On the right side of my blog, I've listed some of the favourite books that I refer to time and time again. Maybe I am thinking of a tabletop arrangement, so I look to Carolyne Roehm's great quartet of seasonal books. Maybe I want to do something creative in the guest room, so I look to Nina Campbell's Decorating Secrets. David Hicks' books are always inspirational for their trendy, yet classic design. I pick up other books as they interest me, and I like a lot of text and descriptions.
I also collect design and decorating reference books, as the information they contain tends not to change too much. Chippendale style is always going to be that. Unless France has another King Louis, that's not going to change, either. A lot of the older reference books have great line drawings.
This weekend, I picked up Homes & Gardens UK's Decorating, Style Advice, Design Options and Practical Know-How. This book starts out with finding a style, whether it be modern, simple, French casual, French classis, English or Scandanavian. It looks at each style and analyzes the elements that make the style special. Then, room by room, it illustrates the points, without overwhelming the reader with information. Case studies are done of rooms with furniture, window and wall treatment and flooring suggestions. Finally, there is a list of resources.
It is clearly a book not written in the US, but in the UK. The general architectural bones of homes there are very different than those in the US, and this comes through in the photographs.
If you're interested in design and decorating books, take a look at the Peak of Chic's Bibliostyle book blog. She's got some great books and reviews there. What are your favourite books? Why do you like specific ones?