Top 5 Interior Design Books

By Donald Pang

When you visit the Interior Design and Architecture section in a bookstore, you’d usually find books filled with pictures of various projects in full blast colors and clear print pictures featuring the different areas, and focusing on the room’s main attraction, including only few texts describing the style and giving credits to the designers. Purchasing these books would be a good way of broadening our taste for style, but will it improve our knowledge in the profession?

These hardbound, coffee table books may be costly at times specially for newly released copies. So, when buying interior design books, especially for some students who have limited funds for these materials, you must know if you’re putting your money into a good investment. Here as some of the best interior designing resource books, stated in no order, for interior design that can be useful althrough out your career.

A History of Interior Design ( John F. Pile

– This book is recommended for people who wants to dig deeper into the historical ventures of interior design, how people came about with the different styles that has been passed on from generation to generation. It has a complete and detailed overview of how interior design came to be what it is now. It also covers topics from the wonders of the stone temples, through the Gothic edifice, and the modern structure and how design evolves over time. In its second edition, the book tackles the history of Asian and Islamic tradion and how it is translated into interior design. The book includes over 180 new images, with the addition of lighting and product design.


Space Planning Basics (Mark Karlen, Kate Ruggeri

– The new edition of this book is focused more on providing the necessary information on how to create an effective space programming layout for both small and large scale projects. It also includes a step-by-step process on how to visualize a space throught the application of the metric dimensions and scales. The book also stresses on how to adjust space programming within an existing structure. The book’s second edition has additional discussions about the compliance for Disability Act, building code restrictions and requirements, as well as environmental responsibilities. It is a very useful material for students aspiring to become professional interior designers.

Professional Practice for Interior Designers (Christine M Piotrowski

– Is a very useful book which includes information on how to manage your career as a practicing interior designer. The book tackles the basic issues when it comes to the practice such as legal matters and responsibilities, managing the project costs, human resource management, licensing, marketing, and generally handling the profession itself as a business.

Human Dimension and Interior Space: a Source Book of Design Reference Standards (Julius Panero, Martin Zelnick)

– The book focuses on the standard dimensions of the human body and the full rotation of one’s movement. It deals with how humans interact towards a space. This reference book is the first major anthropometrically based source material made for the use of interior detailing, designers, architects, furniture designers, industrial designer, and students as well. It provides vast topics applicable for both commercial and residential spaces.

Last but definitely not the least is the Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning(Joseph De Chiara, Martin Zelnik, Julius Panero)

– Commonly know as the ‘Interior Designer’s Bible’, offering complete information about everything that you need to know about the standards of the profession. It includes illustrations and detailed definitions of the different components of a structure. The book focuses on construction detailing and the different elements of design. The book also contains a brief introduction to the interior design history and provides a variety oftypical layouts for different spaces such as healthcare, educational, residential, and commercial.

Apart from purchasing good resource books, it’s still best to learn from top interior design school and most of all experience. Because knowledge has to stick within us in order to master the practice of interior design.

About the Author: Donald Pang is the International Admissions Director of Raffles International Colleges. Start your interior design career with Raffles! We offer

interior design courses

with certification in diploma, bachelor and master degree in these Asian countries such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, Hanoi – Vietnam, Jakarta – Indonesia, Manila – Philippines, Colombo – Sri Lanka, Phnom Penh – Cambodia, India, China,Australia.


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