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

Michelle Ogundehin Author Of Happy Inside: How to harness the power of home for health and happiness
By Michelle Ogundehin

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.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide

By Abigail Ahern,

Book cover of Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide

Why 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. 

Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide

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…


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

By Matt Gibberd,

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

Why 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. 

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

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…


Every Room Should Sing

By Beata Heuman,

Book cover of Every Room Should Sing

Why 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.  

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…


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

By Oliver Heath,

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

Why 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.

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

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…


The New Mindful Home: And how to make it yours

By Joanna Thornhill,

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

Why 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. 

The New Mindful Home: And how to make it yours

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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in home decoration, mindfulness, and sustainable design?

7,000+ 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 18 books about home decoration
Mindfulness Explore 77 books about mindfulness
Sustainable Design Explore 8 books about sustainable design

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like When Things Fall Apart, Feng Shui and Health, and Eat to Beat Disease if you like this list.