I live in a small house on the Chesapeake Bay with some funky architectural features that make any designing a challenge. Although it does have its ups and downs, overall the house has turned into a little project of mine. Finding the perfect place to put furniture, how to capture the most light in one room, making each area its own cozy oasis… all these things have been part of my journey through this home. I’ve found a real passion in making a space into something more than just a living room, or a bedroom, and I’m beginning to find my style in each home decision I make. Along the way, I’ve also started a small collection of books that inspire good design and spur on creativity. Here are is my list of must haves on the interior design book shelf. Whether you have a hard design challenge ahead or just love design, these are great, pretty books to adorn your shelves or coffee tables.
Habitat: A Field Guide to Decorating | by Lauren Liess
One of my favorites. This book is so helpful when deciding those decisions that might not always be just personal taste type decisions. Ones like “Is it okay to skimp on hardware in my kitchen and bath?” or “Do I have to measure my room before I buy furniture…” taking the headache out of designing a room and giving helpful hints along the way with a encyclopedia like format. A MUST read for anyone starting out decorating a room or renovating a house.
Absolutely Beautiful Things: Decorating Inspiration For a Bright and Colorful Life | by Anna Spiro
Now take everything you just learned by Lauren Liess and throw it out! just kidding! BUT while Habitat helps create a foundation for good design fundamentals and planning, this book helps you learn to trust your gut. A snapshot into the design life of Anna Spiro, its the perfect for finding the fun in design. Lessons learned in this book- Don’t be afraid of color. Make each piece in your home have a story. Never buy everything out of a factory but mix it up with antique, custom, and DIY. Don’t be afraid to trust your tastes, as you make decisions, things will come together to express your unique style. Finally, One of the greatest lessons I learned from this book is to always take a second look at what you already have. Learning to restyle what you already own can be the most design inspiring.
A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home | by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
The creators of the blog, A Beautiful Mess, have come together to show us how to remake and reuse stuff to make perfect DIY projects for home. A fun book, this is one of my favorites to get inspired and be thrifty. This book is filled with great ideas to make gifts for friends or create some one of a kind pieces for your own home. The pages of this book are colorful and bright and will add some joy to your home. While I love the pages of Architectural Digest and stuffy design books, I never let those direct my design choices entirely. Homes are meant to be lived in and DIY projects lend your home to being more than just a pretty snapshot, but create a space that is well lived and well loved!
The Stuff of Life | by Hilary Robertson
Over many years, we collect lots of stuff and each season of life our stuff reflects our tastes and style during that period. The Stuff of Life is the perfect book to learning how to arrange the objects you’ve accumulated over the years and make aesthetically pleasing displays of all the stuff that makes your house a home. Filled with beautiful pictures, its a 208 page book of total inspiration! One of my favorites.