How to Decorate Like a Designer?

Decorating your home like an interior designer can seem daunting, but it’s achievable by anyone with some key principles in mind. The hallmarks of designer decor include cohesive style, thoughtful organization, quality pieces, and well-executed spaces.

How to Decorate Like a Designer?

Find Your Decor Style

Pinpointing your personal decor style is the first step to pull a room together like a pro. Consider the following styles and determine what most appeals to your tastes:

Contemporary: Simple silhouettes, plenty of neutral colors, clean lines

Traditional: Patterned fabrics, symmetrical furniture arrangements, rich wood tones

Modern: Bold colors and patterns, unconventional shapes, mix of materials

Bohemian: Playful mix of textures and patterns, natural materials, relaxed vignette groupings

Scandinavian: Light, airy palette of whites and grays, use of natural woods and plants

Industrial: Metal finishes, exposed pipes and beams, concrete or wood floors, vintage items

Eclectic: Blend of eras, styles and cultural influences for an curated, collected look

Once you land on a style, stick to it as you make decor decisions for cohesive designer spaces.

Key Elements of Designer Style Decor

    Choose a specific style for a cohesive presentation

    Decide if you prefer an overall casual or formal aesthetic

    Determine color palette and materials to guide choices

    Collect inspiration images to reference along the way

Choose Quality Furnishings

Investing in several key quality furniture pieces per room is paramount for elevating average-looking decor. Prioritize these items when budgeting:

Sofas: A sturdy frame and quality upholstery will ensure longevity. Opt for a versatile neutral color.

Beds: For the bedroom, splurge on a well-constructed bed frame and mattress. This is typically the focal point.

Dining tables: Look for solid wood rather than veneers which can peel over time. Extendable tables work for many spaces.

Desks: A stylish, functional desk can define a home office. Look for adjustable height and organized storage.

Other seating: Well-tailored armchairs, slipper chairs and benches bring designer appeal anywhere. Natural woven, leather and textured fabrics up the style quotient.

For other furnishings like side tables, shelving and entertainment units, quality craftsmanship trumps quantity.

Tips for Choosing Quality Furniture

    Examine furnishings in-store and test for sturdiness

    Review fabric content and performance to assess durability

    Choose hardwoods over particle boards when possible

    Evaluate joinery and evidence of strong framework

    Check that draws and doors open/close smoothly

    Seek help assembling complex pieces if needed

Perfect the Layout and Arrangements

With quality anchoring furniture selected, concentrate on properly laying out and accessorizing the space. Designers pay special attention to furniture positioning, Rituals, and styling vignettes according to these tips:

Mind entryways: Greet guests with an intriguing console table combo – try a unique table lamp alongside artful books and a tray to collect daily essentials.

Define seating areas: Whether a living room, bedroom bench or office reading nook, anchor seating with a plush rug. Layer end tables for table lamps and books.

Maximize bed surrounds: Flank beds with matching nightstands topped with lamps with linen shades. Incorporate mirrors, artwork and textiles for aesthetics and function.

Build inviting dining areas: Set the scene with an overhead chandelier or statement pendant light. Include candlesticks and botanicals for depth and dimension.

Accent with art: Include art you connect with to infuse personality. Gallery walls build visual interest and color schemes can tie spaces together.

Add special objects: Display collected travel trinkets, framed photos, sculptural bookends or any decorative items with meaning. These touches turn a house into a home.

Designer Space Planning Strategies

    Sketch ideas to conceptualize layouts before arranging

    Pull furniture away from walls leaving “breathing room”

    Establish comfortable traffic flow for high-use areas

    Group seating to promote conversation

    Style surfaces with practical and decorative items

Incorporate Special Finishes

Designers incorporate special finishes and stylistic lighting choices to elevate ordinary homes into a tier above the rest. Consider these impactful touches:

Statement lighting: Install designer pendants over frequently used spaces like kitchen islands, vanities and workstations. Chandeliers instantly grace dining spaces.

Stylized plumbing: Swap out basic faucets and shower components for unique, eye-catching fixtures full of character.

Textured paint techniques: Apply high-end techniques like Venetian plaster, mottling and gilding for added dimension.

Wallcoverings: While expensive, special coverings like grass cloth, embossed metallics, cork and textured vinyl make sensational style statements.

Floor treatments: Marble, terrazzo, stained concrete and wood parquet add designer appeal underfoot. Patterned and colored designs make cement tile especially enticing.

Exposed architectural details: Sand beams, posts, brick and stone surfaces for an authentic loft-like, ultra on-trend look.

Moldings: Picture-frame rooms with chair rails, baseboards, crown molding and paneling trimmed in classic white or daring black for instant sophistication.

Unique Finishes to Elevate Your Decor

    Seek lighting that doubles as art, like curved floor lamps or crystal chandeliers

    Choose faucets and fixtures finished in matte black, brass, nickel or oiled bronze

    Test specialty plaster paint techniques on a small wall before committing

    Visit design showrooms to gather ideas from luxury textiles and materials

    Refinish hardwoods or polish concrete floors instead of traditional carpet

    Accentuate the architecture with trim work, built-ins, limiting ceilings

Key Takeaways

    Decide on a style to steer all decorative decisions

    Splurge on high-quality anchor furniture pieces per room

    Perfect room layouts and thoughtfully style furniture groupings

    Incorporate lighting, plumbing, wall treatments and finishes to impress

By focusing first defining your style, investing in durable furniture constructions, properly laying out each space, and layering in special details – you’re well on your way to designer-level rooms suited for entertaining and everyday enjoyment.


Approach decorating like a professional designer by first defining your personal style to guide choices. Invest in quality anchor pieces with durable fabrics and finishes arranged thoughtfully in each space. Layer in special lighting, architectural details, flooring and wall treatments for added panache. By incorporating these strategies room-by-room, you can cultivate designer appeal within budget. The final result will impress guests and improve daily function all while reflecting your spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the most important areas to decorate in a home?
    Focus first on heavy-use common rooms like living rooms, kitchens and primary bedrooms where family and guests convene.

  2. How much should I invest in quality furniture?
    Aim to allocate 10-25% of total room or home decor budgets per anchor furniture piece – spending more on resilient items that withstand everyday use.

  3. What are space planning best practices?
    Mind entry flow, establish ample seating-centric gathering areas, zone rooms by activity, maximize storage and style surfaces attractively.

  4. How can I pull together different room styles?
    Repeat paint colors, flooring materials, textiles and accessory finishes throughout to tie everything together cohesively.

  5. Where should I splurge on special finishes?
    Bathrooms and kitchens offer the best return since luxury fixtures and surfaces amplify resale value exponentially.

  6. What lighting makes the biggest impact?
    For important tasks like kitchen prep and at workstations, ensure adequate general illumination. Then make a design statement by layering striking light pendants and chandeliers to elevate the ambience.

  7. How do I make a small space feel grand?
    Paint walls, ceilings and trim work a uniform bright white to expand proportions. Mirrors also visually expand tight areas. Suspending a showstopper light fixture draws the eye up.

  8. What decorator items bring a personal touch?
    Incorporate travel momentums like sculptures, baskets and textiles. Also display meaningful books, collections and photographs styled in creative vignettes.

  9. How do I budget for designer details over time?
    Reassess needs room-by-room every few years. Save up annually to tackle one special project like a new statement sink or luxury lounge chair.

  10. Where can I buy high-end furnishing at discounted prices?
    Shop antique and consignment shops. Also check auction sites and vintage retailers for quality secondhand pieces. Factory closeout sites often offer designer items at impressive savings too.

  11. What questions should I ask at furniture showrooms?
    Inquire about materials and manufacturing methods to assess durability. Request measurements to ensure items fit desired spaces. Ask about delivery, setup and repair services offered.

  12. How can I afford expensive wallcoverings or flooring?
    Specialty treatments need not cover entire rooms. Use selectively as accents behind beds, on a single focal wall or in a powder room. This concentrated placement still yields high visual impact without exorbitant costs.

  13. What should I know before installing wallpaper or removing carpet?
    Both involve intensive prep and careful installation, especially on uneven surfaces. Engage professional paperhangers and floor refinishers for flawless, lasting results if DIY seems formidable.

  14. Where can I take rooms from basic to beautiful on a budget?
    Thrifted oil paintings, gently used leather armchairs and vintage serving pieces make affordable yet sophisticated additions. Display collected flea market finds in lieu of pricey store-bought decor.

  15. How do I choose new furnishings if I can’t visualize arrangements?
    Browse Pinterest and home magazines to compile an inspiration board guiding purchases. Cut out pictures to play with potential layouts and confirm scaled sizes before acquiring anything.

  16. What should I do first when decorating a new home?
    Live in the empty space briefly while thinking about how you want to utilize each area. This allows you to identify problem areas and fully consider practicalities before decorating. Customize to suit genuine needs.

  17. When should I engage a professional interior designer?
    If tackling a full home, complicated remodel or struggling to problem solve around challenging architecture, a designer can help explore possibilities while providing realistic direction. Their industry expertise proves invaluable.

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