How to Find the Best Interior Design Books

Figuring out how to find the best interior design books out of the piles and piles of books out there can be a real chose. Whether you’re a student of interior design or just a layperson preparing to redecorate and design your home, the best interior design books act both as a resource for interior design and reference tool for decorating. But before you go out and buy the first interior design book you can find, you need to know what design books are well-reviewed and which ones are just collections of pretty pictures. From modern design to more traditional styles, there are books all over the market to guide you on your path.

The quickest browse through your local bookstore will show you that there are tons of titles to choose from. How can you know which ones will actually help? Sure, you can read online customer reviews on Amazon or look for reviews of newest titles in interior design periodicals like Dwell, but why not choose a book that professional interior decorators use themselves?

Top Interior Design Books

When picking a book to help you with interior design, knowing which are the top interior design books and which are at the bottom of the sales barrel is super helpful. After all, if a book sells well, it must have something going for it. Here’s the top interior design books based on numbers from publishers.

1. Paula Deen’s Savannah Style

This is considered one of the best interior design books just because of its popularity and the popularity of its author. Paula Deen is known for her Southern cooking style and TV show on the Food network. In this best selling and much loved interior design book, Deen shares photographs of her beautiful home in Savannah, Georgia and offers lots of anecdotal stories behind her design tactics and even shares her ideas about how just about anyone can utilize her design ideas in their space. Deen firmly believes that style isn’t just about colors and curtains — and as a bonus, Deen throws in delicious recipes for entertaining at home or enjoying a night in. This book is a fun read, even if you’re not planning on designing your home in the “Savannah style”.

2. Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces

One of the best interior design books for people with little room or not much of a budget, this text by Maxwell Gillingham attempts to teach people how to turn their tiny apartment into a beautiful designed lovable home. You may know Gillingham from her super popular interior design website “Apartment Therapy”, and the info in this book is more than just a collection of her most popular blog posts. Want to add comfort and style to your tiny space? Reach for this book.

3. Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home


A team of three interior designers came together to offer this, one of the best interior design books for people looking to add a modern flair to their home in the city. Another bonus — this book is full of “before and after” photos of ten actual design projects, giving you the confidence you need to transform even the ugliest and most cramped space into something you can be proud of.

4. The Home Within Us

The subtitle of this book is Romantic Houses, Evocative Rooms which should give you some idea of the content. Don’t look for modern ideas or contemporary solutions from this text — the decoraters prefer classic motifs to the uber modern styles so prevalent in today’s designs. One thing to consider — this nearly 400 page book, though full of color photos and lots of great design ideas, will run you well over $50, so this is not the best interior design book for designers on a budget.

5. American Modern

This book, mostly written by famous designer and buyer for the stars Thomas O’Brien, translates “cool modernism” into easy to manage styles that even the smallest budget can pull off. Lots of different design features, from the most casual breakfast nook design to extremely formal and vintage looks. Three examples of O’Briens own design projects are presented, from a downtown New York City loft to a beautifully converted old schoolhouse. It isn’t all pretty pictures and braggadocio — O’Brien made sure to include the basics of design principles like architecture, color, scale, and even collecting. This book is a practical narrative that could act as a sort of “master class” for those interested in design. One of the more popular and best selling interior design books.

6. Domino: The Book of Decorating

One of the best and most popular interior design magazines, Domino, presents this guide to taking simple steps to turn your home into a stylish oasis. This is an interior design book aimed at novice decorators who just want to add a little style to their home. Some things you’ll learn from this book — how to form your “personal style”, knowing what items to keep and which to throw out, and even instructions on how to make a budget. This book is known for its simple suggestions and tons of full-color photographs. Most important — the book is full of extra resources and recommendations for a few extra best interior design books make this nearly indispensable.

7. The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor

With an irreverent title like that, you should expect a bit of an off-the-wall interior design book. DIY expert Mark Montano contains a whole library amount of solutions to your interior design projects, and the combination of good advice and whimsical stories make this one of the best interior design books on the market. This book offers over 100 simple projects for every room in your home from buying the right accessories, to painting walls and adding windows.

The best interior design books are easy to read and full of practical advice. You don’t need a degree in design or experience working with interior design in order to design a beautiful interior for your home. Grab a couple of the books from the above list and make your decorating job even easier. Your new beautiful home will thank you.