8 Best Interior Design Books in 2023
Interior design can be a great deal of fun, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and some people can struggle to come up with ideas or learn the skills that they need to implement them. Some people can find someone to help teach them, but others will need to rely on informative books to gain an education. If you are considering getting an interior design book but aren’t sure which one to choose, keep reading for a list of reviews of 10 of the most popular ones. There’s also a buyer’s guide with tips on what to look for in a design book.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||The Interior Design Handbook: Furnish, Decorate, and Style Your Space||
|Best Value||Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home||
|Premium Choice||Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity||
|The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate||
|Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life||
The 8 Best Interior Design Books
1. The Interior Design Handbook: Furnish, Decorate, and Style Your Space — Best Overall
|Publication date:||October 27, 2020|
“The Interior Design Handbook” is our pick as the best overall interior design book. It focuses on how you decorate and the materials that you use to help you take a balanced approach to your home design. It teaches you several basic rules, so it’s easier to determine how large your coffee table should be and where you should hang your pictures, for example. It includes several easy-to-understand illustrations, and it’s a fast read, but there’s plenty of information that you will keep with you for a lifetime.
The only downside is that it’s expensive.
- Explains several basic rules
- Easy-to-understand illustrations
- Covers everything from painting to placing decorations
2. Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home — Best Value
|Publication date:||April 2, 2019|
“Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home” is our pick as the best interior design book for the money. It goes over five important steps that can help you transform any room in your house and focuses on creating a welcoming atmosphere that people can enjoy. It provides plenty of high-quality photographs that can help you understand the points the author is trying to make, and it’s easy to follow along.
“Beautifully Organized” is an excellent choice when looking for help with interior design. The only downside is that the author has a dedicated YouTube channel that covers much of this material, so if you are already an avid follower, you may feel that it’s a waste of money.
- Five simple steps to transform any room
- Focus is on creating a welcoming atmosphere for friends and family
- Plenty of high-quality photographs
- Much of the information is available elsewhere
3. Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity — Premium Choice
|Publication date:||October 12, 2021|
“Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity” is our premium choice interior design book. It contains a wealth of information covering a special blend of historic renovations with elegant modern designs. You can use this book to help decorate the interior of your private home or a large commercial space. It has a strong focus on early Americana, which involves using wooden floors and furniture, mixed with Scandinavian restraint and local artwork to create something unique. The book walks you through 10 homes and provides plenty of high-quality photographs so you can see the interior design in action.
This book has many interesting ideas, and it’s easy to follow, but it’s quite expensive.
- Well-explained ideas that are easy to follow
- Strong focus on simplicity and Americana
- Plenty of high-quality photographs
4. The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish: An Interior Design Book
|Publication date:||May 10, 2022|
“The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish,” is one of the newest books on this list, with a 2022 publication date. It’s also quite lengthy at more than 300 pages and contains plenty of great information that can help you change the interior of your home for the better. The author walks you through every decision, from picking out paint to placing light fixtures. It helps you look at your design options realistically so you know when it would be better to hire a contractor to finish the job. It also explains how to plan out your materials so you can set up a budget. There are plenty of photographs to see how all the ideas look.
This book can be a great choice for someone who is new to the field and has not yet done any interior design work. However, the book goes into such detail that it can seem too basic or long-winded for those who might find the long descriptions repetitive or distracting.
- Large amount of detailed information
- Provides a complete interior design walkthrough
- Helps you determine when it’s better to hire professional help
- Plenty of fantastic photographs
- Long-winded explanations
- Too basic for some readers
5. Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life
|Publication date:||October 19, 2021|
“Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life” is this author’s third interior design book, so you know that you’re getting your information from a well-researched professional. This book focuses on our emotional connection to our home and helps you look beyond traditional ideas and rules to create something personal and unique. It looks at several types of homes, from a farmhouse to a Spanish colonial, and explores how to create an environment with an overall theme, like comfort, calm, love, or belonging.
This fantastic author’s third installment has plenty of good ideas. The only downside is that the paper seems low quality, and it has a grey tint, making it feel like it isn’t as durable as most other books of this type.
- Focus is on an emotional connection with home
- Shows you how to create an environment based on a theme
- Discusses several types of homes
- Flimsy gray paper
6. Universal Principles of Interior Design
|Publication date:||January 25, 2022|
“Universal Principles of Interior Design” provides a comprehensive explanation of nearly every topic involved with interior design. Every discussion includes high-quality illustrations that make it easy to understand. The author presents the topics alphabetically, so they’re easy to find when you need them, and they also list the most common interior design questions and show you where the answers are.
This book is a great choice for someone working in interior design who needs to find solutions and answer questions quickly. It’s also a good book to have on hand for planning future projects. However, its technical nature may prevent you from coming up with new ideas. It also has fewer pages than many other books and is quite costly.
- Comprehensive look at interior design
- Well organized so you can find answers quickly
- Many high-quality illustrations
- Not great for new ideas
- Not that many pages
7. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave
|Publication date:||November 6, 2018|
“Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave” is one of the older books on this list, published in 2018. However, at 352 pages, it’s packed with information to help you create your dream home. It uses several examples from a wide range of homes to help you learn more about your priorities and instincts. This approach enables you to create an enjoyable environment instead of one that follows the rules and modern design trends. It even includes a removable design template that lets you plan and sketch out your design plans ahead of time.
We like this book’s approach and includes plenty of fantastic tips and tricks. However, some people might be concerned with the age of the book not being up to date with the current modern trends, and others might find it more of a picture book or portfolio of the author’s work highlighted with tips and tricks instead of a manual designed to teach.
- Many pages
- Focuses on creating an environment that you enjoy
- Plenty of high-quality photographs
- A few years older than most other books of this type
- Provides tips and tricks instead of detailed information
8. At Home: Evocative & Art-Forward Interiors
|Publication date:||April 6, 2021|
“At Home: Evocative & Art-Forward Interiors” strongly focuses on creating a living extension of yourself. It relies on the motto, “function and comfort first and always,” when exploring different ideas about interior design. It discusses furniture placement and lighting and explains how it affects your environment and comfort level. It also shows you how your memories can impact your design decisions and how to use them to create an interesting interior.
The biggest downside to this book is that it’s rather short at only 160 pages, so you can read it quickly. This leaves you hungry for more and possibly questioning its high cost.
- Strong focus on creating an extension of yourself
- Discusses how furniture placement and lighting can affect your comfort level
- Shows you how to design using your memories
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Interior Design Book in 2023
- Take the time to consider what kind of interior you’re trying to create. Many books will target a specific genre and show you how to create a rustic interior or a glamorous one. Knowing what you want to design will help you purchase only the relevant books.
- We recommend choosing a hard cover over a soft one because they are more durable, and you will likely use one of these books in an environment where you are doing work and might accidentally damage it.
- Look for books with plenty of text and illustrations, not just photographs. Photographs are great for ideas, but they often don’t explain how to complete the work to achieve the look that you want.
- Choosing a recently published book will help ensure that you are working on a modern design and keeping with current trends. Older books may cause your design to look dated, and more importantly, older designs may involve materials that changed dramatically in price or are no longer available.
When choosing your next interior design book, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. “The Interior Design Handbook: Furnish, Decorate, and Style Your Space” has plenty of great tips and tricks and provides you with guidelines that you will likely use throughout your career. Another great choice is our value pick. “Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home” teaches you general guidelines to help you make better design decisions moving forward. It focuses on creating an environment that people will enjoy visiting.
Featured Image Credit: hayrullah-gozcu, Unsplash
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 8 Best Interior Design Books
- 2.1 1. The Interior Design Handbook: Furnish, Decorate, and Style Your Space — Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style in Your Home — Best Value
- 2.3 3. Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity — Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish: An Interior Design Book
- 2.5 5. Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life
- 2.6 6. Universal Principles of Interior Design
- 2.7 7. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave
- 2.8 8. At Home: Evocative & Art-Forward Interiors
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Interior Design Book in 2023
- 4 Conclusion