If you can’t afford to hire a decorator, a well-curated library is your strongest ally. While we’re consistently in awe of the expertise and editorial eye that professional interior designers bring to the table, there’s no denying the appeal of mastering new skills all on your own. So if you're ready for an upgrade in your space, don't be afraid to tackle new projects—you can start by reading our favorite how-to home décor books for inspiration.
Penned by an elite selection of our favorite designers, bloggers, and tastemakers, these thoughtful and accessible books offer a great start in DIY home design. From Allegra Hicks' tips on patterns and textures to the homes of our favorite fashion icons, our "must list" of interior styling reads is a collection you won’t want to live without. Add these interior design books to your library and save your hard-earned cash for some truly worthy new furnishings. With the proper education, you’ll be poised and ready to tackle anything from DIY remodels to accessory styling like a pro.
Below, read on to discover the best interior design books on DIY home décor (and bring home straight A’s in design).
Internationally renowned interior designer India Mahdavi’s personal tips offer some excellent advice on how to transform every room in your home. We love her distinctive approach to finding unique ways to express your personality through décor.
The book addresses everything from decorating around low ceilings to creating perspectives and vertical proportions. You'll also learn the dos and don'ts of interior design, stylish storage solutions, and time-saving tips for your next DIY project. Paired with helpful illustrations, it’s at the top of our must list for first-time homeowners and remodeling fiends alike.
The Kinfolk Home
Welcome to some of our favorite home tours of all time. Kinfolk’s impeccable eye for unexpected detail lends some truly artful style interpretations. Here, author Nathan Williams explores 35 separate homes all over the world—from Scandinavia to Japan and stateside. It’s the ultimate read in personal space appreciation.
This book is a lesson in intention: Exploring the design ideas behind cultivating community in your home, its décor tips are focused on creating a "considered, beautiful, and intimate living space." Take a tour around the globe to discover interior styles from a variety of cultures.
An Eye for Design
If you're a lover of patterns or simply looking to embrace new textures in your space, you'll love Allegra Hicks' sublime tone in this book. The fashion designer, who also specializes in textiles and interiors, lays out striking examples of material design. Along with essays on design, color, and seasonal elements, this book offers stunning images of the designer's work through the years.
The edition includes her original textile and pattern designs with beautiful photography of interiors, landscapes, and plenty of earthy inspiration. It's a lesson in blending the design of your home with elements of the natural world.
Master the art of the vignette with this styling guide by Emily Henderson that's both relatable and easy to execute. The renowned designer explains the importance of styling when it comes to arranging your space: Once you've chosen your décor, the process of laying it out in a room can be the difference between an underwhelming design and an eye-catching one.
From collecting antiques to arranging bookshelves, you’ll find everything you need to DIY every corner of the house. The book teaches readers to "make your own style magic" by rethinking the items they choose to display and finding purposeful ways to make beloved personal décor into statement pieces.
It's helpful to pare down your space to the bare essentials before adding items back in: If a piece doesn't look quite right, this gives you the opportunity to move it around the room and decide where (or if) it belongs.
Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home
Apartment Therapy is already among our favorite digital resources for all aspects of design and decorating, but their printed publications have even more to offer for DIY projects at home. Complete and Happy Home is the most comprehensive edition to date, and it focuses on the idea that putting a home together goes beyond decorating each room individually.
The printed guide features everything from floor plans to paint approaches (i.e., a one-stop shop for building your abode from the ground up). You'll learn everything the home design masters have to share when it comes to decorating, organizing, cleaning, and repairs to make your space as functional as it is beautiful.
Ivan Terestchenko’s Beyond Chic takes us all inside the whimsical and wonderful world of some of the most significant fashion designers in history, from Chanel to Alaïa, Yves Saint Laurent, Pucci, Kenzo, and beyond. The intimate all-access pass to the iconic personal worlds of tastemakers is right up our alley.
The book features everything you’d expect and more. Readers are introduced to an up-close and personal look at top designers' décor, works of art, and personal collections displayed in their homes. Chanel’s mythic apartment at 31 rue Cambon and Giorgio Armani’s châlet are just the tip of the wonderfully chic iceberg.
Many top designers also write blogs dedicated to personal tips. When you discover stylists on social media that you can't stop swooning over, visit their websites and find other channels to learn about the process behind their work.
Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home
The brainchild behind the celebrated lifestyle blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, this book offers up designer Emily Schuman's tips that garnered her such an avid online following. Along with sharing her design ideas on styling a home suited for entertaining, the author also focuses on the ins and outs of showing guests a good time in your space.
Featuring never-before-seen content, the book touches on a range of topics from accessible DIY design projects to party planning. It’s especially perfect for aspiring hosts.