10 Best Interior Design Books | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Looking for some ideas to bring a touch of style into your home? You won't have to look any further than our selection of interior design books. They cover just about every taste and budget and prove that you don't have to spend a fortune in order to create stunning and impressive interior spaces in any type of house or apartment. Skip to the best interior design book on Amazon.
10 Best Interior Design Books | March 2017

Overall Rank: 7
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
Elements of Style is a fully illustrated book packed with inspirational tips and beautiful images to help you design a home that reflects your personal style. It combines honest design advice, gorgeous professional photographs, and personal essays.
Domino: The Book of Decorating is full of insider tips and how-to advice that helps demystify the decorating experience, so you can create your own stunning living spaces. Unlike many other decor books, this one focuses on making rooms as functional as they are beautiful.
In Decorating in Detail author Alexa Hampton takes readers into her process of selecting design elements, so you know why and how to pick decor for your own home. There is a wide stylistic range represented and it provides lots of actionable tips for you to try out.
Mid-Century Modern examines present day homes that exhibit the 1950s style in a more contemporary way to seamlessly blend the old with the new. It has in-depth examination of style elements and covers designs from Scandinavia to North America.
  • short and slim, but packed with ideas
  • broken down by colors, materials, etc.
  • needs more images of full rooms
Brand Mitchell Beazley
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Simplicity by Nancy Braithwaite focuses on the power of simple, minimalist designs to create stunning spaces that are functional and beautiful at the same time. It will help you understand that sometimes the best approach is to use restraint when designing.
  • presents three categories of style
  • displays several houses as case studies
  • author's style has almost no color
Brand Braithwaite, Nancy/ Cap
Model pending
Weight 5.2 pounds
In Vintage Remix designer Kishani Perera mixes modern and classic looks to create eclectic interiors. It will help you get over the fear of mixing seemingly contrasting design ideas, so you, too, can make unique rooms that are sure to impress your guests.
  • helps readers discover their own tastes
  • includes a wide variety of designs
  • each chapter will inspire you
Brand Perera, Kishani/ Roehri
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Gracious Rooms is Barbra Westbrook's first book and explores principles for creating a home full of southern charm with rich comfort and warmth. The design vocabulary ranges from casual American to formal English to French modern, so it should suit a variety of tastes.
  • shows the importance of natural elements
  • tips on utilizing color to unify spaces
  • highlights balance of comfort & elegance
Brand Westbrook, Barbara/ Mac
Model pending
Weight 3.9 pounds
In Black and White renowned designer Celerie Kemble focuses on the iconic and timeless aesthetic of black and white decor. It offers up tips on choosing the best paint to highlight the furniture you have chosen and how best to add patterns and accessories.
  • includes 350 gorgeous color photographs
  • has rooms from a variety of designers
  • teaches you how to build a room scheme
Brand Kemble, Celerie
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas includes images of interiors by some of the world's top decor experts, so you can find solutions to fit every taste. It combines beautiful inspiration with nuts-and-bolts how-to, so you can create jaw-dropping results.
  • styling tips for large and small spaces
  • highlights the shabby chic look
  • includes lots of budget decorating tips
Brand Chronicle Books
Model pending
Weight 3.4 pounds
Use the Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style to bring southern charm and European sensibilities into any room by focusing on neutral palettes brightened with hints of color. The author shows you how to be inspired by fashion and use everyday materials to make a room pop.
  • helps create warm, elegant living spaces
  • an easy read with lots of pictures
  • highlights traditional antique looks
Brand Kasler, Suzanne/ Pittel
Model pending
Weight 4.9 pounds

The Benefits of Owning Interior Design Books

Most people can benefit from owning a book on interior design. If used properly, they allow a variety of people to glean important knowledge about the layout, appeal, feel, and proper use of space in their home.

At its root, interior design is a mix of concepts from architecture, product design, and even environmental psychology. Yet interior design books are not meant to be textbooks. They involve little research on the reader's part, and are worded in a way that most people can easily understand. This breaks down the barrier between the reader and the world of interior design.

Interior design books are generally filled with pictures and prime examples of basic concepts. This is often overlooked, but very important. There are many different learning styles. While some people can be told a concept once and they remember it, many others are visual learners or experiential learners. These people need visual examples and real-life examples to try on their own to really get a feel for the concept. Luckily, there are many interior design books which cater to all types of learners equally.

Books about interior design also help people save money. While it is often a great idea to hire a professional designer to do the work when the time comes, this can be financially impractical at first. Having a basic understanding of design concepts empowers the reader to begin the process themselves, which also saves time down the road when they do choose to contract a professional.

What Concepts Are Included In Interior Design Books?

Interior design will always be focused around thinking of the house as a whole unit, not the sum of its parts. An interior design book can teach the reader the importance of keeping the general theme of the house throughout every room. This does not mean that every room should look the same, but rather that they should work together to tell the story of the house.

One example of this is choosing a color theme to use throughout the house. This is not just about choosing a color for the curtains, but instead a palette that will be used continuously. Studies show the mind is affected by color in astounding ways. Certain colors have been linked to better cognitive performance, arousing certain emotions, and even increasing their performance in sports. As such, choosing a color theme may make a direct impact in your personal life.

Another concept interior design books often cover is the focal point of any given space. A successful focal point is something which catches the viewers eye, and then keeps them interested enough to keep looking. Classic examples include a fireplace or furniture which contrasts the rest of the room.

Other ideas are more difficult to understand, such as the concept of rhythm in design. This is the complex way a room makes your eye travel through it. Concepts like this can seem intimidating at first, but interior design professionals break down the process in their books.

Is Feng Shui The Same As Interior Design?

Due to the popularity of feng shui principles in interior design over the years, many people use the two terms interchangeably. Feng shui is actually an ancient Chinese doctrine which links the concept of humans to their environment. At its core, feng shui is centered around the movement of chi or qui, which is the term used to describe the energy which emanates from all things. As such, it is very different from interior design, but they both use some similar principles.

Various principles of feng shui can be applied to the land humans own, the structure of the homes they build, and even the interior design of the home itself. Designers who use the principles of feng shui say it adds a natural beauty to the spaces they are creating, and helps the entire space feel balanced.

The feng shui of a house is based on the baguas, which are eight symbols representing the different energies of the world. Balancing a house with these natural energies is believed to produce a more harmonious life.

From an interior design perspective, feng shui offers some useful insights into creating the most of any space. For instance, from the perspective of feng shui the front door of the house is where the energy gets in. The best design will allow this energy to flow freely by minimizing clutter around the entrance to the house. It is now a common practice in interior design to free up the entry way, as it makes the space feel more open and welcoming.

Other feng shui tips for the home are to put plants in the bedroom, books in the hallway, plug all the drains, and always keep the curtains open. It is easy to see that these are not interior design tips, they are tips for the energy of the space itself. This is the key difference between interior design and feng shui. The two disciplines can be used to accent one another, but are not the same concepts.

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Last updated: 03/29/2017 | Authorship Information