10 Design Books to Pack in Your Beach Bag

Dig your toes in the sand while planning your next DIY.

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While it’s nice to dive into a good romance novel or juicy YA series on vacay, I think you've got a few more options for your upcoming travels. For design obsessives like us, a fab beach read might look a bit different. A day by the water could be a wonderful opportunity to plan a home design project or plot out all of your DIY projects for summer.

Here are 10 of our favorite design-centric books to devour this season. Make room in your beach bag for one of these gems...

Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water

By Nina Freudenberger and Heather Summerville, Brittany Ambridge (Photographer)

Photo by: Clarkson Potter

Clarkson Potter

This book gives you a peek into the casual, laid-back "surf shacks" in California, Japan, Australia and other worldwide destinations. Featuring tours of Blake and Heather Mycoskie of TOMS, hotelier Sean MacPherson, Gypset author Julia Chaplin and other stylish tastemakers, these spaces include curated, casual and coastal vibes that will get you buzzing with fab ideas to steal for your own home.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

The Coastal Cottage

by Ann Zimmerman, Scot Zimmerman (Photographer)

Photo by: Gibbs Smith

Gibbs Smith

The tagline for this book is: "decidedly not your grandparents' beach cottage." The Coastal Cottage is a fantastic collection of pictures and inspiration documenting 14 eclectic, colorful and vintage-loving beach cottages across the U.S. If you have a waterfront home, you'll love peeking inside these homes and snatching ideas for how to create your own relaxed, family-focused oasis.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

It's the Little Things: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff

By Susanna Salk

Photo by: Rizzoli


While many of us get caught up in making decisions about the larger pieces of furniture in our homes, you can completely change the look of your space by focusing on smaller pieces of decor. This book is chock-full of inspiration for easy changes you can make to your space to create a big impact (on a budget).

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

Modernique: Inspiring Interiors Mixing Vintage and Modern Style

By Julia Buckingham

Photo by: Abrams


This book is a must for anyone who, like me, is totally addicted to vintage furniture and decor. Julia does a great job helping you understand how to mix old and new pieces, as well as providing clever ideas and approaches to a collected space. You'll find pictures of spaces that are dripping with personality and unique touches, making you feel so inspired, you’ll be ready to pack up your beach bag and head home to reinvent your space.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

Home Decor Cheat Sheets: Need-to-Know Stuff for Stylish Living

By Jessica Probus, Alice Mongkongllite (Illustrator)

Photo by: Ulysses Press

Ulysses Press

I'm completely and totally in love with this book, and it may quickly become a reference go-to in your arsenal, too. It's basically an illustrated design encyclopedia. It includes the basics, like definitions and illustrations of types/shapes of furniture and lighting, as well as lots of inspirational room layouts that you can steal for your own space. Whether you're looking to simply complete some design projects around your home or brush up on your design knowledge, you'll crazy-love this book.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

By Meik Wiking

Photo by: Penguin Life

Penguin Life

The design trend "hygge" hails from Denmark, and we should probably listen to the Danes; Denmark is often called the "happiest country in the world." In simple terms, hygee (pronounced hoo-gah) is known as the art of making your home cozier. Think hot cocoa by the fire, warm, white candles and dinner parties with friends. With lots of ideas like these, this book will get you started on practicing hygge in your own space.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

25 Biggest and Best Projects: DIY Hacks for Multi-Functional Furniture, Clever Storage Upgrades, Space-Saving Solutions and More

By Jules Yap

Photo by: Ulysses Press

Ulysses Press

Most homes have at least a couple of pieces from Ikea. And spoiler alert: it's because Ikea is full of stylish decor and furniture at amazing prices. But a whole community of DIYers and renovators have developed online (IkeaHackers.net) who are committed to hacking Ikea furniture and making it more personalized...and now they have a book. This one is chock-full of amazing ideas you can do to amp up your Ikea pieces, and projects range from simple to more complicated (so there's truly something for everyone!).

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe

By Anuschka Rees

Photo by: Ten Speed Press

Ten Speed Press

If you’re looking to simplify and update your wardrobe, this title is a perfect pick for your summer reading list. It also includes helpful infographics and illustrations, as well as a step-by-step method for building your ideal wardrobe by making the most of your budget. Think about combining your wardrobe curation project with a closet organizing project, then you’d really be on top of your game.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

By Marie Kondo

Photo by: Ten Speed Press

Ten Speed Press

This book is a follow-up to Marie Kondo’s wildly popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2014). Here, she includes an illustrated guide with step-by-step instructions for her special folding methods, as well as ideas for how to keep every space in your home organized. She even breaks things down by category to include items such as kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, photos and hobby goods.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

Bless This Mother-effing Home: Sweet Stitches for Snarky B**ches

By Katie Kutthroat

Photo by: Sourcebooks


If you're crafty and snarky, you'll love this fun, cross-stitch pattern book. All of Katie's favorite patterns and phrases are included, and even if you don’t yet know how to cross stitch, you'll still enjoy it. (Instagram gold!) All the pages are perforated too, so you can tear them out, color them in and hang them up.

Buy a Copy: amazon.com

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