Home & Style

An Expert’s Must-Have Home Design Books and Web Sites

You’ve decided to update a room in your home. Now what? Ignore your first instinct to call an interior designer and try the bookstore or Internet.
“Collecting pictures from design books or Web sites really helps the designer understand your vision,” says Celia Welch, owner of Celia Welch Interiors (301-654-4728) in Bethesda. Flipping through photos is one of the first things Welch does with clients to get a sense of their style. We asked Welch to share her favorites.   

What are your favorite home design books?
“These three are on my coffee table this summer.”

Michael S. Smith Elements of Style, with Diane Dorrans Saeks
“It has beautiful photographs and is very well laid out. The rooms pictured are elegant, yet comfortable, and there is a certain time-worn quality that I really admire.  This is the type of design that I love to do.”

The Barefoot Home: Dressed-Down Design for Casual Living, by Marc Vassallo
“I love the concept of this book which suggests getting comfortable in your everyday home, living outside as well as in.”

Color Palettes, by Suzanne Butterfield, Jacqueline Goewey, and Donald Kaufman
“It’s a good source of inspiration for color.”

Let’s turn to the Internet. What are your favorite design sites?
“I use This Old House, House and Garden, and Southern Accents for ideas.” 

Any other books you recommend to homeowners interested in re-designing their homes?
“They should also try Big Home, Big Challenge: Design Solutions for Larger Spaces, by Kira Gould and Saxon Henry; Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime, by Sheila Bridges and Anna Williams; and Creating a New Old House: Yesterday’s Character for Today’s Home, by Russell Versaci.