I have long been researching and putting together this list of Must Have Interior Design Books, and decided that the Holidays were the perfect time to finally post. One would think that I have tons of coffee table books on fashion, etc. but I actually hate extra clutter in my home, books included. I rent from the library or borrow books 90% of the time, including design resources and coffee table books. BUT- there are a few notable exceptions of books that I turn to over and over again for inspiration, for resource, for humor and for beauty. I personally own all of these books and they rotate through my coffee table and bookshelves periodically depending on my mood.
As I have read and used all of the books on this list, I can personally vouch that they are fantastic design resources with useful tips and gorgeous photos, not just picture books to flip through once. Which is why I think they make fantastic gifts for every wannabe or design aficionado in your life! Each one applies to a different design style or personality type, and you might just find one in there for yourself too ;)
The Minimalist: The House That Pinterest Built, Diane Keaton
I keep coming back to this book because 1. It’s Diane-Freakin-Keaton who wrote it, and 2. It’s beautifully organized. While this is not my style at all, she goes through all of her pinterest board inspiration images for the home she built from scratch, describing her early childhood loves and the feeling that she had wanted to create in her home for decades. It’s a fantastic way for any person, designer or otherwise, to see how to take inspiration from images without directly copying, and the result is powerful.
The Fixer-Upper Fanatic: Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces you never want to Leave, Joanna Gaines
This brand new book from Joanna Gaines is sure to be a popular gift this holiday season, as it’s really her first real foray into how to achieve her ever popular farmhouse style. This is actually a fantastic one for me, because although again it’s not my personal taste, it’s definitely a style that many of my clients aim to emulate!
The Do-It-Yourself-er: New York School of Interior Design: Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces, Ellen S. Fisher & Jen Renzi
As a self-taught designer I inhale everrrryyy word that this book says. I absolutely love the reference sketches to help me remember different window treatments, sofa arms, tile styles and more. Even if you are not designing by yourself, this is a fantastic resource for anyone who is considering a renovation or working with a designer, as it will help both parties be on the same page when communicating styles.
The Snob: The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles, and Details, Christiane Lemieux
I say this is for the ‘snob’ in your life, but really it can be for anyone who wants to learn a little more about the depths of quality in interior design. Why exactly is some furniture more expensive than others? What about tiles and flooring? This book breaks down the origin, development and process of ‘The Finer Things’ in your home, and is fantastic as a resource or light reading material.
The Instagram Traveler: Martyn Lawrence Bullard: Design and Decoration, Martyn Lawrence Bullard
While this book isn’t quite as much of a resource as the others, it is definitely a study on pattern play, whimsical design and instagrammable getaways. Martyn Lawrence Bullard is well known as being the designer who helped Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian get their independent styles, but far earlier he helped renovate several Palm Springs properties as well as his own home in Moroccan black and white prints with sharp pops of color. His recent project, the Sands Hotel & Spa, is a must-visit on any Palm Springs trip and is sure to be seen in endless Instagrams in 2019.
The Indecisive Designer: Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson has a popular design blog and used to be a regular on HGTV, and her book Styled is really for the person who is endlessly changing up their home. While it is a great resource for her favorite paint colors and retail shops, it’s main focus is showing how throwing a blanket just so, or placing plants at just the right height can change up the look of a room to make it feel lived in, cozy, and beautiful, regardless of your budget.
The One Who Doesn’t Take Design Seriously: Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life, Erin Gates
What sets Erin Gates’ blog apart from others is not necessarily her design style, but her witty writing and self-deprecating approach to design. This book was published years ago, but I continue to rifle through it every few months or so to read her hilarious quips on style in life, her adventures of toss pillows with her husband, and how growing up shaped her view on design. What’s more, is that the second installment of her book series will be out in Spring 2019, which means you need to catch up now.