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Residential Interior Design: A Guide to Planning Spaces Paperback – Jan 16 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (Jan. 16 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471684732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471684732
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 1.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Aimed at interior design students, this thoroughly-illustrated volume explains the minimum requirements for specific types of residential spaces and rooms. Introductory chapters provide an overview of basic requirements, such as accessibility and lighting, and discuss the role of the various types of design graphics." (Book News, February 2008)

From the Back Cover

A Room-by-room guide to home interior design

More than a decorating guide, Residential Interior Design teaches the fundamental skills needed to plan interior spaces for all types of homes, in all decorative styles, from remodeling to new construction. Taking a step-by-step approach, this valuable primer reviews all aspects of interior architecture as it relates to human factors and daily use.

Authors and interior designers Maureen Mitton and Courtney Nystuen explore the minimal amount of space necessary in order for rooms to function usefully, from the kitchen to the bathroom, the bedroom to the hallway, and every room in between. Packed with hundreds of drawings and photographs, this valuable tool is brimming with useful information regarding codes, mechanical and electrical systems, the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility codes, special considerations for multi-family dwellings, and a variety of additional factors that impact each type of room and its corresponding space.

With a focus on quality of design over quantity of space, Residential Interior Design is the first stop to designing equally efficient and attractive rooms.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Very good book for interior designers and learners who need to do lots of space planning.Good to keep in the library for future projects of interior design. It contains all the required dimensions (some by code) and clearences needed within a space. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d5b65ac) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d25e2e8) out of 5 stars Don't Build or Remodel without reading this book! June 2 2011
By Mimi - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since I am the first reviewer of this valuable book, I feel an obligation to give it its due and tell you what you can look forward to. I'm so glad I found it before I started a major remodel, including moving my kitchen - which will result in re-arranging the main living areas!

This book opened my eyes to the many important concepts and details of basic layout design that can easily be overlooked or poorly planned in building a home or remodeling one. Mistakes here can be costly or impossible to fix so I wanted to make sure I don't make any major blunders before my final layout design is complete.

Ch 1: The INTRO
Briefly discusses how homes have changed over the years and points out that bigger is not always better. Quality over quantity is stressed instead of just making huge rooms in McMansions.
In addition to each chapter's main topic, Ch. 1 introduces the 5 common subjects that are discussed for each area of the home at the end of each subsequent chapter:
Ergonomics & Required Clearances
Organizational Flow
Related Codes & Constraints
Electrical & Mechanical
Lighting &

Covers Foyers, entry areas and vertical movement such as stairs and where they should be placed for maximum benefit and minimum horizontal footprint.

Living rooms & great rooms, media rooms, dining rooms & home gyms are discussed. Traffic flows and furniture arrangements are presented with multiple options and diagrams.

I consider the kitchen the most important room in the house so I found this to be the most important chapter, by far! The authors identified 13 different very basic kitchen configurations in small, simple block illustrations. They are so easy to grasp that you can quickly see the many possibilities in designing a kitchen. It was an "Aa Ha" moment for me.

The authors discuss the different ways we can cook and they make you think about how you want to entertain - or not - and whether you are a one-person cook or appreciate help and multiple work spaces. They discuss traditional and modern work flows and entertaining in the kitchen while you cook. There are 20 detailed layout diagrams INCLUDING ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS to consider, all the while showing the positives & negatives of each. They even include wheelchair design issues, if that is a concern for you. Cabinets, fixtures, and appliances are included, though briefly. The focus is always on layout.


This covers the 2 basic platforms a house can sit on: concrete slab, and wood platform - another issue to think about if designing from the ground up. Then it delves into plumbing, doors & windows, roof types, fireplaces and stoves.

THE APPENDIXES: have a lot of information involving side issues of green design, wheelchair dimensions, outdoor kitchens, European cabinets, seated & standing work surfaces and desks.

I believe this is a college textbook - written so anyone can understand and learn the basic concepts a good space-plan designer should consider.

If you are lucky to have hired a top-notch architect or designer, maybe you wouldn't need this book. But I feel even the best architect or designer might not ask the right questions to know exactly what to design for your family. He or she might overlook something that is very important to you. You won't know the possibilities, what you might be missing to make your home the best it can be, if you don't read this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d25e948) out of 5 stars Residential Interior Design July 8 2011
By johanna bell - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is in so necessary for me as I build my new small house. The tips and common sense advice is invaluable!

A MUST read for anyone remodeling or building from scratch. Even if one has an architect as one can have input and be part of the different options.

I have learned SO MUCH!! I am so luchy my architect gave me this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d25e9d8) out of 5 stars Very good Dec 27 2012
By Jean - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought it as a text book for interior design school and use it in my business now that I am done with school. Good if you are trying to build a custom home or doing upgrades and rebuilds. Not a decorating book, it is a floor plan guide.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d25eb34) out of 5 stars Residential Interior Design: A Guide To Planning Spaces Sept. 13 2011
By Lea - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good resource book for anyone working with designers. My son works in installation and design of kitchen and bathroom countertops made of granite and quartz stone. He liked the way the book was laid out.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d25e594) out of 5 stars Nice Formatting, Flow and Diagrams May 11 2013
By Dave Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We're in the process of designing a new home. Design mistakes can be expensive to fix once the walls are up, so I thought a refresher on Interior Design would be worth my time. This book has become an essential reference throughout this process.

Understand that interior design is not interior decorating. Interior design takes into account the actual layout of an interior space and how each space is connected to the other spaces. Considerations such as pubic and private spaces (and the transition between them), how the spaces are used based on the building's orientation to the sun, kitchens (and the work triangle), bathrooms, leisure area layouts including psychological aspects of each space.

The book is comprised of the following chapters;

1. Introduction; quality vs quantity, explanation of the graphical symbols used by designers and architects
2. Entrances and Circulation Spaces; how people come into a house and how the move around in it
3. Leisure Spaces; Ergonomics, flow, lighting
4. Kitchens; Fixtures and appliances, storage, required clearances, organizational flow
5. Bedrooms; Ergonomics and clearances, flow
6. Bathrooms; Fixtures, storage and cabinetry, flow
7. Utility and Work Spaces; types (garages, laundry, mudrooms, home offices, home gyms), appliances
8. Sample Project and Related Drawings
9. Basic Residential Building Construction and Structure; platform types, wood frame construction, plumbing, doors and windows, roof types, fireplaces and stoves

If you have to design or are considering a design for aging into, each chapter has breakout sections on accessibility considerations. For example, a range top can have open space underneath for a wheelchair where a full range cannot.

Line drawing diagrams are used extensively to point out a proper designs, but also how you don't want to implement a space. Additionally, the major concepts are illustrated with easy to read diagrams and notes.

Kitchens are the most expensive rooms in a house and are subsequently given a full 64 pages (out of 293 or 27% of the book). Cabinet sizing and types, ranges, range-tops, refrigerators, various kitchen designs and features are mentioned.

Extensive references and additional reading ends each chapter.