It only seems appropriate at this gift-giving time of year to suggest what I feel are the five must-haves for any serious design library. Having taught design courses at a local university, it is apparent to me that too many people have little knowledge about the fundamentals of this industry, let alone who the greats are. I believe a person should to make a personal statement with their home environments, and not just succumb to what is trendy, temporal or mass-produced.Why not learn from the greats? Consider adding these examples to your bookshelves for future study on the art of timeless interior design.

1. In The Pink: Dorothy Draper—America’s Most Fabulous Decorator by Carleton Varney Dorothy Draper took interior design to a really BIG level when she set out to do some of the world’s grandest resorts and public spaces.A style-maker par excellence!

2. Billy Baldwin:The Great American Decorator by Adam Lewis Since the two books written by Billy Baldwin himself are no longer in print, this is a great way to look into the world of the leading male decorator of his day. His influence is still felt in the design world today.

3.The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman Jr. If not for this pair, the industry would not be what it is today.They were the tastemakers of the Gilded Age but also the first to stress the importance of scale and proportion.

4. Albert Hadley: The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer by Adam Lewis Having worked with Sister Parish, Mr. Hadley had access to the finest homes in America and turned them into design masterpieces. Still living but retired, this is a fine collection of his work.

5. Timeless Elegance:The Houses of David Easton by David Easton Like Billy Baldwin, Mr. Easton decided to pen his own book about his work.A trained architect and designer, his work exemplifies the best of the best. He also is very open about his change in perspective about how design should fit into a person’s life.