Books Every Designer Should Read

3 Lists of Books Every Interior Designer Should Read

Stanley Abercrombie, Dominique Browning, and Susan Weber

November 19, 2013

Three interior design editors and curators recommend books they would add to any interior design library.

Stanley Abercrombie's Book List

As for so many other things, I blame my parents: they planted the seed of my hunger for books—especially art and design books—with a Christmas present. When I was eight or nine, growing up in a small town in Georgia, a big box under the tree held nothing but a small card welcoming me as a member of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In those days MoMA assumed that members who lived more than a couple of hundred miles from Manhattan would seldom get to the museum, so in compensation those remote members were sent a clothbound catalogue of each exhibition.

Dominique Browning's Book List

Good decorators must constantly feed their heads. They never stop hitting the refresh button. It doesn’t matter whether they’re looking for inspiration or sources, or looking with admiration or disgust. The point is they never stop looking. For that reason, there isn’t a bad design book out there, because every picture has something to teach the discerning eye; every project conveys lessons to be teased out. There aren’t terribly many books that actually try to teach the reader something useful about the profession.

Susan Weber's Book List

All my life, I’ve been “into” interior design in one way or another. It began with looking at the so-called shelter magazines, moved on to watching my mother make decorative choices for our home, to deciding in college that this was an area that went beyond “pretty” and revealed unsuspected facets about my world. To discover, explore, and try to understand the cultural meanings of what would become to be known as material culture would become the governing intellectual passion of my adult life.

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