The best books on homes for health, happiness, and healing

Who am I?

Since I was old enough to move my bedroom furniture around I was profoundly aware that my environment was as important to my wellbeing as food, sleep and exercise. It was the invisible hand that shaped my behaviour. I went on to study architecture and my first proper job was as Editor in Chief of ELLE Decoration magazine. As such I’ve seen inside thousands of homes and my passion is based on proof. I know this stuff makes a difference because I’ve healed myself through my home. And today, what I knew intuitively is now backed by science. Better homes mean better health. 

I wrote...

Book cover of Happy Inside: How to harness the power of home for health and happiness

What is my book about?

A bold new approach to home-making for health and happiness from the woman The Sunday Times calls an “interiors guru”. This comprehensive lifestyle guide invites you to change the way you think about home. Because, if you want to be your best self then you must start with what surrounds you—small shifts can lead to big change.

It covers how to get a good night’s sleep to why a dining table is your most vital piece of furniture; how to decorate to promote joy and the importance of play. Even what ingredients should be your store cupboard staples and why you must ditch your toaster! It will help you to create a home that sustains and supports you, not just one that looks good.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide

Michelle Ogundehin Why did I love this book?

Abigail is a genuinely unique voice in the interiors world. Fearless, provocative, opinionated, I love her. Her personal style of maximalist dark drama might not be for everyone but the principles behind her thinking—self-expression, optimism, experimentation—absolutely are. You will not fail to be inspired. She’s also as passionate as I am for the creation of homes that are full of texture, pattern, old and new, layering and mood-making lighting. In short, homes that you’ll never want to leave. 

By Abigail Ahern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the 'more is more' world of decorating, or as it's more commonly know in the business, Maximalism.

A style that embraces the all-out: beautiful colour palettes, luxurious textiles, patterns and embellishment. Maximalism is the epitome of passion, one in which Scandi-style, stripped bare and pared-back interiors have no place. Abigail Ahern guides us through the sea change in the world of interiors as the pendulum swings away from minimalism, over to our increasing desire for self-expression and optimism. Learn how to break the 'rules' of interior design, play fast and loose with different periods in a single room…

Book cover of A Modern Way to Live: 5 Design Principles from The Modern House

Michelle Ogundehin Why did I love this book?

Matt is the driving force behind the cult website, The Modern House, an online estate agency that does so much more than just sell houses. It’s a portal into homes to obsess over and a window into a world of domestic possibility, and his book condenses all the knowledge he’s gained through twenty years of property scouting into five guiding principles behind happiness at home. In other words, why some homes absolutely resonate with the joys and some just suck. 

By Matt Gibberd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Modern Way to Live as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Find happiness at home with five guiding principles from cultural phenomenon THE MODERN HOUSE.

'A source of fascination, inspiration and fantasy' Guardian

In 2005, childhood friends Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill set out to convince people of the power of good design and its ability to influence our wellbeing. They founded The Modern House - in equal parts an estate agency, a publisher and a lifestyle brand - and went on to inspire a generation to live more thoughtfully and beautifully at home.

As The Modern House grew, Matt and Albert came to realise that the most successful homes they…

Book cover of Every Room Should Sing

Michelle Ogundehin Why did I love this book?

Beata’s style is fun, irreverent, upbeat, and joyful. And her book is an invitation to find your own personal style, to unshackle yourself from the tyranny of trends, and to embrace self-expression. As she puts it, “There’s a lot of joy in expressing one's individuality. It is freeing.” I couldn’t agree more and her enthusiasm is palpable as she takes you through what home means for her, how to seek inspiration, making the ordinary extraordinary and why every room should sing.  

By Beata Heuman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Every Room Should Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Swedish-born, London-based interior designer Beata Heuman founded her eponymous studio in 2013 after working for Nicky Haslam for nine years. In a short amount of time her lively interiors and custom furnishings have made her one of today s most in-demand creatives. Heuman s rooms, colourful spaces enlivened by exuberant elements and poetic inspirations, capture her signature quirkiness and Scandinavian attention to detail while staying rooted in practicality. Lauded for international residential and commercial projects, Heuman has also garnered praise for her growing collection of bespoke fabrics, wallpaper, lighting, homewares, and furniture. This beautifully crafted volume presents Heuman s innovative…

Book cover of Design A Healthy Home: 100 Ways to transform your space for physical and mental wellbeing

Michelle Ogundehin Why did I love this book?

This is more of a nuts and bolts book. Its subtitle is 100 ways to transform your space for physical and mental well-being. So, taking Oliver’s background in biophilic design—the art of integrating the forms and feel of nature into designed spaces—as his starting point, he guides you through a series of practical suggestions to help you better align your home with your well-being.

By Oliver Heath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Design A Healthy Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With indoor air pollution at its worst, and many of us spending more time in our own homes, this interior design guide will help you create calm, social, and comfortable spaces.

Let leading sustainability architect, Oliver Heath, give you all the practical solutions you need to transform your space for physical and mental wellbeing.

Inside the pages of this home decor book, you'll discover how to detoxify your home by making small changes. It includes:

- 100 tried and tested, research-based design ideas to support your health and wellbeing in even the smallest of spaces
- Stylish, fun, and affordable…

Book cover of The New Mindful Home: And how to make it yours

Michelle Ogundehin Why did I love this book?

A no-nonsense guide to cutting through the fads to offer practical solutions to home-based problems. A book for those who want to consider more carefully how they live without too much of the woo woo that can sometimes crop up in the well-being space, especially when we use words like mindfulness. Instead it touches on everything from making natural dyes and cruelty-free decorating to clean living, craft, and creativity. 

By Joanna Thornhill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Mindful Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Make your home more mindful and discover a more considered way to decorate with this beautifully presented guide by acclaimed interior stylist, Joanna Thornhill.

We often think of mindfulness in relation to meditation, but our homes and interior design can play a big part in our emotional well-being. The New Mindful Home demystifies the links between body, mind and soul to explain how you can harness the power of mindfulness to help our homes support a more considered lifestyle.

How do we create spaces that can calm and revives us? With the same practical attention to problem-solving as in her…

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A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

By Nita Sweeney,

Book cover of A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

What is my book about?

Reduce stress, ease anxiety, and increase inner peace—one day at a time—with a year of easy-to-follow mindfulness meditation techniques. Certified mindfulness teacher, bestselling author, ultramarathoner, wife, and dog-mom Nita Sweeney shares mindfulness meditation practices to help anyone break free from worry and self-judgment.

Mindfulness meditation trains you to live in the present moment—the now. Feel calmer. Think more clearly. Respond more effectively and enjoy a more fulfilling life. Even in tiny doses, mindfulness is scientifically proven to enhance physical and mental health, boost creativity, and improve cognition function.

A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

By Nita Sweeney,

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in home decoration, mindfulness, and sustainable design?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about home decoration, mindfulness, and sustainable design.

Home Decoration Explore 23 books about home decoration
Mindfulness Explore 97 books about mindfulness
Sustainable Design Explore 9 books about sustainable design