The 10 Best Interior Design Books
10. Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas
9. Simplicity by Nancy Braithwaite
8. Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style
7. Black and White
6. Vintage Remix
5. A Touch of Farmhouse Charm
4. Design Sponge at Home
3. Styled: Secrets for Arranging
2. The Color Scheme Bible
1. Elements of Style
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.