Inspiring Home Decorating Books That Will Inspire You

I have always loved everything about the decoration of houses and being at home since I was a little kid. Having a home you love and feel good in is so important to a happy life.

As I mentioned in my recent styling a recliner post – no place on earth is more comfortable to be – where you can truly be yourself and truly relax.

Recently when I was out in Los Angeles, I loved being with and able to help my daughter, Kelly, my son-in-law and granddaughter. After a few weeks though, I began to really miss being home.

This on top of seeing so many homeless people around LA, made me realize just how much I Iove my house that I have made into the best possible home for Ed and I.

6 Fall Decorating Magazines on the newsstand

My enjoyment of the decoration of houses goes way back.

I fondly remember enjoying paging through decorating magazines at the local drug store as a teenager and on a weekly basis heading to the decorating and crafts section of the local library for inspiration.

Being able to take a few decorating books home for a week or longer was the best “how-to-decorate-a-home” education I could get.

Reading so many decorating books also gave me plenty of inspiration and design knowledge at a young age.

I learned something in every single book and still do when I get a new decorating book as there is always a tidbit of knowledge, a tip or advice that I didn’t know or am reminded of that I can put into my home.

Instant Decorating Book

If you are a long time reader, then you know I wrote a DIY decorating book back in 1994. It was published by Meredith, the Better Homes and Gardens publishing corporation. It was called, Instant Decorating.

It is no longer in print, but I am proud that I was able to actually write one after years of reading so many.

6 New Decorating Books I Found Inspiring

This time of year – heading into the holiday season is when many new home decorating books are published as they make great gifts. This year there are quite a few.

What I enjoy the most when reading decorating books is getting a feel and an insider glimpse of each author’s distinct personal style at it’s best.

Even if the style of decor they use is not my style, I still get ideas and inspiration I can use in my home.

diana Vreeland Quote

This quote sums up another reason why I throughly enjoy reading decorating books.

Two of the new decorating books listed below, even share the same title – Feels Like Home.

Here is the list…

Decorating in style is how you can make your home the best it can be, and thanks to decorating books, we can learn how as well as find ideas and inspiration right in the comfort of our own home.

I have two of the books to giveaway – see giveaway details at the end of this post.

Feels Like Home Miss Mustard Seed

Feels Like Home Transforming Your Space from Uninspiring to Uniquely Yours

By Marian Parsons

This is my favorite book on this list. I like how Marian writes, she shares great and doable ideas, advice and projects that will help you gain confidence in decorating as well as adding your personal style to every inch of your home.

If you enjoy her blog, then you will really like this book.

feels like Home

Feels Like Home Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life

By Lauren Liess

A house is a feeling. That is the concept behind designer Lauren Liess’s third book, which explores the emotional connection between the way we decorate our homes and our daily lives.

Hill House Living

Hill House LivingThe Art of Creating a Joyful Life

By Paula Sutton

A colorful guide to the simple pleasures of cottage living—antique hunting, gardening, and enjoying the seasons—from a beloved British design and fashion influencer. Simple home styling tips and cottage recipes.

House Story

House StoryInsider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation

By Jasmine Roth

The star of HGTV’s Hidden Potential and HELP! I Wrecked My House offers a rare glimpse behind the TV show curtain, inviting readers into her world with super-simple advice that takes all the guesswork and stress out of any home project.

Minimalista

Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life 

By Shira Gill

Available: November 2, 2021 – Elevate your personal style, trim your belongings, and transform your life, one room at a time, with this visionary lifestyle and home organization book from professional organizing expert, Shira Gill.

Cozy White Seasons

Cozy White Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long 

By Liz Marie Galvan

Available on: November23, 2021 – I liked her first book quite alot and am eager to get this new book.

Whether you want to create a cozy winter wonderland in your living room, a blooming summertime welcome on your deck, or an autumn refuge by your fireplace, Liz Marie Galvan’s Cozy White Cottage Seasons gives you the inspiring photos, DIY ideas, and fun recipes you need to feel at home on any budget and in every season.

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79 Comments

  1. Hi Diane — Your postings always inspire me. My favorite decorating books are those by Sarah Susanka who shows how fine little details can add so much personality to a home. Also Sarah Richardson’s series of 3 books give me so many approachable ideas. I’m currently waiting for my pre-ordered copy of Liz Marie Galvan’s ‘Cozy White Seasons’. Her first book was fabulous and I’m really looking forward to her newest book. Even though my hubby would not like her all white color pallet, I still find lovely ideas on every page. I so appreciate all of you and the constant inspiration! — Jan

  2. I preordered Marion Parsons’ book, Feels Like Home. It’s beautiful and inspiring. I’ve been introduced to other designer/bloggers through her and am now looking forward to learning more about the ones whose books you have listed that I am not yet familiar with. And who wouldn’t love two new design books curated by a designer who’s already a favorite?!

  3. Nancy Bowen says:

    Hi Diane, glad you’re back home in our lovely fall time weather.
    I read your book many yrs ago when I was a Mgr of a Decorating
    Paint & Wallpaper store in Bucks Co PA in 1989 thru 1999.
    Wall Paper was a big statement along with matching borders in
    the 1990’s in every room of the house. It was a great job, lots of decorating
    friends were made at the time.

    I recently read “The Inspired Home”. it was a cozy book & lots of good
    room design & color.

  4. I love Sarah Richardson’s books but would love to win one of these. I can always find great new ideas and am constantly looking for inspiration. Thanks for making this offer available.

  5. My favorite decorating book is actually a series of 3, from Sarah Richardson. Collected: City + Country, Volume No 1, 2, 3 (Collected series). I love nearly every design she does! I’d love to win the 2 books in the giveaway.

  6. Margaret A Fretwell says:

    Like you, I have had an interest in decorating for years! The most recent book I read on the subject was Home Stories by Kim Leggett. I could relate to so much in her book as there are many items in each room of my home that tell a story.

  7. Michelle Holland says:

    I would love to win one of these decorating books! It’s been ages since I had a new one to browse!
    Thanks!
    Michelle

  8. I have read a few decorating books that I have gotten at the library. I get most of my inspiration from reading blogs like yours! I’m going to look at my library for some of the books in your list.

  9. Haven’t read any new decor books in a long time. Alexandra Stoddards books are the first I remember inspiring me. I love scouring thrift stores for any kind of design or decorating books. Glad things are going well for your family.

  10. I haven’t read any new decor books lately. Life got in the way and decorating took a back burner position. I recently came across your blog and you’ve inspired me – thank you. My style has changed over the years, but you’re right that there’s usually a nugget of info in these books that stays with you, long after the rest of the book is no longer pertinent.
    I’ve been enjoying Jasmine Roth in her latest series. I’ll have to look into her book, House Story – so glad you mentioned it.

  11. Hi Diane, glad to hear things are going well and you are home. For me one of the perks of Halloween was when I took the kids trick and treating and got a peek inside neighborhood homes and seeing other decorating styles. One of the most unique things I saw, in a very traditional home, was a wooden swing hanging by ropes in front of the fireplace in a two story living room. Now that’s making a home you love!
    Just found my favorite ever decorating book, Made for Living, by Amber Lewis. It’s like a Pottery Barn how to book with advice and beautiful, detailed pictures.

  12. Josephine C. says:

    Furnishing Forward by Sheila Bridges is the first decorating book I read from beginning to end and have returned to occasionally for inspiration. Recently I visited Russel Wright’s Manitoga home in Garrison, NY and was entranced by the spiritual connection he created between home and nature. I then ordered Mary+Russel Wright Guide to Easier Living and I’m enjoying how things have or haven’t changed much since they published this thoughtfully detailed gem in 1950. Very practical and relevant still!

  13. I have read (and bought)SO many wonderful home decor/lifestyle books over the years, but the one I go back to time and time again is the first one I ever bought ‘Living a Beautiful Life’ by Alexandra Stoddard. Her personal style and writing style captivated me.

  14. Leslie Steinberg says:

    Morning,
    Always enjoy reading and getting great tips and ideas.
    Enjoy,
    Leslie

  15. The first design book I ever bought is now old, but still one of my favorites: The Not-So-Big House by Sarah Susanka. She has always championed the idea that quality comes before quantity and designs smaller human-scale homes with quality materials and details. I couldn’t agree more.

    1. YES! I have all her books and they are great. Smaller is better, IMO.

  16. I haven’t had a decorating book in years and I have such an eclectic style, I love everything and anything!

  17. I enjoy decorating magazines. Something new each month.

  18. I just picked up Myquillyn Smith’s Cozy Minimalist Home since I enjoyed her other book about simple entertaining. I love what you said about learning something from every book. So true!

  19. Romeogirl says:

    I have not read any lately but would love to read Minimalista. I would love to try that style-someday!

  20. Sandy Mcallister says:

    The first books on decorating that I bought was some by Alexandra Stoddard. I still remember using some of her suggestions.

  21. Styled by Emily Henderson is probably my favorite decor book that I have. I keep it handy year round when I need to think outside of the box, or get stuck in the same old decor patterns in my home.
    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity, and for the beautiful flow of inspiration you share.

  22. I loved Liz Marie’s “Cozy White Cottage”. The best takeaway was her advice to live in your own season. You don’t have to keep up with anyone. Just do you.

  23. During the pandemic we started yearning for a cabin. In the woods, and on a lake would be our wish. I ordered two older books from an online shop that we’ve enjoyed. Back to the Cabin by Dale Mulfinger and Rustic Style Comes Home by Rachel Carley. Oldies but goodies. Inspirational. Now we just need a cabin. :)

    I’ve enjoyed reading thru the comments and what other readers have noted. Will head to the library this weekend to check some out!!

  24. Rebecca Platt says:

    I liked Alexander Stoddard’s books. There isn’t just one title. They may not be in print anymore.

  25. Marilyn Holeman says:

    Hi Diane, I, too, enjoyed “Cozy White Cottages” by Liz Marie Galvan. I also liked the “Home Edit” book by Clea Shearer, and have just checked out “The Home Edit Life” as well as “Flea Market Flair” by Lisa Marie Hart from our local library. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Tedi Brandon says:

    I don’t have any decorating books but LOVE decorating magazines of all kinds. I am lucky to have a best friend that hands down her magazines to me. I would love to win my first decorating book!

  27. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Glad you are able to be home for a bit! There certainly is something about “home.” I absolutely LOVE Brooke Giannetti’s books—Patina Style/Farm and /Living. Sooo good!

  28. MY favorite is decorating magazines!! I have notebooks with page protectors in them with pages torn from the magazines. Recently I had to get rid of some of the magazines because I had too many :) I devour the Country Farmhouse style ones…I also love vintage and antiques. I keep paint samples from the store for our next project. We also love watching all the TV remodeling shows too, including Jasmine! We have collected and changed and redone our house for 7 years and now it looks “like us”! We’re loving it! But you know you are always finding ways to improve! I would LOVE to win a book. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  29. I would love these books. I usually flip through Instagram, watch Hometown makeovers and buy Hallmark and Southern Living books for holiday ideas.

  30. As a beach girl, I love Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water. Even though I live in the mountains now, I still have a relaxed, laid-back home! Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Theresa Skelly says:

      As a teenager, when I was babysitting and the kids were asleep so I had the evening to myself, I used to LOVE looking at the family’s decorating magazines! At some point I discovered Sunset magazine, which had a lot of do-it-yourself ideas and a very modern vibe! While I still love perusing both decorating books and magazines, I have added Pinterest to my arsenal of decorating fun!

  31. Julie Shepherd says:

    I have never read a decorating book but these books look beautiful and enjoyable.

  32. Would love any of these decorating books. A friend introduced me to Charlotte Moss and her tablescapes which I find fascinating.

    1. I love decorating books and magazines. Haven’t had any recent favorites, but would love to have this decorating book. I’m always looking for new ideas!

  33. Thank you for sharing. I like to get recommendations on good books to keep my eye out for. :) Glad you are home for a time. More thankful that you had the time to serve and love on your people in this stressful time. I just picked a book up from my library called A Well-Kept Home. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is all about. Have a blessed weekend!

  34. I love Lauren Liess’ books and keep them around for inspiration…though I wish I had her shopping skills! Fingers crossed for this giveaway – a gift to myself for this time of year when I’m shopping so much for others. Thank you!

  35. Shawn Herbert says:

    I have the first Liz Marie Galvan book about creating a cozy home. Not sure I loved it enough to purchase the second book, but I do enjoy her blog (and yours!) and Instagram posts. I think the cover of the Feels Like Home by Lauren Liess looks like a style I could get behind, without going all Minimalista completely. I do enjoy my subscription of the Magnolia magazine a lot. I used to enjoy touring model homes, before the pandemic.
    Thank you for having this lovely giveaway.

  36. I do love Lauren Liess’ books…I tend to purchase decorating magazines more often than books. What a nice giveaway! Thank you 😊

  37. Shannon Combs says:

    I love decorating books too. My favorite one is one from Country Living magazine. Country Living Aged to Perfection: Adding Rustic Charm to Your Modern Home Inside & Out

  38. Shelley Moore says:

    My daughter introduced me to
    Welcome Home by Myquillyn Smith. I love her simplistic ideas and just the way she writes. I’d love to win your books! Thanks for a great blog!! You’re fabulous!

  39. Jeane Gallo says:

    To be honest, I haven’t read any decorating books recently. It seems with the pandemic, I’ve turned into a recluse and lost interest in decorating. But now that things are opening back up and I’m venturing back out into the world, my thoughts have turned to sprucing up and making some changes in my home.

  40. Melissa Davis says:

    Hello ,
    I am in need to redecorate my house and need any info or help .
    I do look online for inspiration and magazines .
    Would love to win .

  41. Julie Norton says:

    Hi Diane,
    Hope you have gathered lots of photos for a lovely scrapbook of family memories for your precious granddaughter, they love something of their own to keep..

    Glad “the boys” are getting their turn to make memories too! Happy Families, Happy Life..

    It’s lovely to read the comments section and how everyone is gathering their inspirations of how to make a house their home.
    I myself have used libraries, bookshops, and second hand shops to peruse books and also love the glossy supplements that come with the Sunday papers, they are a great source here in England. They show many types of styles, as well as giving details of suppliers and prices for you to recreate either on a budget or with no expense spared!
    Over the years, if there were any new housing being built in the local area I made a point of visiting the show houses as these are always dressed by designers and well worth a visit to set the mind racing with ideas..
    We all know we can find instant ideas with the press of that laptop or tablet button.. but inspiration is all around if we care to look.. Happy Hunting …

  42. Diane, thanks for that rundown of great books! I do love Lauren Leiss and Marian Parsons. I don’t have a special book that has shaped my style, but I do gain tips and tricks from each one.
    Love your blog!

  43. Linda Abel says:

    I love decorating books but I don’t purchase them. I would love to be the lucky winner! Thank you! Love your site!

  44. Gaye Sunshine says:

    Hi Diane. I used to love looking at decor magazines but they don’t seem to have as much “meat” as they used to. On-line ideas are nice, but I still like holding things in my hand. Also LOVE to watch decorating shows like Home Town (any without personal drama). I like the Ballard Design catalogue and have “copied” a few ideas with what I have in my home. I also enjoyed “Cozy Minimalist Home” by Myquillyne Smith . Enjoying your blog!

  45. My favorite decorating book is Elements of Style. I think Erin Gates is so funny!

  46. Vicki Ramsey says:

    I have not read many decorating books, but I am addicted to decorating magazines and I keep them for years.

  47. Jenny Young says:

    I love Hill House Living! I’ve followed her Instagram for quite awhile & would love to have the book. I don’t often read decorating books, I tend to read online or in magazines more. But I would love to read these.

  48. Joie Leigh says:

    Thank you for the inspirational book list! Some favorites: 1) How To Decorate by Shannon Fricke, 2) Beautifully Organized at Work by Nikki Boyd, 3) The Home Edit by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

  49. Mary Stevens says:

    Like you I started young on decorating magazines getting all kinds of ideas and making them my own! I’ve picked up books at yard sales but I have bought several of Charles Faudrea books!! Love cottage decor books!!

  50. Lauren Thomson says:

    One of my favorite interior design book is INterior Wisdom by Leah Richardson. In fact I never stop reading it. Every Sunday afternoon when church and brunch have finished; I spend quiet time reading one chapter. I reflect on what I have learned and than read the prayer Leah has written in each chapter. This time is a pure delight for me and truly a blessing.
    Lauren Thomson

  51. Sherry Darlington says:

    While being an avid reader I find myself using decorating books like cookbooks…I look at the pictures. I do however read your blog front to back.

  52. Andrea G. says:

    I love the Pottery Barn catalogs and decorating by room books. Would enjoy the books you are giving away. Love your posts.

  53. Heidi L. McCuddin says:

    Home books by Shea McGee and Joanna Gaines, but I’d like to dig a little deeper into my own style for my house. My house is a 1980’s contemporary. I want comfortable and inviting. I’m not looking for perfection. We’re remodeling the main floor of our house in February. I don’t want a cookie cutter of what’s trending now, but a home that expresses my personality.

  54. Luana Koch says:

    I have collected many decorating books over the years, a recent purchase was Make Something Good Today by Erin and Ben Napier.
    I love her homey, warm style, and watch their show on HGTV.
    Thank you for the opportunity to add to my collection, I always love your style.

  55. Suzanne Brown says:

    The comforts of home. By Caroline Clifton-Mogg. Beautiful pictures and looks great on my coffee table!

  56. I haven’t read any of the decorating books you list. We are building a home on the lake and I am constantly looking for ideas & inspiration! I love your posts!

  57. The books that have stayed on my bookshelves and continued to inspire me are all those written by Rachel Ashwell and Alexandra Stoddard. I could use some new inspiration!

  58. Paula@SweetPea says:

    I haven’t read a good decorating book in a good while and I would love to be the winner so I can change that.

  59. Marian Parson’s Feels Like Home is a wonderful, beautiful book. I really enjoyed reading it and appreciated her advice and activities. Welcome Home by Myquillyn Smith is also a good read about how to decorate by season without breaking the bank and burying yourself in bins of decor. Both have helped me look at my house and decorating in new ways and sparked creative ideas.

  60. Anne Marie says:

    I have not read any decorating books so am hoping to win these books. I do read quite a few decorating magazines with Better Homes & Gardens being a favorite of mine. I love the inspiration I receive from my magazines – putting inspiration into reality is another story!!

  61. One of my favorites was A Room of Her Own by Chris Casson Madden.
    I am not sure if anyone remembers her from HGTV but I remember watching her, Kitty Bartholomew,Shari Hiller, Matt Fox,Joan Steffens, Mary Emmerling, Liz Torres to name a few on a Thursday night. They had such a profound affect on my love of decorating my home. I still miss their wonderful shows.

  62. Felicia Sharples says:

    I love “Crafting a Patterned Home” by Kristin Nicholas. It is chock full of ideas for decorating as well. I love color and pattern but I also love simple and cozy so I try to get inspiration from all sorts of different decorators – much like you! I was fortunate to tour Kristin’s house several years ago in person and I could have settled right into those rooms – so very cozy!

  63. I too love decorating books too much. They inspire me to make my home the best it can be and give me a beautiful view of the world others enjoy,

  64. Diane, I haven’t bought or read a decorating book in a long time. I have several magazine subscriptions that I get monthly centered around decorating, besides reading several decorating blogs. ;-) I would love to “win” the books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  65. Hi Diane,
    My favorites decorating book is Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard. I go back to it a lot!

  66. I just got Marion Parsons books Feels like Home. I follow her blog and greatly admire that she has self taught herself so, so many different crafting skills. Her home is so beautiful with the way she has decorated it. I also love oak furniture and have many of my furniture pieces in oak, as well. She has incredible energy, drive and ambition. Her book is beautiful and I am enjoying reading it.

  67. I look forward to reading Marian Parson’s book! I haven’t read any new decorating books lately, but I’ve been revisiting some olden but golden books like Mary Engelbreits’ Home Companion! I used to check them out at the library too, Diane. My favorite books at the library were always the decorating books.

  68. Nancy Walden says:

    I read decorating blogs every day but I haven’t bought a decorating book since 2019. Amazing Furniture Makeovers by Jen Crider inspired me to add a raised stencil to my bathroom vanity. Adding a raised stencil was the perfect way to make my vanity look like an old furniture piece. I’d love to add to my book collection!

  69. Janice Mullins says:

    I don’t read decorating books usually, but I subscribe to several decorating magazines which I anxiously await their arrival in the mail. I love to also read decorating blogs, which your’s is a favorite! I would love to win one of these books! Thank you for the opportunity!

  70. Sharon B. says:

    I love decorating books and magazines. I don’t have a favourite but I have found that I really love country, farmhouse, casual and a little bit glam, i.e., chandeliers. I love how your blog has a lot of DIY. That fits my budget and interests.

  71. Oh wow, I didn’t realize you wrote Instant Decorating but I think it was one of the (many) decorating books I borrowed from the library because I recognized the dish towel stool covers photo! Love your decorating style and always enjoy reading your blog.

  72. I enjoyed “Jungalow” by Justina Blakeney recently. So many beautiful colors, patterns and textures! Thank you for this giveaway!

  73. Anna McFarland says:

    I have poured over catalogs of clothing and can intuitively pick apart outfits to translate to my own personal style. Decorating books—not so much. I get overwhelmed by the glossy pictures of perfection. I have found blogs such as yours to be much more inspiring. That being said, I would love to try some of the books you mention. Maybe I haven’t found the right decorating books.

  74. I have your book, Instant Decorating, and I love your DIYs, but I usually just page through decorating magazines. I especially like Country Home magazine. Thank you for the chance to win these two books.

  75. Decorating books fill my heart with joy! I love everything and believe there is a place for every style. Diane our styles are so very different yet I can’t wait to read your blog! You have useable current ideas and advice. You are appreciated!

  76. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    I learned so much from “City Farmhouse Style “ by Kim Liggett.