Whether you're decorating your first home or your fifth, great design is in the details. We've consulted top designers and scoured our archives to find the best ideas for every room in the house.
Kate Reynolds, co-owner of , 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.”
“I love to see the layers of time and renovations,” says California–based interior designer . “To me, it deepens the effect.” Achieving a sense of harmony that feels organic is key.
"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 designer and owner of . "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 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 recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you're attracted to.
Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as 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."
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 . "Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary." Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.
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 . 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).
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.
It's exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog , 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.
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 . "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."
Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. "Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment," says Framel. "And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact."
Make what's old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink fabric. "Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color," says Bikoff. "That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs."
In Josh Groban's "The Great Comet" dressing room, interior designer selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. "I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the 'Comet' influences that I know were of importance to Josh," says Harrison. "I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh's design sensibilities."
Faux fur has quickly become a luxurious way to add a bit of depth and variety to a space. "When we use faux fur, we're looking for some really luscious texture in the room," says . "If you look at a space and everything is neat, tidy and clean, you want something that's sumptuous and cozy. It'll really elevate the space."
Just because your designer of choice lives in another city doesn't mean you can't work together. Services like and , among others, make it easy to find decorators across the country, while Allison Harlow of uses Skype to work with clients virtually.
When Lee Cavanaugh and Sarah DePalo of make their yearly trip to the Paris flea, they send finds home in a group container to keep costs down.
Rather than renovating your home all at once, recommends you buy two quality pieces you love every year. "Good things hold their value, and in ten years you will have a beautiful collection of twenty things," Haenisch explains.
...Especially before vintage shopping. Emily Eberhart of recommends researching how similar items of interest are priced or have sold.
If you're on a budget, invest in the pieces that anchor a room. "It wouldn't be a bedroom without a bed, it wouldn't be a living room without a sofa, and it wouldn't be a dining room without a dining table," advises.
Meredith Mahoney, Founder and Design Director of , divides open plan apartments into separate areas by letting the furniture do the work for her. Think: A large, L-shaped sectional, area rugs that define spaces and seating that can move easily from one "zone" to another if company comes over.
It's so simple, you'll kick yourself for not thinking of 's rule yourself: A large room should have large furniture, medium rooms should have medium-sized furniture and small rooms (you guessed it) should have more petite furniture. Scale the rest of the furniture to your sofa.
suggests using outdoor fabric for indoor furniture to safeguard against stains and enhance durability, especially if you have kids or pets in the house.
"When initially loading your roller with paint, make sure the roller nap is fully and equally saturated," says John Hoskins, vice president of . Before you begin painting, test the roller on an extra piece of board to ensure it applies smoothly and evenly.
Paint a room that doesn't get a lot of natural light a saturated color. "Adding some pigment makes the space feel intentionally moody and romantic," suggests , west coast creative director of .
When you're painting a room, Joa Studholme of suggests you consider the direction of sunlight. Use bright colors in north-facing rooms, which tend to be darker, and create a warm glow in a west-facing room with pink or a red-based neutral. In south and east-facing rooms, opt for blue or white.
Fresh fruit isn't just a great snack – it adds vibrant color to a room. of Laurel & Wolf creates a centerpiece with fresh fruit to bring vibrant color to the kitchen.
uses unexpected elements – like a fireplace or chaise lounge – to create a warm and inviting bathroom that feels like its own living space.
Don't be afraid to get creative with your storage space. likes to use ladders to display towels, as in this bathroom designed by Rebecca Ascher and Joshua Davis.