365 Objects Of Design

Reveal: The Book: Mad About The House

28th December 2017

Well it’s here. Actually that’s not true, it’s at the printers but I can today, exclusively, reveal, the cover and you can, today, PRE-ORDER IF IT YOU WANT. OK I’ll stop shouting. You don’t have to. Well not until you’ve finished finding out a little more about from this post if you like.

the book next to the lamp that inspired its cover

the book next to the lamp that inspired its cover

So where to start? Well it’s out on 22 March 2018 and if that feels like a long time away, think of it from my point of view – I finished writing it in July. It’s a long process this book writing.

What’s it about? Well the subtitle is How To Decorate Your Home With Style or, as I have been calling it – the book of the blog ( link just in case you want to pre-order already). Which is where we come to you. Before anything else I want to say thank you to all of you for reading and commenting and helping the blog to become what it is today. Without you, the blog would not exist and there would be no book. So it’s for you.

close up of the book cover- it's a mock-up so you can see - it's actually a deeper shade than this and the tree and the sticker will be proper shiny gold

close up of the book cover- it’s a mock-up so you can see – it’s actually a deeper shade than this and the tree and the sticker will be proper shiny gold

Now what else can I tell you? Well, I have talked about how to choose the right colours for your home, how to use Pinterest – a frenemy if ever there was one – and a little bit about the psychology of colour. Then we tour round the house room by room helping you to ask the right questions to find the right style and look for you and giving guidance on lighting, layout and making the most of every single corner of your home.

the illustrations are by Abigail Read

the illustrations are by Abigail Read

Despite my photographing it there, this is not intended as a coffee table book. It isn’t full of glossy photographs but instead there are illustrations. The reasons for this are twofold: firstly I think photographs can date a book. It may be true that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but we all know we do. And I didn’t want people to look at the pictures and feel that they weren’t their style and that therefore the book wasn’t for them. Also photographs date so fast. Who would buy a book now that was full of pale shabby chic interiors?  I hope the illustrations will last for years without dating the book. And yes this is a mock up copy before you comment on the, er, shabby chicness of the cover, which is a stronger shade than these pictures show.

thrilled to have endorsements from Michelle Ogundehin, Kelly Hoppen and Professor Green

thrilled to have endorsements from Michelle Ogundehin, Kelly Hoppen and Professor Green

Also never mind the pictures. I’m all about the words. So often those gorgeous books full of photographs arrive and we gaze at the images and ignore the words. Well the words in this are important. This book is all about the words. Information, inspiration and chat – all the words. You can dip in and out as you fancy but I hope you will read those words from time to time. They will last forever and apply to every home whatever its size whether you live in a detached country villa or an urban studio.

I’m also thrilled to show you the book’s cover endorsements. From the editor at large of Elle Decoration, Michelle Ogundehin, to Professor Green, a long time fan of the blog and the expert that is Kelly Hoppen. You can read their words in the pictures.

when is a coffee table book not a coffee table book?

when is a coffee table book not a coffee table book?

As a final point and on a more sombre note. Every time I go to my local tube station, I see more and more homeless people gathered there.  Last Christmas I decided to sponsor a room at Centrepoint for £12 a month as I have become increasingly conscious of the fact that I write about beautiful things for the home when so many people don’t even have a home. Earlier this year I asked my agent if it would be possible to donate a £1 from every book sold to a homeless charity. She laughed, in a slightly hollow fashion, and said my royalties wouldn’t amount to much more than that.

do those shelves look familiar? illustration by Abigail Read

do those shelves look familiar? illustration by Abigail Read

And so I have written in the acknowledgements at the end and I say here now. If you buy the book, and perhaps if you like it, I would be so grateful if you would consider making a donation (of whatever size) to help a homeless person somewhere. You don’t have to of course but I wanted to mention it.

Now, run, don’t walk, to the ordering page and buy the book. Ah go on go on go go on….

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  • Juan Sandiego 3rd January 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Looking forward to reading it. I like the idea of using illustrations instead of photographs.

  • Leigh Davies 3rd January 2018 at 10:00 am

    Ordered! Congratulations on completing the book Kate. I will make a donation as suggested – a friend volunteers at a homeless shelter so I’ll send mine there.
    Looking forward to a good read!

  • Francie Worley 1st January 2018 at 10:46 am

    Pre-ordered just now. Can’t wait!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 1st January 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you so much. I hope you will like it x

  • Emma Caddis 29th December 2017 at 7:42 am

    The book sounds fabulous. I’m glad is all about the words – I always enjoy reading your words, especially early mornings with a coffee. Will be ordering and donating.

  • Christine Mason 28th December 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Congratulations Kate – super exciting! Can you let us know when it will be available for pre-order in the US of A? Cheers and happy 2018, xo

  • Maud Ludeman 28th December 2017 at 12:09 pm

    A good read and a donation. Your heart is good, and your blog is good, can only imagine your book is good. Even so, a great way for people to help people without the having to organise it. Commendation to you

  • Maud Ludeman 28th December 2017 at 12:07 pm

    hey, you have a great big heart and want the world to hear it, this is great re:donations to homeless, and a good read at the same time. commendations. I wish more people want their hearts to be heard like this. well done

  • Fiona Duke 28th December 2017 at 9:14 am

    A massive 🙌🏽 well done Kate for all the above. Loving the focus on the ‘words’ and the genius idea of illustration for the exact reasons you state, but also for your closing words on the donation – to which I will absolutely do as I feel exactly the same. 🤗🤗 x

  • Valerie 28th December 2017 at 8:13 am

    Ahem..hands up, I still buy books on shabby chic interiors! I’ll buy this book as well though-congratulations! My interiors style is a little bit mixed up,shall we say 🙂 x

  • Rachael Hare 28th December 2017 at 7:37 am

    Pre-ordered and a donation shall be made to one of my local homeless charities.
    I hope your agent is proven wrong!

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