One of my favorite decorating books is Signature Style: Creating Beautiful Interiors from Traditional Home Books.
The book is about finding your own approach to design. All of the interiors are Traditional, but the eight different designers have very different approaches.
There are a lot of photos, as you would expect. But the designers explain their process. They let you know what to look for in each photo.
Even if you have a different style, you can learn a lot from this book. If you are interested in becoming an interior designer or a decorator, you will likely want to appreciate more than one style. Traditional may not be to your taste, but you can learn a lot from the details each designer offers.
Each chapter is about a different American designer. They each give you a look into their design approach.
For example, the chapter Cultural Crossroads with Doug Radar has this paragraph about (what else?) lighting, my subject.
Whatever the mix of walls and floor surfaces, lighting is the element that brings the shell to life. “From the inception of a project, I work with the architect on the architectural lighting plan, as I know the major furniture and art and their placements,” Radar says. “Then we turn the plan over to a lighting designer for the correct lenses and recessed fixtures for what we want to accomplish. “The plan also includes placement of gallery lighting for major art, and decorative lighting such as antique sconces or chandeliers.
Cultural Crossroads with Doug Radar
Signature Style: Creating Beautiful Interiors from Traditional Home Books
There are plenty of photos demonstrating his placement.
If you are designing lighting, you can learn a lot by carefully looking at the combination of decorative lighting and recessed lighting to get the look he is going for.
The book is old, 1999, but Traditional interiors are timeless. And the book is cheap now. You can get it new or used for not much more than the price of a magazine at the checkout.