Welcome to my books page. I have now written four books with a fifth to be published in March 2023.
The first, Shades of Grey, was re-issued in August 2019 and has sold nearly 20,000 copies. It was translated in French, German and Italian and described by The Washington Post as “the perfect gift for subscribers to Architectural Digest and The Economist”.
My second, Mad About The House; how to decorate your home with style, came out in March 2018 and is currently on its seventh reprint. This was not just intended as the book of the blog but also to break the coffee table book mould. Coffee table books are often things of beauty but no-one seems to bother with the words. Having written 40,000 of them I was determined that people would want to read them. So, much to the consternation of my publisher, Pavilion, I asked for it to be illustrated. The reasons for this were twofold; 1) the images date so quickly and I didn’t want people to be put off by photographs that either weren’t to their taste or felt unfashionable and 2) I wanted everyone to read the words and interpret them according to their own tastes and budget rather than publishing a photograph and suggesting that that was the correct and only way to do something.
This was followed by Mad About the House: 101 Interior Design Answers, filled with practical advice to solve all your decorating dilemmas of Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? And When?; and then Mad About The House: Planner, described by Elle Decoration as “the ultimate hybrid of notepad, decorating bible and little black book”.
Here is a selection of reviews:
- ‘Written in a likeable and approachable way, it’s an easy read, as well as a useful resource’ * The Resident *
- ‘The interiors book that we’ve been dying to get our hands on.’ * Rockett St George Blog *
- ‘Full of design hacks for every budget’ * Metro *
- ‘A must-read for anyone trying to figure out their house style.’ * Independent.co.uk *
- ‘There’s something for every interiors enthusiast in Kate Watson-Smyth’s new book.’ * House Beautiful *
- ‘This book should be on every homeowner’s bedside table.’ * Your Home *
- ‘The ideal guide to getting it right in the troublesome world of interior decorating.’ * The Simple Things *
- ‘A must-have book for anyone who wants make their house a home.’ * Creative Colour Blog *
- From Amazon.com: Great author – humorous and engaging. The advice is solid with the added bonus of a unique perspective that I rarely experience in other books. I enjoyed what she said about rugs (so happy someone finally talks about layering! With more then just two rugs!) and painting with darker colors. A small room doesn’t necessarily get a miraculous change in size as soon as it’s painted white…there are other factors involved, and often times (and this has been my experience as well), a medium to dark shade applied to the walls (especially in a satin or gloss finish) can make the room feel more grand. I’m looking forward to reading her first book and hopefully there will be more to follow.
- From Amazon.co.uk: “The second book from interiors journalist Kate Watson-Smyth ticks all the boxes. At a time when Pinterest is our go-to inspiration tool, guiding us through all our renovation and styling projects, Watson-Smyth realises that the overload of information can actually result in our taking longer to plan and even longer to execute projects of all sizes.
- “An absolutely fantastic book. It answers all those questions you thought we’re too stupid to ask. It guides you through the whole process of designing your home or just a single room. It’s like having someone holding your hand saying “you can do this!” Kate doesn’t tell you what design you should go for she helps you to create your own style and designs. Great for amateur interior designers like me.”
Mad About The House: How to decorate your home with style
Expanding on her award-winning blog, Kate Watson-Smyth shares a wealth of experience in home design to help you make the most of your space, be it a house, apartment or single room.
Packed full of ideas and inspiration for every budget, work through your home room by room with Kate s expert and practical tips and tricks that ensure every corner reaches its maximum potential. As well as her top 10 design hacks, Kate reveals the rules of rug layout, explains how to buy a sofa, and shows you how to get the lighting right in every room. Learn how to decorate your home with style and confidence, select colours that work, make the most of small spaces and create the perfect zones for relaxation, entertaining and work sometimes all in the same space.
Whatever your style, Mad About The House is a must-have for anyone who is interested in interior design and who wants to make their house a home.
Mad About The House: 101 Interior Design Answers
A companion to the best-selling book by the founder of the UK’s number 1 interiors blog, this easy-to-use dictionary of interior design answers all those questions you wanted to solve but were afraid to ask.
The book begins with the most important questions of all: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? And When? The aim is to answer these before you start any decorating scheme and you will avoid the most common mistakes, save money and, most importantly, create a home that works for you and the people who live there.
Mad About the House: 101 Interior Design Answers is the super-practical guide that allows you to dip in and out so you can solve all your decorating dilemmas. The chapters focus on Walls, Floors, Ceilings, Windows, Doors & Skirtings, Furniture Layout, Lighting, before finally a round-up of Fixtures & Fittings.
In addition to the no-nonsense practical answers, there are checklists and step-by-step guides to key decorating challenges – everything from How to Hang Wallpaper, to Arranging a Gallery Wall, and Removing Stains from Carpets & Soft Furnishings.
Mad About The House: Planner
The Planner has space for you to write your own to do lists, draw your own floor plans and note down the addresses of the trades and the names of the paint you used. There are also planned spaces for you to fill in with details about what you love and hate about the spaces you are working on, room to answer those vital six questions you must ask before you begin any decorating and some squared pages for the dreaded budget sums.
‘The ultimate hybrid of notepad, decorating bible and little black book, this planner is also packed with wit, wisdom and a real understanding of what projects of any size and budget truly involve.’ Ben Spriggs, Elle Decoration
‘This is a clever book packed with smart suggestions on how to simplify the enormity of making a house feel your own plus you’ll have fun doing it.’ Sophie Ellis-Bextor
‘Whether you are planning a redesign of one room or your entire home, say hello to the whip-smart planner you never knew you needed. Knitted perfectly alongside Kate’s brilliant pearls of interiors wisdom, this will fast become your indispensable companion throughout your renovation journey.’ Busola Evans, Livingetc
Shades of Grey: Decorating with the most elegant of neutrals
Crammed with fascinating facts, expert advice, plenty of wit and humour and a wealth of essential information, Shades of Grey will guide you through the minefield that is choosing exactly the right shade of grey paint.
There’s no doubt about it, grey is the shade of the moment. Chic restaurants, shops and homes are covered in it. There’s not an interior decorating programme that doesn’t feature it. And forget 50 shades in fact the human eye can detect more than 500. As can the average paint chart.
‘Everyone wants to paint their houses grey at the moment,’ says Karen Haller, a colour expert who advises clients on branding and colour psychology. ‘But it’s actually one of the most difficult colours to get right.’ Get it wrong and a room will be cold and dark, possibly even energy-sapping. Get it right, however, and your home will look chic, sophisticated and modern.
So how do we go about choosing the perfect hue? In Shades of Grey Kate Watson-Smyth will help you find exactly the right shade for your space. Full of expert advice and essential information and spiced with a generous dash of humour, this book will guide you through the minefield that is choosing the perfect shade of grey paint.