10 books like The Interior Design Handbook

By Frida Ramstedt,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Interior Design Handbook. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Rituals of Dinner

By Margaret Visser,

Book cover of The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners

Manners can be a dull topic when merely outlined in a reference book of rules (hold your fork this way, pass the salt like so, etc…), but when woven into historical and cultural context, as Visser does here, all these hows and whys suddenly come to life. Visser covers everything from spitting to sitting, from banquets to burgers. 

The Rituals of Dinner

By Margaret Visser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With an acute eye and an irrepressible wit, Margaret Visser takes a fascinating look at the way we eat our meals. From the ancient Greeks to modern yuppies, from cannibalism and the taking of the Eucharist to formal dinners and picnics, she thoroughly defines the eating ritual.

"Read this book. You'll never look at a table knife the same way again."-The New York Times.


The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping

By Charles MacPherson,

Book cover of The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping: Expert Advice on Cleaning, Laundry and Home Maintenance

How to run a house is no longer part of our education system. The only way to learn this vital skill – one that helps make the whole of our lives run more smoothly - is by educating ourselves. This compact book teaches us everything from how to clean a room to how to fold socks to how to descale a shower head. It’s like having your own butler to turn to for advice whenever you need it.

The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping

By Charles MacPherson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone's favourite butler is back! Get your home spic and span with Charles MacPherson's expert tips and tricks for everything from polishing silverware to organizing the garage.

After over 30 years as a professional butler and household manager, Charles MacPherson knows a thing or two about keeping a home clean and organized. He has poured his vast knowledge and expertise into this pocket-sized volume, perfect for easy day-to-day reference or to guide your next marathon cleaning session.

Everything you need to know is here. With step-by-step instructions for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining every room in your home, The Pocket Butler's…


A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

By David Tanis,

Book cover of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

Menu cookbooks can be tricky, but Tanis has produced this and another masterpiece (The Heart of the Artichoke 2010) both of which will up the game of any dinner-party host. The recipes are varied, imaginative, and infallible (Fish Tacos with Shredded Cabbage and Lime, Chicken Tagine with Pumpkin and Chickpeas, Rum Baba with Cardamom) and the menus sheer poetry.

A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

By David Tanis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In "A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes", David Tanis shows readers how to slow down, pay attention, and give ingredients their due. Worlds away from showy "Food Network" personalities and chefs who preach fussy techniques, Tanis serves up charming, unassuming meals for friends and family: couscous with rabbit and turnip for a special birthday fete, clam and chorizo paella to eat by the fireplace, and turkey with duck confit for Thanksgiving. Tanis has an elemental, unpretentious finesse with ingredients and a genuine gift with words."Dinner with Friends" is deliciously down-to-earth in covering such topics as 'Pretty vs. Beautiful Food,'…


Great Hostesses

By Brian Masters,

Book cover of Great Hostesses

Who are the great hosts and hostesses of our day? We don’t know; nobody ever talks about them. Celebrities and socialites, instead, have stolen the spotlight. But, great hostesses of the past were not only prominent, but powerfully influential, subtly steering the fate of society this way and that. Masters provides portraits here of some of the most celebrated hostesses of days gone by, including Emerald Cunard and Mrs. Vanderbilt. A book to inspire a new generation of “inviters.”

Great Hostesses

By Brian Masters,

Why should I read it?

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


Every Room Should Sing

By Beata Heuman,

Book cover of Every Room Should Sing

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…


Life Unstyled

By Emily Henson,

Book cover of Life Unstyled: How to embrace imperfection and create a home you love

I’m a big fan of Emily’s personal take on interior design: she’s been a long-time champion of decorating in a way that rails somewhat against the identikit perfectly curated homes we often see in magazines and on social media, and instead encourages her readers to find the beauty in the imperfect, unpolished, and sometimes rough-and-ready places that might not grace the cover of a glossy design tome, yet show a creative, relatable, and inherently charming style. Named after her blog, this book aims to encourage others to be brave enough to create a space that you truly love and that feels personal to you, regardless of what the proverbial Jones’s-next-door might say.

Life Unstyled

By Emily Henson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We are bombarded by perfect interiors, images that aren't attainable because they have been styled to the point where they bear no resemblance to reality. These interiors may be stunning, but they aren't an honest reflection of how we really live.

Life Unstyled is about taking inspiration from real homes that are beautiful, creative and inspiring but at the same time a little rough around the edges, with signs of everyday life evident throughout. The first section, 'Homes Unstyled', sets out Emily's manifesto for creating a stylish home that is beautiful but lived in. A Home is Never Done advocates…


Pacific Natural at Home

By Jenni Kayne,

Book cover of Pacific Natural at Home

Jenny Kayne personifies the easy, laid-back approach to design and life that is so characteristic of California. Comfort plays a role equal to that of style, which is always organic, natural, and textural. Jenni Kayne's style leans toward a neutral palette that embraces and accentuates the light, color, and texture of the California landscape. She shares work from her own home, as well as homes of other creative women who share her natural design ethos.

Pacific Natural at Home

By Jenni Kayne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pacific Natural at Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A known tastemaker and authority on style, Jenni Kayne spans the worlds of fashion, interiors, and entertaining. Inspired by organic textures, thoughtful simplicity, and natural landscapes, Kayne embodies an earthy and effortless aesthetic one that is intentional and where beauty and authenticity exist in every detail. In her second book Kayne turns to interior design, sharing her beautifully designed interiors as well as the homes of other creative women who embrace a similar natural design ethos. The book introduces the homes by location, spanning varied landscapes and design characteristics: houses by the ocean, desert-style spaces, mountain homes, and abodes in…


The New Mindful Home

By Joanna Thornhill,

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

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

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…


Geography of Home

By Akiko Busch,

Book cover of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live

Recommended to me by one of my students this is a witty exploration of the places in our homes, what we call them, kitchen, bedroom, dining room and how they often don’t live up to or exceed their names. A view of the rituals and complexities of the American home and what it houses as it explores memory, aspirations, and the real meaning of home. This book is a trigger to encourage the reader to look at their own spaces and the pattern of how they use those spaces through habit, muscular memory, and cultural norms, all playing a part in how we define our living spaces.

Geography of Home

By Akiko Busch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The house is home to many things. Far more than four walls and a roof, it contains our private and public lives, our families, our memories and aspirations, and it reflects our attitudes toward society, culture, the environment, and our neighbours. In a literary tour of the spaces of our homes, this book reflects on how we define such elusive qualities as privacy, security, and comfort. It uncovers the hidden meanings of seemingly simple domestic spaces, in chapters ranging from "The Front Door" to "The Garage" and many others. These writings about the home touch on our culture's fundamental issues:…


A Room of Her Own

By Chris Casson Madden, Jennifer Levy,

Book cover of A Room of Her Own: Women's Personal Spaces

This rich album of peeping in the windows of intensely private spaces may have been published in 1997 but its message of calm and possibilities burns just as brightly today. The lives of beloved personalities like Maya Angelou, Jessica McClintock, and Oprah Winfrey are opened so that you feel privy to what makes them who they are, or were. You can tell that Madden, one of HGTV’s first hosts, knew all of these women personally and was given great latitude so that we could have a real sense of the spaces these women run to for respite. Some may surprise you – a spartan bathroom with killer views, a guest room that was carved out of a living room – but all of them have a similar message theme of quiet triumph over stressful living. We all need a room of our own and there is more than one way…

A Room of Her Own

By Chris Casson Madden, Jennifer Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Room of Her Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Full-color photography and a charming text capture the special places that women have created as retreats from busy daily routines and offer creative and inspirational decorating ideas to help transform one's dream room into reality. 35,000 first printing. Tour.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in home decoration, interior design, and California?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about home decoration, interior design, and California.

Home Decoration Explore 18 books about home decoration
Interior Design Explore 22 books about interior design
California Explore 253 books about California