Books on decorating

I’m still immersed in setting up our new house – so I’ve been reading skimming a lot of decor books for inspiration. I’m not trying to design the whole house at once. Rather, I’m trying to get the best foundations to build-upon, so that I can achieve my desired look over time. My two current goals are furniture and wall colour – we’re getting some of the rooms painted this weekend. Here are the Benjamin Moore paint colours we’ll be using:

While the internet is a never-ending source of inspiration, there is something more peaceful about flipping through a book rather than scanning frantically through website after website until your browser freezes up (or does that only happen to me?)  I searched on Amazon for popular decorating books, and checked them out from my local library (sneaky and thrifty, huh?).

House Beautiful The Home Book: Creating a Beautiful Home of Your Own – House Beautiful publishes a multitude of decorating books, and I think that this book captures the best mix of all topics. It has beautiful and classic inspiration pictures and tutorials on how to design each aspect of your room from window treatments to furniture to flooring. Verdict: I love this book so much, I’m buying myself a copy. I can see myself referring to it time and again.

House beautiful colors for your home : 300 designer favorites – this is a handy little reference book featuring many swatches from different paint companies, divided up by colour scheme and room. Since it’s very small and light, a lot of interior decorators keep it in their handbag at all times!  Verdict: Was VERY useful to refer to but I don’t need to own it now that I’ve selected my paint colours.

House Beautiful 500 Sensational Ways to Create Your Ideal Home – There is some overlap between this book and the first book, but it’s not as comprehensive. Has lots of pretty interiors with relevant decorating tips but nothing too ground-breaking. Verdict: Good to flip through and bookmark pretty pictures, but no need to own.

 Domino: The Book of Decorating – So instructive, reading it is like taking a mini interior design course.  Breaks down featured rooms into their floor plans and colour palettes – which helps you learn how to create your own. Contains a lot of information but is presented in a very easy-to read manner. Verdict: A great reference book and a must-buy, especially if you were a fan of the now-defunct magazine.

Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor – Elle Decor magazine seems to be the holy grail for interior decorators, so I had high hopes for this book. While there were lots of opulent pictures, most of the interiors seemed too arty or bold for my taste – I hardly bookmarked any inspiration pictures. Verdict: Doesn’t appeal to my decorating taste – not a must-buy OR even a must-borrow for me!

Do you have any good decor-related books or websites to share? I’d love to see pictures of your renovations!


  1. Lindy May
    May 29, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    I love the colors you've chosen for your walls! Have you bought any house beautiful magazines? I buy them once in awhile even though I don't have a home I can do much with right now (since it's a rental). They have such nice, clean, fresh interiors! I may have to see if my local library has any of the house beautiful books. 🙂 Can't wait to see things when you get them all pulled together.

  2. Ashley
    May 29, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    I love the color scheme you've mapped out. All calm & pretty- just what I expect from you! 🙂 Can't wait to see what you do with your new home!

  3. Mrs. T
    May 29, 2011 / 4:21 pm

    Wow, I LOVE those yellow pillows!

  4. Nuha
    May 29, 2011 / 6:32 pm

    I've heard a lot about the Domino book..but I have yet to buy it. I'd love to know your overall opinion about it!

  5. Lena!
    May 29, 2011 / 10:37 pm

    Your colour scheme is absolutely spot on. Can't wait to see the before/after pictures!

  6. Ella Pretty Blog
    May 30, 2011 / 1:21 am

    Lindy- I don't think I've ever bought a House Beautiful magazine – I mainly by Style at Home (I think it's a Canadian Magazine)…will have to look through the racks for the HB mag!Ashley – thanks – I hope it all works together!Mrs T – I know – Bubblegarm has great taste.Nuha – I'll definitely let you know what I think after I've had a chance to read it in depth (rather than just skimming through!)Lena – thanks…it's going to take a while, but I love taking my time 🙂

  7. Miranda Lima
    March 28, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Excellent articleVinterhage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *