If You're Looking For Interior Design Inspiration This Is The List For You

If you're thinking of giving your home a makeover, the team at the Guille-Allès Library is here to help with this list of interior design ideas to inspire you - with personal insights from our go-to librarian Abi Payne.

From a fresh take on traditional designs to imaginative ideas for modern homes, this selection of books will help you transform your space.




1.  Heritage Style: A Fresh New Take on Traditional Design by Selina Lake

Our homes are more important to us than ever before, and heritage style harks back to the reassuring comfort of traditional interiors. Panelling, wallpaper, floral fabrics and heritage paint colours provide a backdrop for house plants, artworks and contemporary crafts, while upholstered and wicker furniture, pretty decorative detailing and plump cushions feel warm, welcoming and familiar. It’s not only a comforting style, but also a sustainable one, built around pre-owned and vintage pieces sourced at online auctions or on Instagram and given a new lease of life in modern homes. Heritage Style shows how to create a home that feels both modern and nostalgic at the same time – inviting, easy to live in and full of intriguing personal touches.


The ‘top tips’ scattered throughout are a nice touch, with some genuinely achievable ideas about fabric choice, colour and key pieces of furniture. - Abi


2.  Décor Galore: The Essential Guide to Styling Your Home by Laura de Barra

With Gaff Goddess Laura de Barra proved she was the queen of She-IY, but that was just the beginning. In Décor Galore she takes us room by room with genius and stunning tips for how to revamp your home on any budget. Whether you want to maximise storage, create layered lighting, or install a new kitchen, Décor Galore has got you covered. Gaff Goddess empowered you to pick up a drill and now Décor Galore will empower you to create the home you've always wanted. IBA Lifestyle Book of the Year.

I’d love to tell you more about this book but every time I go to take a look, it’s out on loan. One to add to you reserve list asap. - Abi


3.  How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century – P Gaye Tapp

Gloria Vanderbilt cleverly noted, decorating is autobiography. Reflecting that truism, the interiors in this book capture the individual approaches of these icons of style: Helene Rochas’s refined sophistication; Vanessa Bell’s colourful bohemianism; and Georgia O Keeffe s earthy chic. The interiors of these trendsetting ladies defied their time and inspire and delight to this day. In How They Decorated, you can learn from the most notable style muses of the last century.

The candid ‘at home’ photos included in the book are wonderful. A fascinating read if you like the history of design and how society influences the trends of the time. - Abi


4.  Creative Children's Spaces: Fresh and Imaginative Ideas for Modern Family Homes by Ashlyn Gibson

Putting together a creative and inspiring environment for children is perhaps one of the most exciting interior projects, yet it is also one of the hardest to get  right.'Creative Children's Spaces' is here to change that. Firstly, Ashlyn Gibson sets out to make sense of the basics, providing a valuable guide to creating a
childhood haven that can evolve with your children and all their changing needs, from newborn to pre-teen. Next, Ashlyn discusses the key elements of successful and inspiring children's spaces—color, wall decor, storage, display, dens and hidey holes, creative spaces and homework zones, and cozy bedrooms. She visits real-life homes that feature imaginative and stylish design ideas and explores children’s spaces that provide an inspirational backdrop for busy family life.

There are some super cool ideas in here, many of which could be done DIY on a relatively small budget. From all the usual topics like clever storage to creative workspaces, but with a fun twist. - Abi




5.  Beautifully Small: Clever Ideas for Compact Spaces by Sara Emslie

In Beautifully Small, Sara Emslie embraces the positive aspects of living in small spaces and offers design and style solutions to the practical problems associated with limited living space. Sara draws inspiration from truly tiny spaces such as boats and caravans as well as her own home - a diminutive workman’s cottage in a London suburb. She explores useful design elements, reflecting on real life case studies for pocket-size interiors.


Super useful design ideas for flats and other small spaces. She even includes floorplans to show how things are laid out for maximum effect. - Abi



6.  Be Bold with Colour and Pattern by Emily Henson

Bring joy into your home using playful patterns, bold prints and vivid colours with Emily Henson’s Be Bold with Colour and Pattern. Learn how to incorporate strong, saturated colour and eye-catching patterns. Fresh greens, uplifting pinks and moody blues are in vogue and statement wallpapers are the next big thing, while trend forecasters predict that retro patterns such as polka dots are making a comeback. In Be Bold with Colour and Pattern, Emily embraces this individual, free-spirited look and shows how to translate it to any home.

This one is my favourite! So many quirky, colourful ideas. Will 100% be using some these colourways and pattern combinations in my own house. - Abi


7.  Easy Cottage Style: Comfortable Interiors for Country Living by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell

Country style evokes ideas of natural comfort – the warm glow of a winter fire or floral fabrics swaying in a summer breeze – which can be recreated in all types of interiors. In this book, inspiring case studies demonstrate how every room can be given a taste of rustic charm: the kitchen made warm and comfortable, the bedroom soft and romantic, and the living room natural and tranquil. Even antiques can be used in a contemporary way, as we all embrace the importance of sustainability in our daily lives. Easy Cottage Style highlights new ways to look at the country and shows you how vintage and second-hand finds can enrich your home.


Really lovely modern, rustic inspiration without being too twee. It even has some step-by-step guides in the back for the projects mentioned. - Abi


8.  Wild at Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants by Hilton Carter

Take a tour through Hilton’s own apartment and other lush spaces, filled with a huge array of thriving plants, and learn all you need to know to create your own urban jungle. As the owner of over 200 plants, Hilton feels strongly about the role of plants in one’s home—not just for the beauty they add, but for health benefits as well: ‘having plants in your home not only adds life, but changes the airflow throughout. It’s also a key design element when styling your place. For me, it wasn’t about just having greenery, but having the right variety of greenery. I like to see the different textures of foliage all grouped together. You take a fiddle leaf fig and sandwich it between a birds of paradise and a monstera and…. yes!’


This book is packed with photos and inspiration to get you excited about adding plants to your space. There’s even a section on how to make a plant hammock! There’s also lots of useful information about care, propagation and grouping of course. - Abi


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