The best new interior design books are a bumper crop of design and decor inspiration. Big names, big ideas, and big page sizes look that look as good on your coffee table as they do from leafing through them.
What is most exciting is the variety of different ideas. From the musings of Faye Toogood, the modern hero of interior design, to the thoughts on minimalism by John Pawson, each book has its own point of view, and offers a glimpse into the minds and worlds of some exciting minds.
These are about more than interior design trends, but cover movements, moods and moments that set the tone for how we all want to decorate now.
The best interior design books
1. Inside: At Home With Great Designers
As the name suggests, this glossy coffee table book by Phaidon, the publishers of the very best glossy coffee table books, offers a peek into the homes of some of the world's best designers.
Livingetc favorites like Joseph Dirand, Nate Berkus, Robert Stilin and Joy Moyler all explain why they decorate the way they do, and the resulting insight into the greatest design minds of our generation will cause you to view your decor and chosen color rules in a new and interesting light.
Buy Inside: At Home With Great Designers from Amazon (opens in new tab)
2. JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT: DESTINATIONS by Pamela Golbin
Blending the very best of French sophistication with the American take on relaxed glamour, international deisgner Jean-Louis Deniot is a super star. He is known for his clever ways of layering art, mixing furniture eras and decorating with antiques alongside show stopping contemporary pieces.
This look at many of his best projects around the world includes incredible homes from Miami to Manhattan, India to Italy, all filled with his skilled curation as seen in the living room above.
Buy Jean-Louis Deniot: Destinations by Pamela Golbin from Amazon (opens in new tab).
3. Drawing, Material, Sculpture, Landscape by Faye Toogood
'Phaidon came to me asking if I'd like to do a book,' explains the designer Faye Toogood, whose rough-edged publication feels absolutely delightful to hold. 'Initially I think they were looking for a glossy coffee table book - a classic monograph of what projects sit in the archive. However, I just wasn’t sure I was ready for this. I said let’s try and do something that includes things people have never seen. Something intimate and involving the studio.'
The result is a book that feels really special - Faye is a trailblazer in how she works and this seems like a rare bit of insight into a style we can all be inspired by. 'I suggested we go through my archive looking at the processes of how we work. I’m super OCD so I’ve kept archive boxes for every project. It’s an often in-depth look about the processes behind the projects,' she says.
Buy Drawing, Material, Sculpture, Landscape by Faye Toogood from Amazon (opens in new tab).
4. Home Farm Cooking by Catherine and John Pawson
Both a cook book and a guide to pared back decor, the world-famous designer John Pawson is often seen as the leading name in minimalism. But in fact, as we decided in this interview he did with Livingetc, he's actually a celebrator of things - they just need to be the right things.
And so, in Home Farm Cooking, not only do we get a selection of artfully written recipes but also plenty of styling advice for when how to create a calm home, a soothing space, and one that feels happily and pleasantly uncluttered.
Buy Home Farm Cooking by Catherine and John Pawson from Amazon (opens in new tab)
5. A New Leaf by Pip McCormac and Jennifer Haslam
Full disclosure - I actually wrote this one. But I feel like my publishers would tell me off I didn't include it, plus I'm really proud with how it turned out.
A New Leaf came from a realisation that many of the world's most wonderful homes also happen to be filled with house plants. And that these homes were owned by architects and designers who have literally thought about every corner meticulously, every angle, every color, every material. I wanted to know what it was about plants that made them want to include them so liberally, and each interviewee had a totally different - and totally relatable - reason why they like to decorate with plants.
So not only are the pictures, styled by Jennifer Haslam, a treat, but it'll help you feel connected to your home in ways you hadn't thought possible. Plus these are the people setting plant trends (I bought a black olive tree thanks to working on this project).
Buy A New Leaf by Pip McCormac and Jennifer Haslam from Amazon (opens in new tab)
6. Fashioning Design by Lee Broom
Very much a regular in Livingetc, international designer Lee Broom is celebrating 15 years since he started his own brand with this look at all his designs so far.
But this is so much more than a retrospective - it's a fascinating tale of creative genius, masterful thought processes and is riveting to pore over.
“I consider myself a storyteller and have always designed emotionally since my time in fashion," Lee says. "It’s visceral, but balanced with a focus on materiality, form, and function. It is also about the double meaning in my designs and the reinvention of what is familiar to create newness. The idea is of almost fashioning design and evolving what exists already into something new and unexpected.”
Buy Fashioning Design by Lee Broom from Amazon (opens in new tab)
7. The Layered Interior by Greg Natale
Talk about a gilt-y pleasure! Interior designer Greg Natale has such a way with gold and brass that every scheme he creates seem to glitter with a wickedly fun and enticing take on luxury.
He layers in murals, he covers surfaces in deep veined marble and he takes the concept of maximalism and inverts it into an aesthetic that is not about clutter but about rich and sumptuous decor. This book is truly wonderful.
Buy The Layered Interior by Greg Natale on Amazon (opens in new tab)
The editor of Livingetc, Pip Rich (formerly Pip McCormac) is a lifestyle journalist of almost 20 years experience working for some of the UK's biggest titles. As well as holding staff positions at Sunday Times Style, Red and Grazia he has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and ES Magazine. The host of Livingetc's podcast Home Truths, Pip has also published three books - his most recent, A New Leaf, was released in December 2021 and is about the homes of architects who have filled their spaces with houseplants. He has recently moved out of London - and a home that ELLE Decoration called one of the ten best small spaces in the world - to start a new renovation project in Somerset.
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