Hospitality Interiors reviews some of the latest design-themed books to hit the shelves ...


Premiered at this year’s Salone de Mobile, The Story of Bolon chronicles the remarkable journey of this West Swedish flooring company from weaving mill to global design brand. Marking a decade since Bolon sisters, Marie and Annica Eklund, took the helm of this family-run company, the book artfully interweaves fragments and memories from the company’s past, anchoring them with an arresting series of black and white photographs from internationally acclaimed photographer, Tobias Regell.

Featuring highly personal interviews with Marie and Annica, alongside some of the world’s foremost designers and architects – among them Jean Nouvel, Rosita Missoni and Gert Wingårdh – The Story of Bolon offers an unadulterated insight into the kalaedoscopic nature of ‘creating’. Familiar with Bolon’s story or not, this book has something for everyone. Whether you’re inspired by entreprenurial spirit, design as a whole or the textile industry specifically, family history, or, quite simply, favour impeccibly put together and deeply aesthetic books, don’t miss out.


This commemorative book celebrates the 100-year evolution of Formica Group, the iconic inventor of laminate. Having weathered economic uncertainties, cultural shifts and the everchanging landscape of design trends, the Formica brand has nevertheless remained an integral player in the surfacing industry, and with a rich story to boot. Designed by Abbott Miller – a partner in international design consultancy Pentagram – this vibrant 408-page book is cleverly modelled after a Formica brand laminate swatch book from the 1950s.

As well as a myriad display of the company’s logos, product swatches and advertisements over the years, the book also contains three essays, in which notable authors lend their own perspective on some of the Formica Group’s storylines over the past century. Architecture and design critic, Alexandra Lange, discusses the company’s modernist design legacy, while design journalist and curator, Phil Patton, marks the Formica Group’s global business expansion, and management consultant, author and broadcaster, Peter York, describes the widespread cultural impact of the brand.

Far from being self-aggrandizing, the book’s lively, pictorally-led narrative instead allows the brand’s history and identity to speak for itself. After all, with a century under its belt, who needs to brag!


Created in co-operation with the French material library, matériO, Frame Publishers has just released the revised edition of Materiology. Written with a broad readership in mind – from students to creative professionals – this book offers a comprehensive guide to materials and technologies. Following several sell-out print runs, Frame has now updated this best seller’s existing content, along with a further 36 pages of new material.

With 17 new material catalogue cards – among them rare earth elements, non-newtonian fluids and precious stones – readers can find a refreshed, and alphabetically-organised catalogue of materials, illustrated with photos, and descriptions of their properties, strengths, weaknesses and possible uses.

‘Material families’ – the section focused on analysing families of materials such as wood, metal, plastics and light – has also been updated to reflect current developments. Meanwhile, the ‘Processes’ section has been extended with a chapter on recycling. This section explores the idea that, although it is the reverse of a production process, recycling can be considered a transformation process in its own right.

Blending concise factual information about the multifarious spectrum of materials available for use in the design world, with thought-provoking theoretical articles ranging from ecological to societal topics, this book is undoubtedly a highly useful resource.


The Unusual and Unique Overnight directory provides details of over 300 amazing, unique and unusual properties where you can ‘Sleep with A Story’ around the world. From treehouses to caves, planes, trains, churches, igloos, prisons, and even underwater, entries link to price, availability and review information online.

GoUnusual offers an award winning series of guides online and in print for armchair travellers as well as a “must visit” checklist for the adventurous. Whatever your budget, the book highlights extraordinary venues for lasting memories and tales of adventure for years to come.


Written by Drew Plunkett and Olga Reid, and published by Laurence King in September 2013, Detail in Contemporary Hotel Design is an invaluable resource for interior designers and architects. The book offers detailed explorations of 36 of the best recent hotel interior design schemes, featuring projects by leading architects from around the world.

Spanning newly built and refurbished hotels along with conversions, each project includes photographs, detailed drawings and plans, and informative text detailing the design concept and process. Interiors featured include the rooms of Casa Do Conto in Porto, Portugal – complete with concrete ceilings, each inscribed with its own unique text, and Hypercubus ­– energy-efficient, mobile units designed by WG3.


International interior design studio, JOI-Design has just released its third book, Colours for Hotels,a pioneering reference guide exploring colour theory for the hotel industry. Following the success of their first two publications – Raum.Werte.Creating Hospitality Design and 101 Hotel Rooms, Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, co-managing director of JOI-Design, conceived this new book in partnership with Professor Axel Venn, an expert in colour physiology and psychology, and trend researcher Janina Venn-Rosky.

As the first academic study to specifcally investigate colour design for hotel environments, the book’s content draws upon JOI-Design’s extensive interior design experience, as well as upon research conducted specifically for this report. The 448-page book features RAL charts, which rank 240 of the most important colours for hotels according to relevance and significance. These codified palettes are spread throughout the book’s six chapters, which identify major themes within hotel design: luxury; regenerational; family oriented; dreams and poetry; destinations for connoisseurs and bohemians; and those created with distinct regional styles.

FURNITURE DESIGN: An Introduction to Development, Material and Manufacturing

Published by Laurence King in September 2013, this book by Stuart Lawson offers a comprehensive guide and resource for students and furniture designers. In addition to discussion of pioneering contemporary and historical designs, Furniture Design provides substantive answers to designers’ questions about function, materials, manufacture and sustainability, integrating guidance on all of these subjects into one accessible and structured volume.

Several leading contemporary furniture designers from around the world are included, with case studies carefully selected to highlight the importance of both material and manufacture-led design processes.