you are here: home > home staging, decorating & interior design books

Home Staging, Decorating & Interior Design Books

Learn To Home Stage

In this section you'll find our reviews of the best home staging, decorating and interior design books both new and old. We've found these books to be informative, inspirational or just great reads.

Do let us know if you find a great book that you love and want to tell others about.

Send us an email and your review and well post your review in the book club section.

Happy reading.


Home Staging Handbook

The Property Coach™

Home Staging Handbook

High Performance Property Marketing, Made Easy!

Home Staging Handbook - The Property Coach™

  • Do you want to sell for your asking price or more?
  • Are you disappointed by the valuation of your home?
  • Getting lots of viewings but no offers! Wonder why?
  • Do you want to generate higher rental incomes?
  • Do you want your own Home Staging business?

High Performance Property Marketing made easy!

The Property Coach Home Staging Handbook is designed to help anyone who answered yes to any of the questions above.

Learn the home staging techniques that professionals, like myself, use to prepare property for the selling or rental market.

My name is Brian Cotsen and I show you, in easy to follow chapters, how to apply the essential Home Staging techniques to prepare your property for those all seeing buyers or renters.

Get Your Home Ready To Sell In 2008 - Take a look now!


Living Rooms - Pottery Barn

If any of you have ever bought any Marks & Spencer Home Decorating books you may have seen this one. A great book that has loads of luscious photos and interior design shots of living rooms and how to create them.

Sadly they are only now available in the US or to order.

What I really like about these books, not just the photos, which are lovely, but the way that the book shows you how to recreate the interiors with colour swatches for paint, materials, lighting used and where to find products.

You'll see I recommend Pottery Barn Home Decorating Books again and again... but they are great.



Flea Market Style

This is one of those fantastic Home Decorating books that gives you ideas about how to reuse all sorts of things that you might see in an old junk shop...but not see their potential.

I love the way this book shows you how an old wire basket with scrunched up brown paper can look fab on the floor near to a pile of old books and an old carpetbag.

Sometimes these are the books that help you to add soul to a beautiful interior that looks a bit too much like a show home or TV set.


Simple Curtains by Katrin Cargill

Katrin Cargill seems to have sewn up - pardon the pun - the market for soft furnishings guides. Her simple no-nonsense guides coupled with beautifully photographed and illustrated books give you all the confidence and inspiration to achieve great results with your sewing machine.

I particularly love this Home Decorating book because it is so practically laid out. It is spiral bound which means that you can lay each page open without either the book closing or damaging the spine.

See later Home Decorating Books on cushions and other sewing projects.

This is a 'Must buy' book if you love making soft furnishings.



Harmonious Home

From the Ryland, Peters & Small stable this book is written by Judith Wilson and is beautifully photographed. The RPS company seem to produce the most gorgeous of Home Decorating, interiors and food books and yet they are so much more than 'Coffee Table' fodder.
I have masses of 'post-it' notes in the pages of my copy...that I regularly thumb for ideas and inspiration.

This book demonstrates how to achieve upmarket, individual and elegant homes with restrained but effective use of colour and furnishings.

RPS trademarks of mixing quirky and contemporary shine through here.



Apartment - Stylish Solutions For Apartment Living

I'd say that the title really says it all. Working through a series of real apartments throughout the world this book shows you how to use these versatile spaces to their best.

i love the reworking of a Barbican Flat, the wonderful eclectic Paris Apartment and the fabulous minimalist space of the New York Loft.

Check out the Toy Theatre paper print on page 87...fabulous!



Interiors By Design

I couldn't decide whether to put this book into the Home Decorating Books Section or the Business I've put it in both!

This book reminds me of the Pottery Barn Books. A series of Interior Design projects are analysed from the point of conception to completion.

The process of design is followed with artists impressions and the finished results.

This book offers inspiration and information for the amateur and the professional designer.

The only problem is that it makes you want to move and start decorating all over again!



Bedrooms - Ideas For Stylish Sleeping Spaces

Here's another of those great Pottery Barn books.
Again you may have seen this in Marks & Spencer's a few years ago but sadly they no longer sell it.

I love the feel of comfort and style that they conjure up with their clever interior design ideas.

This book mixes creative inspiration and practical straight forward advice.

There are hundreds of styling tips with everything you need to know to create beautiful sleeping spaces anywhere in any style.



Wall To Wall - Linda Barker (review by Lucy Hatton - thanks Lucy!)

I love books on interior design, but I'm getting really bored by the way loads of publications all seem to use the same old stock photographs time and time again.

Well, this book is very different. It says on the cover that there are 100 ideas for decorating your walls (and there really are) but the best thing is that they are all new ideas, with all new photography. The book is broken down into lots of sections about wallpaper, paint, fabric, timber and stuff like that, and actually has plenty of projects in it that you would want to do at home - not just look at in a book!

Some of the projects are explained in a sort of step by step way, which is done well, but if I have a criticism then it would be that a few more of these 'how to' sections would have been most welcome. I think it's done by the Linda Barker who used to be in Changing Rooms on the TV, but it doesn't say that anywhere I could find, anyway she knows her stuff because it's definitely got some really original ideas (and some great new photographs for a change). A refreshing change from the normal 'recycled' design books.


Colour - Kevin McCloud

Long before Kevin McCloud presented 'Grand Designs' the TV programme, he wrote some really good Home Decorating Books on colour. This, his latest, is another great example of how to use colour in interior design.

If there is one subject that confuses people more than others, when putting together a new decorating's colour.

Kevin clearly explains why colour works, how to chose colours so that you create the right mood and why, sometimes, things go wrong.

I really like the chapter on using neutrals and kind of advice!



The Colour Scheme Source Book - Anna Starmer

This Book 'Does What It Says On The Tin'!

How do you combine colours without them clashing?
How do you know which colours will complement each other for a subdued effect, and which will give a more energised feel?

This inspirational handbook contains over 200 colour scheme ideas for interior designers and home decorators. Discover how colour can be used to create ambience, or to give the illusion of space, depth, warmth and light.

Divided into the major colour groups, each section explores a range of hues, from primary brights to the palest of pastels, presenting failsafe palettes for refreshingly original interior schemes.



The Life Laundry - Dawner Walters

I met Dawner Walters while I was helping Ann Maurice on the Advanced House Doctor Course that she runs.

Dawner is down to earth, not at all 'Woo Woo' like so many who are involved in De Cluttering and Feng Shui.

Her Practical No-nonsense approach will get you to take stock of your home and its' contents.

This may not be a Home Decorating Book but it helps lay the foundations on which great homes are built.


How Clean Is Your House? - Kim & Aggie

Yes it has advice for the really filthy people like on the TV show, but it also has some great little bits of advice for those of us who want to be able to make chores quicker and easier, and dare I say it, more enjoyable, from little simple things you might not think of, such as using two buckets when mopping the kitchen (one with clean water, one to drain out into), and putting cut lemons in the microwave on full power for 3 minutes to loosen dirt and make the microwave smell lovely, both simple little things you might not think of, but which will help your routine, to help for specific little problems, such as how to get fingerprints off walls and how to stop bathroom tiles getting watermarks!

I try and catch Aggie's column in the Saturday the magazine section, always has useful tit bits of advice.



Cleaning Hints & Tips - Cindy Harris

Cleaning can't really be classified as Home Decorating however if you've gone to the trouble of getting your house beautiful then surely you want to keep it that way.

As for those who are in the Homestaging business, this book is a must for solving all those irritating problems that you find in clients to get wax off the sofa, how to clean 'spa' baths (if any one still has them!) etc.

I also like the look of the cover!


Organizing From The Inside Out - Julie Morganstern

I really like this book for its practical no nonsense approach. Written by someone who knows all about what being disorganised is like...and then getting to grips with it. Well if Julie can then anyone can!

Here's a review by Simon Derwent - Thanks Simon

This book is terrific. I initially thought this book contained quite a bit of padding, but I decided to cut straight to the chase and so used its ideas to organise my desk area. Now I wish I'd had it years ago. Before buying this book my wife and I were thinking of having our loft or garage converted into living space as we had run out of room in our home. This book has convinced us that we don't need to, saving thousnads and thousands of pounds for us.



Organizing Plain And Simple - Donna Smallin

Well it 'Does What It Says On The Tin' Great everyday solutions to keeping the family and home organized and running like clockwork.

Even if you aren't as disciplined as Ms Smallin, just putting into practice some of her ideas will help you to get your life more sorted and ordered.

I love the ideas for getting things like the drawers and cabinets in kitchens and offices into shape.


Lighting - Elizabeth Wilhide

Why are we so bad at lighting our homes?

I have to say that in my career I find people pay less attention to this than to any other aspect of interior design, and so often I feel that it should be one of the starting points.

All too often lighting is seen (ooooops there I go again with puns) as an after thought...NO NO NO time for a lesson in using this most important and exciting elements of design.

Read more about lighting in my article 'How to use lighting in interior design' in the 'Expert Advice' section



Buying & Selling Your Home For Dummies - Dummies Series

I really like the Dummies series because they approach each subject in a way that you or I tend to think about the issues.

They are also really easy to read and absorb. They arrange each chapter in easy to understand bites and give you loads of useful analogies to help you grasp the topic that they are tackling.

This book is great for the UK market, who's property deals seem to confuse even the most organised brains.

Read more about buying & selling property in my 'Advice on buying & selling property' section in the 'Experts Advice' section of the website.


Being Green - Dick Strawberry

Review by Simon Sherlock - Thanks Simon

This book is a great addition to the TV series and also a fantastic resource of links and phone numbers for various companies that can help us become more green.

It's also an easy read that gives everybody the information to start living a greener life wherever and however they choose to lead that life. And what's really good about it is it can be read independantly of the series making it a great book to own on the subject long after the series is finished.



Green Living - emagazine

True to its subject, this isn't an actual book but an ebook. So if you want to do your bit for the environment and find out more about how you can live more greenly then this is the ebook for you.

The great thing about this and other ebooks is that you can print off and read those parts that you want to and leave the rest on your computer screen.

Frank, witty, concise...what more can you ask for in a little green book? The bath advice alone is well worth the cover price. Go on, buy a few and send them to pals. You too can help save the planet.


Storage & Display - Pottery Barn

Yet another great book from the American company Pottery Barn. This one was not available in this country but if you've bought the Living Room, Bathroom or Bedroom Books, you will know just how great they are.

This book focusses on storage and display in all areas of the home. Great ways of creating lovely interior environments with all of our everyday items.

The photography is beautiful, as you would expect from these publications. Like the other books, it shows you how to achieve similar results with ideas on colours, use of furniture and materials. This is a great coffee table and resource book.



The Home Book - Oliver Heath

I'd sum this up as a 'Hard Working Book' but 'Attractive Enough To Leave On The Coffee Table'...the book not Mr Heath!

For those new to Interior Design and home makeovers, this book is packed with sensible, easy to understnad advice.

Heath, a veteran of the Interior Makeover Shows, takes us room-by-room through the home building up a plan for each room by looking at each element in turn and discussing the issues and requirements to get the space planned and decorated.

For Home Staging advice this book is also worth a look. This book offers loads of decorating and problem solving advice.

The feel is young and modern.


Pure Style - Jane Cumberbatch

Pure Style is packed full of beauriful photographs that illustrate how to accessorise every area of the home. This is an absolute 'must' book for home stagers as well as interior designers. and DIYers.

Accessorising is one of the trickiest skills to aquire. This book shows you novel ways of using everyday items in some unusual ways, to great effect.

The book has a deffinate country, Swedish, pared-down feel to it. This is not 'Grand Interiors' or 'Showy Sets' but comfortable, fresh, everyday styling to calm and restore your sense of balance.



Pure Style - Outside - Jane Cumberbatch

In Pure Style Outside, Jane Cumberbatch takes her uncluttered, pared-down style outside to help you make the most of your outdoor space, be it a modest city balcony, roof terrace, or rambling country garden. The book features a wealth of inspirational suggestions for all the elements that make up the garden, from colour and lighting, boundaries, surfaces, containers and furniture right through to the author's favourite selection of flowers, herbs, fruit, vegetables and other plants.

I thought the two make a good pair.


In Touch - by Kelly Hoppen

If you like minimalist rooms decorated in neutral shades with just the odd splash of colour, this is for you. The emphasis is on mixing textures - limestone, iron, wicker - and and on making a show of just one or two large pieces of art. All the pictures of heavy silk curtains and designer coffee tables shout "luxury".



The Elements of Style - Mitchell Beazley

This first came out in 1991 and became a handbook for any owners of period property. It has been revised and updated with new chapters on contemporary style. The book covers the past 5 senturies of home design. With well over 1000 photographs and 4000 drawings this book is the ultimate reference book for period style and details. Not exactly a coffee table book but one that you will refer to again and again.


William Morris & The Arts & Crafts Home - Pamela Todd

I came to love William Morris early on in my Event & Party organising years. Why? Because I used to cater at Leighton House in Kensington which was designed by Morris for the late Lord Leighton, a member of the Pre Raphelite group.

Morris may have set up his furniture company in 1861, but many of his interiors would suit todays homes: Glossy wood floors, simple clean lines, contrasting textures. This book follows six case studies of properties that follow Morris's guidlines. Fascinating!



The 1930's House Manual - Haynes

Recommendation by Simona Macangus

I bought a brilliant book I HIGHLY recommend for renovaters of older homes. It is Haynes, "The 1930's House Manual, Care & repair for all popular house types" by Ian Alistair Rock, MRICS, ISBN1 83325 214 0, published 2005. Don't let the title throw you. This is not only a style book for that era housing. This is a FAB book. It’s a Style Manual, DIY Survey Guide and Repair Manual all-in-one. Mr. Rock works from Defect, Symptom, Cause to Solution. He offers photos of problems one might include on a To-Do list compiled per your "Do It Yesterday" lesson. He illustrates when wavy floors, dis-colouring on tiles or grout, mould spots on walls or ceilings are symptoms of greater problems and not merely unattractive. He then suggests cures which makes owning the Collins Manual worth every penny. You might be as pleased as I am with this book and pass it on to others. Simona



Home Staging
Services & Reports

Home Staging & Decorating Books

Home Staging
Business Courses

Staging Color Schemes Book

Home Staging
Advice & Articles

Home Staging &
Redesign Directory

Home Staging
Case Studies

What Is Home
Staging & Q&As

Property Coach
Press & Media

All About Brian
Property Coach

House Doctor &
Home Staging TV


The Property Coach™
London WC1
UK 07941 22 75 96