stephmodo: Design Ideas

Design Ideas

• 05 September 2011

With my kids heading back-to-school this week, I feel a hankering to spruce up my pad a bit (you know, tackle those little projects that stay undone during the summer), and also freshen things up to mark a new stage in life.  My go-to resource for ideas that always inspire is the Domino Book of Decorating put out by former editors of often-missed Domino magazine. This fantastic mecca of design ideas came out a couple of years ago, but it's not dated or trendy at all and is too good not to mention again.  It feels very current and is the perfect consultant for the amateur designer, i.e. anyone without a professional degree, but who loves to dabble in enhancing interiors (the theme of my "Real Life Home Series" and a topic I'm very interested in exploring).  

Domino's Book of Decorating tackles intimidating, yet practical subjects like how to mix and match styles and how to choose a kitchen table.  And, it is of course chock full of crisp, gorgeous images from the Domino archives, as well as previously unpublished photographs.  I truly enjoy flipping through its pages and treat it as a one-stop-shop when I'm in the need of an inspiration fix.  One of my friends picks it up every time she drops's addicting!

You can pick up the book from your local big box book store (r.i.p. Borders), and likely your locally-owned bookstore as well.  If not, those folks are almost always willing to special order a title for you.  I'd love to give you a secondhand source too (Thriftbooks is always the first place I look for used titles), but Domino's Book of Decorating isn't being given up at the moment :) 

What other decorating books do you love? 

images by Stephanie Brubaker for stephmodo


  1. I love this book and am so happy to have it for a home resource. I've also recently added Decorate by Holly Becker. It's a textbook to drink tea with. Gorgeous photos, lots of good inspiration, educational and you get to see into the homes of many of the most talked about designers & bloggers on the scene right now.

    It's not one you quickly peruse in an afternoon, but one you go to when you want to start a new project you want to put some real thought and planning into.

    Good luck with your projects. We just finished a summer of reorganization, refreshing, etc. It feels fantastic.

  2. I gleam a lot of knowledge and inspiration in Martha Stewarts Homekeeping Housebook. It has many ideas on how to take care of your home, and is a textbook of sorts on what to have in your home. It also has sections outlining different styles of furniture. It is great for a beginner like me in decorating and truly taking care of my home. I am going to look for a copy of Domino!

  3. I always reference this book, and I miss the magazine dearly! Of course, Lonny Mag fills the void a bit, but not quite the same...

  4. This is my decorating bible! It sits on my living room ottoman/coffee table so I can have immediate access to it at a moment's notice (you know those moments I'm talking about). Another one I've enjoyed is The Nest Home Design Handbook, compiled by the style experts at It's not quite as comprehensive as Domino's, but there are some great tips, ideas and beautiful images.

  5. I too love The Nest Home Design Handbook. Its simplicity is refreshing and I find that its ideas work well for a truly lived in home.

  6. I LOVE the Domino book too. And I just got Grace Bonney's "Design*Sponge at Home" - I think it officially comes out today - and so far I like it as much as the Domino book!

  7. Great recommendations everyone! It looks like I'll have to check out a couple more at the library soon. I love checking out cookbooks that way before committing :).

  8. Long live Domino Magazine! Their design book is my favorite and the only one I'd ever recommend!

    P.s. I'm a big fan! Thank you for you're insightful and inspiring posts!

  9. love the domino book! right now i'm wanting the book 'undecorate' by the lady behind dwell studio.


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