BookOccasion: Best Interior Design Books for Gifting

Whenever you can be a literary fairy godmother, give the gift of a great book. I have personally christened such gift-giving events as Book Occasions. Recently, a family friend moved into their dream house. Her home is beautifully decorated and I thought a book would be a nice finishing touch. Who doesn’t like a little bookshelf bling? Home décor and lifestyle books are a favorite subject so I headed to my own library for gift inspiration. Since the woman is the true heart of the home, using the Mistress of the Manor’s personality as a guide makes the selection process easier. Below is a list of classic and timeless books that can serve as style inspiration for years.

If She has a Certain je ne sais quoi
In her second book, At Home with Madame Chic Jennifer L. Scott draws inspiration from the methodical and organized manner her French mentor Madame Chic operated her home, revealing the secrets to having a stylish and fulfilling home life. Deciding to put more effort into what may seem mundane, Scott continues to lead every woman into becoming a purposeful daily connoisseur.

English rose Sharon Santoni-Smith married a French man and raised her family in rural France. Her blog My French Country Home has been transformed into the book My Stylish French Girlfriends exploring the life and style of 20 French women. From small rural cottages to sprawling French chateaux, gain entry into their lives as they shop, cook and entertain stylishly and in that quintessential way only la femme francais can.

If She is Classically Chic
Mary McDonald’s Interiors: The Allure of Style is one of my favorite books to spend a Saturday afternoon with. I first learned of Mary in Domino Magazine when I always drooled over her rooms. Her Tiffany inspired office  (click the link to drool) is burned into my psyche. Consistently listed as one of House Beautiful’s top 100 designers, Mary presents rooms with timeless elegance and refinement artfully mixed with a couture touch. Utilizing her millinery background, she makes each room feminine and graceful in a classic way that promotes functional yet graceful living. If you decide to buy this book as a gift, make sure you grab one for yourself.

If She is Artistic and Modern
I love reading Kelly Wearstler‘s books. A celebrated interior designer of some of the poshest hotels has a wonderfully eclectic aesthetic that translates just as well to the home. Her books are full of visual inspiration and Kelly does a wonderful job showing the process of creating beautiful spaces. Any book from her repertoire will be a great gift, but her first book Modern Glamour is still my favorite and Domicilian Decoratus gives you a tour of how Kelly decorates and lives behind her own well-paneled doors.

If She’s Cool and a Little Quirky
If the Mistress of the Manor is a little left of center, she probably already loves the eccentric and fun styling of HGTV and Bravo stars Robert and Courtney Novogratz. Managing to work as rock star decorators while raising a brood of 7 children, they have a bohemian, modern and fun approach to decor. I always love their rooms as they are functional without losing a bit of fun. Home by Novogratz shows the up close details of 20 of their favorite TV projects and Downtown Chic gives a look into their world wide renovation projects, showcasing their keen ability to see the potential of the roughest renovation projects with outstanding results.

If She is a Vintage Lover
If your friend is all linen and lace there is no other place to look than to Rachel Ashwell‘s Shabby Chic empire. I do not consider myself a shabby chic kind of girl, but her books are intoxicatingly beautiful. You could go to the original book Shabby Chic, published almost 20 years ago, which still stands the test of time, or you can gift the recent addition The World of Shabby Chic where Rachel Ashwell shares how the 25 years of the business of Shabby Chic has morphed into a lifestyle movement. At last count, there are at least 11 books by Rachel Ashwell explaining and exploring this user friendly décor, so your gift could be the beginning of a wonderful collection of books for her home.

If She is Not Afraid of Color
Jonathan Adler is the king of color and his library of Happy Chic books are the perfect style guide of how to live and love color. Always inspiring, Jonathan divides the books into the use of color, how to accessorize with color and how to live happily. I love Jonathan’s perfect marriage of kitsch and modernity-it always looks like a cocktail party is about to break loose.

Will Taylor is one of my favorite people on Pinterest and 2 million other people agree. His pages are dedicated to everything bright, colorful and fun. His book Bright Bazaar: Embracing color for Make-You-Smile Style is a visual orgy of pinteresting pages of fun and energizing décor.

If She is a Passionate Fashionista
You can’t get any better than the stylish living within the pages of Vogue and Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People bares it out. A heavy duty style guide, you can enter into more than 30 residences owned by powerplayers from film, photography, royalty, music and writing. From old world traditions to new world modernity, the always stylish Hamish Bowles compiles an eclectic mix of photos and stories from the Vogue library. The added bonus are the never published photos of people like Madonna, Oscar de la Renta and society swan Maria Agnelli living en vogue.