WWhile I love to find inspiration in the online community, one of my FAVORITE ways to develop and become more confident in my own style is to study pictures of beautiful houses in design books. Holding a book in hand, turning the pages at a leisurely pace is best! It’s a step back in time, something that I have come to appreciate in the days when we had so much (too much?) Inspiration at our fingertips. I like the slower pace of savoring books. I find that I appreciate the details much more than quickly scrolling through thousands of little squares.
My daughter Courtney and I recently made a LIVE video browsing through some of my favorite design books and explaining why we love them (you can watch the replay HERE).
I even enjoy looking at books that I think aren’t necessarily “exactly my style” because they inspire me to think outside the box! It’s easy to get in a rut or get stuck looking only at what’s current and trending online. I find the books wonderful for broadening my perspective, learning more about classic design elements, and for getting inspiration from other color palettes, furniture, and architecture across the country and the world.
Every time I move to a new home, I get excited again to get my books out (and add them to my book collection) for inspiration! While my overall style, sensibilities, and the things I love tend to go with me, each home offers new opportunities to mix things up and have fun in style. I like to blend my preferences with the unique features and atmosphere of the house to create a new look, a look that is fresh and makes me feel at home wherever I am. Beautiful design books are definitely helpful to me in the process!
If you’d like to watch the replay of our LIVE video on “Finding Your Design Style” and see some of our favorite books on the coffee table, you can watch it here.
Here are some questions you could use as a guide to help you learn while studying and getting inspired by design books!
- How would you describe this style?
- What is the atmosphere of the room? Why does the atmosphere inspire you?
- Describe the personalities of the people who might live in a room like this. Would their lifestyle resonate with you and your family?
- What are the main things you see when you first look at the play?
- What are the subtle features that you notice when you take a closer look? Make sure to notice things like shapes, textures, colors, proportions, patterns…
- What role does architecture play in this room? Do you have similar architecture or would you be able to add something similar to your home?
- Do you like the color palette? What if that same room had a different palette, would you like it better?
- Look at the art and the accessories. Also note their location. What do you like or dislike about them?
- What are some simple ideas you could take away from this inspiration room?
Click HERE to watch the replay of our live video (how to find your favorite style and design books)!
Scroll down and click on the arrows below for some of my favorite coffee table books:
Click here for The Inspired Room books, including my New York Times bestseller Love the Home You Have.
Sources of the above books:
A place to call home
The madness of a man
Nora Murphy’s country house style
Visions of the house
The inspired bedroom: simple ideas to love the house you have
See more in our video!