Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Alice's tale is all about metamorphosis, one thing changing into the next before her eyes. I believe in change in one's environment—our minds aren't static, so why should our homes be? Why not be a bit like Alice? I'm amazed at people who buy new wardrobes every season but can't replace their coffee table.
— Deborah Buck, artist and antiques dealer, New York City
The Architecture of Luis Barragan
By Emilio Ambasz
I was in college when this book came out, in the mid-1970s. It reminded me of growing up in Mexico City, where the color and simplicity of Barragan's forms complemented the intense urban environment, and I realized that even in a city, something like silence could be achieved.
— Michael Pierce, interior designer, New York City
Avedon: Photographs, 1947–1977
By Richard Avedon
This is a book of Avedon's fashion work, but the photos really resonated with me. They have an incredible sense of elegance and line.
— Miles Redd, interior designer, New York City
David Hicks: Designer
By Ashley Hicks
Hicks's influence is evident in so much interior design today—his mix of traditional and modern elements, his bold use of color and pattern, and his attention to detail. But what has always impressed me most is how he was able to create rooms that are dramatic and, at the same time, utterly livable.
— Jeff Andrews, interior designer, Los Angeles
The Decoration of Houses
By Edith Wharton
In 1897, amid an era of excess in American design, Wharton preached restraint. She was one of the first to speak intelligently about interiors, especially in her argument that décor should be part of a building's overall design.
—Glenn Gissler, interior designer, New York City
English Gardens and Landscapes 1700–1750
By Christopher Hussey
I purchased a copy on my first visit to England, in 1970. That summer I tried to visit all the gardens in the book, deciding, "This is what I want to do." It's a compelling presentation of some of Western art's most beautiful creations.
— Laurie Olin, landscape architect, Philadelphia
By Ayn Rand
It's so easy to compromise your point of view under critical influence. Rand's lesson for me is to always stay true to my instincts.
— Darryl Carter, interior designer, Washington, D.C.