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10 Design Books We Love | Chedva | February 22, 2012

Once in a while, when I can’t resist anymore or I feel I’m extra deserving, I log into my Amazon cart and hover over the Checkout button. I used to wait for someone to come from the states, but now that my friend has started a service that makes delivery to Israel head-ache-free, I’m much quicker to press on that Checkout button. And talking about books, at least two thirds of my cart are design books (someone has to feed this obsession, right?). So what are the contents of my latest package? Okay, I’ll spill the beans:

decorating books we want

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

  • This is the book that prompted me to go to Amazon on the first place this time. I admire Celerie Kemble‘s work and her first book is one of my favorites. In this one she explores design in black and white, and I can’t wait to see what she has to say on the subject (by the way, if you want to see a stunning apartment in black and white, check out Nicole’s pad.)
  • Maryam Montague must be a super woman for all the passions she has managed to pursue so far! Maryam is a human rights and democracy specialist, she moved with her architect husband and kids to Marrakesh, where they fell in love with the place and decided to start a gorgeous boutique hotel called Peacock Pavillions. Her book will only be published in May but I made sure to pre-order it because I have a feeling it will be sold out in no time. Meanwhile, you can follow Maryam’s adventures on her blog, My Marrakesh (one of the most well-written blogs out there).
  • Modern Glamour may as well be Kelly Wearstler‘s name. This is one fearless designer who is known for her legendary mixing of big scale art, Hollywood Regency design and whatever you can imagine and for her fashion savvy. Her books have been lying in my shopping cart for months, but somehow I caved in just now.
  • If you’re looking for a book with beautiful interiors to inspire (and aspire), this may be your choice. Katie Ridder is known for her beautiful rooms, but she always manages to incorporate a beautiful fabric, a vintage pillow or some other accessory or piece of furniture that will make you re-asses the room and appreciate the thoughtful juxtaposition.

Here are some of my old favorites, it was difficult to pick just four, but each of those is a bit different than the others:

5 | 6 | 7 | 8

  • Have you heard about Domino Magazine’s comeback? This book was written by Domino’s stylist, Lili Diallo. I like it because as a stylist, Diallo has a no-fuss approach and walks the reader through a number of simple actions that can totally change the look and feel of a room.
  • Room for Children is probably the most borrowed book in my home library. Parents (or parents to be) often stress so much about their kids’ nurseries or rooms. I guess it’s the combination of sleepless nights and the nesting urge. Anyway, Susanna Salk has curated gorgeous rooms in this book and her down-to-earth, common-sense voice (paired with hers and other designers’ experience) is so helpful.
  • In The Pink is somewhat different from the other books I recommend here, because it’s more of a history book (but a fun one) about one of the first American decorators, Dorothy Draper. I’m intending to write a more lengthly review about this one, but let’s just say if you’re drawn to strong women and legendary design – this is the book for you.
  • Deborah Needleman isn’t a fan of houses decorated within an inch of their lives (neither am I!) In her book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home, the former editor in chief of Domino (currently at WSJ) walks the reader through the essentials for a home well designed and how to let your personality and life shine through your home’s decor.

9 | 10

We can’t really talk about books without mentioning the two bloggers-turned-authors of the year, right? Design Sponge At Home by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge and Decorate by Holly Becker of Decor8 are both great decorating books, especially if you’re just starting your design book collection  or looking for help decorating your own home. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing both Grace and Holly, and you can find the interviews right here.


rooms and words on houzz

And now, some exciting news! I’ve been asked by Houzz to contribute a monthly ideabook, and my first one was published yesterday. This ideabook is all about updating a traditional living room, the same one we discussed here. Don’t forget to follow Rooms and Words on  Facebook, to get all these news (and more fun stuff) in real time. See you tomorrow with a new Color Combo post!

(Cover image: Illustration by Virginia Johnson from The Perfectly Imperfect Home)

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3 comments to the post

  1. Will @ Bright.Bazaar says:

    I LOVE Details. A beautiful book by a super talented stylist and packed full of colour and texture ideas. Great round up, Chedva.

  2. […] The Language of Interior Design by Alexa Hampton – This is not only a beautiful book, featuring the work of one of my favorite designers, but also full of insights on interior design. Recommended to anyone who takes interiors seriously and a contender for my 10 favorite design books list. […]

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