Paging through the world of design

Design lovers will not only prominently display the new release “Classic Contemporary: The DNA of Furniture Design” by Tim Gosling (Thames & Hudson, $75) on their sleek coffee tables — but they’ll also savor its contents.

Gosling, the British interior and furniture designer with an international reputation, has a stunning portfolio of projects that take him from a London townhouse to an English country estate, a penthouse in Venice to a sprawling Florida retreat.

He’s known for taking the architecture of his projects into consideration, melding its elements with the client’s desire to create an environment reflecting both a nod to history and an awareness of the needs of contemporary life.

Here, Gosling specifically takes the reader through a world of historical sources and examines how these time-honored elements can be adapted to today’s tastes. He walks the reader, most artfully, through influences from the 18th century to “Design in the Twenty-First Century and Beyond,” with welcome stops at destinations ranging from the Regency to Art Moderne periods.

As Gosling says in the introduction, “… How do you capture the essence of design? What are the tell-tale clues that allow you to understand when it was made and to what stylistic period it belongs? Every chair we sit on can tell us a story through its structure and appearance, like folklore handed down through the ages: each piece can tell us when it was created and what the designer was trying to achieve. It is wonderful to realize that we are surrounded by these messages, encoded, as it were, within the DNA of furniture that we use every day.”

The large-format book, complete with 235 illustrations, is one that’s destined to inspire both countless design projects — and more than a few daydreams.

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