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judging a book by its spine

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Polpo by Russell Norman | Apartamento | Monocole | Wallpaper* | Patterns by Peter Koepke | Penguin Little Black Classics | Michou bowl with platinum R4 252, Stable | Tile 89/7028 wallpaper from the Frontier collection by Cole & Son. 

The terms 'pattern and print' are often casually thrown around and misused. Print is a design – it could be an illustration, an abstract drawing, florals or even an assortment of random colours or shapes. It is less organised than a pattern, and could be used singularly or in repetition. Pattern, on the other hand, is a design that's been repeated seemingly endlessly. Although pattern and print can be introduced into your home in many ways, from a scatter cushion or wallpaper to a beautiful fabric covering a large sofa, you can also have fun with it by creating patterns out of collectible objects.
Apartamento, everyday interiors magazine. Available at Exclusive Books or exclusivebooks.co.za.

In the first instalment of our new series, Top Shelf, we show you how your own collection can be arranged to form a pattern. Books and magazines are one way: take the patterned spines of iconic Apartamento magazines, for example. Pair a few of those together and you've got an instant area of visual interest. A fantastic book by Peter Koepke called Patterns: Inside the Design Library ties the look together. This title offers an exclusive look at the world's largest archive of pattern and textiles, the New York States Design Library, which is used by reputable designers and fashion houses around the globe. Anyone with a love of design or an eye for pattern needs to add this to their must-have list.
Patterns by Peter Koepke (Phaidon Press, R1 054). Available at Exclusive Books or exclusivebooks.co.za.

The most interesting spine, however, belongs to a book about the well-known UK-based restaurant Polpo. Designed in such a way that the spine cover appears to be missing to reveal interesting stitching and a title that fades over time, it's an absolutely beautiful offering. (And if you ever find yourself enjoying a Venetian meal at Polpo, House and Leisure editor Tiaan Nagel highly recommends the arancini as a starter, saying it's the best he's ever had.)
Polpo by Russell Norman (Bloomsbury Publishing, R587). Available at Exclusive Books or exclusivebooks.co.za.

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