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December 20, 2021 —

91 is reading… A New Leaf

An imposing coffee table book that fuses interiors, design, architecture and plants, this new book from Pip McCormac and Jennifer Haslam is one to be pored over regularly…
91 Magazine editor Caroline Rowland
Caroline Rowland
91 Magazine
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Coffee table book A New Leaf amongst houseplants and a cup of tea
Photo: Caroline Rowland


In recent years, it’s seems like coffee table books have become smaller, sometimes even with soft covers – not necessarily any less lovely I must say – but possibly less luxurious. Perhaps this was a bid to keep production costs down or perhaps a trend within the industry; but when this book, A New Leaf, by Pip McCormac and Jennifer Haslam arrived, it felt bold – a real statement of a book – one that deserves nothing less than prime position on your coffee table.

a bright interior space with wooden beams and plants
Photo: Simon Bevan


Inside, you will find homes which have incorporated plants and greenery into their design, not as an afterthought, but as an essential element of the space. Many are owned by architects, designers and creatives, with the odd veterinarian and commercial diver thrown in! On the whole, they are design-led homes which is no surprise with the authors being Living Etc editor Pip McCormac and experienced stylist Jennifer Haslam. The pair have curated a collection of aspirational spaces, that while many of us will never have the pleasure of living in, we can certainly drool over and glean some ideas from.

interior with geometric floor tiles and lots of greenery both inside and out
Photo: Nathalie Artaxo for Historias de Casa


Above is one of my own personal favourite homes featured in the book. I love how the interior space feeds seamlessly into the outside, with the floor tiles and the lush greenery reflecting each other, both indoors and out.

An interior space with a large plant trained up the staircase
Photo: Simon Bevan


To create drama with plants, it seems going large is the way to go, and even in a more modest space it can easily be done. I love how this plant is being trained up the staircase banisters, making it a central feature in the room.

Double height interior with wood panelling and lots of plants
Photo: Simon Bevan
Interior space clad in OSB wood and filled with plants
Photo: Adam Gibson


What plants are great at is softening spaces, particularly those that have utilised more industrial style materials, such as concrete or OSB. Those interiors, that could otherwise feel harsh or cold, are given life through the greenery that is added.

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly striving for a less-cluttered home, one that feels spacious and airy despite it’s square footage. But no matter what, plants will always feature, and perhaps one day I will even get the courage to invest in a large statement specimen! The pages of A New Leaf has certainly driven that aspiration forward to one day becoming a reality.

A New Leaf by Jen Haslam & Pip McCormac (Hardie Grant, £30) – On sale now

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