My Top Ten Favourite Books For Interior Inspiration

I've always had a thing for a glossy coffee table book.  The whole idea of a book to read whilst relaxing on the sofa with a cup of coffee is, for me, the ultimate in luxury.  Well, obviously two weeks in Mauritius might top it but if you've got a quick half hour to yourself and time for a browse then you can't beat a good interior read.   The best thing about interior publications is the whole visual element of the pages, the immediacy, the glossiness.  In a time when social media is a key element when it comes to how we gain inspiration for our homes, it's still wonderful to be able to pick up an interiors magazine or a book when we have a moment for ourselves.  

No corner of my  home is safe from a coffee table book stack.

No corner of my  home is safe from a coffee table book stack.

I'm not going to lie, I've got a few.  More than a few.  But I never get bored of them, I can always find something in them that makes me think twice. I wrote a blog post last year about how interior magazines have shaped the way I decorate my home - looking back at ten year old editions of Livingetc can still set my mind racing as to how I can incorporate some of these ideas from over a decade ago into my own space.  The same applies to my choices below.  I own every one of the books I've listed within my Top Ten and the ideas within them always inspire me.  The premise of all these books is individual style, not trend driven, not telling you what to do.  They encourage you to work the ideas into your own home to reflect your own personality.  

They are all available to Add To Bag on Amazon, which has a lot to answer for when it comes to my interior book collection.  I've been burned by the One Click pay situation many times, with books arriving on the doorstep in full view of my husband which I've preordered three months ago and then forgotten about.  Amazon Prime is the nemesis of my bank account - one random and unthought out mouse click and it disappears annually from my credit card with no warning for the next ten years as it's far too complicated to cancel.  

And why order just one thing when you can order two, three or ten and get the ultimate Free Next Day Delivery?  It's like fairy magic, with the fairy being a heavy breathing, fragrantly challenged delivery driver who throws boxes at your front door.  I have the same issue with Paypal - the introduction of Buy Now, Pay After Delivery has transformed my buying power.  It's like FREE MONEY, ffs.  Until it disappears from your bank account with two days to go before payday.  Godammit, I am totally their target audience.

Anyway, I can categorically say that all of my interior volumes are excellent investments. Some of these I've had for many years, but they are all keepers. Here are my favourite Top Ten interior books that reside on my very own coffee table.


Styled, Emily Henderson

Crown Publishing - Amazon £16.81

Let's start with Style Guru, Emily Henderson.  I never fail to be inspired by what Emily does - The Fig House is one of my favourite all time spaces - and this book doesn't disappoint.  

Loads of fab ideas for styling your home, plus Emily's penchant for juxtaposing modern with vintage is a winner every time in my book.  And her book.  Ha. Every time I pick it up it makes me want to rearrange my home.


Wonder Walls, Supermarket Sarah (Sarah Bagner)

Cico Books - Amazon Priced From £1.39

I've had this book for years and it's a constant source of inspiration to me.  Sarah started selling vintage wares in Portobello Market before setting up Supermarket Sarah, where she displays her items on walls and you click to buy.  

She believes that you should follow your heart when it comes to styling your home, an ethos that aligns perfectly with my own, and her book is full of ideas on how to portray your own personality through your space.  


Things I Love, Megan Morton

Octopus Books, Amazon £22.50

I bought this book six years ago and it never fails to make me happy. It's an interactive book filled with gloriously stylish homes from around the world, interspersed with cool art postcards and inspiration quotes such as 'if you're into 'stuff', ask yourself, 'is this beautiful or is it pet rescue for ceramic dog figurines?'.  

Megan is a renowned stylist known for her 'house whispering' skills and this book is full of glossy inspiration.  Whilst writing this, I noticed she's got a new book that I'd managed to miss called It's Beautiful Here so I immediately ordered it.  I'm such an easy sell.


Things We Love, Kate Spade

Abrams - Amazon £17.50

This book is an ode to all things gorgeous - pages and pages of lovely things, from treasured flea market finds to colour pop photography, including the Girls In The Windows shot by Ormond Gigli which is one of my all time favourites.  The perfect book to browse, it's full of beautiful images, varied typography and inspirational pictures and quotes.  

The amazing Kate Spade may no longer be with us, but we can still appreciate the fabulousness that she brought to our lives through the pages of this wonderful book.


Mad About The House:  How To Decorate Your Home With Style, Kate Watson-Smyth

Pavilion Books - Amazon £14

Kate is the writer of the hugely popular and award winning interiors blog, Mad About The House, and this is her second book.  It's full of useful hints and tips, taking you through how to work out the best colours to suit your style and how to implement them, plus in depth instructions on designing and planning each room within your home.  

It's an absolutely essential addition to the coffee table and Kate's fifteen years of experience writing about interiors for publications such as the Financial Times, The Independent and The Daily Mail means that you are in safe hands.


Upcycling Outdoors, Max McMurdo

Quarto Publishing - Amazon, £11.99

This is Max's second book and it's bursting with fabulous ideas.  Max is a designer, upcycler and entrepreneur - after his passion for recycling and design took him to Dragons Den, he went on to start his own company and regularly appears on TV showing how he works his magic.  

This book contains twenty brilliant projects you can undertake at home using recycled items for barely any cost - from a pallet play ten to a festoon lampshade, they are all easily achievable with simple instructions and clear photography.  It's a lovely looking book with cool typography and great styling, ticking every one of my coffee table book boxes.  


Creative Living London, Emily Wheeler, Ingrid Rasmussen

Thames & Hudson - Amazon £19.74

This book was a gift from my lovely friend Julia, whose business, Suburban Salon, makes beautiful hand made stools.  She knew I'd love it - it's full of the most glamorous London homes imaginable with fabulous photography and details of the home owners and how they went about designing the spaces.  It's super cool, thirty four amazing homes arranged by areas of the City, from Shepherds Bush to Shoreditch and everything in between.  

There's loads of individual and inspiring rooms that will have you wanting to pack your bags and move to London immediately.  Which you would, of course, if the house prices weren't 20 times more than anywhere else in the country.  A super aspirational read with the wow factor.


Modern Vintage Style, Emily Chalmers

Ryland Peters & Small - Amazon £15.98

This is another book that I've owned for years and have always taken loads of inspiration from.  Emily is the owner of cool Shoreditch interiors store, Caravan, and the book is photography by respected photographer, Debi Treloar.  It's full of ideas of how to incorporate vintage into your home and it was from this very book that I first got the inspiration to mix and match my dining furniture and juxtapose with modern.

Again, it features some amazing homes and homeowners (including the Creative Directors of Anthropologie at the time of publishing) and hundreds of inspiring ideas that are forever timeless and defy the trend wheel.


Happy By Design, Victoria Harrison

Octopus Books - Amazon £12.99

This lovely book was sent to me this week and it's a perfect buy, both for your wellbeing and your coffee table styling.  I'm a huge believer that your surroundings are a major part of your happiness and this little book gives you plenty of ideas to make your space work for you.  

From which plants to choose and how to hang them to making your space cosy and filling your home with the brightest of light and beautiful scent, it's all budget friendly and easy to implement.  Victoria is the Editor of Houzz UK and an interiors columnist for both The Metro and the i newspaper - it's a lovely, practical read with lots of tips to make your home the happiest it can be.


Rockett St George Extraordinary Interiors, Jane Rockett & Lucy St George

Ryland Peters & Small - Amazon £12.18

I've been obsessed with Rockett St George since I won a competition on the Livingetc website back in 2008, the prize for which was £150 of Rockett St George vouchers.  With my winnings, I purchased a plate and a print, both of which are still on my walls today.  

This is Jane and Lucy's first book, again photographed by Debi Treloar, and it's packed full of ideas to make your home stand out from the crowd - ideas which never go out of style, which don't stick to trends.  Plus if you use social media, you'll see plenty of familiar faces such as Kate Learmonth, Deborah Vos and Shelley Carline, the owner of Hilary & Flo in Sheffield.  A beautiful book that will inspire you every time you pick it up.

So there's my favourite books for when I need a shot of hardcore interior inspiration.  Social media has taken over much of this function, but there's still nothing like opening the pages of a glossy magazine or a fabulously glamorous interiors volume to give you that sense of realness. The photographs don't swipe away, they're there to go back to whenever you're stuck for ideas or a quick fix.  Bright, beautiful and on your coffee table.