Skip to Main Content

Interior Design (IDSN)

This guide contains a selection of resources, from the Library and beyond, for your research in Interior Design

Find Books/ebooks

Search the Library Catalogue for books by entering keywords that describe what you are looking for.

Subject Searches;

Building laws -- British Columbia. 


Human Engineering

Human Factors - Design

Lighting, Architectural and Decorative.

New Books - Design

Search tips

Combine terms to be more precise using the 'AND' command
e.g. clothing AND smart materials AND Canada

Find synoyms using the 'OR' command
e.g. international OR global

Use single quote marks to match multiple words exactly
e.g. 'protective clothing' (Note: Summon using double quotes)

Use shortcuts to find words with different spellings:
e.g. correction$ will find correction, corrections, and correctional (but not corrective)

Find the library subject terms for your topic
e.g. if you browse by SUBJECT for the keyword Taser (which is a brand name) you'll see that libraries use the term stun guns instead

Call numbers help you locate items in the library. You will always find related books shelved together so understanding call numbers can help you find many resources on the shelves.

Still confused about call numbers? See our  guide Finding Stuff in the Library (scroll down to Call Numbers Demystified) explains how to find items in the library. 

Call number ranges to get you started:

  • HF - Retail Stores
  • N - Art, Architecture, Interior Design, Visual Arts
  • NA - Architecture
  • NA 190-1555.5: Architecture - History
  • NC - Illustration, Design, Drawing
  • NK - Decorative Arts, Applied Arts
  • NK 1700-2195: Interior Decoration
  • NK 2200-2750: Furniture
  • QC 495 - Color
  • TA 166-167: Human Engineering (Ergonomics) 
  • TH 1-9745: Building Construction
  • TH-TK - Lighting
  • TH 8001 - TH 9024: Decoration and Decorative Furnishings
  • TT - Arts and Crafts, Handicrafts (contains info on Architecture and Design, especially TT 196)



Encyclopedias are a great way to get an overview of your topic.

Encyclopedias like The World BookEncyclopedia Britannica, and Wikipedia cover a vast array of subjects while others, like the  Encyclopedia of Interior Design, focus on a particular subject.

Dictionaries are handy to check definitions and spelling. Specialized dictionaries include The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Interior Design and A visual Dictionary of Architecture.

The library catalogue lists both scholarly and popular books.

To help you determine if a book is a "scholarly" title, use the following list to help you decide:

Who is the author?

  • holds an advanced degree in the subject covered by the book?
  • professional or researcher in the field?
  • is the author affiliated with a university / professional organization?


  • original research
  • literature review
  • advances research in discipline

Cited Sources?

  • bibliography / extensive notes
  • cites other scholarly sources
  • has an index


  • university press
  • scholarly publisher


  • uses terminology of the discipline
  • is written for other scholars / students

Book not at KPU Library?

Can't find the book at Kwantlen? You can submit an Interlibrary Loan (note that books can take up to 10 days to arrive).