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Best Interior Design Books

Updated on May 19, 2014

Best Books On Interior Design For Making Your House Your Dream Home

Here you will find some of the best books on interior design and decoration to help you in your profession, in your hobby or in working on your own home to make it like the celebrities from the latest magazine.

Many people consider interior design to be the same with interior decorating.

Interior design is in fact an art, as well as a science that helps create functional spaces in a house or building by figuring out what makes people tick: by understanding the behavior of people. It takes into account the structure of the building, the physical location and given architecture. They are professionals holding a license.

Interior decorating, on the other hand, focuses on the aesthetic, by adding relevant furniture and d├ęcor elements to the rooms. It doesn't change the structure of the place at all. It just makes it more pleasing to the eyes.

Having said that, for the non-professionals among us, the two terms are almost interchangeable. Thus if you want to have a wonderful home, but can't afford an interior designer (or a decorator), here are some of the best books that will help you have a home just like those celebs in the home design magazines, with very little cost.

Photo credit: barunpatro

Interior Design As Career Choice

Interior Design
Interior Design

Interior Design (4th Edition)

by John F. Pile

If you're serious about learning interior design, this is your definite authority on the subject. It is not a book on decorating, but on serious home design that the modern professional needs to know.

It goes into the basics, covering the fundamentals of what needs to be learned, going through the history right down to the mechanics of it all. The book is written by a real authority on the subject, so when you get it, you will definitely get your money's worth (and more).

Yes, the book is not cheap, but you won't normally find a serious study in a $10 coffee table book. Highly recommended!

Becoming an Interior Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design - by Christine M. Piotrowski

Becoming an Interior Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design
Becoming an Interior Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design

Becoming an interior designer is another great book for those who are looking into the interior design field for a professional career. It's in fact quite a great introduction on the topic.

For example if you know someone who is interested in a career in interior design, it could be a great gift for them (birthday, Christmas gift, etc).

Sure, it is an introduction, so it's not a very advanced book, but for someone just starting out, it is the perfect book accompanying the actual textbooks.

 
The Language of Interior Design
The Language of Interior Design

The Language of Interior Design

by Alexa Hampton

While far away from any textbook style, The language of interior design is truly a great companion to anyone studying about it. Not only that, it's a wonderful book for anybody interested in making their house a dream home. And it's a perfect gift to a family member or friend who loves something beautiful to look at.

Because beautiful it is, indeed. The photographs are simply amazing. The presentation is exquisite and the writing is simply charming. If you get this book for yourself or someone else, it will be treasured for several lifetimes.

Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models and Presentation Techniques - by Maureen Mitton

Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models and Presentation Techniques
Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models and Presentation Techniques

Creating a visual representation of your interior design is crucial when working as a designer. This book gives you the basics you need to know how to enhance that knowledge. If you're right now studying interior design and have this topic from your teacher, it will be a great aid in understanding just what it takes to learn how to do models and rendering.

In fact many colleges actually have this book on their curriculum, as professors know how valuable it is. While many consider it an advanced book, you will get much easier ahead if you have it right from the start and learn from it parallel to other interior design books.

At this time the new edition of Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models and Presentation Techniques has not yet been released. So below is the link to preorder the book - available from February 2012 in store.

 

When you work for yourself, the design process is never questioned.

~Robert Kime

Marketing Interior Design
Marketing Interior Design

Marketing Interior Design

by Lloyd Princeton

If you're an interior designer by trade working in your own business, you will need this book, period. The author, a professional in his field, gives you great information on how to go about promoting yourself to get clients who need your interior design services.

Many people consider themselves artists, and they fear they have no flair for business. It is only that they are not used to the business side of things.

And this is what this great book offers: a look at how to not only survive, but also thrive in the modern world of the 21st Century, when competition is fiercer than ever, and designers are savvier than ever.

How to Start a Home-Based Interior Design Business - by Nita B. Phillips

How to Start a Home-Based Interior Design Business, 5th (Home-Based Business Series)
How to Start a Home-Based Interior Design Business, 5th (Home-Based Business Series)

If you're starting out in a new career, that of interior design, this is a great book to get you started in becoming successful early on. It gives you tons of information that you need, including worksheets on:

Products and services chart

Sample balance worksheet

Profit-and-loss worksheet

Cash-flow projections worksheet

Weekly accounting ledger

Bid sheet

Job-tracking worksheet

along with teaching you how to develop a business plan, estimate your start-up costs, price your services, and stay profitable once you're in business. An all around great reference book to have in your library.

 

Foundations of Interior Design - by Susan Slotkis

Foundations of Interior Design
Foundations of Interior Design

Becoming a successful interior designer needs lot of work and lots of knowledge. And above all, a very good grasp of the basics. Basics which are very well laid out in this book.

Here you learn about the historic backgrounds of furniture styles, basic color theory, as well as the foundation of running an interior design business. There are some great illustrations that will help along, and even though it is a textbook, it is one that students usually really enjoy reading - even after they've finished their studies.

 
Starting Your Career as an Interior Designer
Starting Your Career as an Interior Designer

Starting Your Career as an Interior Designer

by Robert K. Hale

If you're starting your career as an interior designer, you guessed it: you need this book. Everything is neatly laid out for you, helping you every step of the way.

From picking a specialized field, to finding and maintaining good relationships with clients, along with doing the business half of operations, this book has it all. It is quite up to date, so you can be sure you will be able to use everything that has been written here without anything obsolete in it.

This is another of those business books for the artist who simply struggles learning the dry and boring part of it all. Essential!

"Whatever you do in your decorating philosophy, be brave....never wish you hadn't taken your vision right to the end. Make a bold statement."

~Roger Banks-Pye, Colefax and Fowler Interior Inspirations

Interior Design And Decorating For Your Home

Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home - by Holly Becker

Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home
Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home

This book is an old favorite of mine when it comes to home decor and design. Wonderful pictures that leave your mouth watering with desire to do some of the things you can see across the pages.

Tons of great ideas that you can take right away and apply to your own rooms.

If you're not sure where to start decorating your new home, or if you simply want to change the style of what you already have, start with this book. You won't be disappointed!

 

Domino: The Book of Decorating - by Deborah Needleman

Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy
Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

The cover doesn't look like much, but the book is really worth getting. 111 people giving 4-5 starts at Amazon can't be wrong! The photos are great (albeit not as great as a coffee table book, but very useful), the ideas are awesome and instantly applicable, and the information up to date and valuable.

I was glad actually that the book is not simply a coffee table book, as I wanted to use it to redecorate my home. The problem with 'eye candy' books is that while the pictures are awesome, sometimes you can't use anything for your own home. Everything is too 'out there', and you don't get ideas from written text. This book is different, and you will find it invaluable for your home library.

 

Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Décor - by Margaret Russell

Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor
Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor

A great book with tons of inspirations and ideas for decorating and designing your rooms.

Beautiful pictures showing a wide variety of homes and rooms that can give you plenty of ideas for your own home.

If you like to decorate your rooms in a rather glamorous style, then this book is for you. Style and Substance features hundreds of beautifully rendered photographs of the homes of designers, architects, antiques buyers, celebrities, and fashion executives.

It has really the best of the best when it comes to Elle Decor.

 

English Country House Interiors - by Jeremy Musson

English Country House Interiors
English Country House Interiors

Looking for something different? You will find here gorgeious English Country Houses celebrating diverse styles beginning with the Jacobean, traveling through the Baroque, Palladian, Regency, Gothic Revival to the Victorian.

 

Black and White (and a Bit in Between) - by Celerie Kemble

Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor
Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor

Another beautiful book that I can recommend. There are many different styles shown here that will appeal to everyone.

Not extremely colorful, the book is nevertheless an eye catcher.

Nothing is boring or repetitive, and the ideas come pouring to your brain just like that. Along with the awesome photos, the book is also well written, which makes it way beyond a simple coffee-table book. Recommended.

 

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design - by Christiane Lemieux

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design

Personally I like this book because it gives lots of creative ideas for infusing your own personality in what you're doing when decorating your home.

The title is misleading, as everyone automatically thinks it's about a very spartan, no-frills, no-shrills, no-pretty style of decor. Wrong. It's about uncluttering from ugly extras and keeping it modern, easy, elegant and in style of the 21st Century.

The decorations in the photos are unique and if you adapt just some of these ideas to your own home, you'll transform your rooms into something of envy to every neighbor in the area!

 

Michael Taylor: Interior Design - by Stephen M. Salny

Michael Taylor: Interior Design
Michael Taylor: Interior Design

An awesome compilation of Michael Taylor's work over the years, this book has outdone itself. The author brings to vivid focus both the elegant simplicity and comfortably luxe opulence which were benchmarks of the designer's grand vision.

It is a wonderful reference for any serious, or hobbyist interior designer. Beautifully illustrated, the book shows the multitude of works that the designer has created over time. If you need something to get inspired and creative, this is one book you should not miss.

 

No pattern should be without some sort of meaning.

~ William Morris

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You do not seem to list my new book entitled 'Interior Design: Theory and Process' published by A&C Black of the Bloomsbury Group in London.

    • smarthomes lm profile image

      smarthomes lm 5 years ago

      Im looking to redoing my walls, have any suggestions on good books for wall designs ideas?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You have described such a useful list of books on interior designs. I am about to renovate my home and want to implement some new designed furniture and also interior for living. I think I have found the best place where I can get my possible solutions. Thanks for sharing the idea of implementing Full platform bed and other furnishes.

    • profile image

      Newreallitybegins 5 years ago

      Im having the worst time redecorating my bathroom. It has 3 different shades of lime green in the tile.uugghhh.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi ! Marciag, once again a wonderful lens about book from you. Love it and this time you seems to be quite exceptional and out of box. Great style of presentation. Thanks.

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens layout and very informative! I love decorating my home and these books will help make it perfectly unique.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Excellent book reviews and information. This lens will benefit many who want to decorate their homes. Blessed