I'm still wrapping up renovations on the house and starting to realize I don't know what to put back now that I've taken everything away. Blank shelves line perfectly-colored walls and my minimalist artwork is needing a few corresponding accents. I learned a thing or two about home design from following my mom around when she decorated the properties my grandpa managed as a kid, but that's about the extent of my interior instinct.

Best beginner design booksSo what do we do when we need to learn something? We crack open a book!

While I was touring with our sponsor HGTV in St. Simons, I noticed a ton of design books in every nook and cranny. This is no accident, I'm sure. HGTV Dream Home designer Brian Patrick Flynn is a self-taught expert with a history of turning production skills into a marketable social media commodity while magazines were still figuring out how to transition into the digital age. The man knows where to go for forward-thinking, accessible info. So I wandered the house and snapped some pics of his picks, checked them out at the library, and decided to share my favorites for any of you who may be looking to delve into the world of design.

Best beginner design booksDomino: The Book of Decorating. Domino Magazine never disappoints, and neither does their book. Start here for all the basics and a ton of inspiration. You won't regret it.

Tracery: The Art of Southern Design. I've never felt quite as at-home as when I walk into a Southern home, which is weird because I grew up in Seattle. There's something about the raw, open, functional layouts of all these spaces that just works.

Best beginner design booksElements of Style. Classic, pretty, polished while at the same time hilarious and accessible. Erin Gates is like the cool aunt we all want to have (or be).

The Holistic Home. If Marie Kondo helped you ditch the clutter in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Laura Benko will help you restructure the way you think about your space in this straightforward Feng Shui how-to.

The Kinfolk Home. More minimalism! If you're working to pare down to just the stuff that really matters, you'll love this real-life look at 35 homes from around the world that were carefully curated with only things the owners intentionally wanted to surround themselves with. It's refreshing, if not entirely practical.

Best beginner design booksCouture Prairie. Growing up, my mom's favorite design word was “shabby chic.” This is written by the gal who invented that idea. Follow Rachel Ashwell through an all-at-once fanciful and rugged decorating adventure. Even if wispy curtains and pastels aren't your bag, you'll take away some out-of-the-box inspiration for budget pairings.

The New Bohemians. Eclectic and funky is where it's at in this book that looks at real-life renditions of bohemian style, ranging from modern to folksy. Justina Blakeney gives positive encouragement to every homeowner who wants to impart bits of themselves into their space.

Best beginner design booksStyled. I should caveat this one by explaining that my personal style is absolutely nothing like the author of this book. Emily Henderson's rooms are SO boho they compel me to go into de-clutter mode. However, this is a fantastic place to start figuring out the different elements of style and where you fit into the interior design spectrum. She also walks the reader through the basic why and how of staging a room.

interior design | home design | renovation | home styleWhat are your favorite design books?