The best books on the future of the interior

Sally Stone Author Of Inside Information: The Defining Concepts of Interior Design
By Sally Stone

Who am I?

For more than thirty years I have been discussing, formulating ideas, and writing about Architecture, Building Reuse, and Interiors. I lead the MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse programme and direct graduate atelier Continuity in Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture. I am currently the Visiting Professor at the University IUAV of Venice where I am conducting research on the sustainable adaptation of existing buildings with particular emphasis on the environmental concerns within the inherently fragile city of Venice.

I wrote...

Inside Information: The Defining Concepts of Interior Design

By Sally Stone,

Book cover of Inside Information: The Defining Concepts of Interior Design

What is my book about?

Inside Information is a chatty and well-informed conversation about the theoretical ideas that inform the interior. Written as a collection of 26 conversations, from Ante to Zeitgeist, Inside Information explores the rich diversity of areas that inform the subject, and ideas that underpin it. This thesaurus of interiors transcends the boundaries and genres that often define interiors, providing a comprehensive view of the concepts and vocabulary of interior design. It is a practical introduction for the professional, a set of provocation for the scholar, a ‘good read’ filled with anecdote and speculation for the amateur, and primer for the students.

The books I picked & why

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Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays

By Robin Evans,

Book cover of Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays

Why this book?

The book introduced Interior Design as an intellectual subject with a firm theoretical grounding that went beyond style and taste to influential and foundational concepts and promoted it as a serious field of study. It is a collection of accessible essays and so is easy to dip into. My favourite essay is "Figures, Doors and Passageways," which discusses the formation of contemporary systems of circulation, the development of the corridor, and the evolution of modern ideas of personal privacy.

Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture As Mass Media

By Beatriz Colomina,

Book cover of Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture As Mass Media

Why this book?

Beatriz Colomina explores how Adolf Loos set the stage for the occupants of a house to live in. Through a lively discussion of the relationship between private and public areas within the homes that he designed, she discusses the relationships between the open spaces, corridors, light, dark, and view. The comparison is between the home as a place to dwell and the home as a place for performance – a theatrical set.

An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration: From Pompeii to Art Nouveau

By Mario Praz,

Book cover of An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration: From Pompeii to Art Nouveau

Why this book?

Mario Praz’s Illustrated History of Interior Decoration is a wonderful chatty collection of case studies that explores the history of the subject in a well-informed and erudite manner. Interiors are generally lost to the mists of time, remembered only as the backdrop to other activities in paintings and prints, Praz has searched out the best of these to generously illustrate the book.


By Jan Morris,

Book cover of Venice

Why this book?

Jan Morris’s book is a fantastic discussion about the evolution of Venice. It explores why the city looks as it does, why the inhabitants behave in a particular manner, it explains how the buildings are constructed, why the boats are shaped as they are, how the navy constructed their Arsenale, what is best to eat, and when, what the climate is like and how this has informed behaviour and so much more...

Home: A Short History of an Idea

By Witold Rybczynski,

Book cover of Home: A Short History of an Idea

Why this book?

Home discusses the complex series of factors that have generated the house as we understand it today. The chapters can be read independently as discussions on, for example, the evolution of comfort or the organisation of the different spaces. However, the book also builds into a fascinating argument for revisiting some of the pre-modern ideas of communal living, shared spaces, and live-work relationships. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in architecture, Venice, and urban planning?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about architecture, Venice, and urban planning.

Architecture Explore 37 books about architecture
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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Veneziaenigma, Venice Observed, and The Works if you like this list.