Cicero said that “a home without books is a body without soul.” We tend to agree. Books provide so much more than information—they can satisfy our senses, enliven our imaginations, and inspire our creativity. Beautiful in their own right, they also make for collectible, affordable home decor items. Today, our design team is sharing their own favorite home decor books. Whether you have a passing interest in design or are a diehard enthusiast, these are ten essential home decorating books volumes that no library is complete without.
Phaidon Design Classics
Our creative director, Maxwell chose this indispensable three-volume collection from Phaidon. “It’s an exhaustive guide to 999 need-to-know design classics,” he says. “If you need to know the who, what, where, and why of any important design, this is the place to start.”
A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester
This book is a comprehensive guide to various building styles throughout America, from the pueblo style dwellings of Arizona to the Prairie-style homes of the Midwest,” Alice says. “It’s a great read for those interested in restoring their house to its original details!”
Domino: The Book of Decorating
Our senior designer Alex chose this new classic from Domino magazine. With easy-to-follow illustrated guides to room decor and the best sources for design objects, it’s perfect for anybody looking to makeover their first home.
Axel Vervoort: Living With Light
“Axel is a master at blending the old with the new, resulting in a collection of elegant and timeless projects,” Alice says. “This book is a great visual resource for those looking to incorporate vintage pieces into their space.”
Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson
“Many people think that ‘modern’ spaces need to be cold and austere,” Maxwell says, “but this book proves that they can be quite the opposite.” With stunning photos taken by Leslie Williamson, this book provides rare glimpses into the perfectly-imperfect homes of some of the most esteemed leaders in Modernist design.
Roman and Williams : Things We Made
Judy chose this volume from design studio Roman and Williams. “They beautifully combine new design elements and carefully curated vintage objects,” she says. “The hand-drawn architectural drawings in the book are very inspiring.”
The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer
“Color is powerful! It creates an ambience; it affects your moods; it influences how you perceive your environment,” Frances says. “As the title says, this book is great for inspiring ideas about how, why, and where to use colors.”
A Perfectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter
Judy picked this modern guide to maximalist living by collecting aficionado Mary Randolph Carter. “It’s a showcase of creative ways to live with our clutter and how the everyday things we use can become interior design elements and decorative objects,” she says.
American Modern by Thomas O’Brien
“Thomas O’Brien is a modern-day design legend and it’s no surprise why,” Maxwell says. “This book showcases his unique mixture of eclectic, hand-wrought style and luxe, deco sensibilities.”
More Is More: Tony Duquette
Senior designer Alex Caratachea picked this stunning peek into the work and process of designer Tony Duquette. Filled with glamorous, richly appointed interiors, this volume offers a compelling alternative to the “living with less” sensibilities of twentieth century Modernism.