Before interior design became a profession that almost anyone thought they could do; there was a greater learning curve and insight into the profession that I wish I could have been part of. It saddens me today that schooling and learning the “vocabulary” and very important “rules” of interior design are not a foundation for this craft present day. I run into many decorators on a daily basis. In my opinion, many of us can decorate, but who among us in this profession really design. Who among us do not just enhance a look, but a function. Both interior designers and interior decorators create beautiful spaces, but they are separate professions.
To design, one must know and understand the immense history of interiors A great source of this history is, Elements of Interior Design and Decoration” by Sherrill Whiton. I ran across this book while antiquing with my husband recently. It has the look of an old library book and the weight of a very heavy coffee table book. Upon glancing through this book, I noticed it was word heavy and picture light. This was intentional by the author. He felt that there were so many books that were composed of pictures, but not many books that covered the actual elements, history, and basis of interior design.
When I was ready to check out, the owner of the antique store commented on my purchase. She informed me that when she was attending interior design school, this was her textbook. She said that she has read this book from cover to cover, all 852 pages. I could not help but feel a bit jealous. I had a great interior design education, but I do wonder at times why education does not start with a book of this nature. It is an enormous value of information that I feel anyone would gain insight and knowledge from.
It may be possible that your local library has this book. If you are an interior designer or a decorator, I recommend this book. We are always learning. Once we figure we know it all, we have only just begun.