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20 Best Decorating Books

a fancy bedroom set that is gray

Decorating can be a fun and creative way to add your own personal touch to your home. But with so many different styles and options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where decorating books come in!

Decorating books can help provide inspiration and guidance on everything from color schemes and furniture placement to window treatments and flooring options. And best of all, they can be a great way to get started on your decorating project without breaking the bank.

So whether you’re looking for a little inspiration or a lot of advice, be sure to check out these decorating books the next time you’re feeling ready to tackle a new project. You might just be surprised at what you can achieve!

Best Decorating Books

More Beautiful: All-American Decoration by Mark D. Sikes


Interior designer Mark D. Sikes burst onto the publishing scene with his New York Times best-selling first book, Beautiful. His new book, aptly titled More Beautiful, picks up where the first left off, in a celebration of classic, all-American decorating. The rooms featured in More Beautiful are divided into five distinct styles, all of which exude the happiness that comes with surrounding oneself with things you love. “Traditional” is chockablock with vibrant color, antique furniture, and heady doses of trim and pattern. “Country” is a new take on the style, where distressed finishes and modern silhouettes mingle for a warm welcome. “Coastal” is streamlined, with natural woven fibers, sun-faded linen and neutrals, and blues and whites galore. “Mediterranean” evokes faraway lands, with a saturated palette, ornate tiles and ikats, and iron details. Finally, there’s “Beautiful”: a peek inside Mark’s own Hollywood Hills home, which nods to all of his favorite design signatures–including Italian wicker, blue and white, Anglo-Indian antiques, and more. With all-new photography by Amy Neunsinger, the book will inspire with rooms that are light-filled and crisply patterned, chic yet comfortable, and just the way people want to live today.

New York School of Interior Design: Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces (CLARKSON POTTER) by Ellen S. Fisher

In the past decade, New York School of Interior Design, which was founded in 1916, has drawn a large crossover audience of passionate decorating enthusiasts and hobbyists–many of them private homeowners who know that thinking like a professional is the surest way to achieve a magnificent home.
 
This lavishly illustrated and highly detailed interior design bible provides a comprehensive education on home design and decor, from color theory principles to space-specific considerations (choosing furniture for a living room) and collaborating with architects and other professionals for the best results. Built on the Home Study Course that is the foundation of the school’s curriculum, this book offers an unparalleled mastery of the key elements of enduring design, rendering it the only book you’ll ever need.

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

From the rising-star designer and author of the hit blog, Elements of Style, a full-color, fully illustrated book packed with honest advice, inspiration, ideas, and lessons learned about designing a home that reflects your personality and style.

Elements of Style is a uniquely personal and practical decorating guide that shows how designing a home can be an outlet of personal expression and an exercise in self-discovery. Drawing on her ten years of experience in the interior design industry, Erin combines honest design advice and gorgeous professional photographs and illustrations with personal essays about the lessons she has learned while designing her own home and her own life—the first being: none of our homes or lives is perfect. Like a funny best friend, she reveals the disasters she confronted in her own kitchen renovation, her struggles with anorexia, her epic fight with her husband over a Lucite table, and her secrets for starting a successful blog.

The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

At home or on the go, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life—whether you’re a busy mom, a roommate living with three, or someone who’s always traveling for work. You just need to know how to set up a system that works for you.

In the next phase of the home organizing craze, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin go beyond the pantry and bookshelf to show you how to contain the chaos in all aspects of your life, from office space and holiday storage to luggage and pet supplies. Get to know your organizing style, tailor it to your family’s lifestyle, and lead the low-guilt life as you apply more genius ideas to every aspect of your life.

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Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home by Nikki Boyd and Paige Tate

In Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home, Nikki Boyd shares her best advice for how to create an organized, beautiful, and welcoming home. Nikki developed and honed her five essential steps to an organized home through her experience working as a professional organizer. In Beautifully Organized, Nikki teaches you to:

Assess your home to transform the spaces within to enhance your lifestyle

Declutter and curate your possessions to keep what is useful and meaningful

Clean with efficiency, adding an element of pleasure to everyday tasks

Organize so you can find what you need, when you need it

Beautify and decorate to create a welcoming atmosphere for family and friends

Inspire Your Home: Easy Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous by Farah Merhi

Farah Merhi launched Inspire Me! Home Decor in 2012 as a creative outlet during a transitional time in her life. Farah was about to graduate college and planned to attend law school. Going through the motions and feeling unfulfilled in her career choice, she built up the courage to face her truth. Taking time off to figure herself out, Farah, through a remodel project in her home, had her “ah-ha” moment. The importance of taking care of your home, specifically in the way you clean, organize, and design, was instilled in her at a young age, but she didn’t realize how much of an impact her upbringing had until she owned her own home. Farah knew she had found her passion and calling, and was determined to inspire home owners to live their best lives in their homes.

Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques by Tara Shaw

Designer and antiques dealer Tara Shaw is a respected supplier of French and European antiques for a host of AD100 and Elle Decor A-listers, including Bobby McAlpine, Mary McDonald, and Bunny Williams. In her first book, she helps readers understand how to select the best antiques and how to use them in a variety of decor schemes. The book presents never-before-published spaces from Shaw’s portfolio and reveals her favorite antique-hunting spots throughout Europe. Anecdotes from years of treasure hunting are accompanied by images of rare and precious finds, with text that decodes just how to choose the right pieces and display them in a contemporary interior. Readers will be able to look at each space and take away ideas they can apply to their own homes, to create personalized rooms full of provenance and beauty.
 

Design Commune: A Love Letter to California by Roman Alonso and Steven Johanknecht

 
Design Commune reveals the evolution story of an acclaimed design studio rooted firmly in the California aesthetic, ethos, and lifestyle. Truly multidisciplinary in practice, Commune has, since its inception in 2004, tackled all areas of design. The work featured in this second book highlights all disciplines that Commune engages in, including interior design projects for private and commercial spaces, artist collaborations, product designs, packaging, and graphics. Its projects share many common threads, such as the influence of handcrafted materials, but each remains deeply personal and unique.

Home Made Lovely: Creating the Home You've Always Wanted by Shannon Acheson

Everyone wants a home that is beautiful and clutter free. But most of us are unsure how to get there without breaking the bank. Popular interior designer Shannon Acheson takes the guesswork out of creating a lovely home. Home Made Lovely is a mind-set: decorating should be about those who live there, rather than making your home into a magazine-worthy spread. Shannon walks you through how to
· decorate in a way that suits your family’s real life
· declutter in seven simple steps
· perform a house blessing to dedicate your home to God
· be thankful for your current home and what you already have
· brush up on hospitality with more than 20 actionable ideas that will make anyone feel welcome and loved in your home

In Home Made Lovely, Shannon meets you right where you are on your home-decorating journey, helping you share the peace of Christ with family members and guests.

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Welcome Home: A Cozy Minimalist Guide to Decorating and Hosting All Year Round by Myquillyn Smith

Drawing from the cozy-minimalist principles in Cozy Minimalist Home, stylist and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Myquillyn Smith will help you create a home that’s fresh, meaningful, beautiful, and (bonus!) always ready to host. With engaging how-tos and inspiring photos, she guides you step by step through purposeful design decisions to cultivate a space where loved ones gather, meaningful connections are celebrated, and lasting memories are made.

Myquillyn’s realistic and down-to-earth design tips will teach you how to:

  • Seasonalize your living spaces with simple, actionable steps
  • Cultivate easy, seasonal rhythms of change in your home
  • Incorporate the beauty of the natural world through the five senses
  • Feel confident in volunteering your house for gatherings, parties, and impromptu get-togethers
  • Know what to focus on and what not to worry about as a relaxed and confident hostess

For the Love of White: The White and Neutral Home by Chrissie Rucker

“The thing about white is that it goes with everything, it is a canvas for life, whoever you are and whatever your tastes. You just can’t beat it.”—Chrissie Rucker

Whether you live in a tiny city apartment, a rambling country cottage or an elegant town house For the Love of White offers the definitive book on decorating with white and neutral ones. From room schemes for light, bright family kitchens and calming bedrooms to the all-important finishing touches—this is a book to be inspired by again and again.

Illustrated with specially commissioned photography by leading interiors photographer, Chris Everard and organized into three sections—Country, Town and Coastal—the book provides both the advice and the inspiration needed to transform your home.

Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home by Liz Marie Galvan

In Cozy White Cottage, Liz offers her best home décor and design tips to help you create a space you’ll love coming home to. You’ll love Liz’s real-life, easy, and affordable ideas to get the most out of your home and discover things like:

  • The passion and productivity that can pour out of an inspiring, functional workspace or office
  • The conversation and connection that flow out of a warm, well-arranged living room
  • The thoughtful hospitality that can welcome guests, be it for a cup of coffee or an overnight stay
  • The rejuvenation that can happen when we have quiet spaces for reading, prayer, and rest
  • The calming routines and rituals that we can implement into our spaces and our lives
  • The laughter, joy, and learning that can occur in adorable, functional playrooms
  • The life-giving power that beats in the heart of our homes, the kitchen

Nora Murphy's Country House Style: Making your Home a Country House by Nora Murphy and Duanne Simon

Nora Murphy has turned her passion for country house style and its embodiment—her own home in Newtown, Connecticut—into a multimedia juggernaut. Her blog, website, e-magazine, strong presence on social media, and increasing visibility in print media and on TV have earned her a devoted following all over the country. Now she has distilled the essence of her knowledge about country house style and how to achieve it in this irresistible volume. The first part of the book lays out the universal elements of the style; the second reveals how she has incorporated these elements into her own home; and the third shows how the elements of this comfortable, comforting, easy aesthetic and approach to life can be applied in different ways and in different locations to striking, individual effect. Five homes, each of which expresses a unique take on the style, are featured. Part primer, part wish book, Nora Murphy’s Country House Style is all inspiration.

The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles, and Details (POTTER STYLE) by Christiane Lemieux and Miles Redd

Quality matters. Just as a home’s foundation should be built to stand the test of time, so, too, should the furniture, objects, and elements of our rooms speak to an enduring sense of beauty and comfort. They should outlast trends and our loving day-to-day use. But how does one recognize quality and judge whether something is well made?

Christiane Lemieux set out to answer this question by interviewing the world’s greatest experts. Weaving together the insights and guidance of dozens of wallpaper and paint specialists, textile fabricators, accessories artisans, and interior designers, Lemieux has curated an unparalleled education in recognizing the hallmarks of timeless, heirloom-quality pieces. Hundreds of elegant home interiors—both iconic examples from the past and stunning residences today–represent the range of luxurious and customized environments that can be created with fine décor.

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150 Best New Cottage and Cabin Ideas by Francesc Zamora

150 Best New Cottage and Cabin Ideas shows off a diversity of creative, and innovative getaway homes the exemplify the small-space trend. Francesc Zamora draws on the developments of distinguished international architects and designers who have worked to achieve practical, innovative, and stylish solutions adapted to the specific needs and particular tastes of their clients.

Filled with hundreds of color and black-and-white photographs, this comprehensive handbook offers an extensive collection of cabins and cottages from all over the world, and provides an inspirational source of ideas for architects, designers, and homeowners alike―whether you’re looking to design and build a new dwelling or renovating and redecorating an existing structure.

A Well-Crafted Home: Inspiration and 60 Projects for Personalizing Your Space by Janet Crowther

 Here are 60 projects for high-quality furniture, textiles, and accessories to enjoy all through the house–plus all the techniques you need for dyeing or sewing fabric, cutting leather, antiquing mirrors, working with wood, and much more.

A Well-Crafted Home
 includes simple, creative details that will tailor a space to your taste. More than just “DIY” crafts, these carefully designed projects call for good materials–like linen, leather, and wood–so the finished product will last you a lifetime. Ranging from beginner to more advanced, each item elevates a room in a way you’d never expect: a large-scale painting with an effortless “dot” design looks like a modern piece of art, flax linen bedding sewn with a few easy seams is gorgeous way to set off the bed (and is more affordable than you would think), and a copper pipe rack for hanging clothes is so pretty, you’ll want to keep it on display. 

Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style by Mark D. Sikes , Amy Neunsinge

This New York Times bestselling book from interior designer Mark D. Sikes is a celebration of American style today, showcasing chic and accessible ideas for every home. Modern and unfussy, Mark D. Sikes’s interiors are classic takes on California indoor/outdoor living, with natural fibers and crisp coloration, informed and influenced by the fashion world where he began his career. In eight chapters, he explores approachable, stylish looks, from “Blue and White Forever,” which features indigos, stripes, batiks, and wicker in casual rooms such as porches and pool houses; to “Timeless Neutrals,” presenting semiformal rooms filled with chinoiserie, gilt, glass, mirrors, banquettes, and French chairs; to “Garden Greens,” featuring happy, casual family rooms and kitchens inspired by the garden with treillage woodwork, rattan, and cotton. There are also “Beautiful Brights,” colorful rooms that are eclectic, layered, and fun, with chintz, florals, and Middle Eastern influences; and “Sun Faded Hues,” rustic coastal rooms with weathered fabrics and furniture. Each chapter presents light-filled images of the designer’s looks and offers the reader inspiration and advice. As famed film director Nancy Meyers writes in the book’s foreword, this is a book that shows design lovers “how classic can look fresh, how style and comfort go hand-in-hand.”

Small Space Style: Because You Don't Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully by Whitney Leigh Morris

Interior design maven Whitney Leigh Morris makes living in under 400 square feet look elegant and effortless—even with a husband, baby, and two Beagles in the mix. In her debut book, Whitney shares her ideas and practices for making any tiny space efficient and stylish—whether it’s a rustic A-frame in the woods or a chic microapartment in the city.

Featuring more than 200 tips for making the most of your little home, Small Space Style is the must-have, incredibly inspirational guide for living large in compact quarters. Join small space lifestyle expert Whitney Leigh Morris as she demonstrates how to keep clutter to a minimum, craft double duty layouts, personalize chic storage, go vertical when surfaces are limited, DIY clever custom built-ins, and even entertain a crowd within confined square footage.

Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess

Lauren Liess, an interior designer and founder of the popular blog Pure Style Home, fuses her love of design and the great outdoors into all her work. In Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, her first book, Lauren invites readers to bring nature inside by mixing the textures of natural elements such as wood and stone with eclectic groupings of modern and quirky vintage pieces. Readers will be inspired by the unique style of these rooms, which include lovely framed botanical prints and Liess’s own textile patterns inspired by wildflowers and weeds. The book is divided into three sections: Part I focuses on the fundamental elements of design, with each chapter devoted to a particular element, such as color, lighting, and furniture; Part II addresses the intangibles of designing a space, such as aesthetics and creating a mood; and Part III tackles unique room-specific challenges in every part of the house.