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This year’s best-selling and most interesting design books were, for the most part, the work of popular bloggers united by an approach that might best be called “un-decorating.” Interior decorators traditionally dominate this category and several turned out worthy volumes, but this really was the year in which the life-as-you-live-it bloggers stepped squarely into the home decor spotlight in much the same way that fashion bloggers have captured the vibrancy of street style. Here are five must-have decor books that capture this new sensibility:
By Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick
Becker founded the hugely popular design blog, decor8, and—along with writer Joanna Copestick—she’s compiled 1,000 decorating tips for every room and budget from leading decor professionals. There are more than 500 color photographs, supplemented by floor plans and helpful line illustrations. This one already is a Wall Street Journal and European best-seller with support from fashion-forward retailers. (The British launch party and signing was at Liberty and Becker’s U.S. author’s tour was sponsored by Anthropologie.) Becker currently lives in northern Germany with her husband and her sensibility is wonderfully international.
Design*Sponge at Home
By Grace Bonney
Bonney is pioneering decor blogger whose site, Design*Sponge is a virtual gathering point for those looking for tips on creating a uniquely individual style on a budget. This volume compiles 550 color photos of more than 50 different interiors and 100 interesting do-it-yourself projects submitted to her blog. This is the book for people unafraid to mix iconic furniture pieces with their favorite thrift store and flea market finds.
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design
By Christiane Lemieux and Rumaan Alam
Blogger Christiane Lemieux, founder and creative director of the DwellStudio home decor company with her own fabric line, also designs for Target. Brightly colored interiors with splashy, printed graphic textiles are hallmarks of her decidedly unstuffy style. This is a book for those looking for guidance on how to introduce a bit of personality into their own home interiors. Essentially, the volume is built around profiles of 20 uniquely conceived interiors from across the country, including a Hollywood Anglophile’s flea-market furnished English manor and a Chicago loft whose owner turned a vintage Airstream trailer into a bedroom. If you’re fearlessly in pursuit of a genuinely individualistic approach to decor, there’s lots of inspiration here.
Etcetera: Creating Beautiful Interiors With the Things You Love
By Sibella Court
Australian stylist Sibella Court recently opened a store called The Society Inc . in Sydney where she sells "hardware & haberdashery & treasures collected globetrotting & adventuring into terrains less trodden." She captures this sensibility in her book Etcetera, a lavishly illustrated, craft-paper tome that is packed with all the color and texture you’d expect from a world traveler. The great thing about it is that every photo demonstrates a professional design principle that you can translate into your own space without the need for formal renovation. Court’s sensibility is global and includes both vintage pieces and junk shop discoveries. The author’s elaboration of what can be done with her five favorite color schemes is one of this beautiful volume’s strong points.
The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty
By Jeffrey Bilhuber
Jeffrey Bilhuber has become the decorator-of-choice to many of America’s top fashion editors and this collection of some of his most recent projects is a good indication of why. If you like to take a bit of inspiration from tradition or heirloom pieces, then this is the decor book that will fire your imagination. Bilhuber is a detail-focused designer, but never in a way that turns fussy or interferes with a room’s basic comfort—one of his hallmarks. If you’re looking for ways to blend the personal and practical with a nod to the past, this one is for you.