Top Interior Designers have a signature look, a fingerprint that represents their design ouevre. So what cues can you take from their five-star interiors to implement in your own home?
1. Mix eras effortlessly
Whether it’s 1960’s retro chic or 1860’s Victorian extravagance, the best designers know how to mix eras seamlessly, and still bring a sense of modernity and relevancy to a room.
How you can too: Start small, aiming for about 20% vintage and antique items. Vintage is much more forgiving in smalls, such as boxes, artwork, trays, small tables, rugs and accessories. Just like wearing vintage clothing, doing a room completely head to toe vintage looks like a caricature of the era. Anchor your space with larger, contemporary pieces to make your room intentional and modern.
2. Mix patterns
Mixing pattern is part alchemy, part magic, part art. It’s a skill that takes time to develop. How you can too: Check out my in-depth post about it here.
3. Great artwork
The best designers have the clients, who have the budgets, for great art, be it paintings or scuptures. And nothing pulls a room together quite like a Basquiat or Warhol.
How you can too: Whether you have $50 to spend or $50k, start with a piece of art that inspires you. As much as possible, try to buy an orginal piece from a real artist, even if you can only afford a print. Get inspired by the colors and theme of this piece, then carry that inspiration over into your room. Design your space around this piece: the color palette, textiles, accessories and lighting.
4. Fabulous rugs and textiles
Sure, there are some of these items are off-limits to mere mortals when they are to-the-trade only. Top designers use only the best, most decadent and luxurious rugs and textiles.
How you can too: And yet, there are so many gorgeous rugs and textiles online now, this should never hold back your design plan. The Southern Loom has swoon-worthy rugs at great prices, and I like to stalk beautiful vintage textiles at flea markets, Etsy, or Decorator’s Best.
5. Sophisticated Color Palette
There’s nary a baby blue in the palette of an experienced designer. Their go-to colors are complex and sophisticated. Moreover, designers know how to use color judiciously in unexpected places, such as ceilings and architectural elements.
How you can too: Spend some time at Benjamin Moore looking through some of their color collections, there are 6 in all. This helps to narrow down some of the most popular colors. Or, you can head over to Pick My Color to have a color expert pick from 1 to 5 colors in a designer-approved palette custom made to your order.
6. Last but not least, The Edit. It’s a serious skill set to decide what new items to bring in and what to banish. Everything in high-design is well thought out and considered carefully. Everything has purpose in the overall aesthetic.
How you can too: It takes time to develop the eye to edit, especially if you like a lot of stuff. Keep only keep your most special, beloved items, as opposed to keeping things just to fill space. When you design this way, you end up being surrounded only by things you love, that truly mean something, and add value to your life and home.