I get a little bit excited about something in each room of our house, whether it’s the kitchen where we come together and recreate some of the wonderful flavors that we have tasted at our favorite restaurants or dreamed about as we browse various cookbooks. Our closet is another room where I get excited as it is filled with pieces that I love to put together for everyday looks and some that I pull out to wear for special occasions.

However, the room in our home that is the most inspirational has got to be the living room. Where built-in shelving units house a collection of books that continues to grow and evolve. It’s in this space where I dream about travel destinations that I would like to visit. It’s in this space where I get lost in a great story while curling up on the sofa. And it’s in this space where I peruse beautiful rooms with dynamic palettes and intriguing styling through my vast collection of design books.

I’ve collected these beautiful books ever since I can remember. From when I took AP Art History at prep school to the moment that I knew design was the discipline that I would pursue, I wanted to have the bound portfolios of my favorite artists and designers at the ready for whenever I wanted inspiration. Every year, a wonderful roster of books floods the market, and I’m always excited to add to my shelves. But there are a handful of these that are my go-tos and remain my favorites. Below, I’m sharing them with you.

Charlotte Moss Entertains 

As someone who loves to set a pretty table, I find this book to be especially entertaining. It’s filled with eye-popping table settings, lush and bountiful flowers, and wonderful images that inspire me to be a more creative hostess and to use fresh beautiful flowers in new ways.

Billy Baldwin Decorates

Didactic, practical, and filled with timeless images of classic forms and fabrics that we use in projects to this day, this gem features Baldwin’s philosophies and instructions. And the kicker? They truly are applicable to today’s interiors. For instance, speaking of living rooms, Baldwin reminds us to use them, making them comfortable and practical.

From Classic to Contemporary, Decorating with Cullman and Kravis

After having the privilege of being part of the Cullman & Kravis team, I know about the thought and planning that went into every room and space that is featured in this book. The text is informative and shares how to create an experience with color, form, art, and antiques.

DLN Travel by Design. Global Inspiration from Top Design Talents

This book is a compilation of images and quotes by members of the Design Leadership Network. Beautiful photos by the designers and architects accompany quotes that give insight and thoughtfully shared details about special locations near and far.

The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton and Ogden Colman

First published in 1897, this book is still surprisingly relevant. It continues to inform and influence interior designers both in the United States and in England. It became a part of every designer’s library as the duo of authors helps navigate decorating and design decisions with wisdom and grace.

David Hicks, A Life of Design

This iconic British designer had as much influence on American interiors as he did across the pond. Hicks worked with and created geometric carpet patterns that inspired so many designers that followed him. He also designed with a fearless use of color, something that especially intrigues me, along with impeccable attention to detail.

Home. The Foundation of Enduring Spaces by The New York School of Interiors Design

An academic approach to design, I use this as a guide in my own office. It is full of design details and lessons that I share with my team and refer to regularly myself.

When it comes to design books, there are plenty to consider. Some offer a more practical and academic look at design; others are unapologetic for their aspirational sensibilities. A book is always a classic design element in a space. So start collecting and page by page show the world where your enthusiasm lies.