For a home to say something, it must be lived in by someone who has something to say-who knows what the language of home is, and how to express it.

Money alone won't do it. Commissioning the finest architect and best interior designer will not produce that essential communication. Nor will fashionable furnishings.

Involvement-intense and personal-is what conveys the message.

So says Herb Wise, who photographs and writes about rooms for paperback books.

His full-color books emphasize the virtues of the "personal house." Wise's recent volume, "Rooms With a View" (published by Quick Fox in New York), explores rooms that make their own statements.

The first book in the series, "Made With Oak," chronicles the revived interest in mission and golden oak furniture. "Living Places" looks at remodeled houses.

Herb Wise and his Nikon camera are coauthors in "Rooms With a View." His lens eye is devastatingly accurate in recording how people really live, not how they might want to live.

He says he never straightens a picture or a curtain or pats the lumps out of the sofa. He doesn't remove the normal clutter of living, nor rearrange the furniture.

"I photograph those masterful rooms which are styled by their owners and which are revelations of character and feeling," he explains.

The rooms speak for themselves, and most of the owners are not identified. Neither pattersn nor plans are given. The books' candid photos are explorations from which one can pluck adaptable morsels. Their overall impact has been to present "counter chic." CAPTION: Picture, An apartment in the SoHo section of New York City. Christian Science Monitor