In this article, we’re going to share some of essential interior design books for your reading and designing pleasure.
Your home makes just as much of a statement about your style as your clothes do. Designing your home can feel like a big task, and having a couple design books on hand can not only offer periodic inspiration but they can also be an elegant coffee table or bookshelf adornment. Here is a selection of books to help you continue to develop your interior design style.
In Decorate, the world’s top designers and leading decor experts, including Kelly Wearstler, Amy Butler, Jonathan Adler and many others come together to share over 1,000 professional tips, ideas, and solutions for every room and every budget. Written and compiled by Holly Becker, founder of the hugely popular design blog Decor8, and Joanna Copestick, acclaimed lifestyle writer, this intensive home decor program combines beautiful inspiration with nuts-and-bolts how-to for stunning results. More than 500 gorgeous color photographs provide motivation while line illustrations, checklists, shortcuts, and floor plans make it easy to get started. For those looking to make the most of their home and create stylish interiors, Decorate is the start-to-finish resource to keep on the bookshelf for years to come. Buy your copy of Decorate.
When you think about decorating, you probably envision big changes, big purchases, and big costs. Interior stylist Lili Diallo has two words for you: start small. She specializes in bringing homes alive through the details — a silvery pillow here and a floral screen there with plenty of personality to keep things fresh.
Stylists typically transform spaces by working with pieces that are already present, and their goal is to translate the residents’ stories and passions into their surroundings. Details teaches you how to find your very own design story by focusing on which colors, textures, and objects make you feel most at home. Check out Details.
From the editors of domino magazine comes your essential guide to discovering your personal style and creating a space you love.
Since launching in 2005, domino has attracted a fiercely loyal following, which looks to the brand as the definitive source for decorating and style. The brand’s first book, domino: The Book of Decorating, was an immediate bestseller upon its release and has established itself as the quintessential guide to demystifying interior design. domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home builds on the first book with a more detailed and modern perspective on how to personalize, style, and create a home you love.
Jettison the old rulebooks about home décor and “undecorate” your space. As the founder and creative director of DwellStudio — which is famous for its brightly colored, graphic textile designs for home furnishings — designer Christiane Lemieux challenges tradition in a quintessentially American way, championing a fresh, unconventional approach to creating a beautiful and comfortable home. Lemieux emboldens readers to push aside stuffy, professionally-designed décor, showing them instead how to infuse their own personality into their home. Check out Undecorate.
Paris: Flea Market Style
Paris: Flea Market Style gives you all the information and advice you need to furnish and decorate your home with “found” objects instead of new items bought in stores. Emily Chalmers and Ali Hanan explain how to find fresh and unexpected uses of second-hand pieces and antiques, and reveal how to mix old and new with flair and panache. The first part of the book, Flea Market Finds, looks at household goods, from fabrics and furniture to china, kitchenware, glass and lighting, and describes how to find special objects and identify them on the basis of their quality, character, resilience, color, and texture. The authors advocate a subtle mixing of styles, patterns, and colors, and emphasize the beauty of objects that have seen a bit of life. They explain how to locate bargain copies of modern classics — or the real things — and how to mix flea-market or thrift-store finds with high-end basics.
Packed with tips of the interior stylist’s trade, this is a lavishly photographed interiors book in which every image demonstrates a clear and easily replicable principle that will help transform a room without the need for expensive and permanent renovation. Etcetera
Design*Sponge at Home
“Thank you,” wrote a reader to Design*Sponge creator Grace Bonney, “for teaching me that houses don’t have to be frumpy and formal. They don’t have to be matchy-matchy or rigidly modern.” The reader points out an important distinction about this book — homes can be comfy and unique and reflect who you are, no matter how small your budget or space.
That reader is one of the 75,000 unique daily visitors to Design*Sponge, who make it the most popular design site on the web. Design*Sponge fans have been yearning for the ultimate design manual from their guru, Grace, and she has finally delivered with this definitive guide: Design*Sponge at Home.
Sometimes you’re looking for it, sometimes it just finds you.
Treasures of home décor abound at flea markets, thrift shops, and garage sales. But how do you know a find when you find it?
In The Find, Stan Williams and some of today’s most clever style makers, including Simon Doonan, John Derian, and Real Simple’s Kristin van Ogtrop — all diehard devotees of New York City’s Housing Works — show not just what to look for, but also how to look at an object to identify a great piece. The trick is to see beyond nicks and wobbles, color and intended purpose and to focus on potential. For example, a vintage leather trunk encased in Lucite works as a stunning coffee table. Pages from old books wallpaper a foyer. A cushion fashioned from a baseball diamond’s home plate makes a garden chair comfortable.
Former House & Garden editor-in-chief Dominique Browning presents an authoritative selection of America’s most innovative and iconic twentieth-century homes. In more than 130 images by leading contemporary photographers, Browning highlights American architecture’s best in a range of styles and eras — from James Deering’s Vizcaya, his 1916 Italian Renaissance-inspired villa in Miami, to postwar marvels by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Farnsworth House) and Marcel Breuer (Hooper House II), to more recent constructions, such as Marwan Al-Sayed’s mirage-like House of Earth and Light in the Southwest desert. Check out Living Architecture.
The Palais Bulles
On the cliffs of the French Riviera, le Palais Bulles (the Bubble Palace) is a futuristic yet timeless living sculpture. Innovative French couturier Pierre Cardin acquired this conceptual home as a showplace for his collections. This book explores the incredible architectural achievement and celebrates the adventurous decorative spirit that the legendary fashion designer has brought to life within its walls. The Palais Bulles.
Marrakesh by Design
In a world filled with beige interiors, Morocco is the perfect antidote: a refuge for devotees of saturated color and intricate patterns, a destination for admirers of striking architecture. For anyone who wants to add Morocco’s spicy design mix into their own home, Maryam Montague, the personality behind the award-winning blog My Marrakesh, explains how to do so with the building blocks of Moroccan design ― from the colors, patterns, and textiles to the archways, fountains, gardens, and so much more. Marrakesh by Design.
Simply Scandinavian is an inspirational survey of 20 outstanding homes, ranging from tiny cabins to elegant apartments in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. Scandinavian interior design is admired the world over for its unpretentious simplicity and understated elegance. Rooms are typically airy, light and bright. Furnishings are modern design classics from the key names of Scandinavian design (Hans Wegner, Poul Kjaerholm, Arne Jacobsen, and Marimekko, to name but a few) mixed with pretty antique and vintage pieces. The beauty of natural materials, especially wood, is celebrated. It’s a style that’s entirely in tune with today’s wish for calm, uncluttered, and comfortable spaces to live in.
Appartments de Garcons
Having a beautiful home isn’t just a girl thing, and èdition Paumes has long dreamt of proving it! After Appartements de Filles and Appartments d’Amoureaux a Paris, it’s time for the boys to take centre stage … artists, photographers, graphic designers, architects, scenographers (the list goes on…!) have opened the front door to their “home sweet… homme.” Paumes jumps into the inspirational, striking and often comic interiors of some of Paris’ most creative men. With bold colours, an eye for detail, the love of a collectioner and the simply beauty of a purist (and let’s not forget the Lego!), Apartments de Garcons is a reference in masculine creativity that the girls will be eager to pinch from.
What does a modernist have in common with an obsessive collector? The gallery owner with the artist? A metal warehouse with a chalet-style bungalow? Domestic Art: Curated Interiors leads you on a tour through inspiring and individualistic interiors, from a 500-square-foot bedsit to a Philip Johnson architectural wonder. Thirty-five projects in all document nearly a decade of deftly-designed and smartly-styled interiors from the pages of PaperCity magazine. In Domestic Art, a designer builds her dream home — cantilevered over an earthquake fault. A gallery owner brings a circa-1880s house back from the brink of decay and generations of nesting squirrels.
More is More
More is More, the exquisite second volume about Tony Duquette, delves into the creative process and personal life of this great American designer renowned for his fantastical artwork, sculpture, jewelry, gardens, film sets, and interiors. Using “The Enchanted Vision,” a three-day lecture delivered by Duquette at UCLA in the early 1970s as its springboard, More Is More conveys through lavish illustrations Duquette’s artistic credo on the arts of living and the living arts. Author Hutton Wilkinson explains Duquette’s design philosophy, creative process, and studio practices, as well as the evolution of his exceptional style and vision.
The Well-Lived Life
In the The Well-Lived Life, take an incredible look at the home-away-from home and learn how to develop the perfect interior for entertaining at your vacation home.
Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
This unique book of thirty-six spectacular houses and gardens — whose owners come from the worlds of fashion, music, art, and society — draws not only on stories that have appeared in the pages of Vogue and Vogue Living over the past two decades, but also on images that have never before been published. Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People takes you to these style-makers’ private realms around the world, captured by such celebrated photographers as Miles Aldridge, Cecil Beaton, Jonathan Becker, Eric Boman, Oberto Gili, François Halard, Horst P. Horst, Annie Leibovitz, Sheila Metzner, Mario Testino, Tim Walker, and Bruce Weber, among many others. Their dazzling photographs bring to life interiors and exteriors, modern and classical, that are both inspiring and transporting.
American Fashion Designers at Home
American Fashion Designers at Home author Rima Suqi has been described as having “shopping in her soul,” however she is about much more than just shopping. She’s a self-proclaimed “numbers junkie” who has developed a keen understanding of the business behind retail through key relationships with retailers and designers. She knows it’s not enough to be a pretty product; it’s got to be a product that sells. For this reason, companies large and small have sought out this trend expert to help brand themselves, name their products, write press releases, brochures, catalogs and advertising copy.
Creating a Home
Kathryn M. Ireland is a maven of materials. In addition to having her own fabric line, she freely and deftly mixes other designers’ fabrics, as well as international market “finds.” Blending those with quality ironwork, wood, tile, and furniture pieces, Ireland pulls together a magnificent home of unpretentious grandeur. Check out her style in Creating a Home.
Kelly Wearstler is the ultimate trendsetter in interior design. Hue by Kelly Wearstler builds upon the success of her first monograph, Modern Glamour, and includes recent, unpublished projects, including her home in Beverly Hills, celebrity residential projects, as well as some of her latest hotel projects. Hue celebrates the power of color in Kelly’s work and the possibilities of color in interior design and decorating. A must-have for amateurs and professionals seeking design inspiration from America’s top interior designer.
Live, Love, & Decorate
For those who love boldness in design, Los Angeles-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard demonstrates his mastery of dramatic environments for a clientele of celebrities in Live, Love, & Decorate. Drawn to glamour, Martyn Lawrence Bullard moved from London to Los Angeles to pursue acting — but became a star decorator instead. His designs balance the contemporary with the traditional, the Occidental with the ethnic. His celebrity clients’ homes are inspiring in their chic yet sumptuous styles, including Sir Elton John’s disco-luxurious apartment with a python-skin bed, green lacquered walls, and mirrored cabinets; Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo’s hip Mediterranean villa in the Hollywood Hills; Cher’s residences — a Moorish palazzo in Malibu and a Beverly Hills Indian fantasy; and Tamara Mellon’s New York City penthouse, which dazzles with bold artwork and striking color. With a knack for beautiful and dramatic spaces that don’t sacrifice comfort, Lawrence Bullard — who stars in the upcoming Bravo television show —reveals his know-how for creating a sensational home.
The Big Book of Chic
Well regarded for the use of vivid colors paired elegantly with vintage pieces and focal points, The Big Book of Chic is an ideal addition to any library for those who covet bold and vibrant interior design. The only disappointment here is the bland cover.
Authored by the daughter of fashion icon C. Z. Guest and Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, Simple Pleasures has a timeless focus on subtle luxury that gives the reader insight into how to achieve graceful elegance that’s understated and appropriate.
A great addition to your design collection, this pattern-central book comes from one of the stars of Bravo TV’s hit show Million Dollar Decorators. This is a standout book worthy of your attention. Check out Timeless Interiors.
Cohler on Design
Known for blending expensive pieces with random artifacts found on the cheap, Eric Cohler showcases his unique ability to exquisitely capture an individual’s style. Cohler on Design is a breathtaking book that acts as inspiration and a roadmap to create unique spaces that showcase your personality.
Ann Getty: Interior Style
Ann Getty is known for her abilities and is a giant in the world of design. For the most discerning collector and decorator, this is the book you need: Ann Getty: Interior Style.
Interior Design & Inspiration
Swedish design is stunningly simplistic, but this book shows a unique blend of modern simplicity and bohemian comfort and showmanship. It is a remarkable book that will get your creative juices flowing. Interior Design & Inspiration.
The foreward is by comedy legend Tina Fey, but the book is anything but funny. In fact, it’s one of our favorite books in this collection and comes to you from the design expert best known for his role on TV’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Thom Felicia is arguably one of the most sought-after designers in New York, and this book brings his novel ideas and creativity into your home: American Beauty.
A La Carte: Elements of an Elegant Home
Sherrill Canet created this encyclopedia-of-sorts as a way to teach readers how to decorate in a range of styles. If you’re not as creative as you’d like, but appreciate an elegant home, this may be the book for you. It truly is a step-by-step tutorial: A La Carte: Elements of an Elegant Home.
Made to Order
With more than 200 images and a number of original drawings, this book focuses on clean and simple design that pulls in pops of color to add dimension and beauty. There’s a reason Platt is known for his celebrity clients. This book shows you why he is so sought after: Made to Order.
These 30 books on interior design go hand-in-hand with our list of the top coffee table books. They are designed to inspire. What other books do you recommend?