Have you been meaning to catch up on your design reading but just haven’t had the time? The lucky thing is, now you can figure out which books from 2011 lived up to the hype and which ones you should take a pass on. As for the best design books of 2011, here are ten that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend from interior designers, shop owners, magazine editors, bloggers and trendsetters, in no particular order.
1. Decorate by Holly Becker: The top blogger, along with co-author Joanna Copestick, has come up with 1,000 design ideas. That’s right, 1,000, for every room in your home.
2. Black and White (and a bit in between) by Celerie Kemble: Kemble breaks out of her Palm Beach roots here. She has collected the most stylish uses of black and white rooms around. She’s one of my favorite design writers – insightful, intelligent and she doesn’t take it all too seriously.
3. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman: The founding editor of Dominio and current editor of the Wall Street Journal’s magazine has compiled a charming tome of design advice, accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Virginia Johnson.
5. Katie Ridder Rooms by Heather Smith MacIsaac: I love that Ridder has her own distinct style that really cannot be categorized. It’s fresh and feel-good.
6. Big Easy Style by Bryan Batt: This is a more personal pick, because I love this actor, who played Sal on Mad Men, and I love almost everything about New Orleans, a city that’s unique and special in so many ways, including its architecture.
7. The Happy Home Project by Jean Nayar: I love not only that this book provides a guideline for making your home healthier and thus your life happier, but also that Nayar digs deep into everything she’s doing, whether it’s learning about how to be greener or how to achieve Wabi-sabi.
8. Patina Style by Brooke and Steve Gianetti: Perhaps you recognize Brooke from her popular blog, Velvet and Linen. It’s so much fun to finally have her and her husband Steve’s style all wrapped up in a beautiful hardcover book!
9. Alexander Girard by Todd Oldham and Kiera Coffee: I’m so glad that Todd Oldham has gotten into books. This book as well as his giant Charley Harper book that came out a few years ago are must-haves for graphic design aficionados.
10. Summers in France by Kathryn M. Ireland: Kathryn Ireland is one of those people you wish you were friends with. With this book, you get to take a vicarious visit to her beautiful home in France and pretend you are friends with her.
What were some of your favorite reads in 2011? Please share with us in the comments section. I’ll be sharing whatever I pick up in 2012 as I go along this year. Happy Reading!