Cicero said that “a home without books is a body without a soul.” We tend to agree. Books offer so much more than just information – they can satisfy our senses, invigorate our imaginations, and stimulate our creativity. They are beautiful in and of themselves and are also suitable for collectible, affordable home accessories. Today our design team shares their own favorite home decor books. Whether you have a passing interest in design or you are a die-hard enthusiast, these are ten essential home decorating books that no library is complete without.
Phaidon design classics
Our creative director Maxwell has selected this must-have three volume collection from Phaidon. “It’s a comprehensive guide to 999 major design classics,” he says. “If you need to know who, what, where, and why an important design is, this is the place to start.”
A field guide to American homes by Virginia Savage McAlester
This book is a comprehensive guide to architectural styles across America, from the pueblo homes in Arizona to the prairie-style houses in the Midwest, ”says Alice. “It is great read for those interested in restoring their home to its original details!”
Domino: the book of decoration
Our lead designer Alex picked this new classic from Domino magazine. With easy to understand, illustrated room decorating guides and the best sources for design objects, it’s perfect for anyone looking to redesign their first home.
Axel Vervoort: Living with light
“Axel is a master at blending the old with the new, resulting in a collection of elegant and timeless projects,” says Alice. “This book is a great visual resource for those looking to incorporate vintage pieces into their space.”
Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson
“A lot of people think that ‘modern’ rooms have to be cold and austere,” says Maxwell, “but this book proves that they can be exactly the opposite.” With stunning photos by Leslie Williamson, this book offers rare glimpses into the perfectly imperfect homes of some of the most respected leaders in modernist design.
Roman and Williams: Things We Did
Judy chose this tape from the Roman and Williams design studio. “They wonderfully combine new design elements and carefully curated vintage objects,” she says. “The hand-drawn architectural drawings in the book are very inspiring.”
The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer
“Color is powerful! It creates an ambience; it affects your moods; It affects how you perceive your surroundings, ”says Frances. “As the title suggests, this book is great for inspiring ideas about how, why, and where to use color.”
A perfectly maintained home is the sign of a missing life for Mary Randolph Carter
Judy selected this modern guide to maximalist living by collecting lover Mary Randolph Carter. “It’s a showcase of creative ways to live with our clutter and how the everyday things we use can become furnishing elements and decorative objects,” she says.
American Modern by Thomas O’Brien
“Thomas O’Brien is a modern day design legend and it’s no surprise why,” says Maxwell. “This book shows his unique blend of eclectic, handcrafted style and luxurious decorating sensibility.”
More is more: Tony Duquette
Lead designer Alex Caratachea received this breathtaking insight into the work and process of designer Tony Duquette. This volume is full of glamorous, richly appointed interiors and offers a convincing alternative to the “living with less” sensibility of 20th century modernism.