10 of the best for your library

As we know with all things style, it’s a very personal journey for any individual. What may resonate with some may not inspire another. Interior design, like all facets of personal style, is an emotional experience, it taps into the essential experience of memory. When we seek to develop our space, we turn to these informed memories of our history and surroundings. It’s elementary, and there are basic elements in the process that require a little help.

For many people, the new era experience of social media just doesn’t cut the tactile experience or the breadth of knowledge you can gain from a hardcover book. In recent years, we have seen the return of interior design books gain in popularity, with many talented design craftspeople showcasing their knowledgeable two cents. So if you’re looking to embark on a new design journey and wondering which book is the best, look no further!

Whether it’s a coffee table book or an educational resource, here’s our pick of the best interior books for you.

1. Architectural summary at 100

Originally published in keeping with the magazine’s 100th anniversary, this book covers a vibrant visual history of Architectural Digest’s design. Here you’ll find the best curated selections from the editors’ arsenal. The book includes over 100 years of design covering a range of topics. This is for the budding designer who loves his story when creating his personal inspiration for the home.

2. Tamsin Johnson: Living Spaces

Internationally recognized for her high-end residential projects, Tamsin Johnson’s work never fails to inspire. His intuitive approach to design is about both history and function, combining pieces from decades and world landscapes. Her aesthetic honors the element of surprise, which she releases with a playful use of color and scale. It’s the perfect design dictionary for those who really want to learn the art of conceptual coastal design.

3. Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style

best interior design books

Honored for her luxury interiors that capture a snapshot of the old world of Hollywood, Kelly Wearstler was originally made famous for her opulent designs for residences and boutique hotels. Its ornate interiors stand out with their layers of vibrant textures, patterns and rich colors offset by shiny objects. Here, you’ll get a glimpse of his creative genius, describing his latest residential and commercial designs up close. Filled with ideas and beautiful images of many never-before-seen interiors, this is the inspiration handbook for any curious interior decorator.

4. The Interior Design Handbook

When it comes to simple style bibles, you can’t go past the interior design handbook. Hired by design guru Frida Ramstedt, who single-handedly shaped an entire generation of Scandinavians in the art of creating a minimal home. Frida’s philosophy lies in how we decorate, rather than what we decorate with. Frida introduces readers to the basics of interior styling – what suits where and why it works the way it does. The book teaches key features of the style – including the appropriate size from small items to key pieces like a sofa, the ideal height to hang light fixtures from, and the best ways to use a mood board – with helpful illustrations.

5. Woman Made

Women designers have always had a central voice in the product design space, and thankfully there is now a celebration of that fact. Woman Made is a spectacular visual commemoration of the most award-winning and impactful product design made by women. Change the dialogue for what is historically recognized as a man’s industry. With over 200 designers from over 50 countries, including past and present icons and pioneers such as Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Florence Knoll, Ilse Crawford, Faye Toogood, Nathalie du Pasquier.

6. Bunny Mellon Style

best interior design books

If you haven’t discovered Bunny Mellon, you’re in for a dynamic educational treat. Here is a book chronicling the American style icon and her life as an avid art collector. It details how her style developed and how she became a confident and practical home and garden designer. The perfect table book for lovers of art and design!

7. Resolutely modern interiors

This wouldn’t be a list of the best interior design books without an inclusion of mid-century furniture. This is essential reading for followers of modernism and minimalism. Looking to decorate in a modernist tradition. Emily Summers shares her foundations of the ideal modernist home: how the interior should reflect the setting; how to use fine art in a space; and why interior and architecture should be linked. A must have for any architecture lover.

8. New York School of Interior Design: Home

The essential interior design dictionary for all design students, or those who want to know all the background details. Known for being the best interior design college, New York School of Interior Design: Home is a design school program in a book and an ideal reference guide for decorating the home.

9. The parents’ house

For budding ethical interior stylist, Kinfolk founder Nathan Williams shows how the art of slow living can better simplify your life, allowing you to create a more thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing and intimate living space. With a range of inspiring photographs and fascinating profiles, interviews and essays, every home visit is guaranteed to inspire.

10. It’s at home: the art of living simply

best interior design books

Another essential choice for a simple lifeIt is the house is to find ways to live minimally – an inspiring read on how to refine our values, create authentic homes full of feeling and happiness. Here, Natalie Walton takes the reader through fifteen houses around the world, to meet the people who built them. Discover along the way the universal laws of what makes us happy in our individual spaces.

If these book suggestions have inspired you, consider looking at some of our favorite rattan chairs for your next renovation.

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Betty K. Park