L’s Picks: Favorite Decorating Books

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Happy 2019! I don’t know about you, but there’s something about the new year that get’s me all excited. Perhaps its because we get to start all over again, tackle new challenges and get to improve  some parts of us and our lives that may need a bit of work. One of my favorite things to do at the start of the year is to go around our house, inspect every nook and cranny and see how we can make to better. Whether it be the decor or how we can use the space more efficiently. Aside from Pinterest which is such an amazing tool in digging up inspiration (I wish I had it 10 years ago when we first moved in!) my go-to has always been books! Sure Pinterest has all the images but books, they have all the information. They explain step by step why a room works and how things go together. I’ve poured through dozens upon dozens of design books over the years and while I love each and every one of them, these seven titles I keep coming back to.

1. Domino: The Book of Decorating (2008)

As a self-proclaimed Domino Magazine addict ( I literally was depressed when they stopped publication in 2009 and jumped for joy when they rebooted in 2015) I knew I had to snap this up the minute it came out. My husband and I were newlyweds and new homeowners the year the book was published and this was the prefect decorating bible! Chock-full of beautiful photographs, decorating information and a step by step guide on the pieces needed for each room in your home. It was also the first decorating book that showed homes that were not only unbelievably chic and stylish but attainable as well. It was a nice and fresh departure from the usual perfectly styled showroom looking homes that I was used to reading about.

2. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman (2011)

Domino Magazine’s Founding Editor-In-Chief Deborah Needleman’s second book (she co-wrote Domino: The Book Of Decorating) did not disappoint! True to its title, The Perfectly Imperfect Home shares fun style tidbits that help you inject personality into your home. By mixing high and low, vintage with new and antiques with Ikea you can create a warm, inviting and beautiful home that reflects your lifestyle. I especially loved how she encouraged her readers to look at heirloom pieces in a different light. Over sized ginger jars as umbrella stands or handpainted ceramic bowls as a toilet paper catchall in the powder room—chic!

3. The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus (2013)

The interiors featured in Nate Berkus’ book The Things That Matter are as relevant today as they were 6 years ago. Beautifully edited and well thought of, each space perfectly reflects the personality of its inhabitants. How? By surrounding their homes with pieces that the absolutely love. Whether it be an antique table passed down from a relative, or a thrifted piece of art that reminds them of their childhood, these items add character, history and charm unique to the homeowner’s dwellings. The book is an exercise  in learning what to hold on to and letting go of the non-essentials. What your left with is a well curated space that makes coming home all the more wonderful.

4. The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith (2014)

I think a lot of people can relate to putting home decorating plans on hold for their “forever” house. Not investing in their current space and waiting for years until the find the perfect home for their design dreams to come to life. And while I’m a firm believer in waiting for the right pieces for your home and not rushing it (we’ve lived in our house for 10 years already and we’re still not done.), I also learned (because of this book) that you shouldn’t wait for the right time to make your space the best that it can be. Having a beautiful, clean and cozy home that feels like you instantly elevates your mood and makes coming home an absolute joy. Now at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want that?

5. Styled: by Emily Henderson (2015)

Been obsessed with Emily Henderson’s aesthetic ever since I saw her home featured in (you guessed it) Domino Magazine. It was bright, beautiful, chic yet playful the perfect home for a family with two your children. Unbeknownst to me, my boards on Pinterest had several rooms designed by Emily in the past, no wonder I gravitated towards her from the get-go. Since then I’ve followed her career, projects and Target Collabs (dream job!) and have been fan girling all the way from the Philippines. I immediately grabbed the book the minute it came out in National Bookstore and have been going through the pages every time I get the chance. I love how the book starts out by helping the reader define their aesthetic. Through a short personality/style quiz, Emily pinpoints which style category you all under and shows you different ways to interpret it. She also does a room by room guide and explains why each vignette/room/gallery works . If ou could only buy one design book, I would highly recommend this one.

6. Domino: Your Guide To A Stylish Home (2016)

If Domino: The Book of Decorating is about choosing the right pieces of furniture for you room, Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home is about the finishing touches. This book takes on everything from upholstery choices to wall paper, plants, rugs and entertaining. Basically all the small details that take your home and style to a whole other level. Char gave this to me as a gift and I absolutely love it.

7. Home Body by Joanna Gaines (2018)

Okay, this is very new but has quickly become a favorite resource for inspiration.  Similar to Emily’s strategy of identifying your style, Joanna Gaines begins by listing down the different types of design aesthetics complete with visuals and key descriptions. She then walks you through each and every room, high lighting the pieces that it needs and enumerates several points to consider as well as a troubleshooting  guide for design dilemmas. Super duper useful.


Do you guys like collecting design books as well? Which ones are your favorites?