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Sprucing Up the House? 23 of the Best Interior Design Books You'll Want on Your Radar

Updating your kitchen, flipping a house, or renovating your investment property? These interior design books can give you the inspiration you need to get started.


[Updated: Feb 04, 2021 ] May 21, 2020 by Aly J. Yale
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Magazines like House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes and Gardens can offer inspiration if you're thinking of renovating a property. But even better? That’d be books from pro designers themselves.

If you're considering a remodel or makeover at your home or investment property, here are 23 interior design books you'll want at the ready:

1. Alex Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors by Michael Gardner

Take a glimpse inside 17 homes, each expertly (and eclectically) decorated by renowned Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt. Vervoordt, known for his minimalist, Zen-inspired style, has decorated spaces for A-listers like Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian, Calvin Klein, and more.

Here's what Architectural Digest had to say about the tome: "Axel Vervoordt's latest monograph, Portraits of Interiors, lovingly paints precisely that: intimate views into some of the Belgian designer's most masterful projects."

Want more from Vervoordt? His Timeless Interiors -- released in 2007 -- is another one you may want to pick up.

2. Evocative Style by Kelly Wearstler

The latest book from Hollywood interior designer Kelly Wearstler, this one offers a look at a variety of luxury interiors from across the world -- including both residential and commercial properties. There's even a section on Wearstler's recent work on the San Francisco Proper Hotel, plus insights into her personal design process and penchant for dramatic accents.

Wearstler has a slew of other books, too. If you need more inspiration, try Modern Glamour, Hue, and Domicilium Decoratus. (They make great coffee table books, too).

3. The Finer Things by Christine Lemieux

This one’s less inspiration and more instruction, showing readers how to identify the best fabrics, textiles, accessories, and more in their personal design endeavors. Lemieux talks to experts in paint, wallpaper, design, fabrication, and beyond to give deep insights into what makes quality -- and how to recognize it. It's a must if you're looking to design beautiful interiors from the ground up.

4. Styled by Emily Henderson

Dubbed "the ultimate guide to thinking like a stylist," this book has it all: beautiful and inspiring interiors, more than 1,000 design ideas, and even details on designer Emily Henderson's personal styling and editing process. If you want to give Henderson's advice a whirl before buying the book, head to her popular blog at StyleByEmilyHenderson.com.

5. Jeffrey Bilhuber: American Master by Sara Ruffin Costello

Jeffrey Bilhuber shares his 30 personal design principles in this 270-plus page tome, written and edited by Sara Ruffin Costello. Ranked as one of the world's top interior designers by Architectural Digest, Bilhuber has designed spaces for major names like David Bowie, Anna Wintour, and Mariska Hargitay. The book's jaw-dropping images were all taken by William Abranowicz, one of the industry's hottest interior photographers.

6. Down to Earth by Lauren Liess

Written by Lauren Liess -- designer and star of HGTV's "Best House on the Block," this one's for homeowners seeking a more welcoming, approachable style. The book walks through Liess' design process, guiding principles, and six of the designer's most recent projects. Just like Henderson, Liess is a time-tested design blogger. If you want to give her writings a peek before buying in, check out her Pure Style Home blog.

7. Kabinett & Kammer: Creating Authentic Interiors by Sean Scherer

Another Abranowicz-captured option, this book features the work of designer and artist Sean Scherer. Scherer's known for his use of vintage decor, as well as his way of playing with texture, proportion, and layers. His work has been featured in Elle Decor, The New York Times Magazine, and more.

8. Black and White (and a Bit in Between) by Celerie Kemble

If you're a fan of monochromatic design or home decor, this one's for you. Written by bold decorator Celerie Kemble, it features more than 250 pages (and 350 images) of real-life black-and-white designs. The Dallas Morning News called this two-color "hardcover eye candy." Kemble's To Your Taste is another one you may want to pick up if you like a classic but bold design aesthetic.

9. Relaxed Rustic by Niki Brantmark

Designer Niki Brantmark is known for her Scandinavian-inspired spaces. She has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, and she was ranked one of the top interior designers in the world by Vogue UK. Relaxed Rustic -- which was just released in March 2020 -- gives insights into her nature-inspired designs, as well as the hues, textures, and details she uses to achieve them.

If you find yourself a fan, Brantmark has a whole host of other home design books, including The Scandinavian Home and Modern Pastoral. All feature her penchant for natural elements and rustic design.

10. More Decorating by Tom Scheerer

Going for that effortless, yet still pulled-together look? Tom Scheerer's work is the perfect inspiration. Released just last fall, More Decorating features 16 of Scheerer's latest projects -- from downtown apartments to summer homes on the beach. One reviewer calls Scheerer's work "sophisticated yet relaxed; bold yet restrained; modern yet timeless."

11. Homebody by Joanna Gaines

If you're a fan of HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines, then this book is a must-buy. Written by Joanna herself, it's a detailed guide on designing spaces that feel like home. You'll learn about discovering your design style (and how to blend it with other styles), and there's even a removable design template included.

12. The Perfect Kitchen by Barbara Sallick

The kitchen is one of the most used spots in the house. If you're looking to upgrade yours, Barbara Sallick's got the guidebook for you. Full of interviews, advice, and beautiful inspiration, it covers just about every aspect of a kitchen remodel you'd need to address -- from appliances and paint colors to surfaces and storage. Sallick also has an accompanying book for the bathroom, dubbed The Perfect Bath.

13. Welcome Home by Myquillyn Smith

If minimalism is more your thing, Myquillyn Smith's books are a great option. A self-proclaimed "cozy minimalist," Smith aims for a pared-down yet lived-in look that's great for families with kids. Welcome Home offers just one look into her unique style, but if you want more, Cozy Minimalist Home and The Nesting Place are also options.

14. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman

Written by Domino magazine editor Deborah Needleman, The Perfectly Imperfect Home offers a unique approach to your standard design book. Instead of just photos or personal anecdotes, the book serves up mini-essays on unique spaces and features. "Pretty Table Settings," "A Really Good Soft," and "Cozifications" are just a few examples.

15. Time and Place by Steven Gambrel

New York designer Steven Gambrel shows off his modern-meets-traditional style in this 240-page book, which features 10 unique residences from around the world. See how Gambrel transformed a Manhattan townhouse, a beachside getaway in the Hamptons, and more. If you're a fan of Gambrell's work, his Perspective is also worth a look.

Honorable Mentions:

Whether you're just a big "Fixer Upper" fan or you're looking to renovate your own home or space, these interior design books can give you the inspiration you need to get started.

Need even more interior design help? Give these top interior design websites a whirl.

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