While I love finding style inspiration in the online community, one of my FAVORITE ways to expand and grow more confident in my own style is to study the images of beautiful homes in design books. Holding a book in hand, turning the pages at a leisurely pace is the best! It’s a return to the past, something I learned to enjoy back in the days before we had so much (too much?) inspiration at our fingertips. I love the slower pace of savoring books. I find I appreciate the details so much more than quickly scrolling past thousands of teeny squares.
I even like to look at books that I don’t think are necessarily “exactly my style” because they inspire me to think outside of the box! It’s easy to get in a rut or stuck looking only at what is current and trendy online. I find books are wonderful for expanding my point of view, learning about classic design elements and getting inspired by other color palettes, furnishings and architecture around the country and world, too.
Each time I move to a new home I get excited all over again to bring out my books (and add to my book collection) for inspiration! While my general style and sensibilities and things I love tend to go with me, each home offers new opportunities to mix things up and have fun with style. I love to blend my preferences with the home’s unique features and atmosphere to create a new look, one that feels fresh and yet makes me feel at home wherever I am. Beautiful design books are definitely helpful to me in the process!
Here are some questions you could use as a guide to help you learn as you’re studying and getting inspired by design books!
- How would you describe this style?
- What is the mood of the room? Why does the mood inspire you?
- Describe the personality of 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 room?
- What are some subtle features that you notice when you look more closely? Be sure to notice things like the shapes, the textures, the colors, the proportions, patterns…
- What role does the architecture play in this room? Do you have similar architecture or would you be able to add something similar in your home?
- Do you like the color palette? What if this same room had a different palette, would you like it better?
- Look at the art and accessories. Also notice their placement. What do you like or not like about them?
- What are some simple ideas you could take away from this inspiration room?
Scroll and click the arrows below for some of my favorite coffee table books:
Book sources above:
See more in our video!