Category Archives: Homes

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – 6 books for her coffee table

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and if you’re living in New Zealand or Australia, it’s likely you’re one of the lucky few that will be able to visit mum in person this year. After the year that we have all had, let’s all celebrate our Mums in style. Be sure to arrive on her door step with baked goods, flowers, heart felt cards and hugs galore. To help with gift ideas we have rounded up our favourite newly released, beautiful, coffee table books that we know would make a fabulous present. 

If you are in a country that is still needing to keep distance to remain safe, calling mum for a chat, or sending her a little something online are beautiful gestures. 

For all the new mums, we hope you have a fabulous First Mother’s Day. 

Still Life; Contemporary Australian Painters by Amber Creswell Bell

Still Life explores the diverse practices of more than forty contemporary Australian artists and documents a repertoire of styles, subjects, visions and philosophies. Alongside flowers and food, mainstays of the genre, the works within these pages also incorporate objects such as books and beer cans, birds and balloons, adding energy and intrigue to both the composition and the story revealed. This book captures the inanimate beauty of the everyday in a distinctly Australian context, and offers a meditation on human experience and the brevity of life.

Utsuwa; Japanese Objects for Everyday Use by Kylie Johnson, Tiffany Johnson

A piece must be practical enough to be used every day. It must be crafted at its place of origin, using traditional techniques and materials. And it must be handmade. Japanese craft has long been revered for its quality and beauty, and skilled craftwork remains an important part of Japanese life. ‘Utsuwa’, meaning ‘for everyday use’, embodies the ethos of hand-making in Japan, where handcrafted wares must be as practical as they are beautiful. This book takes us behind the scenes into the private studios of some of Japan’s most exciting artisans to reveal stories of material, method, place and culture. It guides us through quiet galleries and colourful marketplaces, where the provenance of a piece is central to its story. Utsuwa is a love letter to the makers and sellers, and to all those who share the Japanese reverence for tradition and beauty.

A Room of Her Own: Inside the Homes and Lives of Creative Women by Robyn Lea

A Room of Her Own features the dazzling homes of twenty extraordinary women around the globe. Across sitting rooms and studios, salon-style hangs and table settings, this is a book of daring inspiration. In this new Renaissance period, a time of artistic, cultural and intellectual rebirth, these women have chosen to carve out their own space to live creatively. Artists, designers, makers and curators invite us into their domestic and professional domains to reveal a world of meaning and purpose beyond status and consumerism. Now, more than ever, we are searching for new ways of thinking, new ways of living. These pages are filled with beautiful rooms, but Robyn Lea’s gorgeous photography and evocative texts look beyond the aesthetics to explore the ideals and practices of these women and guide us all on a new and exciting path forward. A Room of Her Own is a manifesto for the 21st century.

Design Lives Here: Australian interiors, furniture and lighting by Penny Craswell

Australian design has forged its own unique trajectory, influenced by geographic isolation, a distinctive natural environment and a modern sensibility. Design Lives Here showcases the best of Australian residential architecture and interiors, and pays homage to the local designers and makers who have crafted bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting for these homes, whether large or small. From a reimagined Californian bungalow with a dining table inspired by the humble HB pencil to a monumental inner-city residence furnished with more than 100 custom pieces, these houses, and the objects that reside within, offer a compelling snapshot of contemporary Australian design through the lens of materiality, utility, site and place.

Ken Done; Art Design Life by Amber Creswell Bell, Ken Done

Ken Done has achieved what few others have. His signature style has graced ad campaigns and art cars, magazine covers and doona covers, public spaces and landmark cultural events, but it is his unabating passion for painting that sustains him. For more than forty years, Done has chronicled the Australian way, documenting how it feels to be Australian with an exuberance that is immediately recognisable. Ken Done: Art Design Life documents Done’s expansive art and design practice over four decades and provides a fascinating insight into the artist and his oeuvre. The book features both early and lesser-known works, as well as the iconic paintings of Sydney Harbour, the Outback and the reef. It opens an extensive archive, providing readers in-depth access to the catalogue of fashion and homewares, and the designs that came to define an era. This book celebrates the man, his work and his enduring legacy, which has captured hearts around the world.

Joy in the Little Things: Finding Happiness in Style, Home, and the Everyday by Kerrie Hess

The beloved fashion and lifestyle illustrator celebrates the best, most important joys of all – the little pleasures. The Joy in the Little Things is a guide full of ideas and inspiration for tapping into your own happiness and creativity. This delicious book begins with an invitation to discover joy every day, just as Kerrie Hess does. Her fabulously creative life has turned her into one of the most eagerly-watched influencers on Instagram. Kerrie’s secret is that she’s discovered the little things that make her heart sing, and now she wants to help you do the same. From the very first sparkling words to the charming illustrations of macarons, peonies, teacups, and jewellery to the images of strong, chic women who grace its pages, this book is a love letter and guide to what makes us truly happy. Weaving through pleasures, including relaxation, creative pursuits, time with family and friends, in person or virtually, as well as fashion, beauty, home, and travel, Kerrie shares her favourite joy-givers and her tips for bringing sparkling moments into each day. Brimming with Kerrie’s signature original watercolour illustrations and photo vignettes, and beautifully evocative text written with Paris Dreaming author Katrina Lawrence, this book is an unquestionable object of desire.


Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!

Build your hobby with Booko: Macrame

Ready to propel your knotting to the next level? Fanny Zedenius is back and ready to take your macrame up a notch with her beautiful second book Macrame 2. Click the link to buy yourself a copy.

Happy Weekend

It’s raining here in Melbourne and will be for the next few days which means we can all snuggle up with a great book for the whole weekend with no guilt! Yippee! Enjoy a safe and cosy weekend.

Booko: the clever way to buy textbooks online – Design Research Methods & Perspectives

Heading back to uni and have a textbook list as long as your arm? Pop the ISBN into Booko and load up your cart the clever way.

Today’s clever pick is Design Research Methods & Perspectives.

The very best last-minute gift guide for Christmas

With just one sleep to go until Christmas it is absolutely fine to feel a tad panicked if you have yet to start your Christmas shopping. Thankfully Team Booko has rustled up a knock-out last minute Christmas shopping list that will make you look like you had planned gifts long ago along with a few ways of ensuring their gift arrives before Christmas lunch. 

Audio books, e-books and vouchers can all be sent immediately so if you fancy opting for the fastest gifts then you can just alter the version of the book by clicking on the little blue edition button below the title. Here’s a handy little pic for you where we have circled the other editions available. 

If the idea of choosing is all too much, or the recipient is slightly tricky to buy for, then a gift voucher is a fabulous option. Click through here for our guide to gift vouchers – they also make lovely gifts for those hosting the festive meal (especially when you send them on Boxing Day as a Thank You). 

These are our top picks that are sure to delight this Christmas. 

The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley

Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from fashion icon and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley. During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job assisting Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decade’s long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Talley moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion’s most important designers. But as Talley made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella. There, he developed an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour, and as she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, Talley became the most influential man in fashion. The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion, and proof that fact is always devilishly more fascinating than fiction. André Leon Talley’s engaging and detailed memoir is his story of surviving and thriving in the notoriously cutthroat fashion industry amidst racism, homophobia, other challenges to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion journalism.

The Kinfolk Garden by John Burns

Since the launch of its magazine in 2011, Kinfolk has grown into an internationally recognised brand known for its minimalist aesthetic and strong community of inspiring and influential creatives. Kinfolk have applied this lens to cooking, home design, and work. Now, in The Kinfolk Garden, the team turns its eye to outdoor spaces and the many ways they enhance our lives and help us foster community. With a focus on spaces that bring the outdoors in and the indoors out and people who have found ways to expertly incorporate the natural world into their lives, the book explores the garden as a place for work, play, entertaining, and inspiration. Featuring 30 homeowners and their spaces in locations around the globe, The Kinfolk Garden offers an easy approach to bringing nature home.

Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone

From celebrated design expert and interior designer Athena Calderone, a look into how creatives decorate their spaces. Beautiful design isn’t just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. In Live Beautiful, the highly anticipated design book by Athena Calderone, the EyeSwoon creator taps into her international network of interior decorators, fashion designers, and tastemakers to reveal how carefully crafted interiors come together. She also opens the doors to two of her own residences. With each homeowner, Calderone explores the initial spark of inspiration that incited their design journey. She then breaks down the details of the rooms-like layered textures and patterns, collected pieces, and customised vignettes, and offers helpful tips on how to bring these elevated elements into your own space. Filled with gorgeous photography by Nicole Franzen, Live Beautiful is both a showpiece of exquisite design and a guide to creating a home that’s thoughtfully put together.

Make Life Beautiful by Syd and Shea McGee

Who doesn’t want to live a beautiful life? For the one million-plus followers who turn to Syd and Shea McGee for advice on building a beautiful home and life, Make Life Beautiful is a behind-the-scenes look into how the couple transformed Shea’s small room of fabric samples and big dream of becoming a designer into one of the most successful and fastest-growing interior design businesses in America. Both long-time and new fans will not only gain insight into how the McGees built such a successful company but also be inspired to apply design principles to their lives. Inspirational topics to help readers build an authentic life include, renovate your life, visualise the outcome, listen to your gut and elevate the everyday. It’s a wonderfully friendly read packed with helpful information for the budding designer. 

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Buying a gift for someone who is house-proud? Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are back again to bring both function and beauty to your everyday life. In The Home Edit Life they show you how to contain the chaos when it comes to absolutely everything: your work, travel, kids, pets and more. Because the truth is, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life, whether you’re a busy person, a jetsetter – or both! You simply need to know how to set up a system that works for you so you’ll maintain it for the long run. Get to know your organising style, learn how to tailor it to your habits and, best of all, leave the guilt behind when it comes to owning things.

The Naked House by Mollie Player

This one is for the minimalists you know. The solution is almost always fewer things. That’s the Naked House philosophy in a nutshell, though the importance of top-notch organisation (“a place for everything and everything in its place”), design unity, cleanliness and quality round out this book’s description of the most desirable, peaceful home in which to live. With a tongue-in-cheek, personal style, The Naked House is an inspiring but not-too-serious primer on cleaning, organising and reducing clutter-and on changing the way you view the purpose and soul of your home.

Enjoy and we wish you all a very safe holiday season!

Building a better world with Booko: 
A Family Guide to Waste Free Living

A Family Guide to Waste-free Living makes it simple and sustainable for families to eliminate waste in the home, at work and out in the world. It’s our pick for today.