The 10 Best Interior Design Books

Updated June 15, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Interior Design Books
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Looking for some ideas for bringing 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. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best interior design book on Amazon.

10. Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas

Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas includes images of interiors by some of the world's top decor experts, so you can find solutions to suit every taste. It combines both abstract inspiration with detailed how-tos, enabling you to create jaw-dropping results on your own.
  • tips for large and small spaces
  • touches on a variety of themes
  • not much detail for bedrooms
Publisher Chronicle Books
Model n/a
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Decorating in Detail

Author Alexa Hampton takes readers into her mind with Decorating in Detail, so you know why and how to pick decor for each room of your own home. There is a wide stylistic range represented and it provides lots of actionable tips for you to try out.
  • advice on accessory placement
  • good overview of interior design
  • focuses mostly on casual rooms
Publisher Potter Style
Model n/a
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Elements of Style

Elements of Style is full of drool-worthy illustrations and packed with inspirational tips to help you design a space that expresses your personality. The author is very charming and reveals her own personal life struggles as well as renovation mistakes to avoid.
  • practical and universal guidance
  • well-written with engaging stories
  • great for students
Publisher Simon Schuster
Model n/a
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Simplicity by Nancy Braithwaite

Simplicity by Nancy Braithwaite focuses on the power of 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.
  • interior and exterior images
  • good coffee table book
  • teaches how to scale a room
Publisher Braithwaite, Nancy
Model n/a
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. A Touch of Farmhouse Charm

If your style is a mix of rustic and modern, look no further than A Touch of Farmhouse Charm. It's a great resource to make your home warm and inviting without much effort and helps you appreciate the simple things in life.
  • includes instructional diy projects
  • in-depth list of resources
  • very easy read from front to back
Publisher Page Street Publishing
Model n/a
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Vintage Remix

In Vintage Remix, designer Kishani Perera blends contemporary 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.
  • designs in all price ranges
  • good examples of mixing and matching
  • teaches when to spend more and less
Publisher Abrams
Model n/a
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Design Sponge at Home

No matter how big of a space you're tackling or how small your budget, Design Sponge at Home is here to help. It'll bring out your inner stylist with 50 simple to follow DIY projects, before and after makeovers and step-by-step tutorials on how to reinvent existing pieces.
  • by an acclaimed design blogger
  • teaches how to arrange flowers too
  • tips for personalizing a space
Publisher Workman Publishing
Model n/a
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Black and White

In Black and White, renowned designer Celerie Kemble focuses on the iconic and stunning aesthetic of black and white decor. It offers up tips on choosing the best paint to highlight the furniture you have selected and how best to add patterns and accessories.
  • includes 350 inspirational photos
  • covers the history of decorating
  • concepts are explained well
Publisher Random House
Model n/a
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms

Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms will give you over 1,000 ideas for decorating your room like a pro. In just 10 easy steps, you'll learn how to change the way a room feels with a few minor alterations, whether it's to purge that old ugly rug or repurpose a coffee table.
  • practical advice for beginners
  • helps you figure out your style
  • offers an in-depth guide by room
Publisher POTTER STYLE
Model n/a
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style

Use Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style to bring elegance to any room by focusing on a neutral palette and adding in a pop of color for interest. The author shows you how to be inspired by fashion and use everyday materials to make a room intriguing.
  • detailed pictures of her latest work
  • blends beauty with function
  • highlights traditional antique looks
Publisher Rizzoli
Model n/a
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

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 on June 15, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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