You guys, I have been wanting to write this post for so long! I absolutely love interior design books. I love to read anyway, but reading books filled with beautiful pictures, plus ideas about how to make your space beautiful? No wonder I can read them and fall down the rabbit hole.
I thought I’d share my favorite interior design books. First a few tips for buying them, because they can be expensive, especially when they are first released. For convenience, I’m using my affiliate link to Amazon (disclosure here)-but here’s how you may be able to get your interior design books even cheaper!
Interior design books on the cheap
Amazon really is the cheapest place I’ve found online for books. But here’s some tricks for finding the best deal:
- Check Amazon Warehouse (this is Amazon’s used products section, but I’ve always had fantastic luck buying from here)- there are TONS of books there that are often a lot less expensive! Just type in “Warehouse” in the search bar on the Amazon site- you’ll see all of the Amazon Warehouse categories come up on the left hand side, including books. There are tons of categories to choose from. A quick search for me just this morning found a paperback design book listed on Amazon Warehouse a full $7 cheaper than on the regular Amazon site!
- Don’t be afraid to buy used books on Amazon! You will find a significant discount if you buy a used book instead of new. Most sellers do a good job describing the wear and tear on the books. I always check new books to see if a used one is available, and if the condition is acceptable for the discount, that’s what I buy. I read my books so much that they aren’t going to stay in pristine shape anyway!
- The Kindle versions are always cheaper than the hard copy- so if you’re open to that, you’re going to get a better deal. I LOVE my Kindle, but for interior design books, I’ve got to have the real thing. Except for when I’m out somewhere, waiting for something, and need something to do- then I’m always reaching for my phone (love the Kindle app!). So I always keep a design book or two on the Kindle app.
- Do you have Kindle Unlimited? If you are a big reader and love an e-reader, you may just save tons of money with it! We have it and love it. It’s normally $9.99/month for unlimited reading of over 1 million books including audiobooks, but I usually renew our subscription between Black Friday and Christmas when the deals are even better. I will say that the interior design releases are definitely not the latest, but that’s not what I’m usually reading on it anyway. I’ve bought several of these yearly subscriptions for gifts for family and they love them!
Other ways to save money on interior design books that aren’t Amazon-
- Thrift stores! The books are always so cheap. It’s worth the look- I just bought two this weekend from Goodwill!
- Book resale stores. We have a 2nd and Charles in our area and I’ve found several great design books there for a terrific deal.
- If you just want to take a peek at a book but don’t want to be married to it, check it out at your library. It’s a great way to at least see if you like it before you buy it.
Okay, on to the show!
Interior design books- my absolute favorites!
1. The Things that Matter by Nate Berkus
The Things that Matter is one of those rare design books that is inspiring on both a personal and artistic level. Nate shares a lot, personally, in this book, but I love that one of his mantras with design is that you should absolutely incorporate items that mean a lot and make you happy! I LOVE that, especially when it seems like so many designers’ spaces end up looking designed instead of personal. Nate wants your home to tell your story! Nate is one of my favorite designers.
I love Emily Henderson’s bright, happy style. What’s fun about this book is that it isn’t just about decorating- it’s about actually styling a room, which to me is one of the hardest (yet most fun!) parts of room design. Styled is one of the few books I bought brand new when it first came out, full price. No regrets.
3. An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams
My grandmother and I shared a love of beautiful design, and I bought An Affair with a House for her several years ago. She just loved it, and when she passed away and we were going through her things, I found this book with notes she had written to me throughout the book. Funny that she knew that I would find it! It’s now one of my most treasured possessions.
This book is just a masterpiece of design. It tells of the story of how Bunny Williams, renowned interior decorator, and her husband found and fell in love with a historic home and have been beautifully designing it over the course of many years. The design style is very different than Styled, but it just shows that masterful design is not locked into one genre. The images are beautiful (I know I keep using that word, but it’s so appropriate), and I learned so much from this book.
4. Habitat by Lauren Liess
Do you know the old adage, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”? I waited a long time to buy Habitat despite all of the buzz and the stellar reviews because, honestly, I thought that it looked like another ho-hum monochromatic interior design book that was going to push a neutral agenda on me. It is FAR from that. In fact, it’s one of the very best interior design books I’ve found. It’s really about design fundamentals and mixing in what makes a home a home- vintage pieces, natural elements, color, etc. This is one of those that I find myself reading again and again!
5. Elements of Style by Erin Gates
Erin was one of the first home design bloggers that I found, and Elements of Style was one of the first interior design books that I bought. While her style is generally a bit more glam than mine, I still find tons of inspiration for ideas that I’d love to use in my home. The images from her book are beautiful! This is one that I can just pull of the bookshelf, flip through, and be inspired.
6. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman
The Perfectly Imperfect Home is all about learning the basics of interior decorating. Stuff like choosing a lamp, a sofa, hanging artwork- it seems easy, but it’s really hard to make well considered choices with all of these different design elements! Plus, how to design a room that thoughtfully considers all of these different elements, plus works with your life. This book covers all of that. It’s one to pick if that’s what you want to learn. I love this book.
It doesn’t have photographs- all of the illustrations are beautiful watercolors. At first, I kind of missed the pictures (kind of kindergarten of me, I know) but after awhile you don’t miss them at all.
I bought this book years ago and still read it!
7. and 8. Domino: The Book of Decorating and Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Deborah Needleman
Deborah Needleman fan club, party of 1 over here.
Domino: The Book of Decorating is a guide to design, room-by-room. I love that it gives both beautiful pictures and practical ideas for how you will use the space. Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home I actually just bought and finished. I’d say it just kind of builds on the green book. Both books are great, but the green book is more substantive. Both are pure eye candy, and you won’t regret either purchase.
9. Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
I’ve always gotten tons of inspiration from Design*Sponge! While I definitely appreciate the modern, quirky design styles, beautiful images, and DIY info in Design*Sponge at Home, my absolute favorite part are the pictures and stories of how real life people live in their homes. That’s what keeps me coming back to this book again and again!
So, what are your favorite design books? Did I miss any?