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Top Books and Magazines Every Interior Designer or Aspiring Designer Must Own

Updated on April 6, 2013

So you want to be an interior designer, huh? Whether you are a design student or just started getting into freelancing, here are the top books and magazines that will never get too far from your desk. As a graduate of interior design from The University of Alabama's interior design program, I am sure that these books will help you achieve your goals. These are not just books that you buy and they sit on your shelves, or books you buy for a class and return. These are books that get used daily in some form or another. Whether you want to know the standard height of a church pew or how long grab bars should be in ADA restrooms, you will find it here.

If you are ready to buy, just follow the link. You may find the magazine in Books-A-Million, but the books are hard to find in a chain bookstore. If you by chance find them in Barnes and Noble, the price will be heavily marked up.


This book is known as the “Silver Bible” of interior design because it looks about as thick as one of those old family Bibles. This book contains just about every height and dimension of every space imaginable. This book is called Time-Saver Standards for a reason- it really does save you time. It is a little pricey, but it definitely worth every penny.


This book is full of useful information regarding the compliance of Americans Disabilities Act codes, fire codes, and even references international building code. It can be used for residential as well as commercial design.


This is in my opinion the best magazine for anyone who is serious about interior design as a profession. Don't let the name fool you, in these magazines you will see some amazing interiors and they are sure to inspire you. One great thing about this magazine is that it provides useful information regarding materials and where to find them. Many “shelter” or non-professional magazines lack this quality. This magazine focuses less on trends and more on quality.


The book known in the field as the “Mitton” book is a great overview of just about every aspect of interior design. It explains construction drawings, rendering, visual presentation, and portfolio development. The newest edition of the book even explains information on how to digital format your designs in Adobe Photoshop. This even may be helpful to seasoned designers who haven't completely made the transition to digital design.


Learning how to use Adobe Photoshop and Google Sketch-up is absolutely essential for designers. With Photoshop you no longer have to cut and paste, and then will be able to create digital presentation boards for your clients. This book shows you the ins-and-outs of what you need to know as a designer to make your designs come to life.

A reader of this post said that I should add this book to the list. I bought it and it is very good read. Provides a lot of information to the new designer and the more seasoned as well. Thanks Anthony.


These books are just a few examples of the many books used by design professionals on a daily basis. I will update this hub as more books come to mind or if I find other great books.

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      Anthony Sully 4 years ago

      May I rcommend my book to your list: 'Interior Design: Theory and Process'. Published by A&C Black of London in May 2012.

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      joshbui 4 years ago from Dothan, Alabama

      Thank you so much, I will definitely add it to the list!

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