Pad by Matt Maranian is one of those books I return to again and again, because it's so insanely packed with somewhat insane ideas. Though it's subtitled "The Guide to Ultra-Living," it could just as easily be called a handbook to ultra-hip home decor. The hefty book is packed with hundreds of photos of intensely creative ideas: a coffee table made from a surfboard, bathroom walls covered in tiny toys, and a gorgeous bedroom wallpapered in dark-brown wool felt.
The net effect is something like Martha Stewart meets Liberace meets "The Brady Bunch." The book is divided into sections with names like "Crash Pad" (bedrooms), "Mouse Pad" (offices), and "Padios" (outdoor spaces). Each chapter includes "Pad Profiles" of different homes, as well as instructions on different DIY projects — everything from building a home bar to mixing up the subsequent hangover cure. I find something new every time I flip through it.