My Favourite Interior Books

If you happen to be someone who obsesses over interiors, you probably own a fair few interior books.  Yes, I know you can access many images via Pinterest and Instagram, however it just doesn’t feel the same.  Maybe it’s an age thing, but I love nothing better than sitting down with a beautiful book full of inspirational images and words about my favourite subject.

I have way more interior books than the ‘average’ person.  So, I have put together a list of my top 5.  This list is sure to change as new books are published, but for now this is how it stands.

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The Stuff of Life, by Hilary Robertson

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For anybody that enjoys a good faff, this book is for them.   A large section of the book focuses on ‘how to arrange your stuff’, which seems simple enough when you know how, however the many stunningly curated arrangements detailed in these pages, show you it isn’t always as easy as just throwing stuff together and hoping for the best. The book breaks down the arranging of items in four ways;

Intuitive - seemingly random arrangements / Narrative - arrangements that tell a story / Practical - the display of useful things / Curatorial - a cabinet of curiosities'

As we read on, we get to see some beautiful images from real homes which shows us how 'the stuff of life tells those stories within our homes.   .

'For me, making a home really was about the layers of things that are acquired over time; things that have stories and remind you of place sand people and a feeling of discovery.  It’s also a way of showing the world who you are; the museum of me; a key to your personality.  I think that all ‘stuff’, even the most quotidian, can be beautiful if it is arranged as if it is important.

Maybe I am little strange, but I have spent many an hour turning the pages of this book, feeling utterly inspired and ready for some rearranging!  You can see also that a corner has been eaten, not by me, may I add, but by one of the whippets.  

Design Sponge, by Grace Bonney

If you don’t follow the Design Sponge blog, it’s best you go and do that straight away.  Grace Bonney, the author of this book created the Design Sponge blog many moons ago (I think in 2003), before anyone had thought of creating a community for designers. 

This book, first published in 2011, is a lovely representation of that blog, with many sneak peeks of gorgeous homes that have featured previously on the blog.  What’s so great about this book is that a lot of the stuff you see, can be recreated in your own home.  Plus, some great before and after shots of diy projects to inspire us all.  I am embarrassed that my first flat which I managed to make look like some 80's porn palace with a shag pile carpet and everything, eventually featured on this blog.  Obviously after my brother had bought the place from me!

My favourite house feature is the one on page 100.  As Jonathan Adler puts it in the foreword - this book reminds us that design is about inspiration, not snobbism.  It’s about empowerment, self-expression, and pluck.

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The New Creative Home, London Style by Talib Choudhry

This is the most recent interior book I have purchased and I absolutely love it.  Having moved from London to the country just a few short years ago, I still crave the individuality of the city.  The people, the coffee bars, the independent shops and just the general vibe.  This book takes you inside some seriously cool homes where individuality is everything. 

‘I have a possession obsession, and for that you need big rooms,’ says New Zealand-born Jessica McCormack.  l’m a big believer in going with your gut.  Don’t worry about themes: mix different styles and eras that reflect your personality.  Surround yourself with what makes you happy.’

This book is absolutely about not giving a damn about trends, but embracing colour, combining different styles and showing your personality through your home.  Totally inspiring. 

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In the Mood for Colour, Hans Blomquist

I would imagine that your are already familiar with the work of Hans Blomquist.  He is a celebrated interior stylist working all over the world.  This book is about the power of colour and how it can make you feel within your home.  

The book isn’t preachy at all, but filled with lots of useful advice when choosing your colour schemes.  I hear all the time from people visiting the shop that they are afraid to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to choosing paint colours.  It’s the one thing you can change really easily, so how bad can it be! (Just ask Mr Wattle!)

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Old & New by Katherine Sorrell

This teeny tiny book is packed with inspirational ideas and images of how the old and new can live happily side by side (interior based things not people may I add).  Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to combine an art deco cabinet with a contemporary piece, however this book does a great job of showing you how.   

'If it looks good, don't be afraid to pair a 50's metal chair with a 19th century gilded French table.  Forget old-fashioned notions of 'good taste' and approach the decoration of your home with a spirit of adventure and plenty of imagination'. Old & New will show you how you can do this.

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Gemma Lewis