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Style Guide: The must- have essential coffee table books

From quaint country homes to designer digs, Pezula Interiors owner and H&G books editor Steven Whiteman shares his must-have coffee table essentials

By House & Garden South Africa | July 12, 2022 | Trends

From quaint country homes to designer digs, Pezula Interiors owner and H&G books editor Steven Whiteman shares his must-have coffee table essentials.

Solace in Nature: Homes that Blend with the Landscape (Images Publishing)

Photograph: Courtesy of Rizzoli

This book is a treatise on reconnecting people with Nature through contemporary architecture and design. Solace in Nature is about finding solace within the landscape in the bluffs, mountains, hills, woodlands, forests, bushland reserves or hinterlands without eschewing the mode of luxury living associated with sophisticated design and innovative architecture. These captivating homes, showcasing dozens of new building styles and interiors, have taken indoor-outdoor living to an entirely new level, blending architecture seamlessly into the surrounding vistas without resorting to cliché. Each design documents the importance of place, engages context with climate, and offers residences with spaces that cater to various family lifestyles, all the while integrated organically within dramatic yet serene settings. Look out for local architecture firm SAOTA’s Overberg masterpiece, Benguela Close.

Country and Cozy: Countryside Charm and Rural Retreats (Gestalten)

Photograph: Courtesy of Rizzoli

Quiet and quaint, the countryside comes with its own pace of living – and depending on where you are, its unique regional flair. Urban dwellers are increasingly swapping traffic choked streets for meandering country paths, choosing to take up residence in greener pastures. Country and Cozy opens doors and pulls back the floral curtains to reveal a more characterful interior design and decor approach. Whether a converted outhouse in the South of France, a Latin American finca or a whimsical, thatched-roofed English cottage, Country and Cozy showcases a series of beautiful country homes and illustrates how their inhabitants have created breath taking living spaces that make the most of rural life.

Rose Uniacke at Home (Rizzoli NY)

Photograph: Courtesy of Rizzoli

A limited-edition volume, the first on the designer and conceived and executed to her bespoke specifications. Masterfully photographed by François Halard, this book unfolds gatefold after gatefold as a series of privileged glimpses inside Rose’s home – with the designer’s words as our guide. It is an intimate and exclusive portrait of a home one can rarely gain access to and a window onto the workings of one of Europe’s leading design minds. Airy and light, delicate and robust, grand and intimate, raw and luxurious: these are but a few of the qualities and contradictions that resonate within the work and home of Rose Uniacke. Her work is distinguished by warmth, character and an extraordinary serenity, and mirroring these qualities, the book is a luxury object made from some of the same materials featured in her home: a unique cotton duck canvas slipcase houses the book, which is wrapped in pure new wool. Completing this indispensable book in design history are texts from the home’s architect, Vincent Van Duysen, and its landscape architect, Tom Stuart-Smith.

Pacific Natural at Home (Rizzoli NY)

Photograph: Courtesy of Rizzoli

Forbes describes Jenni Kayne as ‘the ultimate California lifestyle brand’, no small accolade in a global style movement emphasising laid back, authentic and soul-filled interiors. This, her second book, provides a deeper understanding of her ethos – inspired by organic textures, thoughtful simplicity and natural landscapes – one that is intentional and where beauty and authenticity exist in every detail. This is especially relevant for a South African context, which shares much of California’s natural rawness. In her inspiring book, Jenni creates spaces that encourage living in comfort, while featuring practical room-by-room tips.

All books are available at Pezula Interiors and