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4 Best Interior Design Textbooks for High School

February 21st, 2023 | 8 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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If you teach high school interior design, then you know that finding a strong textbook is key to making your course one your students will remember. The right textbook will inspire your students with the knowledge and art within. The wrong one, however, might leave them bored and disinterested. 

So what are the best interior design textbooks for high school? How much do they cost, and what topics do they cover? 

In this article, you’ll discover four of the best interior design textbooks for high school:

  1. Housing and Interior Design, 12th Edition
  2. Interior Design Fundamentals, 1st Edition
  3. Foundations of Interior Design, 3rd Edition
  4. Professional Practice for Interior Designers, 6th Edition

By the end of this article, you’ll know more about each of these options, so you can choose the best pick for your classroom. 

1. Housing and Interior Design, 12th Edition

Authors: Evelyn L. Lewis and Carolyn Turner Smith

Copyright: Goodheart-Willcox, 2023

Housing and Interior Design, 12th Edition is a foundational textbook that introduces students to the basics of housing and interior design. Written specifically for high schoolers, this is one of the best-fit books on this list if you’re teaching a secondary education course. 

This textbook is divided into 28 chapters across seven primary units: 

  • Housing - Human Factors and InfluencesHousing and Interior Design
  • The Built Environment and Space Planning
  • Fundamentals of Interior Design
  • The Process of Interior Design
  • Interior Surfaces, Materials, and Furnishings
  • Housing Choices
  • Careers in Housing and Interiors

The chapters within these units feature resources like vocabulary terms, learning outcomes, review questions, graphs, tables, assessment prompts, and plenty of images to provide students with examples of essential interior design concepts. 

In addition, this textbook also correlates with national CTE standards and industry-recognized credentials like the Interior Design I and Interior Design II Precision Exams. This makes it a strong fit if you’re looking to prepare students for careers in the field. 

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost? 

Housing and Interior Design is a good choice for teachers looking for a high school-aligned interior design textbook to teach students the fundamentals of the field. With its many valuable resources and national alignments, it will fit particularly well for students looking to kickstart careers in interior design. 

Housing and Interior Design costs $128 for a hardback copy, and an additional $30 for an accompanying workbook. Alternatively, you could purchase both of these resources together for $150.

2. Interior Design Fundamentals, 1st Edition

Author: Steven B. Webber

Copyright: Fairchild, 2019

Interior Design Fundamentals, 1st Edition is an introductory textbook written to teach students the basics of interior design and the design process. This book has students consider many of the facets of this career field and envision themselves as professionals in the industry. 

This textbook is split into 12 chapters: 

  • Thinking, Elements and Principles, AestheticsBook Cover
  • History of Architecture and Design
  • The Design Process
  • Spatial Well-being
  • Color Theory
  • Professional Practice of Interior Design
  • Contextual Factors of the Built Environment
  • Planning
  • Finishes
  • Furnishings
  • Lighting
  • Built Environment Support System

These chapters include resources like key terms, review questions, chapter summaries, activities, and case studies to give students examples of the work designers do in the field. 

Additionally, some versions of the book include teaching resources like PowerPoint presentations, a test bank, and an instructor’s guide to help you structure your course using the textbook. 

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Interior Design Fundamentals is a good fit for teachers looking to teach an introductory interior design course. In particular, this book helps students get into the headspace of a professional designer and learn design thinking. 

However, one drawback of this book is that it wasn’t written exclusively for high school students, but for college courses, as well. Though it would fit well into most foundational interior design courses, you might want to make sure it suits your classroom before buying it. 

Interior Design Fundamentals costs $90 for a print copy and 12 months of access to the Studio companion study tool. Alternatively, you can rent an eBook edition for $44.55 for 12 months, or $31.59 for 6 months. You can also buy a perpetual eBook license for $67.63.

3. Foundations of Interior Design, 3rd Edition

Author: Susan J. Slotkis

Copyright: Bloomsbury, 2017

Foundations of Interior Design, 3rd Edition is a comprehensive textbook that can effectively serve as a culinary arts curriculum for high schoolers. This book provides students an overview of the fundamental concepts of interior design to grant them insight into the industry. 

This textbook consists of 14 chapters:

  • The Interior Design ProfessionFoundations of Interior Design cover
  • Socially Responsible Design
  • Design Theory: Aesthetics, Elements and Principles of Design
  • Color Theory and Application
  • The Design Process
  • Communicating the Vision
  • Light and Lighting Systems
  • Architectural Design Elements
  • Finishing the Interior
  • Furnishing the Interior
  • Period Design Styles: Antiquity - Empire Style
  • Period Design Styles: Revival Styles - Contemporary Style
  • Forecasting and Trends
  • Professional Practice

These chapters feature case studies, illustrations, and projects to give students knowledge and practice in interior design. In addition, a book purchase includes access to virtual study materials, including self-quizzes and vocabulary flashcards, so students can review concepts before taking their assessments.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost? 

Foundations of Interior Design is a strong choice for teachers looking for a well-rounded, reliable interior design curriculum to introduce their students to the subject. With its diverse resources and examples, students will gain a more complete view of the interior design industry. 

However, the textbook’s publication date is 2017, making it the oldest resource on this list. If you’re looking for a more up-to-date book, then Foundations of Interior Design likely won’t be the right choice for you. 

You can purchase a print edition of Foundations of Interior Design for $130 on Bloomsbury’s website. 

4. Professional Practice for Interior Designers, 6th Edition

Author: Christine M. Piotrowski

Copyright: Wiley, 2020

Professional Practice for Interior Designers, 6th Edition is a textbook that introduces students to the basics of interior design and prepares them to enter the industry. More than the other books on this list, this textbook provides students with professional tips, best practices, and knowledge of tools to run their own interior design business. 

This textbook is divided into 30 chapters across eight parts: 

  • The Profession
  • Career Paths
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Defining the Project
  • Project Delivery
  • Establishing an Interior Design Practice
  • Marketing for Success
  • Managing an Interior Design Practice

The chapters within these parts include resources like illustrative scenarios, chapter objectives, and materials to help students prepare for exams like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). In addition, some copies of the book provide a digital Instructor’s Manual to help teachers plan and run their course.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Professional Practice for Interior Designers would be a strong fit for teachers who want to prepare their students to start their own interior design businesses. With its strong focus on practical business tips, this book better equips students to navigate the industry as soon as they graduate. 

However, this textbook wouldn’t be the best choice if you’re looking to introduce students to fundamental interior design concepts. Though the basics of interior design are touched upon in this curriculum, this book delves deeper into specialized professional concepts, and would better fit a more advanced interior design course. 

Professional Practice for Interior Designers costs $103.95 for a print edition on Wiley’s website. You can also purchase an eBook edition for $83 per copy. 

Need More Than An Interior Design Textbook?

In this article, you’ve discovered some of the best interior design curriculum options out there. If you choose the right textbook from among these choices, your high schoolers will walk away from your class understanding the fundamental concepts of interior design. 

However, while textbooks are reliable and comprehensive, they can often fall flat when it comes to grabbing student attention in class. If you need a more exciting, engaging curriculum to teach your course, check out iCEV’s Interior Design Basics course!

iCEV’s Interior Design Basics course is a well-rounded, semester-long curriculum you can quickly implement in your high school class. It comes with lesson plans, instructional videos, activities, and more, designed to introduce your students to the essentials of interior design: 

Discover the Interior Design Course