Publication Countdown: Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers

With one week to go until the publication of my new book, the second in the Mad About The House series, I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a little bit more about it and give you a link to pre-order (should you wish) so that you can have it as soon as it’s out. You don’t have to pay until it’s dispatched by the way.

Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers my new book
Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers my new book

As you can see it’s called Mad About The House, 101 Interior Design Answers. It’s a companion to the first book although it will happily stand alone if you don’t have that one. But, in essence, if the first one was about finding your style room by room, this is about, having found your style, how you go about decorating each room and attempting to answer all the questions you might then have.


So in here you will find solutions to all manner of things such as: How do I make a narrow room look wider? How do I zone an open plan space? What paint for which surface? Where can I save money on bathroom design? How can I save space on kitchen design? What do I need to know about underfloor heating? Why can’t I put the television over the fireplace? When can I use wallpaper in the bathroom?


The solutions to these questions (and 93 others) are all divided into room by room chapters with a section at the back for renters and with checklists throughout.

The book sprang from the six questions you should always ask before you decorate any room which came, in turn, from my training as a journalist. And they are Who, What, When, Where, Why and How? Every room renovation no matter if it’s just a coat of paint or a full refurbishment should start with the answers to those six questions. Once you have worked that out you have a blueprint for the space that, if you stick to it, will reflect the tastes and needs of the people who are using it.

Once again the book is beautifully illustrated by Abi Read. When I decided I wanted illustrations for the last book (Mad About Your House, How to Decorate Your Home with Style) it was because I wanted it to be timeless. We all change our tastes and I didn’t want the book to feel dated because of the pictures when the information inside was still valid.

However, it turns out that you all loved the illustrations as an added bonus was that you didn’t feel pushed into one particular style, but were able to read the words and look at the picture in its true sense – as an illustration of the words. So the picture wasn’t suggesting that you have to have dark walls to be cool, to choose a particular style of sofa for the room to work. It’s there simply to illustrate the point. And so we did it again.

I really hope you will like it. Ever since I started this blog my aim has been to help people navigate the explosion of information and inspiration that is out there from places like pinterest and instagram (the first book has a whole chapter devoted to how to get the most out of pinterest which is, after all, more of a frenemy than a friend). It’s about helping you work out what you want, like and need so that you can truly create a home that tells your story and that functions not just as a machine for living but as a place that raises your spirits when you come home.

So while I may bang on about banning white paint you should know that I’m not really saying you can’t use it, I’m just asking you to ask yourself if it’s truly the right paint for that room and not just a default colour that’s easy to get hold of and the builder wants to use it.

As a final word I have spoken too about sustainability and the importance of getting it right the first time so you don’t have to do it a second time. As well as including advice on how to buy antique and vintage furniture and explaining the difference between all those different light bulbs that are out there. I have plans to do more on that front by the way, but it’s a fast-changing world and books are slightly slower so I will keep you posted.

I have included two links to the book. One is to Amazon, which I know many of you don’t like but pre-orders there really help with stock and promotion and rankings and the other is to Hive, a site that supports independent bookshops so that’s brilliant too. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you order it from as long as… well.. if you fancy it you order it.

Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers my new book
Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers my new book

I hope you will like it.


Tags : 101 Interior Design AnswersAmazonAmazon booksInteriors bookMad about the housemad about the house bookmad about your house
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hi Kate

    Good luck with this new book, I love the first one and I’m sure this one will be a smash hit too. I read your blog every morning, yes for the interiors fix, but also because it helps me shut out the nay sayers who tell me my ideas won’t work. Thank you for that x

  2. Lovely to see that Enid has a place in your book. Is she named after anyone special? I only ask because years ago I had a long-haired tortoise-shell cat called Enid Blyton.

  3. Having read and enjoyed your blog for some time now, I have decided to take the plunge and using my birthday vouchers – yes, even at 51 I still ask for book tokens for my birthday – I have ordered both of your books. It’s almost Spring Cleaning Time which this year means it’s time for the paint brush and not just the feather duster. Also, I love listening to the podcast so thanks for all that you do!

  4. My book has been dispatched and on its way to France. Can’t wait! (Very much needed 😁)
    I love your last book and agree about the illustrations. I have to admit it took a few pages to get used to but, as well as loving the illustrations, it helps focus in the content of the book more. I’ve definitely retained lots of info which I doubt I would have if I was constantly looking at room photos.

  5. I have your first book and thought the content and illustrations were fantastic, definitely content rich. Looking forward to getting hold of a copy of this one too. Love the blog, love the podcast.

  6. Hi Kate. I pre-ordered 2 copies of ur book on Amazon on 31/12/2019….. and only just discovered in my junk mail (which I seldom visit!) a follow up cancellation email from Amazon the following day!!!
    I’m going to “wait it out” n see if they still arrive as I’m hoping their system generated the cancellation in error. I certainly didn’t cancel anything. I wanted one for myself and the other for a friend. Wonder if anyone else had a similar experience.
    This is just FYI…. I’ll follow up If I receive the books… otherwise I’ll just re-order 🤔 Looking forward to having a good old read.

    1. That’s odd. Must have been a glitch. I hope you get it – although I’m guessing you won’t if they have cancelled. Can you check your orders – you will see there if it’s recorded or not and if not then you will need to re-order.

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