Do you want to make your home look beautiful, but you don’t know where to start? If so, then this blog post is for you! Interior design is not just about choosing colors and furniture, but it’s also about understanding the principles of design, shape, and texture. With so many books around, it is challenging to choose the best books on interior design for beginners. Don’t worry – I’m here to help! Today I’m sharing the 10 best interior design books that will give you all the inspiration you need and inspire your creativity as a new home decorator. Let’s go!
I’ve learned a lot about interior design and home styling by reading books. I now have quite the collection of favourite interior design books that I reference often, and I’m excited to share them with you today. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your own space or dreaming of a career in design, these books are your perfect starting point.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand guidebook for interior design basics, The Interior Design Handbook is it. I LOVE this book and I’d recommend it to anyone that’s just starting with home design or room styling. Inside, Ramstedt shares basic principles of design, and simple tips and tricks on how to create a room that looks cohesive and well-designed. I find the book easy to read as it doesn’t use complex jargon, so this is a good pick if you’re completely new to the world of interiors. Helpful topics include Rules of Thumb, Buying Tips and Key Measurements and Proportions. Buy The Interior Design Handbook here.
Ellen S. Fischer
Want an interior design manual that’s a little more complex? One of my favourite books of all time is Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces. I’ve used it a lot as a guidebook when designing rooms for myself and room styling clients. I love that this book is based on the New York School of Interior Designs’ home study curriculum, so the information inside is well studied. This book is large, heavy, and chock full of all the information you’ll need to design a room from start to finish. Think of it as your Interior Design Bible! Buy Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces here.
As one of the founders (if not THE founder) of the most popular interior design style of today – organic modern – Amber Lewis is an inspirational designer. This book is a collection of photos from her interiors projects, and she also explains the “how” and “why” of her decorating process. I’ve used a lot of her designs as inspirations when putting together my own rooms and rooms for styling clients, so this book is a wonderful reference to have on hand. Lewis does a great job of combining the old with the new through antiques and trendy finds, and mixing textures and patterns through textiles. This books also makes a beautiful coffee table book because it has a gorgeous design and tons of photos. Buy Made for Living here.
We all love Joanna of Fixer Upper fame, and this home decorating book is a beautiful example of her talent. Not only will you find gorgeous photographs of her well-designed interiors inside, but there’s also some good tips & tricks on how to create a home you love yourself. I like that Gaines shares some common decorating styles at the start of the book, and how you can identify your own. The book is divided into sections based on rooms, which is also helpful if you’re looking to design a specific space in your home. Buy Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave here.
Deborah Needleman, Sarah Ruffin Costello + Dara Caponigro
A well-loved classic, Domino’s decorating book is as beautiful inside as it is outside. What I appreciate about this book is that it’s divided into chapters based on rooms, and it has an abundance of helpful illustrations. For the visual learner, it’s one of my favourite interior decorating resources. Plus, I find the rooms featured in the book are quite timeless while being a lot more colourful than other room decor examples I’ve seen in books lately. Buy Domino: The Book of Decorating here.
I’ve talked about this book before, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites that I’m happy to recommend to anyone looking to create a beautiful home that brings them joy. I love how Yokota ties human behavior into interior design with her psychology background. There’s so many interesting insights in this book! It’s a great read if you’re passionate about home organization and want to include it in your room design approach. The way she divides the spaces in her home design process is unique – The Individual, Organizational, Communal and Renewal Domain – and the book really gets me thinking of interior design in a new way. Buy Home Therapy here.
Chris Grimley + Mimi Love
This quick & practical little reference book is a handy resource for any home designer. It’s not a pretty book, but it’s definitely a fantastic field guide for space planning and design guidelines. I’ve had this book for years and I’ve referenced it often when checking details like colour temperature for lighting, and how to draw different types of doors in floor plans. Buy The Interior Design Reference + Specification Book here.
Like the reference book above, The Color Scheme Bible is another good pocket book to use as a resource. This is a practical, useful guide to get you started with using colour in your home. Most of the pages are simply filled with vibrant colour palettes to get you excited about combinations you might use in your decor. However, it also has some good insight on how colour affects your mood, and some basic colour theory tips. Love one of the 150 color schemes in the book? Take the book to your paint store and have them colour match a paint perfectly! Buy The Color Scheme Bible here.
If you love eclectic interiors and finding inspiration on how to incorporate antique & vintage finds into your decor, this book is for you. A gorgeous picture book, Create is chock full of inspiration on how to design meaningful interiors that don’t abide by the current home decor trends. This book has truly inspired me to lean more into antique and thrift stores for curating unique home decor. Buy Create: At Home with Old & New here.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Wiking’s books on hygge. In fact, his first book, The Little Book of Hygge, is one of my favourite reads of all time. If you’re a lover of cozy spaces like I am, the Danish concept of Hygge is one you’ll want to study. In My Hygge Home, Wiking shares how to achieve a welcome, cozy interior through the use of lighting, texture, scale, and even homemade food. Buy My Hygge Home here.
More Interior Design Books to Read
The following books are on my list of “to read”. Let me know if you’ve read them yet!
- The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas to Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels
- Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates
- Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life by Lauren Liess
- Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson
- The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams
- Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home by Rebecca Atwood
So there you have it – my top 10 Best Books on Interior Design for Beginners plus some books on my next-to-read list. If you’re ready to create a welcoming and cozy interior of your own, grab one of these books, dive in, and start decorating! Happy reading!