In the spirit of listing our favorite shelter magazines and our favorite home decorating shows, we thought we’d put together a quick rundown of our favorite decorating books. We have over thirty design tomes around the house, but we have seven runaway favorites, so without further ado…
1. The Design Idea Book – Gorgeous rooms that we could totally live in. Love the colors, floor plans, and proportions. Majorly inspiring across the board!
2. Nate Berkus Home Rules – Nate’s my imaginary designer boyfriend and his book doesn’t fail to disappoint. He uses inspiring pieces with soul (many of them thrifted or picked up in his travels) to cobble together warm and inviting spaces with drama and elegance to spare.
3. Thom Filicia Style – One of the best books out there for foolproof paint colors and gorgeously luxe spaces to emulate. A must read!
4. Candace Olson On Design – Candice Olson is my imaginary designer girlfriend. Her style is impeccable, and her ability to transform any room (even a dark, dingy basement) into a serene and soothing sanctuary is nothing short of magic. We especially love her use of mirrors, pale blue, capiz and many other materials that we’re crazy about as well.
5. Houses: Inside And Out – This book is a classic. And it’s certainly the most diverse when it comes to the styles of homes that it depicts. While some rooms might be a bit too formal for you, we could totally live on pages 180-183. Heavenly.
6. House Beautiful: The Home Book – This book is like the decorating bible. It’s packed with paint color suggestions and it breaks down everything from renovating a bathroom to mixing and matching patterns in easy to understand steps. This is a great reference book for anyone decorating a new home.
7. Domino: The Book Of Decorating – Full of the greatest hits from the much-loved magazine, this tome is full of memorable rooms and unexpected ideas that anyone can emulate for a super stunning look that’s anything but cookie cutter.
So there you have it. Seven sizzling shelter reads full of decadent eye candy as far as the eye can see. Now tell us, what are your favorite home decorating reads? Are any of ours on your list too? Did we forget anything major (apologies in advance if we did!)? Spill the design book beans…
I have 6 and 7. The Domino book came with a subscription to the magazine, but since they are folding, I thought I would never get one. But, I did receive one so far!
Thanks for the inspiration.
GOOD FOR ME I HAVE MOST…DOES ANYONE HAVE A DOMINO NOVEMBER 2005 THAT I CAN BORROW?
Nicole Greene says
Being frugal – I just ordered ALL 7 books from the library to swoon over!
AND, ANY new decorating magazine ideas since SO many of the good ones have gone defunk?
The library is a great idea! We also love browsing books at Barnes & Noble (and of course getting them on the cheap from Amazon when we want to take them home with us). We actually listed a few of our favorite mags that are still around. Here’s the link. Definitely check out the comments for some other suggestions (we can’t wait to get our hands on some of the Canadian favorites!).
I love Jonathan Adler’s My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living. It’s entertaining, well written and the rooms featured are (while sometimes a bit “much”) a whole lot of fun.
I agree with y’all on Thom’s book and domino…but I wasn’t too keen on Nate Berkus’ book (though I love him). Just wasn’t very helpful IMHO.
The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer is my go-to when I need color help.
Domino book is the BEST book! I love it! Candice Olsen is also my secret designer girl crush. She knows what she’s doing.
Great list! :)
Have you checked out Junkmarket Style? I love it!
Sherry, thanks for linking to me! XO
I have three of your top 7 on my bookshelves – #1,2 and 4. I’m waiting for the library to get back their copy of #7 and I really want to see #3! :)
Two more books that I got on that same library day (the one that I posted about) that I really like are “Storage” by House Beautiful, and “Decorate” by Metropolitan Home. I think you would really like the second one! Many of the rooms in the book are reminiscent of the style that comes through on your blog! If you haven’t already seen it, I think you should check it out!
~Karla @ It’s The Little Things…
Brandi U. says
I admit that I just bought Nate Berkus’s book because he was doing a book signing at the time. But I love it! It’s full of beautiful pages filled with inspiring ideas. I also own Pottery Barn’s Bathrooms Design book and love it.
Everything that Nate Berkus designs is amazing!
I got #1 for valentine’s day this year! Isn’t my hubby a sweetie?? I’m loving the floor plan ideas! I’ll have to check out the others on your list.
Nate is my imaginary designer boyfriend too! Good thing it is just imaginary or we could have a problem.
I love the Domino book too! Another favorite of mine is “Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions” because it’s a collection of real homes, decorated by homeowners, not designers (in most cases). And it showcases a variety of styles.
Btw, Sherry and John, not sure if y’all have seen the April Coastal Living, but one of the sections has a photo of a giant clam shell used as a fruit bowl. I thought of the one in y’all’s house when I saw it.
Yeah we really liked the April Coastal Living a lot (there’s a new editor in town so things are looking up). We also saw the giant clam shell fruit bowl and smiled. It’s too cute that you thought of us! We’re blushing…
I love my Domino book and treat it like it’s made of glass!
I definitely need to check some of the others out.
thanks for the new recommendations – I’m adding The Design Idea book to my list
(our list are the same on all the rest!)
I’m liking the new look too. The new editor and many of the staffers used to work at Cottage Living, so it looks like they’re bringing some of those influences to Coastal Living, which is a great thing.
i also love the domino book and wish a couple other mags (living etc and real living au) would come out with books!
i also love jonathan adlers book like mentioned above, and the nest home design handbook (lots of good images of more modern rooms and some good tips).
anyone have any of kelly wearstlers books? are they good?
Overstocks.com is a GREAT place to order books at too. They are usually less than Amazon & the shipping is always a bargain.
I will have to check these out.
Don’t forget about this one: [the nest] Home Design Handbook. I absolutely love this book and swoon over its pictures regularly.
Thanks for all the new book suggestions to check out! You know we’ll be poring over them at Barnes & Noble asap!
ashley morgan says
I have a couple of the books on your list, but the cover of Houses: Inside and Out makes me want to rush and get it!
I really like the Apartment Therapy book, as well as The Nest Home Design Handbook. They’re both so gorgeous, glossy, and colorful! The first design book I ever got was Better Homes and Gardens’ The New Decorating Book. It comes in a newlywed edition, which was super fun because it talks about practical decisions for when you are just getting started as a household.
The domino book has been on my wish list for a while now, it might be time to order it. :) And I’m glad someone posted about Jonathan Adler’s book. I’ve been curious about it, so I’ll have to check that out, too.
I have books #3 and #7. I was thinking about the Nate Berkus one but was not sure but based on your comments I will go ahead and get it. I have to say that my all time favorite is the Domino one. I can’t get enough of it. Just talking about it is making me sad again. Snif! Snif!
Sam & Jacci says
I had coffee with Nate Berkus tonight :)
Sam gave me a “Mama’s Night Out” and I headed over to the local bookstore, grabbed a decaf, and a copy of Nate’s book. I had my design notebook along, too, and generally had a lovely time jotting down notes and sketching little ideas :) Thanks for the recommendation! And, for what it’s worth, I *loved* NB’s book and felt like there was plenty to glean, especially since we’re starting from scratch in this house. Oh, and I’ve been enjoying The Home Book, too :)
Katie C says
When searching for decorating books, I immediately went to your site. I know you had these suggestions from 2009 … any new ones that you’ve enjoyed reading since this post two years ago? Perhaps it’s time for another one of these posts! I’m sure people would love it and offer their own suggestions! I’m getting Domino in the mail tomorrow and can’t wait to read it!
The funny thing is that these are still my die hard favorites! Seriously! Not even one more to add.
Do you have any updates since this post or since your response back in 2011? I’m hoping to start a collection, starting with the YHL book of course!
I still love all of these books and also have really loved the Design Sponge book along with the first Novogratz book called Downtown Chic. Hope it helps!