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Interior Decorating Furniture

Interior Decorating Furniture Interior Decorating Furniture

There’s a sense of unfinished rawness in many of the elements, and it’s not uncommon to see exposed brick, ductwork and wood. An iconic home with an industrial design theme would be a renovated loft from a former industrial building.

This design style can incorporate some features of Victorian design, including plush, velvet furnishings, tufting and antiques. The colour palettes are particularly bold—think purples, reds and turquoise.

Change up tired decor with this quick DIY. Add old wood planks to a coffee table as a bonus shelf. And skip painting — the weathered finish has more character.

Setting up a booze station on your bar cart is a no brainer — but using it as an end table (especially when space is limited) to display blooms, art and coffee table books is just genius.

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“Don’t settle. If you have your heart set on a piece, don’t try to find something similar just to save money. Chances are, you’ll never be completely satisfied with the substitute (or its quality).”—Brian Watford

Allowing unique items to dictate some design decisions can lead to unexpectedly beautiful results. On the hallways leading into this Art Deco Chicago apartment, dramatic doors and paneling were inspired by a special stack of uncommon lumber. “There was a guy out in Oregon who had a barn full of exotic wood and everything was marked ‘NFS,’ as in Not For Sale,” architect Phillip Liederbach recalls with a laugh. “It gave us a responsibility to elevate it. We obsessed over it.”

“The splurge everyone should make is a fabulous master bathroom. I used hand-painted porcelain sinks in mine.”—Todd Richesin

Some people have a natural eye for design, but if you’re more in the camp of those who can’t do anything without consulting Pinterest board upon Pinterest board before making any major changes, we feel you. We’d love to have an interior designer on speed dial before deciding exactly where and how hang to hang that sweet new wall art we bought on a whim, but until we win the lottery, we’ll have to settle for trusting our guts, and taking plenty of design tips where we can get them. We’ve compiled some secrets straight from the pros to help you with all your decorating needs.

You can also repurpose items you find when traveling to create something custom that has a deeper meaning to you. For example, Diana Weinstein of Diana Weinstein Designs told me, “I once had a client who brought back sari silks from India which I used to make a custom upholstered bed out of”.

I am a writer, podcaster, and comedic performer, but more so, an aspiring Eames chair owner. Originally from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I currently live in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with my husband and our two dogs, Lulu and Milo. I am absolutely f…

Shabby chic furnishings are often either distressed or appear that way; paint tends to have antique-style finishes. The Shabby Chic colour palettes include white, cream and pastels. Light light fixture and wall hangings may be ornate and continue the feminine vibe of shabby chic design.

Start with an all-white canvas and swap in seasonal accents all year-round. This summery living room uses cool blues, jute accessories, and nautical accents for a beachy vibe.

Avoid future boredom with calm colors using texture and pattern. In a dreamy beach house, muted prints in the same palette keep a neutral room from looking bland.

A Dallas home feels bohemian and well-traveled thanks to wood floors and gray walls. The neutral base helps a bold kilim-covered sofa and mix-and-match throw pillows shine.

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“When clients want a quick, impactful update, I recommend the pieces that take up the most surface area, like rugs, paint color, or window treatments.”—Tina Ramchandani

“When you’re given a dark space that doesn’t have great light, create your own light. In this kitchen, we used Sherwin-​Williams’s sunny Ener­getic Orange, and it turned out just fabulous— so cheerful.”—Matthew Boland

“Wicker is an element I love for its texture and versatility. Wicker baskets are so functional for storage, but a wicker animal brings a sense of whimsy.” —Amy Berry

“Get creative when thinking about form and function. A client in a traditional Georgian home needed it to work for her modern way of entertaining. We opted for an asymmetrical, organic space that encourages guests to float through the room while engaged in conversation.” —Kate Coughlin

“Great art and fabulous antiques only get better with age. It’s better to cry once and have a forever piece.”—Chandos Dodson Epley

Scandanavian design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design often feels like a work of art, although it is simple and understated. There’s functionality in the furniture along with some interesting lines, many of which have a sculptural influence.

“Don’t be afraid of dark. I used this rich Benjamin Moore Midnight Blue on an accent wall—darker than I’d ever dared. It made the whole space come to life.” —Jean Larette

“Black works with any style. The misconception is that dark colors make spaces feel smaller; they actually recede.”—Carrie Fundings Land

“Art, art, art! Start young and buy the best you can afford. Its ability to transform a room is unlike any other design tool.”—Jean Liu

Make the living room feel airer (and infinitely bigger) by replacing a bulky sectional with pretty seating. Besides, what feels more luxe than velvet?

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

Think high ceilings, old timber and dangling metal light fixtures with sparse functional furniture. There may possibly be one or two pieces of abstract art or photography to add a dash of colour to an otherwise neutral colour scheme derived from the primary materials of wood and metals.

Save square footage without sacrificing seating by using dining chairs in the living room. A rattan-and-cane perch takes up less real estate than a traditional recliner.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details. Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and tips from top designers to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re open to mastering a few basic decorating principles and putting your creativity to the test, you’re sure to enjoy a home that’s both comfortable and stylish.

“Follow your gut. If you have to talk yourself into liking something, you probably don’t.”—Olivia Erwin

Short pieces, like this tufted couch, keep an open floor plan cozy. Use area rugs to define individual “rooms” within the space.

Fill any underused nook or corner with a big, ol’ houseplant and it can instantly become the personality-packed focal point of the room. Tuck the pot in a cute basket for an extra punch.

Minimalism is ultimately defined by a sense of functionality and ultra-clean lines.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

“Update your light switches! Elegant controls add a spectacular element to an older home or character to a new one.” —Courtney Hill

$170, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Rustic design is drawn from natural inspiration, using raw and often unfinished elements including wood and stone.

Transitional is a very popular style because it borrows from both traditional and modern design to facilitate a space that’s not “too much,” in terms of one style or another. There’s a sense of balance that’s appealing and unexpected.

“Use tall pieces in a low-height room. Short furnishings would make the ceiling feel that much lower to the ground.” —Jason Oliver Nixon

Tiffany Brooks, who you may know from HGTV’s Smart Home, is a big fan of scouring her local thrift shop. “Thrift stores are my go-to places for one-off items. An example would be a chair that would be $200-$300. Depending on the condition of the furniture, I would replace the upholstery with a really nice fabric. Or I’ll find a period piece and place it next to something brand new.”

Etsy is another great resource, but you have to know where to go. Gutierrez likes ModCreation Studio for lighting, art from Urban Epiphany Prints and ceramics from Vitrifried Studio.

Measuring just 250 square feet, a tiny guesthouse copies a staple of Scandinavian style. Bright white shiplap creates the illusion of added space.

If you can’t hire an interior designer, at least you can shop like one. And it turns out that’s easier than you think. While the public doesn’t have access to trade-only wholesalers, you might be surprised to learn that many interior designers are finding some of their best items at places where the rest of us shop every day.

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

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Look to the opposite end of the color spectrum to tie everything together. A moody blue grounds a windowed living room by Sarah Richardson without overwhelming it.

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

“My clients ask about the most important pieces to invest in: I believe in upholstery and art! They help anchor a room.”—Ashley Darryl

“Never underestimate the power of paint. You don’t have to break the bank to achieve a new look. A fresh coat in a vibrant color takes an old piece of furniture or empty white room and gives it new life.”—Chauncey Boothby

The key to subtle color lays at your feet. A patterned carpet plays up the neutral furniture in a New Jersey home, while a similarly-hued pillow adds another punch to the armchair.

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“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

It’s not uncommon to spot floor pillows and comfortable seating spaces when incorporating the bohemian style. This eclectic style can incorporate an ultra-glam chandelier paired with a well-worn rug and a mid-century chair. Within the Bohemian style, there’s a laissez-faire attitude where anything goes as long as you love it.

While most of us know that high-end retailers like Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus have beautiful home departments, designers don’t overlook their less expensive counterparts. Kate Clarke of Homes Reimagined loves to shop Macy’s for bedding. As does Doherty, who suggests their Home Hotel Collection for “fabulous sheeting with lots of thread count and budget options.”

Spacious, natural lighting, less accessories and functional furniture characterizes Scandinavian designs.

Don’t forget to punctuate color with natural texture. Sarah Richardson used wicker baskets, a wood-frame mirror, and an antique pine dresser to warm up this rustic cabin.

Kate Reynolds, co-owner of Studio Four NYC, believes in pairing big-ticket items with budget finds. “I think a room balances out better when you have different levels of price and craftsmanship,” she says. “It helps you notice the statement piece more.”

$1,688, Interlude Home Lestari Petrified Wood Side Tale, Houzz

For a laid-back look on your mantel, rest a sturdy style against the wall – no hammering required.

Modern and contemporary are two styles frequently used interchangeably. Contemporary is different from modern because it describes design based on the here and now.

Rustic design may incorporate accessories from the outdoors with warmth emulating from the design and architectural details that may include features like vaulted ceilings adorned with wood beams or reclaimed wood floors.

The best way to balance out sleek lines and contemporary furniture is by adding a few unique natural elements, from drift wood to greenery. “I don’t like to look around a house and not see touches from the outdoors,” interior designer Tamara Magel says.

It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. “In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees,” says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. “I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink.”

“Pull floor patterns from ancient buildings. One inspired the checkerboard pattern of the marble floors in my Los Angeles home.”—Nate Berkus

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The primary difference separating modern and contemporary design style is that modern is a strict interpretation of design that started in the 20th century. Contemporary on the other hand, is more fluid and can represent a sense of currency with less adherence to one particular style. For example, contemporary style may include curving lines, whereas modern design does not. You can refer to modern vs contemporary article for more information.

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

“If punk rock has taught me anything, it’s to do everything yourself. All of my favorite interior designers were self-taught.”—Max Humphrey

“I love to use wallpaper in mundane spaces. Hallways, pantries, powder rooms—all become moments of joy and funkiness. Areas of transition can be places you enjoy spending time in.”—Fawn Galli

You won’t believe where some of this is from.The Design High

If you like unique things or are trying to find items that are not mass produced, Gina Gutierrez, founder and lead designer of Gina Rachelle Design thinks what you are looking for is probably right in front of you. “Get to know local makers in your area. I like going custom or purchasing pieces that tell a story—ethical housewares or an individual’s life story. I have been working with Brian Enright of 12 Sticks since 2013 and he is my go-to for millwork.”

There’s depth, layering and dimensionality within most traditional designs.

Let the vibes flow from room-to-room with another clever paint tip. “I often paint a home one color throughout,” says Susana Simonpietri, interior designer and cofounder of Chango & Co. “Or, I’ll try the softest hue in the room that gets the most natural light, then work through the rest of the home with deepening shades of blue and gray.”

$3,295, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Refresh your storage by taking the jackets off old books (load up at yard sales) to expose the stitching or covering your collection with coordinating papers.

Give beige a break. Dramatic hues can drench a large living room, like this inky wallpaper. The deep blue provides a surprisingly neutral backdrop.

“The most important first step in design is a good floor plan.”—Jessica Helgerson

Steal a space-faking secret from this tiny Brooklyn apartment. Choose a few full-size furniture pieces instead of cramming in lots of smaller ones. The living room will feel larger, and you’ll have a sofa you actually like to sit on.

Warm, earthy colours are indicative of a French Country design style, as are worn and ornamental wooden furnishing. The style has an overarching farmhouse inspiration.

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

Mid-century modern is a throwback to the design style of the mid-1900s—primarily the 1950s and 60s. There’s a retro nostalgia present in Mid-Century Modern Design, and also some elements of minimalism. Functionality or “fussy-free” was the main theme for Mid-century design. It emphasis on pared-down forms, natural or organic shapes such as “egg-shaped” chair, easy-to-use contemporary designs and simple fabrications. It easily complements any interior and also helps with seamless transition from interior to exterior.

Perhaps the most unique store a designer suggested was likely the last place on earth anyone would ever think of. Gregory Augustine of Lucas Alexander revealed, “The best decor I’ve gotten from an unexpected source was Petco. It was a metal clip light for a snake tank, which became the perfect picture light when clipped on shelves. No wiring needed, plug and play!” 

$375, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

“Every house should have a great bar. It is the central point of a party, and if you entertain a lot, it will be celebrated, so put some thought into it.”—Jordana Joseph

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

Blue and white striped patterns for pillows, large windows, white plush sofas, and painted white wood are also common fixtures of the classic Coastal/Hampton style.

Many designs now integrate rustic design with more modern furnishings and accessories.

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“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

“I love to see the layers of time and renovations,” says California-based interior designer Patrick Printy. “To me, it deepens the effect.” Achieving a sense of harmony that feels organic is key.

The quickest way to let light in starts at the source. Replace heavy fabric curtains with gauzy ones, making sure the panels go all the way to the floor. To accentuate a tall ceiling, mount the drapes about a foot above windows and doors.

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

Traditional homes often feature dark, finished wood, rich colour palettes, and a variety of textures and curved lines. Furnishings have elaborate and ornate details and fabrics, like velvet, silk and brocade, which may include a variety of patterns and textures.

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

Together, we make homes beautiful. If you would like to consult with Rochele Decorating on design elements to enhance your home décor, please contact us!

The biggest secret of the Speakeasy at 63 Wall Street is where the furnishings are from.The Design High

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

A rudimentary understanding of design fundamentals and styles can be a great help in solidifying your personal design ideals. The ability to identify different interior design styles will help you conjure up inspirational visions of your future home and provide a framework to build your personal aesthetic. With a vocabulary to express your inspired vision, magic happens! If you’re interested in this look, we recommend you to read our post “Everything you need to know about the Hamptons Style“.

It might surprise you to learn that designers are also shopping at many of the same places we go to already—H&M, Zara Home, Amazon, Michaels and even Walmart. Ultimately, you can find anything anywhere as long as you keep your eyes open. Doherty has a practical philosophy when it comes to finding decor, “In the era of online shopping designers have to be open to sourcing from unusual places. Just like shopping for clothes, you can find nice things anywhere if you pay attention to quality and design. Nothing is off limits.”

Next time you’re in Nashville or just looking for southern style online, Zoë Cullen of Stay Domio says to check out 1767 Designs. “The owner, Patrick Hayes, and I have collaborated on a couple of really cool projects together. He always seems to read my mind and knows exactly what I’m looking for.  His art pieces are made from wood rescued from century-old homes in Nashville and each one has so much character. It’s rare that I decorate anything without including something from his shop.”

Industrial style as the name implies, draws inspiration from a warehouse or an urban loft.

Don’t let your primetime viewing habits impede your style. “Go for a slim TV (mine is a Samsung), and use a thin mount that lets it sit flat against the wall,” says lifestyle blogger Carley Knobloch. “Then have the wires threaded through the wall so it looks uncluttered.”

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

Modern design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture. A word that’s commonly used to describe modern style is sleek, and there is not a lot of clutter or accessories involved with a modern style.

Modern is a broad design term that typically refers to a home with clean, crisp lines, a simple colour palette and the use of materials that can include metal, glass and steel.

HomeGoods is another go-to. However, the selection can vary on any given day from store to store. So, if you want first dibs, Kate Marengo of Interior Chicago suggests finding out what days stores gets their deliveries and shop that morning. “The best inventory is snatched up quickly,” she explained.

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

Deidre Doherty of Deirdre Doherty Interiors says Ikea can be a great place to shop if you don’t want to overspend. “As much as Ikea has a bad wrap, there are some good staple pieces like wall mirrors, bath accessories and you can also upgrade their standard sofas with custom legs for a designer look. This works great for kids areas when you don’t want to break the bank.” 

A great starting point for an interior design project is to learn a bit about each of the styles and how they differ from one another.

Traditional design style offers classic details, sumptuous furnishings, and an abundance of accessories. It is rooted in European sensibilities.

The minimalist concept is one that’s popular here in Australia. It takes notions of modern design and simplifies them further.

“Look up! We use ceilings a lot. Through them, we define the lines and beauty of a space.”—Julio Salcedo

Also referred to as Hollywood Regency, Hollywood Glam is a design style that tends to be luxurious, over-the-top and opulent. It’s a dramatic design style, perfect for a homeowner who enjoys making a statement.

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

“In an open seating plan, always use a well-proportioned statement coffee table to ground the arrangement and give it a sense of place.”—Sean Michael

Art curator and advisor Kipton Cronkite loves the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California. “[It’s] where I find vintage pieces (furniture, art and misc items) from vendors all over California. I’m into 1950s and 1960s decor and these flea markets always have interesting pieces.” 

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Coastal style also dubbed Hamptons style, hails from the iconic U.S. beachside area. Common features include light, airy colour palettes with cool neutral shades paired with blues and greens. Furnishings are often white or beige. The room can contain elements of wood and accessories are often inspired by the sea.

So, if you’ve ever thought about using a pet bed as a giant pillow, don’t hesitate.

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

Bohemian is a popular style for home design and fashion. It reflects a carefree lifestyle with little rules, except to follow your hearts desire.

Mix metallic accents (we see you, adorable end table) with traditional wood pieces for added depth to your living room decor.

Yep, white furniture can work in a house with kids. Just choose durable fabrics (a leather couch) and surfaces (the plastic rocker, the lacquer table) that wipe clean easily.

Other common characteristics include all-white colour palettes and the incorporation of natural elements like form-pressed wood, bright plastics, and enameled aluminum, steel and wide plank flooring. If there are pops of colour it often comes from the use of art, natural fibre throws or furs, or a single piece of furniture.

“Old and new belong together. A mix of modern pieces and antiques never tires.”—Caleb Anderson

Shabby chic is vintage-inspired style, but compared to Bohemian and other styles, tends to be more feminine, soft and delicate.

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

“Classics never go out of style. I hesitated about doing a white kitchen in my own house, thinking I’d been there, done that. But I’m so glad I did. I will never tire of it.”—Alexandra Kaehler

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“In the master suite, decor can deviate from the common areas and really reflect your personality.”—Ali Vanderpool and Ariana Villalta

Items for sale on display during the monthly flea market held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. (Photo by Paul Mounce/Corbis via Getty Images)

Maggie Natarelli of Raised By Design likes Kohl’s especially for mixing high and low. She told me, “I’m just wrapping up a bedroom for two little girls in Bedford, New York with beautiful hand printed wallpaper by an independent artist in Charleston, South Carolina, but we used bedding from Kohl’s. They have a huge selection of nice quality cotton bedding and some really cute poppy prints if you are looking for something playful but not alarming.” 

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

“Faux paint, lush lacquer, or wallpaper on a ceiling will garner that ‘Wow’ response.” —Leslie May

Instead of fighting against rusticity, embracing the natural character of a home can create a natural richness in the space.”My father found artisans to decorate the bathroom in red limestone, a typical Rajasthani material,” Siddharth Kasliwal, heir to India’s famed Munnu the Gem Palace, explained of the former-cowshed-turned-home he inherited from his father. “All the other elements—the brass sink and hardware, the mirror— are vintage or antique.”

“Actually use your beautiful things! I have a chocolate lab and white furniture in my living room. It took some training, but now he knows the furniture is off limits.”—Lindsey Lane

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

A transitional design may incorporate modern materials, such as steel and glass, and then unite them with plush furnishings.

Whether it’s a complete overhaul or a quick refresh, spice up the family’s favorite room with these pro tips.

This Connecticut farmhouse nails country style. Underused neutrals rust and charcoal echo throughout with woodsy elements like oak, cedar, stone, and leather.

Transitional design also includes relatively neutral colour palettes, creating a calming and relaxed space that manages to feel both stylish and sleek, as well as warm and inviting.

French Country design may include soft and warm tones of red, yellow or gold and natural materials like stone and brick. French Country design can include collections of ornate porcelain dishes and heavy linens and bed coverings.

$5,400, John Stuart Clingman for Widdicomb Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs, 1stdibs

Caitlin Rutkay of C.R. Interior Designs likes to decorate bedrooms with items she discovers on the road. “Hotels often sell their luxury mattresses, down products, and bedding which give your project a complete luxury feel.”

Colour palettes are neutral and airy; furnishings are simple and streamlined, and nothing is excessive or flamboyant in accessories or décor.

The intention is to create a relaxed and comfortable environment that is inspired by the beach and ocean.

Need space, stat? Swap boring shelving for more decorative options, then load up on fabric boxes or baskets to hide an overflow of knick knacks.

“Make sure you’re having fun. What’s more fun than making your own home more beautiful.”—Eche Martinez

Update an old-school brick fireplace (or wood paneling) with a coat of cream paint like this sunny home. Take that, ’70s-era decor.

Modern, industrial, shabby chic….and the list goes on. A significant challenge many of our clients face is a lack of understanding or vocabulary to describe and define their personal interior design style. With an abundance of unique design styles, it can be daunting to decipher which style will work best for you. Some also enjoy combining elements of several styles to create their ideal look.

“Buy one good piece of furniture every year, and in five years, you’ll have five pieces. Everything else may change, but these will remain constant.”—Jeffrey Bilhuber

Your style may be posh, your furniture can still be cozy. Plush sofas and armchairs rule the roost in Ellen Pompeo’s L.A. home. “It’s fancy in a cool way, not in an ‘I can’t sit there’ way,” she says.

There are endless places to purchase furniture and decor online. But instead of staring at a screen for hours, Cullen highly recommends just shopping at Lulu and Georgia. “It’s like a curated showroom for everything I’m into right now, and almost always lands in budget.”

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

HGTV host Emily Henderson uses a “hero color” throughout every room to pull it all together. In her Los Angeles home, blue with gray and olive accents creates a casual, layered look.

You don’t need to go bright in order to create visual impact in a room. “[My wife] wanted to dial it back into her aesthetic, away from the color,” says David Kaihoi of the 400-square foot New York studio he renovated for his family. “I agreed, but suggested we do that with texture and pattern.”

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

Next time you’re picking up laundry detergent, don’t skip the furniture and decor aisle at Target. So many designers recommend Target for everything from kitchenware to decor and down inserts. While the store is known for great prices, you’d be surprised to learn that many designers buy items for high-end projects there too. Highlyann Krasnow, founder of The Design High, has decorated luxury buildings in New York City, including 63 Wall Street and 195 Sullivan Street. She revealed, “For small furniture items and decor, we often source from Target. They have a great selection of small tables, sconces, stools, poufs, room and wall decor.”

An open floor plan like in this Connecticut cottage creates one large space for entertaining. Two columns (garage-sale finds from years ago) stand at the corners of the kitchen, anchoring the room.

“Choosing the right light bulb is very important. LED bulbs are energy efficient, and they can look great.”—Paloma Contreras

Bohemian homes may include vintage furniture and light fixtures, globally inspired textiles and rugs, displays of collections, and items found in widely varied sources including flea markets and during one’s travels.

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

Makeover a room by rethinking the pieces you already have. Use up leftover wall paint on the frame of an old chair or refresh curtains and pillows by sewing fancy trim along the edge.

Another retailer in that realm is Serena & Lilly, which is Natarelli’s pick. “I recently discovered their collection of original oil paintings, which is beautifully curated— surprising for a major retailer. I’m seeing a lot of big vendors coming out with collections of original art that’s in line with their style.”

I interviewed interior designers from cities including New York, Chicago and Nashville to find out where they source some of their best items from. They gladly spilled, revealing their not-so-secret sauce.  

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