Designer Thomas O'Brien's book is full of decorating inspiration you can try in your own home.

By Kevin Sharkey
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Courtesy of Abrams

Shortly after I moved to New York in 1994, I visited interior designer Thomas O'Brien's store, Aero, in SoHo. I thought it was amazing that someone so talented and original had created such an inspiring place.

Walking into the store is almost like a peek into O'Brien's attic, and that's exactly how I felt flipping through his book "Aero: Beginning to Now," written with Lisa Light (Abrams). His style is eclectic, and his book gives people the courage, if not the permission, to surround themselves with beautiful things.

Thomas has turned a passion for collecting into a career. In a lot of ways, I think he's like Martha –– they both have a point of view and aesthetic that they share with everyone. It's very democratic.

The book is touted as a "visual memoir" telling the story of Thomas's growth as a designer through images of his homes and store. He's an inspiring and inspired arbiter of taste, and I highly recommend this personal look into his brand and aesthetic.

Thomas O'Brien. Photograph by Laura Resen.

The diverse variety of artwork on this gallery wall complements an updated Regency-style sofa. Photograph by Michelle Arcila.

A charming aspect of the book is that it includes some behind-the-scenes snapshots the Aero team took over the years. This shot showcases a 1950s Italian sofa and chair upholstered in nubuck leather. Photograph courtesy of Aero.

A fine example of Thomas's collecting sensibilities. Photograph courtesy of Aero.

Something I've always admired about the store is how everything is styled top to bottom, right down to the pens and pencils on the desk. I could move right in! Photograph by Laura Resen.

Comments (2)

Anonymous
April 26, 2014
I work for an ad agency in Soho and when I need a respite from the chaos of work I visit Aero to re-inspire and re-invigorate me.
Anonymous
March 7, 2014
Hi and greetings from London Kevin, it is great to be back to posting and for book Friday one of my favorites on your blog. Looks like a beautiful book, I love eclectic design. I visited last week TASCHEN store in London and met the store manager Nolan Browne, a very nice and helpful person. I bought couple of books and remembered you. Have a wonderful weekend Best wishes