My Coffee Table Books – Part 1
Away from the screen
With this post I start the series of my Coffee Table Books. Meanwhile, some beautiful books have accumulated, which received too little attention during the last 4 years. Why? Because the little time we have left over besides work and family is increasingly spent in front of the computer or mobile phone screen. I can’t free myself from that. Especially if I want to maintain my blog and Instagram feed and at least my online social contacts. In the past, I leafed through the illustrated books several times to immerse myself and just switch off. Maybe I can start doing that again, if I choose a book regularly and introduce it here.
What are Coffee Table Books for?
The English term Coffee Table Book is mainly used in the United Kingdom and the United States. The ‘Coffee Table’ is a side table. These books of which I speak here are picture books for adults whose diverse contents often deal with art, fashion design, interior design or garden architecture. Mostly they are used to decorate coffee tables and consoles. They are placed in a way that they are clearly visible. Sometimes they are also used as a shelf for vases or other decorative elements. The rather large-format picture books with little text are sometimes expensive, because they are printed on high-quality paper and can have elaborate bindings and covers.
Coffee Table Books are definitely an eye-catcher in the living room or bedroom and also give some inside about the interests of their owner. Sometimes they are chosen only by color to underline the color story of the rest of the establishment.
The books can be nicely arranged on top of each other. Either only one or more stacks depending on the size of the table or wherever they are placed. The shelf space is structured without giving away a lot of storing space. It is allowed to put a plate or a cup (with saucer of course) on the stack of books. The fact that the Coffee Table Books are placed openly in the room and not in a bookshelf, they also invite guests to take them to heart. Browsing is therefore desirable.
Coffee Table Book No. 1: L’Esprit décoration Ladurée Paris
How I found the book
I start with the book L’Esprit décoration Ladurée Paris written by Serge Gleizes, because I still revel in the memories of our beautiful Paris weekend in February. If you have not read the article yet, you are welcome to do so here. I bought this book already in 2012. I was with a dear colleague on a business trip in Paris. Both of us visited the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysee for the first time, and we were really impressed. The store felt like a museum. Huge sized with many rooms. In addition to the Louis Vuitton products you could also buy the books that were used for decoration. Unfortunately, I could not afford to buy a bag or a pair of shoes, but this book was a very nice souvenir. Especially since I love Macarons of Ladurée and I’m a Visual Merchandiser. Incidentally, I have been treated just as royally when paying as the other customers who have actually spent serious amounts of money. And for the rest of the day, I stalked Paris with a big Louis Vuitton bag.
About the book
The so-called Maison Ladurée is a world-famous French luxury pastry chain. The pâtisserie is especially famous for its macaron – colorful, sweet biscuits. In the same year that the first pastry shop of Louis Ernest Ladurée opened, the foundations were laid for the beautiful Opera Garnier. That was in 1862. For the Parisian high society, later the tea house-extended business became a popular meeting place. The French artist Jules Chéret was responsible for the special decoration of this teahouse, which can still be admired today in the Ladurée cafes and in this book.
Here you will learn what makes the style of Ladurée so unique and where the decorators took their inspiration for the design of furniture, textiles and wallpaper. Three different, feminine decoration styles are combined at Ladurée. The women who would probably be called influencers today were then Madame de Pompadour of the 18th century, Empress Eugenia of the Second Empire, and bizarre interior designer and antiquarian Madeleine Casting, who worked at the beginning of the 20th century. On Youtube you can watch a great documentary about Madeleine Castaing – a fascinating personality who has almost reached the age of 100.
The book also shows examples of how to imitate the Ladurée style in your own home. But you really need the right rooms …
The cover of the book with the golden details and the satin ribbon to open / close make it at first glance something very special. The big surprise is a three-page pop-up hidden in an envelope in the cover – also to be opened with a satin bow. The detailed miniature of a Ladurée Café comes to the fore. I would say a typical girl dream.
So far, I have withheld the pop-up from my daughter. But I’m looking forward to the day when we travel with her to Paris for the first time, drink hot chocolate at Ladurée and eat colorful macarons. At home we can then dream back to the beautiful, pastel-colored world of Ladurée with flowers and birds of paradise. Cheesy? Not at all. That has style!
The book was published in French, English and German (English title: Ladurée: Decoration & Inspiration). At Amazon you can still order it through various third parties. The perfect gift for Ladurée fans, Macarons lovers and decorating enthusiasts.
Are you also a coffee table book lover? How do you like this one?