10 Interior design books I use for Inspiration

I own many interior design books and I am sure that is no suprise to you? I am passionate about not just interiors but about a house being a home. One that is as unique as its owners, that has spirit and personality. I am inspired by homes that have collections, tell stories and homes that look awe inspiring from every angle.

I don’t mean perfect, soulless show homes, I mean ‘imperfect real homes’ with a lived in character.


10 Interior design books I use for Inspiration


image of 10 Interior design books I use for Inspiration


10 Interior design books I use for Inspiration

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to share with you the books I always turn to for inspiration. This year we have reclaimed our spare room and will be turning it into a dressing room with a spare ‘day bed’ in. I have ideas, we will reuse and restore where ever we can, but first I need to feel the ‘flavour’ of the room. To see where the light is best for mirrors etc. I will not just plonk a bed in it and call it a spare room. This space needs to be used intelligently, storage as usual will be key.


Another image of 10 Interior design books I use for Inspiration


“…I don’t mean perfect, soulless show homes, I mean ‘imperfect real homes’ with a lived in character…”


All these books are published by Ryland Peters and Small, it is obviously their niche and they do it  well. So many of their books I want to add to my collection.

In no particular order here ten of my books, that I read and look at the most. They are usually to be seen stacked up in a pile beside our bed.


1 Handmade Home Living with Art and Craft *

Written by Mark and Sally Bailey

Glorious handmade and rustic in all its glory! If you like brand new and spic and span interiors this book is not for you! If you want design inspiration read this…


2 Urban Pioneer Interiors inspired by Industrial design *

Written by Sara Emslie

Image of the urban pioneer interior design book

Hard edged Industrial design is not for everyone. (I am not talking the watered down high street version either)  I love industrial design and have done for years! This book is filled with inspiration and beautiful images. I am going to copy a few ideas for my dressing room!


3 Life Unstyled How to embrace imperfection and create a home you love

Written by Emily Henson

image of my top 10 interior design books life unstyled

This one encapsulates perfectly what I was trying to explain above. The essence of a beautiful and stylish home that is not ‘styled. Emily shows us the perfectly imperfect beauty of other peoples lived in homes. Prepare to be fascinated.


4 Botanical Style Inspirational decorating with nature, plants and florals

Written by Selina Lake

botanical style by Selina Lake interior design books

Selina Lake is queen of this type of book, the minute there is a whisper in the wind of an emerging trend, she publishes a book. Beautiful photos as usual, with some fun and simple diy ideas thrown in. This book will make you yearn for the seasonal changes and the blooms that come with them.


5 Modern Vintage Style Written by Emily Chalmers

Image of the modern vintage style interior design books by emily chalmers

I have the first version/issue of this book. It is a very pretty book, a must for any vintage fan. Some superb styling and furnishing ideas to be found amongst its 160 pages. Emily Chalmers has also written Flea Market Style and Cheap Chic.


6 Shades of Grey Decorating with the most elegant of neutrals

Written by Kate Watson-Smyth

shades of grey interior design book

Kate watson-Smyth also happens to be one of my favourite interior bloggers. She writes a blog called ‘Mad about the House’ an uber stylish and highly entertaining read too! I feel privileged to have won this book from Kate herself. It is all about grey but so many shades of grey, you will be amazed at the variety of looks. of course grey as a neutral is the perfect backdrop for many other colours…


7 Bohemian Modern Imaginative and Affordable Ideas for a Creative and Beautiful Home

Written by Emily Henson

image of bohemian modern by emily henson

In my mind Bohemian Modern is everything i grew up with in the seventies! As I glance through it pages I am transported back to my childhood. To my parents modern semi-detached home of 1978 to be precise. Ageless style with a californian vibe, thrown into the mix.


8 Hans Blomquist In Detail. Inspiring ideas for creative interiors

Written by Hans Blomquist

image of hans blomquist interior design books

One of my favourite interior design books

Hans Blomquist started out working for Ikea and ended up as Director of its catalogue. I consider Hans to be the reigning king of stylists. In fact the word ‘stylist’ does not do him justice, but I cant find another to describe a man as talented as he is at his job! Simply the best perhaps?


9 Living Retro Written by Andrew Weaving

living retro interior design book

Again I have had this book so long I own the first issue so a slightly different book jacket to the one on the website. The author Andrew Weaving owns a retro gallery in London and is an expert in his field. A modern book with a retro vibe, beautifully presented. I have a few of the pieces shown in this book, I am interested to see the way other people style them in their homes. If like me you admire the calmness of a retro look, you too will be inspired.


10 Casual Living: No-fuss style for a comfortable home

written by Judith Wilson

casual living interior design book

An older book than the others and no longer available from the publisher, but still available from Amazon. A pretty collection of photos of other peoples homes, published in 2010 but still inspiring today. Judith wilson has written and styled many home interior books.

So what do you think of my interior design books ? As you can imagine I have many more interior books old and new. In fact I had a hard time narrowing it down to 10.

Would you like to read more of my craft and diy book reviews?

PS linking up with Catherine’s Saturday share

Best wishes to you and yours…


Id love it if you shared this post!
book review, interiors
I bought 8 of these books myself. The first 2 marked with * were gifted to me by the publishers. I chose them myself because they are inspiring books. I would never recommend anything to you that I would not buy myself!


  1. 24/01/2018 / 12:18

    So many books I didn’t know of! I must check Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers. Right up my street.

  2. Tamsyn
    12/01/2018 / 20:34

    These books look absolutely beautiful, I’ve been meaning to by In Detail for a while! Thank you so much for sharing x

    • 12/01/2018 / 20:40

      Tamsyn It is a beautiful book I want his ‘Natural Home’ book too!
      have a super weekend
      Ash xx

  3. 12/01/2018 / 19:56

    What a lovely collection, I have Modern Vintage Style – obviously! Enjoy your weekend. x

  4. Susanearlam
    12/01/2018 / 18:54

    I’m sure you’d love New Bohemians by Justina Blakenly

    • 12/01/2018 / 19:31

      Sue do you know I was just looking at that one too!
      can I justify another? hmmmm probably!
      Ashley xx