The best new interior design books are a plethora of design and decor inspiration. Big names, big ideas and big page sizes look just as good on your coffee table as when you leaf through them.
The most exciting thing is the variety of different ideas. From the musings of Faye Toogood, the modern hero of interior design, to John Pawson’s thoughts on minimalism, each book has its own point of view, offering a glimpse into the minds and worlds of some exciting minds.
These are about more than interior trends, but are about movements, moods and moments that set the tone for how we all want to decorate now.
The best interior books
1. Indoors: at home with great designers
As the name suggests, this glossy coffee table book from Phaidon, the publisher of the very best glossy coffee table books, offers a glimpse into the homes of some of the world’s best designers.
Livingetc favorites such as 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 have you taking your decor and chosen color rules in a new and interesting light.
Buy Inside: Home with Amazon’s Great Designers (opens in new tab)
2. JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT: DESTINATIONS by Pamela Golbin
Combining the very best of French sophistication with the American take on relaxed glamour, international designer Jean-Louis Deniot is a superstar. 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 curator 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 wanted to make a book,” explains designer Faye Toogood, whose gritty publication is absolutely delightful to hold. ‘At first I think they were looking for a glossy coffee table book – a classic monograph of what projects are in the archive. However, I wasn’t sure I was ready for this. I said, let’s try to do something with things that people have never seen. Something intimate and involving the studio.’
The result is a book that feels very special – Faye is a pioneer in how she works and this seems like a rare piece of insight into a style that we can all be inspired by. ‘I suggested digging through my archive and looking at the processes of our way of working. I’m super OCD so I’ve kept archive boxes for every project. It’s often an in-depth look at 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
World-renowned designer John Pawson, both a cookbook and a guide to understated decor, is often regarded as the leading name in minimalism. But in fact, as we concluded in this interview he did with Livingetc, he’s basically a reveler of things – it just has to be the right stuff.
And so in Home Farm Cooking we get not only a selection of artfully written recipes, but also plenty of styling advice for creating a quiet home, a restful space and one that feels happy 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 I didn’t include it, and I’m really proud of how it turned out.
A New Leaf grew out of the realization that many of the world’s most beautiful homes also happen to be filled with houseplants. And that these homes were owned by architects and designers who have literally thought about every angle, 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 completely different – and totally recognizable – reason why they enjoy decorating with plants.
So not only are the photos, styled by Jennifer Haslam, a treat, but it will also help you feel connected to your home in ways you never thought possible. Plus, these are the people who set 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. Fashion Design by Lee Broom
International designer Lee Broom, who is a frequent visitor to Livingetc, is celebrating 15 years since he started his own brand with this take on all his designs to date.
But this is so much more than a retrospective – it’s a fascinating story of creative genius, masterful thought processes, and it’s compelling to think about.
“I consider myself a storyteller and have always designed emotionally since my time in fashion,” says Lee. “It’s profound, yet balanced with a focus on materiality, form and function. It’s also about the double meaning in my designs and reinventing what’s known to create novelty. The idea is to almost model design and what already exists to develop 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 gilded pleasure! Interior designer Greg Natale has such a way with gold and brass that every scheme he creates seems to sparkle with an insanely fun and seductive take on luxury.
He layers in murals, he covers surfaces with deeply veined marble and he takes the concept of maximalism and inverts it in an aesthetic that is not about clutter, but about rich and opulent decor. This book is really great.
Buy The Layered Interior by Greg Natale on Amazon (opens in new tab)