Italian designers Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi spent their spare time obsessively sketching trees in all seasons for editions of “The Architecture of Trees” (Princeton Architectural Press, $125, 424 pp.).
The book is newly available in English and expanded into a sumptuous format. It combines quill-pen outlines of leafed and leafless specimens with bare-boned but poetic texts. Captions and a glossary shed light on how to identify epicarps (fruit skins) and flabellate (fan-shaped) foliage.
Humans, prehistorically speaking, have felt most optimistic and in control under “white, clear sunlight, filtered through a canopy of leaves,” researcher Jorn Viumdal reports in “Skogluft: Norwegian Secrets for Bringing Natural Air and Light into Your Home and Office to Dramatically Improve Health and Happiness” (Harper Design, $25.99, 288 pp.).
Viumdal explains how to create indoor substitutes for idyllic primeval woodlands (“skogluft” is a Norwegian word for “forest air”): Cover your walls and shelves with pots of golden pothos plants, which require minimal care. People living and working alongside such greenbelts have detected improved moods and productivity as well as lower levels of chemical pollutants indoors.
“Blooms: Contemporary Floral Design” (Phaidon, $49.95, 272 pp.) offers thumbnail biographies and photo portfolios for more than 80 florists worldwide.