interior design books to read

7 Interior Design Books You Have to Read

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Do you want to learn how to step your game up in interior design? Do you want to find out what innovative and creative approaches are out there? If so, you’re in the right place because we have found 7 books that will present you with ideas that you probably have never thought about.

seven books in interior design to spark inspiration in your design

The books we looked at when compiling this list have different perspectives on interior design. That’s what makes it a great list because you’ll be sure to grab useful information from all of them and put it all together to make something beautiful. So, on to the list!


#1 “Color Drawing: Design Drawing Skills and Techniques for Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers” by Michael E. Doyle

Interior design books

Photo: Doyle, Michael E. Color Drawing. Wiley, 2006.


There are two editions prior to this book by Doyle. This edition, as with the other ones, is great for all levels of designers; beginner, intermediate, or experienced. And as the title points out, this is also great for architects and landscape artists. This book is great because it will help you learn how to improve design skills such as producing ideas and presenting those ideas in a manner that is easy to understand, appealing, and visually well-presented.


This edition includes several new pages with more and newer information since the previous ones. There is even a new section of the book that looks into the latest in digital capabilities that you can take advantage of in your work to improve your sketches and related visual presentations. It also has modern methods of reproducing and delivering of your completed drawings.


These are some of the aspects of the book you will love:

  • Highly-efficient methods to produce designs
  • In-depth explanations of the process and methods described
  • Explanations and instructions that are accompanied by visual aids to take you through the process of ideation and drawings from very beginning to the very end
  • Almost a quarter of the book consists of new pages that show you how to strike a balance between drawings that are digitally generated and the ones that you produce


Readers of this book enjoy the book from start to finish. They also often refer to the book multiple times when working on tasks such as rendering.

Link to book:


#2 “Cozy Minimalist Home” by Myquillyn Smith

Interior design books

Photo: Smith, Myquillyn. Cozy Minimalist Home. Zondervan, 2018


In interior design, the objective of minimalism may be described in one word, simplicity. Approaching design from the perspective of simplicity means saying more with less. This can be a good approach because it does not require as many items, therefore, it saves on costs. Not to mention, it requires a bit more creativity on the part of the designer, which could lead to even more appealing designs


In this book, the author will show you and carefully lead you through the process of designing your home. The beauty of this book is that you do not necessarily have to obtain anything to get started. You can begin just with what you already possess in your house and go from there. Most importantly, the steps are pocket friendly, so you could work with the amount of resources you have. You will learn how to obtain just what you need without compromising on the design.


Smith demonstrates several things in this book, including things like:

  • Finding out the things you need in your home and those that you don’t
  • Learning how to acquire a couch that you will always love
  • Designing a beautiful home without doing too much in terms of décor and furnishing
  • Discovering the top-notch interior designer that exists in you
  • Uncovering the truth about how to develop a style that is specific to you
  • Learning how to break any room right down to the absolute basics and then rebuild it up the way you really want it to be


This book is perfect for you if you want to learn how to be in charge of reinventing the spaces in your home to become your dream spaces without having to enlist someone else to do it for you. Smith emphasizes that anyone is capable of this and even demonstrates the process of redecoration using her own home.


Readers of this book love the way the book has a professional take but is still relatable enough that anyone can follow along and implement the tips and information. They also praise how the book is broken down to basics steps that are easy to understand and follow.

Link to book:


#3 “Interiors” by Sandra Nunnerley

Interior design books #3 “Interiors” by Sandra Nunnerley

Photo: Nunnerly, Sandra. Interiors. powerhouse Books, 2013


The author of this book, Sandra Nunnerley, has quite an impressive background in interior design across several countries and continents. Her work ranges from the likes of country homes to holiday destinations to metropolitan and modern apartments. Her career has spanned over 25 years.


In this book, Nunnerley takes you through her perspective on design and the impressive list of projects she has worked on. The book has a fantastic layout with amazing photos to accompany the other great content. The chapters and content are organized in such a way the Nunnerly’s story and vision are clearly relayed to the reader. The book also shows how her experiences from being all over the world have fueled her portfolio and overall approach to design. In this way, it demonstrates how you as an interior designer could also benefit from gaining exposure to different cultures and environments around the world. By coming into contact with the world around you and the design that exists in it, you can then develop a process that is unique to you.


Something that you’re bound to notice in this book, if you’re not familiar with Nunnerly’s work, is her keen eye for specifics and detail. This is something that is presented in her work shown in the book, especially in the artworks, design, and architecture.


Other readers of the book praise Nunnerly’s knowledge and talent in design. They enjoyed looking at the high-quality photos and marvel at the sophistication of the interiors she designed. It’s described as a great book to draw inspiration from.

Link to book:


#4 “The Architecture of Light (Second Edition): A textbook of procedures and practices for the architect, interior designer and lighting designer” by Sage Russell

Interior design books #4 “The Architecture of Light (Second Edition): A textbook of procedures and practices for the architect, interior designer and lighting designer” by Sage Russell

Photo: Russell, Sage. The Architecture of Light Second Edition. Conceptnine, 2012


Lighting is a very important aspect of a building’s design. It is significant for many reasons, such as for appeal of the room, functionality, as well as for cost savings and environmental friendliness.


In this edition of The Architecture of Light, Sage Russell demonstrates an easy-to-follow approach to designing lighting. It’s for this reason that it’s perfect for interior design students. At the same time, it goes into enough detail as well that experienced designers will gain a lot from it as well. Sage Russell has a rich background in light design and has earned awards in design. This book he has written has content that is not only textual, but image filled as well, which engages the reader more and helps illustrate the point very clearly.


You will learn a lot about lighting techniques that you can be inspired by and implement in your own work. Russell walks the reader through the entire process of lighting designing: producing the concept, refining it, coming up with the draft and, finally, the presentation of the design. Throughout the book, you will be introduced to tools that you can use in your lighting design. The information that goes with all of that is fused really well with the visual content. To complement all the visual illustration and useful information, there are also case studies that will help put everything into perspective. As an interior designer, it is important that you are well-versed in lighting design, so this book is highly recommended.


Readers of this book highlight the fact that this book presents the information in a way that is clear and well explained. They also appreciate the visual illustrations and photos that are included. In fact, some design schools use this book for classes pertaining to lighting. Some readers praise the specific tips and details that Russell provides which they then implemented in their own work.

Link to book:


#5 “Fashion House: Illustrated Interiors from the Icons of Style” by Megan Hess

Interior design books #5 “Fashion House: Illustrated Interiors from the Icons of Style” by Megan Hess

Photo: Hess, Megan. Fashion House: Illustrated Interiors from the Icons of Style. Hardie Grant, 2015


Megan Hess is a well-renowned illustrator who has worked with the likes of Christian Dior and Tiffanys. In this book, Fashion House, she has put together an amazing collection of opulent and extravagant interior designs from different locations globally. The illustrations in this book are truly magnificent and will spark inspiration in your mind and leave you in awe.


Hess takes you through a range of stunning designs and the interesting individuals they are attached to. There is an overall theme of design that goes beyond interior design because Hess also examines the correlation with those individuals’ fashion sense. As for the interior design, she looks at how those people go about the process of designing their spaces. A lot of attention is paid to detail as well as far as specific design details such as furnishing, fixtures and décor in general.


What makes this book quite unique is that Hess meshes her interests and backgrounds in illustrations, interior design and fashion to produce this appealing and enthralling collection.


According to readers of this book, the illustrations by Hess are second to none and the book is beautifully presented and laid out. It’s also considered a great source for inspiration when it comes to residential interior design.

Link to book:


#6 “Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration” by Carl Dellatore (editor)

Interior design books - #6 “Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration” by Carl Dellatore (editor)

Photo: Dellatore, Carl. Interior Design Master Class. Rizzoli, 2016


This book focuses on the work of several interior designers who have accomplished great feats in the industry. It also contains the work of up-and-coming great talents in the field. In the 100 essays this book has from these top-class interior designers, you will learn valuable information, gain inspiration, and get a taste of their experiences and backgrounds.


The work shown ranges from as far back as the ‘70s to now. Not only does the book have a wide range in terms of time periods, but it also varies in terms of topics and information covered. Because this book is a collection of resources from some of the top interior designers in the world, it’s a very useful book for all kinds of designers: non-professionals looking to design their homes, interior design students, or interior design professionals. It’s also for this reason it’s set to become the go-to book for anyone interested in interior design.


The book perfectly lays out the information regarding how to go about designing a home in great detail. It goes through the entire process from the details of the very beginning to those of the very end. The book is sectioned according to topics and themes. The renowned design contributors for this book include the likes of Victoria Hagan, Jeffrey Billhuber, Kelly Wearstler, Bunny Williams and many more. Each contributor sheds light on their areas of specialty. The book beautifully lays out photos and illustrations that are accompanied by information pertinent to that topic. It’s a book that you will find yourself returning to on many occasions because of how useful and practical it is.


The book has been received very well by its readers who appreciate how beautifully it’s been presented, as well as how much information it contains. They also enjoy reading what the interior designers in the book had to say about their design process as it offers a lot of insight and inspiration for other interior designers.

Link to book:


#7 “Residential Interior Design: A Guide to Planning Spaces, Third Edition” by Maureen Mitton and contribution from Courtney Nystuen

Interior design books - “Residential Interior Design: A Guide to Planning Spaces, Third Edition” by Maureen Mitton and contribution from Courtney Nystuen

Photo: Mitton, Maureen. Residential Interior Design. Wiley, 2016


If you are interested in learning more about space planning, especially regarding residential spaces, then this is the book you need to read. The book takes a very practical approach to this kind of space planning. Some of the topics it dives into are ergonomics, the connection between residential spaces and the building’s systems, as well as accessible design. For those of you who might have read the previous editions, this one is different in that it incorporates the latest regulations and codes pertaining to residential and green constructions regulations. In addition to that, the remodeling information has been updated.


This book is filled with a lot of very useful information. The design procedure is presented in a detailed way that is still easy to follow and implement in your own work. The beauty of the procedures described in this book is that it can be used for any type of residential space you are working on. The most significant design steps and techniques are highlighted to ensure the reader comprehends their gravity in the design process. All of this information is complemented by great images and drawings. As mentioned before, the book pays a lot of attention to designing spaces with accessibility in mind.


Another great feature about this book is that is has a website that accompanies it. This website contains resources that are designed to help solidify the information you will learn in the book. Whether you’re an architect or interior designer, this book would be of great benefit to you, especially pertaining to residential design. If you’re looking for a book that takes a dive into interior design and creating functional spaces, then this is the one for you.


Other readers of the book mention how much they like the ideas and information presented in the book. Others have used the book in design school and continued using it long after that as well. It’s a highly recommended choice for interior designers.

Link to book:


Thanks a lot for reading this post. We hope these books help you refine your interior design skills. Let us know in the comments below which book caught your interest the most!


This post was written by our team at Pasesi Interiors.

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