Press refresh: Three books to read for new home inspiration

New year, new start! And what better way to kickstart 2022 than by having a light-bulb moment when discovering new ideas for your home?

By now most of us are pretty comfortable with spending time indoors, and our nation’s new-found love for design and interiors is showing no signs of slowing down. First we had the BBC 2’s Interior Design Masters – which, by the way, is coming back for a third season. Then last year Channel 4 treated us to the reboot of the ’90s DIY classic Changing Rooms, and now a new show called The Big Design Challenge is coming to Sky Arts next month.

And thanks to the power of social media like Instagram and Pinterest, taking care of and showing off our home – both on and off screen – has become a new obsession for many. We’ve experienced many micro-trends in the last couple of years; from tablescaping to “cottagecore”, “Japandi” to “maximalism”, you name it!

In the world that we live in – which may soon be called the “metaverse”, sometimes we find it hard to spot the right ideas that work for us individually when being overwhelmed with too many. Call us old school but here at Futon Company, every once in a while, it’s oh so satisfying to flip through beautifully designed books with a nice hot brew. Luckily, many of us still like that feeling of holding a physical book in our hands, and this month we couldn’t be happier to hear that independent bookshops are thriving once again in our country – according to the latest report from the Booksellers Association.

When it comes to design and home decor, there are plenty of books out there offering a whole host of nifty ideas – big and small – to give your home the refresh it deserves. And for those living in small homes, maximising your space is always a number one priority. Having said that, just because space is limited, it doesn’t mean style and comfort should be compromised.

As a new year treat to you all, we have handpicked three design books to get your creative juices flowing and help you feel inspired. Ready for a new home project this year? Read on…

Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living
Published by Smith Street Books

What started as a pet project for Melbourne-based Colin Chee in 2017 has now grown into a YouTube platform with 1.93 million subscribers. It’s one of those channels which, once you start watching, you can’t stop. Dedicated to small footprint design and living, Never Too Small (NTS) is home to over 90 bitesize videos featuring some of the most cleverly designed micro apartments and studios from around the world, and interviews with the creative minds behind them.

Last year, NTS released its first book, Reimagining Small Space Living, revisiting some of its favourite past projects, as well as a selection of new spaces – all under 50 square metres. “This is our celebration… our love letter to the visionaries and artists of small-footprint design,” says NTS.

A combination of architectural images, floor plans and a design directory makes this book the go-to for those looking to build or reconfigure their homes. Inside, the NTS team also goes beyond the projects themselves to explore the historical context, the neighbourhoods and the cultures that shaped their inception.

A Modern Way to Live: 5 Design Principles from The Modern House
Published by Penguin

Written by Matt Gibberd, co-founder of London-based estate agency, The Modern House (TMH), A Modern Way to Live: 5 Design Principles is inspired by the beautiful homes that Gibberd has discovered since TMH was started 16 years ago; in particular, the shared design principles – space, light, materials, nature and decoration.

In the book, each principle has its dedicated chapter – supported by mesmerising photography of some of the finest homes ever featured on TMH. Gibberd wants to inspire his readers for their own habitats, while sharing anecdotes of his personal experience.

“A Modern Way to Live is the size of a small cookbook – it can be read in one go like a novel, or dipped into over months and years,” Gibberd says. “I hope to provide people with a reference point for their refurbishment or new-build project, or indeed for everyday life at home.”

Petite Places: Clever Interiors For Humble Homes
Published by Gestalten

Petite Places: Clever Interiors For Humble Homes believes that “living in small spaces is not a new phenomenon”, and that “clever furniture and storage solutions create more room to cook, relax, read, or work from home”.

Presenting smart and functional solutions for compact living, this richly illustrated book from Gestalten – and edited by Tessa Pearson – delves into how small homes are being designed today, along with the innovative use of space through colour, textiles and furniture.

With over 250 pages, the book shares insights from leading interior designers and architects, as well as clear floor plans for readers to adapt for their own homes. Learn how to get the most of your home with easy and practical ideas, where to source products, and what materials are best for adding character to your space.

And while we’re on the subject of books, if you’re after some handy bookcases or shelves, here are our top picks to give you storage + the perfect backdrop for Zoom.