Home decorating books aren’t just for placing on your coffee table when guests come over. They can be limitless sources of useful information and inspiration. Finding the right book for you might be a little overwhelming, especially with the thousands of options available. This is why I’ve decided to tackle the home design book mountain and hopefully give a few insights into what they each offer.
Home decor hearts all over the world broke when Domino magazine folded. Luckily for them, the editors of Domino put together this room-by-room decorating guidebook to soften the blow.
Decorating Tips: Each section helps guide you through the home decor experience by showing you great tips by room and style. The editors at Domino didn’t just stick with the standard styles, either. They mix it up with unique home styles like “urbane organic” and “ladylike luxe”. These new styles are usually fun combinations of the tried and true styles most people are familiar with like modern and vintage.
Inspiration: Like all home decor books, Domino’s is filled with beautiful rooms to inspire you. The difference is they also tell you why you should be inspired with small tags explaining what is working in each room. For example, one photo shows a small dining area with a patterned floor and a text bubble that says, “A stenciled floor offers the pattern of a rug, but you can mop it clean.” Short little tips like these help guide the reader through the inspiration and into practical applications.
Practical Information: With a comprehensive list of decorating resources and an informative handbook that covers the often confusing details of window treatments and upholstery, Domino is by far the best of the bunch. These sections are well-organized, easy to read, and are great resources for anyone trying to navigate the often murky waters of home decor.
Verdict: This book is fun, informative, and incredibly inspirational. It takes you through the whole process of decorating a home from determining your personal style to informing on what exactly shirring detailing is. I’d highly suggest getting it no matter where you’re at in the process of decorating your home.
This home decor book has been making the rounds quickly since its release this year. Based off of the popular DIY-centric blog, this book is half “Sneak Peeks” and half DIY projects and how-to tutorials.
Decorating Tips: Some decorating tips are offered within the Sneak Peek section, but this isn’t really the book for thorough help on how to decorate.
Inspiration: The section “Sneak Peak” on both the blog and in the book gives readers a look into the fabulously decorated homes of both people in and out of the home decor industry. This is the ultimate source of inspiration: a collection of homes made beautiful by everyday people, not just home decor professionals.
Practical Information: This book doesn’t really tell you how to decorate or which colors work best where, but it does give you a plethora of tutorials on how to make your own shelving, reupholster just about anything, arrange flowers, and how to make a sweater wreath.
Verdict: This is a very pretty book with some fantastic tutorials and inspiring photos. The problem is, most of the content that is in this book is also on the website. For free. With daily updates. That you can access from just about anywhere without having to lug around a 390 page hardcover book. If you’re serious about DIY, you may overlook the blog and go straight for this tome of projects.
More text-heavy than most other home decor books, House Beautiful: The Home Book is a diverse assortment of design elements, color tips, interviews with interior designers, layout help, and decorating advice on a room-by-room basis.
Decorating Tips: This book gives a lot of comprehensive advice on how to decorate including color suggestions by room, insights from designers, and room planning tips. There are some fun “Designer’s Top Ten” sections that give good tips, but in some of their longer sections it often feels like they ask more questions than answer them.
Inspiration: This book is chock full of inspirational photos and ideas. I especially love the “Colorful Opinions” section where they show a room and designers suggest specific colors for it. I was introduced to some gorgeous hues I’ve never considered before and some neat ideas I plan to implement somewhere down the line.
Practical Information: One thing about this book that really bothered me was their “The Choice is Yours” sections. They show two pages of one item like vanities or desks but don’t tell you anything about them. I want to know what style they are, where to get them, what they’re called. Looking at 15-20 pictures of desks might be good for inspiration, but practically speaking how am I suppose to get one I like if I don’t know what it’s called or where to get it?
Verdict: If you’re looking for a big book with a lot of inspirational ideas and an assortment of information, this is the one for you. I’d suggest it for people just beginning to get into home decor who might need a more broad look at interior design.
Do you have any favorite home decor books? I’d love to hear about them! Put your suggestions in a comment below.