interior design 101

decorative bookcase
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design the home you love
decorative bookcase
living room

by Kate Jonuska

refresh your home with these practical design tips

Lee Mayer and Emily Motayed have long experience guiding folks through the wild, wide-ranging world of interior design via Havenly, the online interior-design service they founded in 2014. With “Design the Home You Love: Practical Styling Advice to Make the Most of Your Space,” the founders have taken their guidance truly mobile, creating a 101-level guide to design that neither talks down or puts on airs, instead arming the reader with all the skills needed to transform blank or bland spaces into something perfect for them.

Certainly, “Design the Home You Love” is an art book, packed with lush photography of a variety of contemporary rooms from which to derive inspiration. In these pretty pages, however, the Havenly designers also provide readers with a basic design education, offering commonsense advice about colors, symmetry, scale, the Golden Ratio and the power of styling. They explain everything from how to choose a sofa to how to plan a photo gallery wall with the same creativity and generosity of spirit.

And refreshingly in the world of design, the book also openly deals with budgets without adding judgment. For instance, they explain how to audit your project with an eye toward value, such as in the bedroom, where linens are worth the “splurge” while nightstands and dressers are places to save. The duo also helps you avoid potentially costly mistakes by, for example, explaining that while you might find an inexpensive rug, it won’t be worth any price if it’s too small for your space. Hot tip: At least two—and preferably all—of your sofa’s legs should fit on your living room rug.

Those kinds of tips throughout “Design the Home You Love” make the book feel friendly and accessible and an excellent choice for anyone who wants to understand and take control of their interior design.