National Read A Book Day: Our Favourite Interior Design & DIY Reads

Today (6 September) is National Read A Book Day, so what better time to bring you a selection of our favourite DIY themed reads! We canvassed the team here at Tile Mountain and asked staff from several departments including buying, technical and retail staff to suggest what they think are must-read books to do with interior design and/or tiling. Here’s what they came up with…

Home Décor Cheat Sheets: Need-To-Know Stuff For Stylish Living

(Jessica Probus & Alice Mongkongllite, Ulysses Press, 2016)

A must for even the most reluctant DIYer / interior design enthusiast, Home Décor Cheat Sheets: Need-To-Know Stuff For Stylish Living is jam-packed full of easy to understand illustrations covering decorating and arranging your home.  Whilst more advanced DIYers may find this book perhaps a little too simplistic, it does everything it says on the tin and functions almost as a Design 101, effortlessly explaining the terminology and language of interior design in an easily digestible way. If you’re eager to learn how to fit a rug to a room and properly match furniture or have ever asked yourself ‘how much shorter should the coffee table be than the sofa?’ then this is the book for you!

This is Home: The Art of Simple Living

(Natalie Walton, Hardie Grant Books, 2018)

Focusing more on the ‘vibe’ of home interiors as opposed to the practicality of instilling a design scheme, This is Home: The Art of Simple Living is packed full of inspirational imagery and examines how individuals’ values impact upon the homes they create. Author Natalie Walton visits fifteen homes from across the globe and takes a closer look at what informed the style choices of those who made them in a bid to find out if there’s a universal rule to making a happy living space. The photography included within is simply stunning and the roomscapes featured are bound to get your creative juices flowing. It might be a tad on the expensive side at £30 but the inspo it provides is priceless.

Mad About the House: How to Decorate Your Home with Style

(Kate Watson-Smyth, Pavilion Books, 2018)

The brains behind the UK’s number one interiors blog Kate Watson-Smyth swaps online for print and brings her inimitable writing style to this incredibly useful interior design book. Bursting with top tips and insight, the interiors journalist cuts through the inspo-overload that can result from consulting Pintrest and imparts some sage advice when it comes to choosing colour schemes (look at your fashion choices!) amongst other things. This book is divided into neat chapters dedicated to each room in the house and there’s also a load of handy checklists that condenses all the key takeaways of each section. Watson-Smyth’s writing style is engaging and entertaining style are what make this book though – she not only understands interiors but she explains some of the theory in a way that a complete novice could comprehend!

Collins Complete DIY Manual

(Albert Jackson, Collins, 2011)

For motorists, the fabled Haynes manual series is the bible when it comes to car maintenance. In the world of DIY however, it’s the chunky behemoth that is the Collins Complete DIY Manual. Perfectly pitched to be of use to absolute novices, this book features everything you could possibly need to know about almost every possible facet of DIY. Packed full of expert guidance on everything from rewiring a plug to installing a shower unit, this manual really is the most comprehensive guide available right now (and 3m + copies sold will attest to that). Incredibly easy to follow thanks to its user-friendly design, this book’s photos and instructional illustrations make even the most arduous DIY task less daunting and help even amateurs achieve a professional finish.

Ceramic and Stone Tiling: A Complete Guide

(John Ripley, Crowood Press, 2005)

We couldn’t compile a list like this and not include a book about tiling now could we? Thankfully, this choice is perhaps the foremost title on tiling and provides the knowledge you need to carry out all manner of tiling tasks to a professional standard. This easy to read reference guide covers everything in a linear progression from designing the job, right through to dry laying, mixing adhesive, installing, grouting and post-fix clean down. For the more advance tiler, there’s even tips and directions for fitting different types of natural stone tiles such as slate and granite that require different installation techniques. The step by step instructions are clear and the detailed illustrations and photos mean that even the most complex of tiling jobs is broken down into easily understood sections.

Know of any DIY / Interiors books you think should be included in our rundown? If so, let us know via Facebook or Twitter @TileMountainUK and we’ll do our best to add them to this list!

Have you checked out these posts on the Tile Mountain blog?

Top 5 Free Online Interior Design Tools

Insta Gratification: Our Favourite Interior Design Accounts for Summer Style

29 DIY Tiling Hacks & Tips for Smoother Tiling Projects [INFOGRAPHIC]


Dean heads up the content team here at Tile Mountain, commissioning, editing and sometimes even writing some of the incredibly useful and entertaining content we bring to you on a regular basis. With a background in consumer journalism and a raft of content marketing experience gained from working with huge brands spanning mobile tech and automotive, right through to professional sports and lifestyle sectors, he knows a thing or two about creating content that people love to engage with. Dean also holds the mantle of being our resident grammar pedant, but when he’s not getting angry about dangling participles he spends his spare time going to gigs, watching his beloved Stoke City FC, and adding to his collection of deadstock adidas trainers.