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70 Genius Interior Design Ideas From Professional Designers

Get ready to take notes

Even if you feel confident in your design choices, wouldn’t you consult an expert if given the chance?

We thought so. There’s something about running paint swatches or tile options by an interior designer that makes you feel like you can do anything.

Every design lover can benefit from having a pro in their corner, cheering them on. Even people who have an expert eye for interior decoration look to their Pinterest boards for confirmation before committing to a change in their home, right? It takes a special expertise and years of experience to develop interior design sources and knowledge about things like lighting and floor planning. A professional’s input is helpful whether you’re a DIY genius or a novice.

Knowing your favorite designers’ interior decorating secrets would cure the analysis paralysis you feel every time you need to buy a sofa or choose a paint color at The Home Depot. Imagine the peace of mind you’d feel if you had an authoritative source to answer all of your burning questions, like: “Are navy blue kitchen cabinets still in?” or “Will I regret doing shiplap?” We all need a guru who can help us tell passing interior design trends from timeless ideas that are cycling back into style. That kind of knowledge is invaluable when you’re making permanent decisions about your home.

Because not all of us have an interior design expert on speed dial, we’ve asked 70 of our favorite pros to share the decorating secrets they usually reserve for clients. Below, you’ll find clever tips and tricks that can solve every pain point in your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a farmhouse.

Lighten Up a Room With Woven Cane

In this elegant mudroom designed by Ashley Montgomery, the caned cabinet fronts serve practical and decorative purposes. They “provide airflow” to cabinets that hold farm clothes, boots, hats, and gloves, and their natural color breaks up the green woodwork. Such high-traffic areas can feel cluttered, but thoughtful details like caning can help calm the chaos.

Combine Strong Colors and Prints

While the concept might seem to clash, this bedroom designed by Leah Ring of Another Human includes rich colors and prints from patchwork textiles to ceramic items and paint, so it’s only fitting that the artwork is multidimensional and unique too. “The bedroom gets great light throughout the day, so we wanted to go for a peachy color on the walls that would give it a nice glow with the sunlight,” Ring explains. The bedroom “feels layered in a comfortable way but not too busy—[you] feel very serene when you’re in the room,” Ring says.

Add Charm With a Cabinet Skirt

Meta Coleman was inspired by tile and color to give a California kitchen a refresh. She borrowed square footage from the living room to build this bright walk-in pantry. It’s complete with plenty of storage, tons of countertop space, and adorable cabinet skirts that soften the room.

Blue Goes With Every Color

The lesson here is that there are no downsides to practically any shade of blue. Designed by Kingston Lafferty, the artwork above the fireplace sets the tone for the bold color-blocking happening throughout the space, including the light green ceiling, the tonal walls and mantel, the Sputnik light, and the patterned chairs and drapes.

Tile Is Timeless

Avery Cox of Avery Cox Design, who loves a classic subway tile, can be found using mosaics and penny tiles as well. “If I’m really going for something special I’ll select a hand-painted or marbled tile from somewhere like Balineum,” she explains. Bonus tip: Customizations are having a moment in the tile industry, whether it’s in your bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom!

Cut Tile for a Custom Look

“We typically cut readily available materials that are in standard sizes into smaller sizes of those same tiles,” Jessica Geller of Toldeo Geller says. The design duo used the budget-friendly method to create the custom tile design in this bathroom.

Update an Appliance With Wallpaper

Have ugly appliances or simply want to change things up? Cover them up with peel-and-stick wallpaper, as designer Janie Molster did to the fridge and freezer in this kitchen.

Balance Playful and Sophisticated

You can mix colors and patterns that’ll push the envelope but still remain stylish and authentic. Just take it from designer Anthony Gianacakos, who did so in his own bedroom. “My strong suit is color and pattern combination,” he says.