Each Fall, publishers send me a fresh crop of design books for review. Most of them have really lovely covers and look beautiful displayed on my coffee table. But honestly, there are few that I find myself taking the time to pour over, especially when I have a world of inspiration via Pinterest, blogs and online magazines in the palm of my hand.
I’m finding my attention span is shorter and shorter (thanks Instagram) and I want less words and more pretty photographs. If I’m going to invest in a design book, I’m looking for beautiful pages (no Kindle editions, please!) that live up to the pretty cover and timeless style that I’ll come back to years later. (I remember doing this with The Better Homes & Gardens New Decorating Book years ago when I was just discovering my love for design. It was the first one I ever bought back in the day, and I savored it.) More Decorating, the new book by designer Tom Scheerer, is my favorite so far this year. Gorgeous cover, aspirational photos and a few ideas that I can take away for my own home. I’ve flagged several DIY art and wall color ideas for later. . .
I might also add that what’s under the dust jacket is even prettier for display. . .
Do you still think design books are worth the investment?
If so, which new ones are you adding to your collection?
Emily, it’s funny you mention it. i just went to the library yesterday and borrowed a bunch of decorating books. i skim through them & occasionally I’ll find one interesting enough to then purchase. they are usually pretty pricey, so it’s not often that i take the chance to buy one without knowing it’s worth the investment. it’s hard to compete with daily online inspiration.
Emily Clark says
You’re right. And why do I never think of looking for these at my library??
ps. what do you think of Lauren Leiss’ new book?
Emily Clark says
I don’t have it yet, but I’m a big Lauren fan. It’s on my list!
I aI actually love them..
Jujust in this past year I purchased Nora Murphy’s country house style, and farmers, a place to call home!
Decorating books have become so expensive, that I rarely buy them anymore.
I have a collection from past years that I will go back to, occasionally ,
I love DECORATING bookS still. I bought lauren liess’s and travel home recent and both really good. (Sorry for all caps, can’t fix!)
I was talking to someone about this today, how i dont Look at any social media any more bc there is just too much (your blog comes to my email) and how im moving away from magazines bc i feel like they have lost so much of what made them great. But im moving to buying books and slowly studying them oveR time and coming back and revisiting, particUlarly ones put out by one designer bc i feel like you can really start to understand their perspective. I have the tom scheerer one on its way and im also excited about kelly wearstler’s new One. I recently purchased that old school Better Homes and Gardens one at HaBitat and had fun looki g back this summer.
Lynn Juhl says
Hi Emily, im consider PURCHASEing Near and Far, do you RECOMMEND? Ive wasted money on books just judging the civer.
I definitely still add to my design book collection from time to time and also borrow from the library. My favorites aren’t new; I love Sarah Richardson’s books (“Sara Style” and “At Home: Sara Style”) and find myself turning to them often for inspiration. Side note, Sarah Richardson has been doing A web series on You Tube, which I’ve really enjoyed since she hasn’t been on HGTV in the U.S. in a while. I also really like Eddie Ross’ book, “Modern Mix,” which I’ve borrowed from the library several times. I have added a couple to my collection over the last year– Orlando Soria’s “Get it Together” and Ken Fulk’s “…Magical World.” Orlando’s book is inspiring and funny, but fair warning he uses a lot of salty language.
If a blogger i ReallY like recommends a book, i find myself purchasing it. I love having decorating books available in my collection to page thru on a moments notice. The best DECORATING books are timeless.
I also check at the library first. So many are beautiful to look through once, but I don’t really need to own them.
Can you give some names Of online magazines that are worthwhile?
Thank you. I really enjoy your posts!
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TraCy W. says
I love them because i like to decorate with them. I usually go for the ones with pretty covers and spines such as both books by erin gates. The domino books are beautiful too. Some people
Collect random things, i Collect beautiful booKs for my home.
Cheryle Podgorski says
I agree – I am definitely buying them less and less, especially since I can’t “pin” the images! But I always buy Erin Gates’ books as they are just beautiful inside and out.
I just purchased Lauren Liess’s new book. It has nearly nothing to do with my decorating my colonial. By i always like to see what she is up tO and where she is headed. And even though the stYLe of my home and my love of color has Never matched Lauren’s, i have used a couple of her beautiful fabrics in my home.
I’m the same. They need to have wonderful photographs to capture my attention.
I hadn’t thought of the library either… great tip.
I love decorating books, but generally too expensive. i wait until big sale or clearance, or they are my birthday and christmas gifts! Because i get so few, i’m pretty particular about what makes the list, and it usually is someone i am familiar with from online, or is recommended by someone whose opinion i trust.