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How do I Choose the Best Interior Design Books?

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  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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When you're getting ready to redecorate your home, interior design books can be an excellent resource. However, a quick walk through any bookstore will reveal that there are a plethora of titles to choose from. How do you decide which books will be the most useful? While customer reviews can be helpful for choosing a new laptop or mp3 player, interior design is a very subjective field. A room someone else finds breathtakingly beautiful may not appeal to you at all.

The first step in choosing the right interior design books is to spend some time thinking about how you'd describe your personal style. Do you like contemporary and eclectic furnishings or do you prefer something with a more traditional appearance? Is practicality your primary concern or are you willing to be slightly inconvenienced by interior designs if they are aesthetically appealing? What aspects of your house interior design do you like now and what elements are you hoping to change?

Your budget and lifestyle are also important factors to take into consideration when choosing interior design books. If you're a recent college graduate trying to decorate your first apartment, a book filled with furnishings from fancy boutique stores isn't going to be too helpful. If you have small children at home, safety will obviously have to take priority over appearance. For a well-established professional with no children, however, interior design books that convey upscale tastes and formal design are perfectly appropriate.

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If you're the type of person who is going to want to try to copy a room exactly, look for interior design books that provided detailed information on where you can purchase the featured items for each design. You'll also want to check the book's publication date to make sure it isn't featuring items that are likely to be discontinued. If the book is intended for a do-it-yourself audience, make sure the instructions for the featured items are easy enough for you to follow. Generally, step-by-step photo tutorials are the most helpful.

When all else fails, keep in mind that books published by leading interior design magazines usually feature a nice assortment of very professional ideas. For example, if you're a fan of the rooms featured in Better Homes & Gardens, it's a fairly safe bet that most of the interior design books published under this imprint will appeal to your tastes. On a similar note, many of the featured interior designers on HGTV and other popular home improvement shows also have their own books.

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sunnySkys
Post 3

I actually prefer interior decorating magazines to interior decorating books. Since they're published monthly, they usually have a lot more current ideas that books.

For example, if they feature decorations from a specific store, it's a good bet the store will still be carrying those decorations. If you get a book that's five years old, you might have trouble finding things.

Also, magazines are less expensive. Interior design books tend to be hardback books with lots of glossy pictures. Those books get expensive. Meanwhile, a magazine is something like $7 or $8. That's a lot more in my price range.

Azuza
Post 2

@JessicaLynn - I'm a big fan of the library also. However, I find that it helps to have some idea of what you're looking for. After all, you can only check out so many books all at once.

I know this isn't an exact science, but for interior design books I just like to flip through and look at the pictures. I find that I can get a really good idea from looking at the pictures if the design book matches up with my person style or not.

Also, I'm a do it yourself kind of person. So for home decorating books, I like to check out stuff in the do it yourself section for decorations and things I can make myself.

JessicaLynn
Post 1

I'm going to make a suggestion here: go to your local library for interior design books! As the article pointed out, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing interior design books.

If you go to the library, you'll probably have a ton of books to choose from. You can just check a bunch out and then don't use the ones that don't apply to you. Then if you find a few you really, really like, you can always purchase those from the bookstore later. It's like a free trial!

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