The best books about the future of design and sustainable living

Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter Author Of Green Interior Design
By Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter

Who are we?

After specializing in minimalism and zero/low-waste in luxury residential design, Lori Dennis Inc. was tapped to author two books on Green Interior Design. The mission is to make sustainable design and living fun and accessible. Both Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter discovered their passions for design at an early age, spawned from resourcefulness and creative resstaint. Having lived in NYC and LA, Lori and Courtney have a love of cities, community, and the great outdoors.


We wrote...

Green Interior Design

By Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter,

Book cover of Green Interior Design

What is our book about?

Green Interior Design is the most comprehensive guide to sustainable building, designing, and decorating on the market. This beautifully illustrated guide covers every detail of your home—from the drywall to the finial on the curtain rod—and how to find the most environmentally friendly versions of products and décor. This second edition of Green Interior Design is meant as much for the budget DIYer as it is for the luxury homebuilders looking to dip their toes into sustainability.

We hope readers carry this reference guide with them as they decorate apartments, furnish their first properties, and build their dream homes from the ground up. “Going green” is more than just a trend: It’s a global economic and social necessity.

The books we picked & why

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Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

By Rachel Aust,

Book cover of Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

Why this book?

From the cover to its contents, Rachel Aust’s beautifully illustrated book, Less, lives up to its promise of minimalism. It is an excellent introduction to dive into living with less. She is fun and quirky and with her book’s guidance, you’ll be organized and decluttered, physically and mentally, in no time! 

Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

By Rachel Aust,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Simplify life and amplify living by mastering the fundamentals of minimalism through this visual guide to embracing a minimalist lifestyle.

How can living with less contribute to a greater sense of fulfillment? It seems contradictory, yet the minimalist lifestyle, which focuses on scaling back your possessions and simplifying your life to just the essentials, achieves just that. Adopt minimal living, and you'll find that less is more:

More time because you don't waste it caring for and organizing stuff.
More space because you don't fill it with objects of marginal value.
More money because you don't spend it on unnecessary…


Disposable City: Miami's Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe

By Mario Alejandro Ariza,

Book cover of Disposable City: Miami's Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe

Why this book?

Disposable City takes a look at the effects of climate change on the coastal city of Miami from a journalistic perspective. It’s a zoomed-out, eagle-eye perspective examining how the intersection of natural disasters, politics, and cultures affect the way cities are shaped. This book makes the list because it reminds us that our everyday choices have a rippling effect outside our own four walls.

Disposable City: Miami's Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe

By Mario Alejandro Ariza,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Miami, Florida, is likely to be entirely underwater by the end of this century. Residents are already starting to see the effects of sea level rise today. From sunny day flooding caused by higher tides to a sewer system on the brink of total collapse, the city undeniably lives in a climate changed world. In Disposable City, Miami resident Mario Alejandro Ariza shows us not only what climate change looks like on the ground today, but also what Miami will look like 100 years from now, and how that future has been shaped by the city's racist past and present.…


Take It Outside: A Guide to Designing Beautiful Spaces Just Beyond Your Door: An Interior Design Book

By Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee, James DeSantis

Book cover of Take It Outside: A Guide to Designing Beautiful Spaces Just Beyond Your Door: An Interior Design Book

Why this book?

From the hosts of HGTV’s Backyard Envy, Take It Outside delves into one of our favorite topics: outdoor design and indoor-outdoor living. What this book does better than any other on the topic is connect the interiors to the exteriors. That cohesion is something we really value, and fortunately, it would seem, so do consumers. Requests for outdoor living rooms and kitchens have been trending upwards for the past several years. 

Take It Outside: A Guide to Designing Beautiful Spaces Just Beyond Your Door: An Interior Design Book

By Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee, James DeSantis

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the hosts of Bravo's Backyard Envy comes a beautifully photographed guide to converting your outdoor space into an enviable oasis, whether you have a backyard, brownstone patio, or three-season porch.

Dubbed the "plantfluencers" by the New York Times, Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee, and James DeSantis, owners of the Manscapers landscaping company, do more than plant, mulch, and manicure a garden; they look at the space just as interior designers do a room, considering the aesthetics and the way people live in it. Now they show you how to apply familiar interior design principles to your outdoors, including:
 
Deciding on…


Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies Towards Net Zero Architecture

By Norbert M. Lechner, Patricia Andrasik,

Book cover of Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies Towards Net Zero Architecture

Why this book?

When we think about the fundamental purpose of interior space, creating shelter is about heating, cooling, and lighting. This recommendation is more for the professional designer than the DIY’er, but it is the handbook for a reason. It breaks down all of the fundamentals and their importance and emphasizes net-zero design strategies for sustainable building. 

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies Towards Net Zero Architecture

By Norbert M. Lechner, Patricia Andrasik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The essential guide to environmental control systems in building design

For over 25 years Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies Towards Net Zero Architecture has provided architects and design professionals the knowledge and tools required to design a sustainable built environment at the schematic design stage. This Fifth Edition offers cutting-edge research in the field of sustainable architecture and design and has been completely restructured based on net zero design strategies. Reflecting the latest developments in codes, standards, and rating systems for energy efficiency, Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies Towards Net Zero Architecture includes three new chapters:

Retrofits: Best…


The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

By Robert A. Caro,

Book cover of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Why this book?

The Power Broker is thought of as one of the best biographies of all time, having won the Pulitzer in 1974. Author Robert Caro traces the steps city planner Robert Moses took in implementing his vision of New York City, oftentimes at the detriment of the communities he served. It continues to be a lesson in what not to do when designing for the future. 

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

By Robert A. Caro,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Power Broker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro is 'simply one of the best non-fiction books in English of the last forty years' (Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times): a riveting and timeless account of power, politics and the city of New York by 'the greatest political biographer of our times' (Sunday Times); chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time and by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century; Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; a Sunday Times Bestseller; 'An outright masterpiece' (Evening Standard)

The Power Broker tells the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in New York State, interior design, and New York City?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about New York State, interior design, and New York City.

New York State Explore 492 books about New York State
Interior Design Explore 22 books about interior design
New York City Explore 671 books about New York City

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like What It Takes, Rats, and The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher if you like this list.