Life & Design

The 10 best interior design books – the must-reads for 2021

The most beautiful and inspirational books to look forward to in the New Year

Best interior design books 2021
(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

If you're a design enthusiast, chances are your shelves always have room for another book – and if you're like the Homes & Gardens editors – by now they're spilling from your shelves to coffee tables. 

Lucky for you, we've done our research – it was joyous task – to bring you the best interior books for 2021. From inspiring garden design and color theory to mouth-watering recipes and beautiful living, we've chosen our favorite books. 

Read on for the ones we're shopping now. And be sure to check back regularly: We'll be updating this list with our latest pick of the best interior books as the year goes on.

1. Inspired by Nature – Hans Blomquist

best interior books

(Image credit: Hans Blomquist)

Hans Blomquist’s latest book is all about creating evocative interiors through the innate imperfections of natural materials.

As an established stylist, art director, photographer and author, Hans Blomquist is known as the master of his aesthetic. Rustic edges, moody colors and natural materials combine to create a warm, welcoming style, showcased in his new book, Inspired by Nature.

It explores his approach to interiors, encouraging us to see the world through his eye, constructing imagery using the humbles of items to create painterly and thought-provoking spaces.View Deal

2. Live Beautiful – Athena Calderone

best books 2021

(Image credit: Athena Calderone)

In her new book, visual storyteller Athena Calderone showcases homes that have a classic yet current style.   

As a tastemaker and the founder of lifestyle blog EyeSwoon, US-based Athena Calderone knows a thing or two about living beautifully. In her latest book, the appropriately titled Live Beautiful, Athena delves into a hand-picked selection of designer dwellings, exploring how each of their carefully crafted interiors came together. View Deal

3. Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen – Ravinder Bhogal

best books

(Image credit: Bloomsbury)

Celebrated chef Yotam Ottolenghi once replied, when asked, that the one restaurant that isn’t his yet he really wished he owned was Jikoni. Yes, Ravinder Bhogal’s Marylebone eatery truly is that good.   

Big on flavors, on layered tastes that seem almost to glisten, and on using pattern dramatically, her second cookbook distils Jikoni’s ethos to perfection. 

Blending her Kenyan, Indian and British heritages, you’ll find recipes such as lemongrass poussin with a tinglingly zesty mango salad, charred broccoli with a creamy and rich cashew dressing and, rather kindly, Ravinder has included the banana cake with miso butterscotch and Ovaltine kulfi that has proved such a hit on Jikoni’s menu.View Deal

4. Rattan: A World of elegance and charm – Lulu Lytle

best boks 2021

(Image credit: Rizzoli)

Examining the appeal of rattan through the ages, designer Lulu Lytle’s new book looks at its endless style and versatility. 

It was in 2010, after learning that Angraves (England’s last remaining rattan weaving workshop) was due to close its doors forever, that Lulu Lytle, co-founder of Soane Britain, decided to step in to help bring the weavers’ expertise to a new audience. With a keen passion for promoting traditional skills and as an avid lover of rattan, it’s no wonder she also focused on gathering material for her book – Rattan: A World of Elegance and Charm. View Deal

5. The Lives of Others: Sublime Interiors of Extraordinary People – Simon Watson

best interior books 2021

(Image credit: Rizzoli)

Take a trip down imagination lane with a new book that showcases the beautiful homes of fascinating creatives. 

With a career that spans  over 30 years, internationally renowned interiors photographer Simon Watson has captured some spectacular homes belonging to fascinating people. The stories presented in his aptly titled book, The Lives of Others: Sublime Interiors of Extraordinary People, are exactly that – a handful of remarkable residences that he’s explored over the years. 

With an innate ability to capture intimacy, Simon takes the reader on a personal journey, revealing not only the creativity and personality of each dwelling and their esteemed inhabitants, but  also his own experience from each encounter. Displaying an interesting collection of art  from around the world, Christian Louboutin’s 18th-century apartment in Paris is every bit as avant-garde as you’d expect. View Deal

6. Still: The Slow Home – Natalie Walton

best books 2021

(Image credit: Natalie Walton)

Embrace the new slower place of life with Natalie Walton’s  book of inspiring homes that celebrate stillness. 

Many of us are navigating a new pace of living  and searching for ways to make a positive change; Natalie Walton’s book, Still: The Slow Home is a visual journey of beautiful abodes across the world, looking at steps the residents have taken for a more balanced life. 

At its core, the book explores the central ideas around the slow movement and creating a more sustainable environment, discussing thought-provoking ideas around the choices we make and  how they impact daily life. Natalie explains: ‘Our lives are full to bursting. We spend our days in perpetual motion, chasing lists, deadlines and dreams and  our own expectations.’View Deal

7. Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers – Pierre Sauvage

best interior books 2021

(Image credit: Flammarion)

Discover a world of glamour and hosting with a new  tome that invites you into the homes of tastemakers. 

As the owner and creative director of Parisian  design firm Casa Lopez, Pierre Sauvage is a man in the know when it comes to stylish interiors fit for entertaining. In his beautiful new book, Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers, he shares his love for art de vivre by taking us into the exquisite homes of 20 leading names from the fashion, interior design, beauty and art worlds. 

It’s a starry list, including Martina Mondadori, Aerin Lauder and Carolina Irving, to name just a few. View Deal

8. Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom – Phaidon Editors

Best interior books 2021

(Image credit: Phaidon )

A comprehensive and sumptuous survey that celebrates the beauty and appeal of flowers throughout art, history, and culture. 

The latest instalment in the bestselling Explorer Series takes readers on a journey across continents and cultures to discover the endless ways artists and image-makers have employed floral motifs throughout history. View Deal

9. Chroma: A book of Color – Derek Jarman

best books 2021

(Image credit: Vintage Classics)

Not a new book – but one of great importance and relevance.

‘A poetic, personal consideration of color and nature and life,’ says Much Ado Books about the recently republished Chroma: A Book of Colour – June ’93.   

Written just a year before his death, and as his eyesight was beginning to fail, Jarman discusses the exceptional power that color has – even when it’s being seized from his own life.   

With a career that spanned decades as well as genres, from painter, theatre designer and film-maker, to poet, writer and gardener, in this book Jarman draws on his own experiences as well as the work of color theorists. View Deal

10. The Garden: Before & After – Randle Siddeley

best interior books

(Image credit: Papadakis)

Noticing that many existing gardening books focus on the end product of a garden, landscape designer Randle Siddeley decided to shed some lights on the process behind his high-profile projects.   

In this book, he explores the vision of each of his clients as well as the process that turned each idea into a reality, often highlighting the key problems and solutions along the way, providing us with a compelling glimpse into behind-the-scenes activity. View Deal

An extra bonus design bible: Homes & Gardens magazine

Gifts for designers subscription

(Image credit: Future)

Take one more errand off their list by organizing regular deliveries of this quintessential British interiors magazine.

We're over 100 years old, so we know our stuff but keep moving ahead of the times. Plus, while it is a British magazine, our approach to interiors ideas, garden inspiration and design news is truly international. You'll be saving nearly 50% off the cover price, as well.


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