12 Best Interior Design Books – Buy Side from — The Wall Street Journal

Looking for design inspiration? With the ubiquitousness of online interior-design sources, it’s easy to comb through, say, thousands of wallpaper options in just a few minutes, but it can also be the particular equivalent associated with turning on a firehose to water a single seedling. The best interior design books, on the other hand, grant readers a portal into a tightly edited, beautiful collection of ideas and images. To narrow down the top tomes, we asked a handful of decorating pros—interior designers, architects and more—to share their all-time favorites.

Evocative eye candy

Anne Hepfer

MOOD: Interiors & Inspiration

What if instead of decorating based on a specific design philosophy, you went by pure feeling? This is the ethos of Hepfer’s book “ Mood , ” which showcases interiors inspired by seven emotions: happy, relaxed, energized, cozy, sexy, tranquil and nostalgic. It’s the go-to for designer Kevin Francis O’Gara, founder associated with Kevin Francis Design within Atlanta, who loves that it includes Hepfer’s personal sources of inspiration (specific foods plus playlists, with regard to example). San Diego-based designer Rachel Larraine incorporates the particular book into her design process: “It makes a great ice breaker when trying to discover the look my client wants to create. ” She adds that the way they respond to what they’re seeing and feeling in the photographs helps them articulate what they want in their home.

Anthology of artful decorations

Summer Thornton

Wonderland: Adventures within Decorating

The projects in this guide range from the tropical vacation home inspired by citrus to her own “fearless romantic”-style city home. Francis O’Gara has been following the author, Chicago-based developer Summer Thornton, on Instagram for years, admiring her work’s “bold, yet inviting nature” he says, “and the way things don’t quite match, which is a nuanced style skill that most don’t dare to master. ” And the photos do not just speak for themselves—throughout the book, Thornton walks readers through her thought process, explaining the surprisingly dark paint color choice (to bring some intimacy to a room with many openings), for example , and an unusual wallpaper pick (pink with giant birds, to inject levity into the bathroom of an otherwise polished-looking apartment).

Fresh take upon abodes abroad

Danielle Demetriou

Mihoko Iida, along with contributions

There’s something relaxing about looking at Japanese interiors, says artist and philosopher Shantell Martin , who lived in Japan for five years and is “slightly obsessed” with Japanese architecture, Edo Period art plus minimal interiors in general. “They can feel refreshing, and at times, also like they are out of a sci-fi movie, ” she states. This is the particular book she frequently pages via for visual inspiration. Featuring 28 Japan abodes, from urban apartments to seaside estates—many designed by the country’s leading architects—it gives readers a peek at breathtaking spaces that bring the outdoors in, play up natural light in creative ways and more.

Deep dive on furniture’s First Couple

Gloria Koenig


While the particular Eames chair is one of the more recognizable pieces of mid-century modern design, the story of the duo who developed it, Charles Eames plus Ray Kaiser Eames, will be less known but also inspiring, according to Matthew Miller, principal and founder of StudioLAB , the design firm in New York City. “They’re an amazing couple who shaped the style and furniture industry in to what mid-century modern is usually today, ” he admits that. This book explores not only their furniture but additionally their photography, film and textile design, says Miller, who regularly includes Eames pieces in his interiors plus considers the book a valuable reference that can spark designing ideas for anyone.

Lessons within contemporary style

Nicole Hollis

Curated Interiors

Anyone that loves decorating with natural or found objects and raw materials will appreciate this compilation of designer Nicole Hollis’s spaces , says event developer Jung Lee , owner of the eponymous home-goods boutique in Brand new York Town. The guide features many of the particular Hollis’s “timeless interiors that will blend along with the environment, ” through an open-plan property perched on a Kona lava field in order to a black and white pied-a-terre in San Francisco, states Lee, and offers ideas regarding enhancing neutral spaces with a strategic use of black plus an array of textures.

Spotlight upon over-the-top rooms

Gestalten Editors

House of Glam

Maximalist pattern mixing and an abundance of color are the focus associated with “ The House of Fashion , ” the book that Jessica McCarthy, director of interior design at Blueground , the furnished-apartment company based in New York City, relies on most. It’s packed with playfully sophisticated details like saturated paint shades on walls, wildly geometric designs on floors and whimsical objets on display. “Whenever I start a new project, We look to this book to get creative, and then I tone it down a bit in the execution, ” she says.

Guide to global spaces

Phaidon Editors and William Norwich

Decorations: The Greatest Rooms associated with the Century

This coffee table-size tome features hundreds of living areas from all over the particular world, so it naturally appeals to Joanne Behrens, who, as a vice president of style and project services intended for Rosewood Hotels , offers learned to be fluent in many different design philosophies. The particular rooms come from renowned developers like Anouska Hempel plus Kelly Hoppen as well as fashion designers, filmmakers and musical notables. (One standout: Cole Porter’s swanky Manhattan place, designed simply by famed designer Billy Baldwin. ) And because the book cover comes in four different colors, Behrens points out, “you may get a copy that will doubles as decor for nearly any space. ”

Maximalist compendium

Ken Fulk

Ken Fulk: The Movie in My Mind

Mariam Naficy, San Francisco-based creator of Minted , knows and appreciates a fellow creative whenever she sees one. So it’s little surprise that one of the girl favorite décor books is a collection of New York City-based developer Ken Fulk’s dramatically layered spaces, with descriptions associated with his unique process of “seeing a story and an experience within his head before he starts designing, ” Naficy says. Inside are full-bleed photos of a restaurant, private plane plus homes he has designed, including a refined-rustic Napa Valley farmhouse.

Primer on “Mod-Baroque” interiors

Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style

Known for her refined-eclectic style, Los Angeles-based designer Kelly Wearstler has sustained a big following to get decades, and this book featuring her residential and hotel properties around the country provides longevity too. Wearstler’s ability to combine the “museum-like lavishness” with comfort and functionality is a good aspect Lina Benedetti, interior designer plus creative director of Benedetta swimwear, admires most. “Her craft is definitely making luxury effortless, ” Benedetti says, and because the particular book includes all kinds of examples—Wearstler’s utilization of bold colors, striking prints, the interplay of geometric shapes—it’s one of her most valued references.

Love letter to coastal style

Tricia Foley

A Summer Place: Living by the Sea

The charming beach destination area associated with Bellport-Brookhaven, N. Y., can be the setting for “ A Summer time Place, ” which showcases the beauty of this particular special inlet through its homes, from modern builds to centuries-old shingle-style cottages. It’s a top pick of Maneesh K. Goyal, partner and co-founder of Sona and Sona Home in New York City, not only because he’s a fan of the particular destination but also pertaining to the book’s airy aesthetic and expert tips on hosting, flower arranging and more.

Closeup of elegant, pet-friendly spaces

Nicole England

Resident Dog (Volume Two): Incredible Homes and the Dogs Who Live There

Dog lovers will be drawn to this thoughtful collection of canine-centric homes , promises Martin, who else lives plus works in Los Angeles and Nyc. “I often wonder about the different lives that will dogs may lead and the different types of homes they might inhabit, ” she states. Inside are striking photos of two dozen houses with disparate design styles—from a minimalist, hot pink-accented estate within Mexico Town to a charming London townhouse with floating storage solutions—each with an appearance by the house owner’s pooch, bringing the areas to life.  

Pattern-mixing made easy

Nathalie Farman-Farma

Decors Barbares: The Enchanting Interiors associated with Nathalie Farman-Farma

When it comes to exuberant aesthetics, this guide is the gold standard for Abigail Cook Stone, cofounder of Otherland candles in New York City. It takes readers by means of designer Nathalie Farman-Farma’s elaborately decorated homes in Connecticut, Lake Tahoe and London, many of which usually feature the girl own Décors Barbares fabric along with antique textiles. Farman-Farma’s penchant for fantastic prints plus pattern-layering is certainly so uplifting, Cook Rock says, it gave her ideas meant for both the girl personal home décor and her Homestead collection associated with candles.

The advice, recommendations or rankings expressed in this article are those from the Buy Side through WSJ editorial team, plus have not really been reviewed or endorsed by our commercial partners.

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