By Emma Di Salvo

Redecorating your home is an exciting prospect, but it can also feel overwhelming. Often, the biggest hurdle is knowing where and how to begin. You want the space to feel like you while also being functional and stylish. If you’re anything like me, creating a space that feels like “you” means white walls, simple furniture and maybe the odd potted plant.

Finding inspiration can be difficult, so without further ado, let me introduce you to 5 excellent books that can help your interior design go from dull to dazzling!

The Cosy Home

Something I find really off-putting is entering someone’s house which looks like a show home. Everything is a little too perfect and formal. Homes should feel inviting, comfortable and cosy. 

For best-selling author Isabel Gillies, having a cosy environment means we can truly be ourselves, relax and get the most out of our living space. Returning to a comfortable home after a long day at work can make life less hectic and help reduce stress. Earthy colours such as beiges and browns can have a grounding effect on our psyche, and an uncluttered space is essential. 

Candles and pillows also help add to that homely feel. Read Gillies’ Cozy: The Art of Arranging Yourself In the World to learn more about creating a cosy space.

The Holiday Home

One of the most beautiful interiors I’ve ever seen was in Bali. What struck me most about the Balinese style was how it made indoor spaces look and feel like outdoor spaces. This particular style takes much of its inspiration from nature, using subtle yet striking colours to promote feelings of inner peace.

Finding yourself a gorgeous Balinese-inspired rug or throw is an excellent place to start. Then style the rest of the room around that particular pattern or design. Frame windows with white sheer and linen curtains and thoughtfully place baskets to add that extra touch of character and radiate that Balinese flair. 

For more ideas and tips to tap into the tropical island feel, check out Bali Home: Inspirational Design Ideas by Kim Inglis.

The Modern Home

If you’re looking for something modern and edgy, check out S Is For Style: The Schumacher Book Of Decoration by Dara Caponigro. Previously, when I tried to make certain spaces look edgy, the furthest I got was having a rather ghastly animal print rug in my room at university. 

Turns out there is a very thin line between lavish and tacky. And I crossed it. 

A style guide like this book can be a lifesaver and save you time and regret! The book is laid out thematically, with each chapter starting with a fun questionnaire. It is full of unique pattern ideas and is a highly accessible read. Monochromatic colours and natural light scream “modern interior”, as do interesting shaped furniture and cool window shutters.

The Small Home

Sometimes we have to get more creative when we have less room to play with. Clever design strategies can even make a smaller space appear bigger. Tricks, such as using light colours and limiting the number of patterns you use, can help. 

The key to decorating a small home is to first declutter. This is to make space for what you really want and eliminate what you don’t. It is essential to not compromise your personal style, so consider items carefully before you chuck them. 

The book Small Spaces: Maximizing Limited Spaces for Living by Elizabeth Wilhide talks about embracing a minimalist lifestyle to make you and your home feel more organised. Then you can add your personal flair and make it feel like home. 

The Bohemian Home

Admit it, we all love a bit of nostalgia, and what better way to relive the good old days than to design your home around an era that means something to you? Take the ’70s, for example. 

Cultural icons such as Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin inspired millions not only with their music but with their exciting bohemian style and attitude. This time in history is remembered fondly as a time of experimental fashion and interior design. 

Jungle prints, funky geometric shapes and bold, playful designs were all the rage. And Macramé could be seen everywhere (a form of textile using various knots). With just a few simple adjustments, you can transform your home into a ’70s-inspired pad, baby! Check out Terrance Conran’s The House Book for retro fun inspo.

Redecorating your home is a bit like giving yourself a makeover. It should reflect who you are, who you want to be and how you want to live. Cosy homes are great for creating feelings of warmth and security, whereas modern-style interiors focus more on the aesthetic. 

Whatever style you decide, consider the space you have and how to best use it. Take advice from these fantastic books and embrace new for your home ideas. Enjoy!