this feeling of going  back to the 20’s, which is my favourite period in history as I find that women were chic, classy and elegant.

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So everything started with this guy… Louis Vuitton.
He comes from Anchay, a small village from the Jura Mountains in the East of France. He arrived in Paris when he was fourteen and worked as a box maker/packer apprentice for Romain Marechal who had a small company manufacturing boxes in which  women could have their voluminous wardrobes.

He learned how to use wood which was the most important material for him. Wood reflected Louis humble origins and reminded him of the forest of his native area.

Louis Vuitton founded his own company in 1854, creating trunks made of wood, leather, textile, etc….and having “high class” customers such as the Empress Eugenie.

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At the request of André Citroën who organised expeditions through Africa Louis Vuitton created trunks adapted to explorers (tea sets, toiletries, etc…)

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The rise of yachting, aviation, train inspired Louis Vuitton to create accessories such as steamer bags…

Louis Vuitton died in 1892 and his son and grand-son continued the Vuitton adventure. The famous monogram LV will be officially the emblem of the company in 1896.

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Volez Voguez Voyagez!