7 of the Greatest Interior Design Books to Buy and Read

Saturday’s spent watching home design shows on HGTV has many of us dreaming about home makeovers. So much so that we actually leave the house at some point to visit home improvement stores. When the home design bug bites real hard, we may even browse through interior design books.

It is not uncommon for homeowners to envision a new look for their abode. The average mortgage is 30-years; if you’ve been in your place for 10, it’s time for a change.

Not everyone can afford to hire a designer. Who knows, a designer may be inside of you fighting to come out. Adding your own flair to your home makes it uniquely yours.

It’s time to turn off the TV and learn the basics of interior design. You can use the knowledge to beautify your living space. Or be on your way to a new career.

Do you have the heart for design? Keep reading for a list of seven great interior design books to try.

1. Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life, By Erin Gates

Erin Gates is the creator of the design blog, Elements of Style. She has taken her design tips and crafted an interior design book that expands on her style and tips.

She will appeal to the newer audience of design enthusiasts that find it important to relate with the author of a book. Her book gives practical design advice nested in the midst of personal experiences.

The book provides design ideas for each room in the house, and is outlined that way. The bonus for this book is that Gates invites readers into her own home. This is a plus because we all want to know what is inside our favorite designer’s home.

2. Black and White (and a Bit in Between): Timeless Interiors, Dramatic Accents, and Stylish Collections By Celerie Kemble

Celerie Kemble breaks the taboo behind black and white in her interior design book. What makes this one of the best designing books is that she breaks away from her standard pallet of bright, vibrant colors to showcase the work of other designers.

The book features over 100 rooms of interior decor. With each design, she adds her wit, charm, and expertise in pointing out the room’s features.

Black and White (and a Bit Between) does a great job of removing the fear of going with dramatic looks. It demonstrates the importance of style, class, and choosing the perfect accent pieces to accentuate your design style.

3. Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-room Guide to Creating a Home that Makes You Happy by Dara Caponigro, Deborah Needleman, and Sarah Costello

More of a book of Interior decorating photography, Domino: The Book of Decorating is geared towards people that want a happy space that reflects who they are. It is unusual in that it breaks away from chic and sophisticated.

The book gives readers tips on how to do some inexpensive decor themselves. If you’re looking for a great housewarming gift for someone just getting out on their own, this is it.

4. History of Interior Design by John Pile and Judith Gura

History of Interior Design is in its fourth edition. If you want to know the history of the subject this is the greatest interior design book to have in your library or even on your coffee table.

Pile and Gura cover 6,000 years of architectural and design history. It is not only about design ideas but covers the various movements throughout the centuries. You’ll also get a look at art history as it relates to design theories.

This book is a must-read for anyone looking to enter the field of interior design. It is also a great resource for those with a love of the topic who’d like to dig into its history.

5. Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime by Sheila Bridges

In her book Furnishing Forward, Sheila Bridges, along with photographer Anna Williams, shows new homeowners and apartment renters how to add their own style to their living space. Originally released in 2002, the book was re-released in 2005.

This is a perfect book for people in smaller spaces who have an addiction to Ikea and Home Goods. She shows you how to find places with unique pieces that speak to your style and personality.

Ms. Bridges has been honored by Elle Decor, being named to their A List. She has also been named as one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 Interior Designers.

6. Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence by Andrew Juniper

An infusion of Asian culture is a popular design theme in Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence, written by Andrew Juniper. The book was published 15 years ago when the popularity of Japanese design was first starting to trend.

The term Wabi Sabi has many meanings and translations. For the purpose of Juniper’s book, it is described as “less is more” and “attentive melancholy” (essentially: the bitter-sweet appreciation of imperfection and impermanence). The overriding theme of the design idea is to infuse nature into your space.

Many designers believe that elements of nature are needed to bring calmness. Since our homes are essentially our sanctuary, they should bring us close to nature and provide peace.

7. Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home By Liz Marie Galvan

In her interior decorating book, Cozy White Cottage, Liz Marie Galvan encourages you to consider your home as a place to express your creativity. It doesn’t matter where you are in a small cottage or a large mansion. Your home should be a place you love to be.

The book is somewhat therapeutic. She teaches the reader how to embrace the individual rooms in their home, giving each space its own unique meaning. After reading her book you’ll better understand the saying “home is where the heart is”.

Get Inspired With These Interior Design Books

We hope these interior design and decorating books have given you some inspiration. Take what you’ve learned, and start with a small project. You’ll be amazed how far your creativity and talent can take you.

Do you have questions about finding additional interior designer books, or maybe you have your own favorite quotes you’d like to share? Please leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.