I love books. Actual books that I can hold. As evidenced by the picture below, I’m inclined to buy them rather than check them out from the library. It can sometimes be an expensive habit, but I figure there are definitely worse. I’ve written about my favorite coffee table books, but when someone messaged me on Instagram to ask if I could share my favorite decorating books, I realized they aren’t necessarily one and the same. So here we go!
Domino: The Book of Decorating was my OG decorating book! It reads somewhat like a manual, going room by room. It gives layouts, furniture tips, decorating tips, and examples of each. It takes the guesswork out of decorating for those who are unsure of themselves, but also gives solid tips and advice from tastemakers that would be helpful for ANYONE!
Made for Living by Amber Lewis strives for creating the cozy, livable, California cool home that Lewis is famous for as an interior designer. She believes nothing is so precious that it shouldn’t be touched or sat on; our homes should have a level of livability- not perfection. They should also be filled with unique, timeworn things that have history and get better with age. She shares her favorite decorating elements and all of her tips and tricks for readers to transform their homes using these same beliefs. There isn’t a lot of style variety in the spaces shown. Each space is definitively Amber’s style, so if you enjoy that, you will love this book. How gorgeous is this dining space? And I need two of those leather chairs immediately.
The Finer Things by Christiane Lemieux reads as a resource/manual for aspiring designers with quality in mind. There’s so much information about the history of all of the elements you put into a home (from flooring, paint and wallpaper, to lighting, textiles, furniture and accessories). My favorite chapter was Accessories. I love the images that are taped to the mirrored vanity, the gallery wall inspo, and the dark herringbone floors (dark hardwoods may not be currently trending, but they’ll always have my heart). The bar cart styling against the moody wall is EVERYTHING.
The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus is part memoir, part interior design book. He shares all about the experiences that have made him who he is today. Then we get to see his (old) home and the homes of twelve others. I appreciate that while each home has a unique and different style, he still explores how the owners made inspiring personal choices with objects that mattered to them and reflected them personally. The furniture alone is drool-worthy.
Travel Home is me saving the best for last! Caitlin Flemming, an interior designer in San Francisco, wrote this book with her mother Julie Goebel. Their family traveled a lot while she was growing up and they write about how much being immersed in other cultures influenced the style of their homes and how they live their lives. They share the homes of twenty different designers from all over the world and how they have been influenced by their travels. My favorite chapter was Found Objects, but honestly every chapter was great and taught me something, ending with a how-to guide. The guide at the end of Found Objects was all about how to navigate a flea market! This book is incredibly inspiring for anyone who loves to travel and learn about other cultures. If you find yourself excited about museums, flea markets, people watching, and bringing pieces of those experiences home, you will be so inspired by this book! The tall, black arched windows and green island are two images I’ve filed away as forever favorites.
Full disclosure: I received Live Beautiful for Christmas and haven’t read it yet, but the photos are incredibly beautiful. While all of the homes are likely multi-million dollar properties that are outside of reality for most, I’m of the opinion that you can gain inspiration from anywhere. Be content with where you are and what you have, then it can be a fun challenge to get creative with how you can incorporate a look that inspires you for less! Jewel-toned velvet, marble, and brass (all pictured below) will always have my heart!