4 Books That Will Elevate Your “Design Eye”

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A designer’s unique perspective and thought processes are like a “jewel box”, containing precious gems of information that reveal their creative vision and intentions for a particular space. Just like how each jewel has its own beauty and value, each piece of information within a designer’s mind is valuable and contributes to the overall creation of a beautiful and functional space. And just as a skilled jeweler carefully selects and arranges their gems, a designer carefully selects and arranges the elements of a space to create a harmonious and cohesive whole.

I talk about your “design eye” a lot. So, what is it anyway?

Developing your “design eye” refers to

  • training yourself to recognize how the various parts of a room come together to create the overall effect
  • how to recognize what works and what doesn’t work
  • How to appreciate good design even if it’s not your personal style

One of the best ways to do this is by studying the work of accomplished designers.

When looking at designer books

As you go through each book, ask yourself questions like these:

  1. What is uniting the space and making it cohesive?
  2. What makes the space interesting and keeps it from getting boring?
  3. How does the designer use color here?
  4. How is the designer using pattern?
  5. If there’s anything that surprises you about the design, ask yourself why you think the designer made that particular choice?
  6. Note the scale and proportion of all the items in the space.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea and it’s a great place to start.

Books to look at

I own all four of these books. They are gorgeous and I use them to style coffee tables, chest and console tables. But I read them too!

  1. Interior Design Masterclass

Short essays from 100 designers. Each features a design element or principle that they explore and talk about their perspective and how they use it in their creations.

Examples – space, layering, pattern, light

I love it because it gives us a look inside the minds of these designers. They talk about the rationale behind their design choices.

2. Beautiful by Mark D. Sikes

Mark’s style is classic, traditional and timeless. He is an expert at creating a collected, layered look that is sophisticated and yet approachable. Make sure you read the captions… they will give you a glimpse of his reasons for selecting

  1. Hue – by Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler is known for her unexpected, out of the box, artistic viewpoint.

She is a master of using line and form in unexpected ways. Even if her style isn’t necessarily your cup of tea, you will still learn a wealth of information by studying her designs.

Her design of the BG restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC is one of my favorites!

  1. Edited Style by Suzanne Kasler

Suzanne is a powerhouse of classic, traditional and timeless style.

There is a soft but powerful elegance to her work. She uses subtle color and pattern in a way that’s intriguing and interesting. She’s one of my faves!

Your Reading List

Studying the books of experienced designers can be an invaluable tool for honing your own decorating skills and help you refine your own decorating chops. By delving into the thought processes and techniques of these experts, you can gain new insights and inspiration that will inform your own designs. Each designer’s unique perspective and creative vision is like a treasure trove of information, containing gems of knowledge and expertise that can help you create beautiful and functional spaces of your own. So if you’re looking to take your decorating to the next level, consider exploring the works of established designers and incorporating their wisdom into your own practice.

Hi I'm Kricia

I help crazy busy women physicians create intentionally designed spaces that makes coming home the best part of their day!

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