Best Home Decor Books for Old-World Style

Sharing the very Best Home Decor Books for Old-World Style ranging from the European farmhouse to the cozy English cottage.

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Understanding Old-World Style

Bringing old-world charm into your home is not always as easy as it might appear. These seemingly thrown-together looks are often mismatched and have elements of old and new working together creating a cozy space that is worn, and used but also beautiful.

I have spent hours combing through Instagram accounts and books that inspire me. Trying my best to figure out just what it is about these rooms that I love and which aspects I can repeat in my home.

Through the years of living in this particular home, I have gone through several style changes ultimately ending up choosing something that works with my home naturally. It wouldn’t make sense to try recreating the old-world English cottage in a large colonial-style home. Just as it wouldn’t make sense to try modernizing an old home in a country setting.

Yet that is exactly what I tried doing my first year here. It felt wrong. The modern colors dulled the atmosphere and each time guests would come they would comment on how “sweet and country” my home felt. Certainly not something I was going for at the time.

Getting it Right

Instead of continuing with my fight against the natural elements of my home. I decided to embrace all that she had to offer. This home’s decor now reflects the lifestyle being led here. Which goes hand in hand with old-world style.

This is a place where the chickens scurry about the yard, the veggies are piled high in the summer and the kitchen is a workhorse all year round. For this, there are worn pieces, antique oil paintings, and useable items out on display. This didn’t happen overnight but over time. Collected antique and thrift store finds began replacing modern pieces. Slowly but surely this place has become an old-world home that feels charming, and comfortable.

If you are trying to capture these elements, I want to share with you my best home decor books for creating old-world style. These books have helped me create a vision for my space and continue to inspire me. I know they will do the same for you.

Best Home Decor Books

Perfect English Cottage by Ros Byam Shaw

This book is a classic when it comes to creating old-world style. It is filled with English cottage charm showcasing homes that are worn but loved and lived in. There are rich textures, colors, and vignettes that offer anyone looking to dive into this style, the perfect framework for doing so. The homes featured have character and charm without anything being overly staged. This is a great addition for someone looking to add that old-world cottage charm to their home.

Perfect English Farmhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

Going right in line with my second top pick for old-world style. This Perfect English Farmhouse book is excellent at highlighting rustic real farmhouses that are designed with comfort and aesthetically pleasing tones. Throughout this book, you can find worn woods, textiles, fabrics, and eye-catching sitting areas that celebrate true farmhouse living. This book is guaranteed to inspire the old world lover in you.

Country House Style by Nora Murphy

Of all the books on this list, this one might surprise you. But hopefully in the very best of ways. This book is more of a modern style book however, this author captures the classic style of country homes perfectly. The country house style is timeless, inviting, and stylish. Though there are modern elements within the book, there is an abundance of beautifully placed old-world elements in each of the homes featured. Going through this book, I seem to find something new with each turn of the page. There are several country-style homes featured, all beautifully and classically decorated. However, the real features are the details that are shared within each of the pages. Small vignettes, tablescapes, and beautiful entryways are telling a story to the people that live in these beautiful spaces.

City Farmhouse Style by Kim Leggett

This is a great book for those that love the farmhouse look. More on the American side of the farmhouse, this book features lots of natural elements, worn pieces married with new and beautiful style but comfortable living spaces. Though this book is not so old-world it does have elements of old world that are worth checking out. Especially if you love a good farmhouse feel.

Perfect Country Rooms By Emma Louis O’Reilly

The rooms featured in this Perfect Country Rooms are rustic, chippy, and rough in some senses. All are not so perfect in their conditions which is likely what makes them the perfect country rooms as this author so aptly names the book. Within these pages, the worn wood, rustic seating areas, and stone walls show a timeless style that offers charm and inspiration. Most give the European old-world feel to them and in that sense offers a classic peak into real old-world home decor.

Final Thoughts

Old-world style proves to be challenging. At least in my experience it certainly has been. Each piece that you bring into your home needs to be given real thought. Many times over, you might find yourself choosing the wrong pieces. For this, I would say not to rush the process. Give it time. Collect only the pieces that you know for certain feel right and leave the others you find yourself questioning.

Allow walls to be empty or spaces to be a work in progress. Instead of rushing out to buy something just to fill the space. In doing so you will not just save money and time. But the process will be easier as when you see the right piece for the space, you will instantly know. As you will not have to rethink what is already there.

Whatever the goal is for your space, I hope you find these home decor books helpful in achieving that classic old-world style in your home.

Happy hunting!

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Perfect English Farmhouse

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