My Top 5 Books for Interior Design Students

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Let’s bring it back to some analog resources! I love a great design book. I have a bookshelf (or two) full of them. And honestly, some books or authors I found when I was a student are still really valuable even after 10+ years in the industry.

So today, I’m giving my top 5 books for interior design students that you’ll find helpful far beyond graduation.

Interior Design Illustrated *

by Francis D.K. Ching and Corky Binggeli

If you don’t have any Francis Ching book on your shelf, I highly recommend you get one or two. The good news is that they’ve been around for a while, so you can likely find some good used copies too.

This book is one of my favorites just because of how it covers the basics and is broad and informative. Even after you get familiar with all of the content covered within this text, just flipping through or using it as a reference when you need can be so beneficial when you get stuck or need an idea.

Some other Francis Ching books that make my longer list of recommended books for interior design students?

Architectural Graphics by Francis D.K. Ching* Great resource for architectural drawings!

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order by Francis D.K. Ching* This book is actually one I didn’t fully appreciate when I was in school. It was only until I got a bit more experience did I appreciate what was being shown and discussed.

Building Constructed Illustrated by Francis D.K. Ching* This is such a helpful book to visually understand more about the construction side of the industry.

Spatial Strategies for Interior Design*

By Ian Higgins

Anyone who can give strategies for interior design is always in my good book. I love this book especially for anyone practicing in commercial interiors. Because large spaces can be quite challenging to tackle, this book actually gives you a number of practical ways of approaching it where you haven’t just started plonking things down. Instead, it helps you consider making dynamic yet cohesive spaces with specific strategies.

Construction Drawings And Details for Interiors*

By Rosemary Kilmer and W. Otie Kilmer

This is such a great book to refer to when you get into drawing anything for construction or manufacturer. Thinking critically and carefully about how you draw and organize your drawings for these purposes is so important in this industry. This book has plenty of examples and a really helpful structure to help you get to grips with this way of thinking. It’s also a great resource even for someone who has experience in drawings as it helps you think about organizing and detail more.

Sketching for Architecture + Interior Design: A practical guide on sketching for architecture and interior design students*

By Stephanie Travis

When I learned to sketch for design, instead of trying to sketch like a fine artist, that was when I got why designers always carried around a sketchbook. Sketching for design is all about thinking on paper, rather than becoming the next da Vinci. This book is a great primer on some key techniques and strategies to get you thinking about sketching in the way that will help you design – rather than the way that feels like a chore to tick a box.

The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox: Checklists and Best Practices to Manage Your Workflow*

By Phyllis Harbiner

You know I’m a big fan of anything that helps with productivity. This is why I love making templates! This books is great in that is not a lot of fluff. Instead, it’s a lot of checklists, fill-in the blanks, and examples you can consider as you figure out your own process and practice. It’s definitely a helpful book for anyone starting out on their own compared to working with a large firm with already established practices.

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