Bookshelf essentials

From Japanese interiors to Peter Saville: IDEA Books recommend us their lockdown reads
By Jake Hall | Art | 20 April 2020

Comme Des Garcons 1975-1982 Scan, Courtesy of IDEA

Top image: scan from Comme des Garçons 1975-1982, courtesy of IDEA

“My obsession of the week is trying to minimise our possessions,” says IDEA co-founder Angela Hill, explaining the thinking behind her essential reading guide put together for us here. Like plenty of us, she’s using lockdown for a little home makeover – and a quick glance at her curated list offers a glimpse into her distinctive world of inspirations. From dreamy, minimalist interiors to the quietly radical work of Japanese fashion trailblazers, the prevailing ethos is “less is more,” although she jokes: “it’s easier said than done!”

It should come as no surprise that Hill’s chosen inspirations are so damn stylish. Alongside David Owen, she’s spent years curating a treasure trove of archive books for the IDEA website and Instagram, which has spent the last few weeks spotlighting buried cult gems. From DIY zines to fashion collaborations with the likes of Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy, it’s no surprise that the London-based publisher has been described as the world’s coolest.

Hill’s own isolation reading list is focussed on her current mission to reinvigorate her home. Aesthetically, she says her current inspiration “comes, as ever, from Japan; I’m thinking a lot about the amazing work of Rei Kawakubo and the equally brilliant design of Peter Saville.” Through this list of four rare and stylish books, Hill gives us a glimpse into her bookshelves.


“Across two volumes, these are probably what I would save from a raging inferno slightly ahead of my daughters! They’re the most brilliant collection of interiors images ever. They inspire me when I most need to realise that there is a way to live beautifully and harmoniously in almost any surroundings.”


“Elegance in graphics. A constant source of joy for me; Saville’s stripping away of everything unnecessary to produce clear, concise imagery.”


“This book is the ultimate in both beauty and layout. Pure indulgence of vast, empty spaces; thin paper, colour touched upon lightly and as a sudden flash in the centre. Rare and precious.”


“Great images, amazing style; this book is the best reference for ’80s Japanese design.”

Keep up-to-date with IDEA Books here.

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