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5 Interior Design Books That Will Transform Your Home

We all want to live in nice homes, and one of the best ways to achieve that is with an inspired interior design idea. For some lucky people this comes naturally – they have no problem kitting out and arranging their home to create a domicile that is pleasing to the eye and comfortable to inhabit.

However, these ideas do not come so easily to us all; sometimes we need a little help deciding how best to decorate our home. While one option is to recruit a professional interior designer, that can be costly.

An alternative is interior design books. A good book will have all the best ideas from a designer collected in one handy place for your perusal – providing instant inspiration at the flick of a page. But with so many books out there, where do we begin?

Here are five standout books that will undoubtedly help you transform your home into the living space you’ve always wanted:

The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton & Ogden Codman Jr

decoration of houses

If you really want to go back to a classic, Edith Wharton’s 1898 publication is an early definitive entry and still surprisingly relevant today, provided you’re not after a modern design. If an impeccable Victorian design is your thing, however, it doesn’t get any more authentic than this. Wharton goes into great detail exploring balance, space and arrangements in various rooms, while looking ahead to more minimal designs instead of the Victorian clutter she clearly tired of.

The Elements of Style: A Practical Encyclopaedia of Interior Architectural Details from 1485 to Present by Stephen Calloway

elements of style

For a truly comprehensive insight into the world of interior design, you would be hard-pressed to do any better than Stephen Calloway’s epic guide, spanning 500 years. Every aspect of the home is covered and no stone has been left unturned. Details as minute as door handles are explored, along with all the major components of the home. Drawings, engravings and hundreds of photos have all been collected together to help you find the exact style you want, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the medium overall.

SoulSpace: Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life by Xorin Balbes


With SoulSpace, Xorin Balbes has created an in-depth guide that can be applied to all homes, regardless of budget or any other constraints for that matter. There is a heavy focus on self-discovery as well, which goes hand-in-hand with interior design to create a home that speaks to you and about you, while becoming as comfortable an environment as possible for you to inhabit. For any newcomers also interested in the spiritual side of design, this is a must-read.

American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat by Thom Filicia

American Beauty

Fans of TV program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will know that they are in safe hands under the guidance of design expert Thom Filicia. His book charts the transformation of an old house in a New York village as it undergoes a full renovation to become a stunning and unique home that perfectly captures the spirit of Americana, while remaining unique in its own right. There are plenty of tips to pick up along the way and it is always fascinating to see a home at various stages during the renovation process.

Made to Order by Campion Platt

made to order

Campion Platt’s approach is a more simplistic one, relying on a careful choice of colour and minimalist design to create a home that truly speaks to you. Platt emphasises the notion that the interior design process should be an enjoyable one, rather than a chore you just want to get over and done with. Eighteen projects are covered here, each varying in size and budget to show what is possible, and Platt embellishes the whole thing with his own pearls of wisdom that helped him shape the home he wanted.

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