September 16, 2007

Design/Decorating Books

As I've mentioned, the first place I head at the Book Thing, and at most other places that sell books (not just bookstores) is the section with design/decorating books. Before I moved to the UK, I probably had close to 100 design/decorating books that I'd collected over the years. I sold a lot of them on Ebay and at the salvage company I helped found, or gave them to like-minded friends.
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?


  1. Love your new header! It's so sad you sold your books!!!! You ought to start trying to find the titles you sold on ebay.


  2. That must have been tough getting rid of your books - don't know if I could do it. I still have all my books from when I was a kid. I've misplaces a few over the years and have had a hard time replacing some of them. Glad you're picking up new ones. I'll have to check out the Carolyne Reohm books - I've never seen them.
    Thanks, Jackie

  3. I love Carolyn's website. So lovely.

  4. Great post - you just made buy the H&G Decorating book (found it on alibris for $3.99!!) - and I am waiting for Nina Campbell's Elements of Design!

    My two favourite books right now are "Perfect English" and "Inspirational Interiors">

  5. Nice blog...Recently I visited HomeStyle Books store which is full of so many latest home & garden decorating books with fresh coupons......!


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