In the recent New York Times feature, Shopping With…, designer Kelly Wearstler visited the Los Angeles bookstore, Potterton Books and revealed books that have inspired her. Many of Kelly’s inspiration books are in the collection of The New York Public Library including the article's pièce de résistance “A Speciman Book of Pattern Papers.” Although Kelly paid $3200 for the book, you can look at it for free at the Library. (Just keep in mind that you’ll have to look at it on site, but bring your camera—you can take as many pictures as you want.) If you can’t make it to the Library, there are some beautiful patterns on the Digital Gallery, including my new favorite, to the right. For while rare books may be expensive, inspiration is always free.
Here are some of the other books mentioned in the article:
"The Bathroom: A New Interior"
"The Hermès Shop Windows"
"The Shell: Five Hundred Million Years of Inspired Design"
"Ettore Sottsass : a critical biography"