Favorite Home Decorating Tips from Top Designers

By Leanne Mueller | In-House Designer

I often study creative designers, most of which have very different styles and techniques. I thought I would pass on some of their decorating tricks to inspire you. It doesn’t matter what your individual style is, most well thought out details work to enhance any décor style.


“Using the colors and pattern of a rug as the starting place for all the other accessories in a room—the lamps, pillows, mirrors.”—Barclay Butera

“To enlarge a small space, I will install a pair of false doors and mirror the inset for a touch of instant glamour!”—Michelle Nussbaumer

“Raising your doors up a few feet higher than normal door height. Your house will suddenly feel like an Italian palazzo!”—Lulu deKwiatkowski

“Low furniture to make a room look bigger” Steven Sclaroff

“An element of humor and surprise.”—Erin Martin

“The use of organic materials. They warm up any room and introduce an element of imperfection and warmth. Try out a table of reclaimed wood, cowhides on the floor, clay pottery, raw wool, or natural linen.”—Nicole Hollis

“Painting a powder room dark tone-on-tone color for high glamour.”—Mary McDonald

“Hidden electronics. Opt for a bookcases with doors or an end table with a closed base.”—Amy Lau

“If you hang art low, it creates a backdrop for whatever is happening in front. It makes anything look better.” Michelle Smith

“Dimmers and great lighting.”—Allegra Hicks

Sammamish Ridge Estates Lot 1 Staircase Lighting

“Using contrast to create visually exciting spaces—creating a modern design while respecting historical architecture; combining materials so that one can dominate while the other supports; juxtaposing light and dark, smooth and rough, old and new.”—Jessica Helgerson

“Painting dining rooms and entryways in bold colors. These are rooms you can make a statement in.”—Richard Mishaan

“Really large branches in a big vase add life and quickly fill up space” Jeffery Alan Marks

“Painting moldings the same color as the walls to increase the verticality of the space.”—Vicente Wolf

“I’ve always loved a pier mirror leaning against a wall at an angle that can be enjoyed from several vantage points. It can reflect something visually appealing like a garden or fireplace, or give the feeling that there’s a window or doorway there.”—Windsor Smith

“Adding fake beams to the ceiling.”—Lars Bolander

“Working a bit of green into every room. It can be a pillow or a lamp, or a plant or greenery—the range of colors is enormous. Green gives life to a room.”—Howard Slatkin