There are countless books on interior design and architecture, but few focus on realistic (read: affordable) solutions AND are aimed at city-dwellers and others living in small homes. Here are some of my favorites (and what I keep in my own apartment!)

Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces

The Small, Cool Spaces book is a showcase of how real people (not designers) have optimized their homes and created spaces that are both beautiful and liveable. Most of the content in this book is aimed at pointing out the organization, furniture placement, and design choices that the owners have made, how it helps the space, and how you can implement something similar in your own home. It’s one of my favorites, and is a great source of photos as well.

Domino: The Book of Decorating

Though Domino magazine is sadly gone, some of their best content lives on through the Domino design book. It’s not specifically aimed at small homes, but many of the spaces featured are small city homes. The book is divided by types of rooms (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.) and each further consists of a variety of decorating styles. It’s aimed at a relatively young audience (20s to 30s), but anyone can benefit from the decorating advice and explanations.

The Nest Home Design Handbook

If you want to have a deeper understanding of types and styles of furniture, fixtures and decorations and how they work together to impact the feel and style of a room, the Nest Handbook is a great resource. There are many pretty pictures in this book, but it’s also a great reference book for picking out new items for your home and understanding how balance and furniture placement can impact your space.

Design*Sponge at Home

If you’re interested in personalizing your decorations or furniture, the D*S book is an unbeatable resource of DIY tips, from major upholstery and furniture projects all the way down to quick, 10-minute “fixes.” There are also many before and after shots, so you can see what changed and why. And, like any good design book, it’s got pages and pages of photos of rooms in a huge variety of styles.

We  I will add to this list as we find more design books that inspire us.

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