Books That Spark Joy

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Minimalism is more about the quality of what we have, rather than the amount of things we have. With a new house in the horizon, I’ll be taking some of the few items I own and hopefully add new ones to the bookshelf. While books aren’t an essential need, following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I like to think of them as the juice of a home. I love books, I love the idea of books, I love the smell of books and the design of books, perhaps more than I love reading books.

There are iconic books, much like iconic magazines, that I’d love to have in my living room. I’d love to stare at them, as they fill my heart with joy — as Marie Kondo would say —, welcoming people into my home, translating pieces of my mind. I’ve gathered a personal selection of the books that spark joy in me.

This is Home: The Art of Simple Living

Author: Natalie Walton

This is Home comes as a guide on how to create authentic interiors. It covers living simply, finding the essence of what makes us happy at home and creating spaces that reflect our needs and style.

I love how this book talks so straightforwardly about how to determine our decorating personality, what’s authentic for us, and where to spend and save when it comes to creating lasting interiors. All of these matters are important when decorating a home and it is an extremely useful tool for any decor enthusiast.

Wabi Inspirations

Author: Axel Vervoordt

Wabi Inspirations features Vervoordt interiors that are inspired by wabi philosophies, showing readers how to create calm, peaceful spaces in which beauty is distilled to its purest form. Created with contributions by architect and frequent collaborator, Tatsuro Miki, the book’s photographs by Laziz Hamani transport us into the unique atmospheres of these Wabi Inspirations.

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

Author: Thierry-Maxime Loriot

Thierry Mugler is the ultimate gown designer, there’s simply no comparison to his singular, imaginative vision. That’s why I’d want this book on my shelves or coffee table — to have the pleasure of contemplating Mugler’s multiple worlds as a photographer, director, choreographer, and perfumer.

Oversized and richly illustrated with 450 images, this book is a luxury object. Lavishly designed, it traces Mugler’s career and reveals never-before-seen material by photographers such as Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and David LaChapelle.


Author: Jay-Z

When I purchased this book, I was not only in love with its cover and design, but also with its content, with its subject: Jay-Z himself. I wanted to know his background, his story.

Decoded is a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.

Donatella Versace

Authors: Donatella Versace, Maria Luisa Frisa, Stefano Tonchi, Tim Blanks & Ingrid Sischy

I’ve always been a Versace fangirl, so it would be impossible to not have something related to the brand. This is the first book documenting Donatella Versace’s career and vision of the maison, covering the Versace legacy, with a series of never-seen-before photos and notes.

The book includes contemporary and archival imagery from runway and backstage shots of intimate scenes at the Versace atelier, original essays penned by fashion’s most authoritative voices and red-carpet coverage of Hollywood’s elite wearing dazzling Versace couture.

The Interior Design Handbook

Author: Frida Ramstedt, Illustrated by Mia Olofsson

Talking about interior design rules, here’s this handbook that teaches the general rules of thumb: the proper size for a coffee table in relation to our sofa, the optimal height to hang lighting fixtures, and the best ways to use a mood board. Complete with helpful illustrations.

We’re able to use The Interior Design Handbook to achieve a balanced, beautiful home no matter where we live or what our style is.

Woman Made: Great Women Designers

Author: Jane Hall

Woman Made shows the history of a discipline too often examined from a man’s point of view, and it features biographies of designers, such as Aino Aalto and Annie Albers, whose reputation was perhaps overshadowed by their husbands’ work. While the author admits Woman Made largely deals with history, she also believes it can point a way forward in the ever-changing world of creative production.

“A feminist approach, then, predicated on elevating what have been traditionally viewed as minor or marginal concerns, is a method for disrupting patriarchal ways of producing the world, and will invariably be of benefit to everyone.”

Besides being beautifully made, the book is a must read for designers, and also for feminists. I am both.