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Whether you’re looking for a way to dress up your coffee table, a gift for a design enthusiast, or anything in between, you can’t go wrong with interior decorating books. Not only are the pages filled with loads of inspiration to kick-start a potential design journey, but due to the general aesthetically charged nature of such books, the covers tend to be quite gorgeous. So we went ahead and scoured the Internet for what we’d consider the best interior design books to have. Some were recently published while others are a few years old and beloved by the industry. However, they are all nothing short of design-centric masterpieces and several of the reads are even on our own coffee tables at home.
If you’re a bit hesitant to scroll down because you’re assuming that our whole list consists of monographs from interior designers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Of course we included a few, but we also threw in architecture and landscaping books into the mix. For the historical interior enthusiasts out there, we even found several reads that break down how specific design eras came about and how they've persisted throughout the decades. So whether you buy a book simply because of its glossy images or want to learn something new about the interiors world, you'll find the perfect read here. Additionally, some of our favorite books are on sale right now, so add to cart ASAP.
Walk With Me: New York by Susan Kaufman
"I discovered photographer Susan Kaufman on Instagram. As a New Yorker, I have a soft spot for beautiful images of the city in the rain, snow, and, of course, sunshine," Associate Shopping Editor Jessica Cherner admits. "When I learned that she had assembled her collection of photos into a book, I ordered it immediately. I flip through it all the time, admiring all of the charming nooks I never would have discovered on my own—even in my eight years of living here!" The best part about this book is the fact that it's not terribly big (seven by nine inches), so it tends to always sit on the top of a stack.
Droese Raney x Design by Droese Raney and Ian Volner
When Dallas-based architecture Droese Raney finally published a book, fans of the firm rejoiced. The 360-page tome includes 16 of the most awe-inspiring projects, such as clothing store Billy Reid, Dallas restaurant Mi Cocina, and Forty Five Ten, a four-story Dallas department store appointed entirely in Knoll furniture and textiles. Though each of the firm's projects are vastly different, they all boast Raney's signature sculptural feel.
Magnolia Table, Volume 3: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines
We couldn't round up the best interior decorating books and not include one of our favorites, Joanna Gaines' third installment of Magnolia Table, which she published in the spring of 2023. Technically, it's a cookbook, just like the previous two iterations, but this one is chock-full of inspiring images of the design enthusiast's gorgeous kitchen. Otherwise, if you're buying it for the recipes, you'll find such delicacies as honey butter layered biscuit bites, bananas foster pancakes, and Brussels sprout Gruyère gratin. This book is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach.
Down to Earth: Laid-back Interiors for Modern Living by Lauren Liess
Virginia-based interior designer Lauren Liess's third tome (her fourth is currently available for pre-order) hit stands back in 2019, but it's still one of our favorites on offer because the content never goes out of fashion—literally. All 256 pages are about creating warm and comfortable interiors whose look knows no time constraints. Throughout the book, Leiss relies on her four must-haves (something old, something new, nature, and simplicity) for designing layered spaces.
House Beautiful: Live Colorfully by Editors of House Beautiful
Of course, we had to include our very own coffee table book, which was written and curated by the editors of House Beautiful. It's less of a how-to book and more of a display of color done right. Each section features a specific color point of view, if you will, that demonstrates the beauty of the way colors can interact. The main takeaway is that no color, shade, or tone is off limits in the home.
Sense of Place by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel
This book is from a mother-daughter design duo who specialize in quiet luxury interiors. As you can tell from the cover, they have a penchant for more muted settings. This book features several elegant landscapes and the interior shots will certainly get your creative, decorative juices flowing.
Mid-Century Modern by Bradley Quinn
What would a roundup of design-centric coffee table books be without at least one midcentury modern-focused pick? The design movement, which was popular from 1945 to 1969, first hit Europe then the U.S., where it's still popular today. After World War II, designers wanted to turn away from ornamental, extravagant furniture of the past and move towards pieces that felt more streamlined and simple. You can find such creations illustrated in this gorgeous book of authentic midcentury design.
Right at Home by Bobby Berk
As avid fans of Bobby Berk (we will be mourning his absence after Queer Eye Season 8), we wanted to include his book on our list. If he's taught us anything throughout his tenure on the highly emotional show, it's that the way your home makes you feel matters, so paying special attention to decorating it is paramount. This book shows you how to design your space, no matter what size it may be, so that it has an impact on you.
Life Along the Hudson by Pieter Estersohn
"I have this book and I can't even tell you how many times I look at it, but it's at least several times a month," Cherner says. "It so chock-full of gorgeous historic estates that were erected in the early days of the English colonies, so all of the homes boast that stately, majestic look that you really don't see in new-builds anymore. I have a weakness for renovated old houses, so this book really took me for a ride."
Livable Luxe by Brigette Romanek
On the other hand, if your style leans more contemporary than it does historic, this book by interior designer Brigette Romanek will give you some great visual pointers, starting with the palette. Romanek details how to use color in the most flattering ways for pretty much any room in any home.
Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World by iO Tillett Wright
These types of highly modern homes may not be the warmest in terms of aesthetics, but they sure are unique. If you have an affinity for this kind of look, you will absolutely thumb through this page-turner by author and photographer iO Tillett Wright weekly. The artist has captured some of the most interesting homes in the world.
Arriving Home: A Gracious Southern Welcome by James T. Farmer III
Perhaps the polar opposite of the previous architectural style, these types of undeniably Southern homes, which show up in basically every state below the Mason-Dixon line, are beautiful in their own right. This book features plenty of homes that interior designer James T. Farmer III designed across the country. Though some find themselves up north, all of them boast that classical and traditional appeal that any design lover can appreciate.
Probably This Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore by Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato
An inspiring and witty book by a couple we all know and love, Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato's latest tome is all about creating spaces you actually like coming home to. If you don't know them from their elegant designs, you may be familiar with their menswear blog "Probably This." This book is all about designing a home you love on the cheap.
McAlpine: Romantic Modernism by Bobby McAlpine
The fourth and most recent book by architect Bobby McAlpine is all about romanticism in design. All of his projects featured in his latest tome offer a glimpse of the various styles out there, but the one element that ties them all together, he says, is poetry. No, there aren't rhyming schemes or lyrical stanzas, but a fluidity that comes with his work. The homes featured in this book range from Elizabethan and Dutch to colonial Caribbean and agrarian American, so no matter what style speaks to you most, you'll find a version of it here.
The deVOL Kitchen by Paul O'Leary, Robin McLellan, and Helen Parker
"I grew up in a house with a deVOL kitchen, so this one hits home," Cherner admits. "When I saw this as a suggested book on my Amazon account, I ordered it without giving it much thought, and once it arrived, I felt like I was back in my childhood home again." Published just over a year ago, the creatives behind the British kitchen design firm included their favorite projects in this elegantly curated book.
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