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Books That Inspire: Recent Reads That Shape Our Interior Design Approach

In the field of interior design, where creativity and functionality meet, it's important to be inspired by different sources.

Beyond the glossy pages of mainstream design magazines, our founder and head designer, Carly Rose, finds inspiration in the pages of timeless books. These aren't just design manuals, but literary journeys that stand the test of time and offer unique insights.

Let’s take a look at Carly's latest read and discover how they shaped the way she approaches interior design at Rose Design.

"A Philosophy of Interior Design" by Stanley Abercrombie:

According to Carly, sometimes it's good to get back to basics. Published in 1990, this book includes references you won't find in Dwell or Architectural Digest. It deals with the intricate layers of interior design. Carly recommends it, especially if you're about to embark on a renovation project. It encourages you to think beyond materials and consider how different design elements interact to create a lasting impression in a space

"The Art of Classical Details" by Phillip James Dodd

Carly describes "The Art of Classical Details" as dense and serious and recommends the book for leisurely reading in small sections. It offers a journey through living history and tradition, with essays from 25 different voices, including architects, scholars, and craftsmen. Engaging with this book is like taking a walk through the intricate world of classical detail, offering insights that go beyond the ordinary.


Interior Design

"American Lighting 1840-1940" by Nadja Maril

Carly enthusiastically calls "American Lighting 1840-1940" her favorite of the books. Although it was originally intended for lighting collectors, it is a captivating exploration for non-collectors as well. The book turns out to be a fascinating journey through the evolution of lighting design. From the intricate details of oil lamps to the beginnings of electric light, Carly emphasizes how interwoven our lives are with light and how it affects how we create and experience our interiors. She describes the book as a "page-turner".

"Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of The Trailblazing Architect" by Victoria Kastner

Carly chose the audiobook format for "Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Pioneering Architect." Julia Morgan was the first woman to receive an architect's license in California. Carly emphasizes that Morgan's architectural influence goes far beyond her pioneering work. Her work has significantly shaped the San Francisco Bay Area and California as we know it today. Carly points to Morgan's remarkable ability to effortlessly run a highly successful firm, and it highlights Morgan's collaboration with the prolific collector William Randolph Hearst. The iconic Hearst Castle is as much Julia Morgan's legacy as William Randolph Hearst's.


Interior Design

"The New Antiquarians" by Michael Diaz-Griffith

Carly enthusiastically describes "The New Antiquarians" as a contemporary exploration of collectors' homes. Far from being mundane, this book offers an inspiring and refreshing take on interior design. Carly appreciates that it goes beyond the traditional interior designer portfolio book, and offers a unique look at the dynamic and eclectic spaces of collectors. The book, she notes, breathes new life into the world of interior design literature, and offers insights that go beyond the ordinary.

"Beauty" by Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

Carly's affection for "Beauty" is palpable. She expresses her love for the book, describing it as conceptual, light, and attractive. Carly believes that the book has the power to change your perspective and make you see things differently. Reading "Beauty" becomes a transformative experience that reveals the profound impact of exceptional graphic design on the way one reads and absorbs ideas. Carly highlights the book's ability to spark creativity and the importance of visual elements in communicating concepts.


Interior Design

As Carly immersed herself in these reads, she not only absorbed knowledge but allowed it to influence Rose Design’s approach to interior design. Full of history, fresh perspectives, and timeless charm, these books aren't just trendsetters — they guide us to create spaces with enduring charm. Beyond design tips, they take us on a journey that expands our understanding of interior aesthetics. 


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