16 Top Decorators Give Their Best Tips

Some people just have a gift of looking at a room, and knowing exactly how to bring out the architecture with color and the right antiques. When it comes to combining colors and space planning, it is wonderful to borrow ideas from those professionals in the business live and breath decorating on a daily basis.  For the most part, decorating trends change from from year to year, but staples, and classic style if done right, can remain fashionable for centuries.

House Beautiful, featured a number of tips from designers featured in their editorials. Here are just a few of my favorite pieces of advice from previous years, along with designers who have an eye for traditional looks that don’t date.

“I see dreamlike,very sensual, non cluttered rooms: Layers and layers of ivories and grays. Organic shapes. Lots of one color. Solid silk pillows in bold sizes. A sense of rawness with elegance.” –Myra Hoefer

“You can never achieve anything in a house unless you have things that have been passed down and
you find a place for them for yourself.” Sister Parish Design

‘People will turn more and more to natural materials: Real wood. Real plaster” John Saladino

“Good-bye, layered exuberance. I think we’re headed toward a certain Baroque minimalism. Rooms will be sparser, with maybe four really amazing objects in them. For myself; I could see a simple room with white walls, black floors, an 18th-century William Kent console, a Coromandel screen, and a few chairs scattered around. Scale will play a huge part, there will always be something unexpectedly large and some thing unexpectedly delicate” Miles Redd

“People who vised to want the blue shutters or the wine cellar because they just got back from France will focus on cleaner lines, less clutter, and a more lasting style. No more country French, no more trendy Moroccan rooms, no more chintz rooms with 50 pictures of bulldogs on the wall. And no more midcentury! Decorators will veer to a disciplined American classicism, looking to Albert Hadley’s rooms from 20 years ago, which you could slip into today with ease. They’ll be
inspired by Billy Baldwin and Bill Blass, who painstakingly chose every piece in a house so that there was no waste.” Phoebe Howard

“I’d indulge myself and buy a piece of fabric I’d been coveting—an antique textile, some bright remnant, or a gorgeous dress from the flea market. Then I’d go to the nearest seamstress and say,
‘Make me a pillow out of this.’ It “probably wouldn’t cost much, but I’d know I’d done something
special and beautiful for myself.” Amy Lau

“If you make a compromise—selecting something cheaper than what you really like—it compromises you, because you are never really happy with the result.” Rose Cumming

“Get your bookshelves together. Book spines should line up with the front edge of each shelf, with no more than Vs-inch of shelf showing. Arrange them according to height, but not in ascending order make a gentle wave pattern so the eye goes up and down. Organize them so the colors look good. Mix in beautiful art and objects, placing them strategically in some faintly geometric pattern, maybe an X. One more thing: Banish your paper backs to the basement!” Elaine Griffin

“I predict a revival of sensuous, velvety, 1930s-style glam. Upholstered furnishings will have curvy shapes, because severe supermodern minimalism is tired.  People want to feel cozy and sexy” Milly de Cabrol

“Upholster larger pieces in classic, timeless fabrics and accent with pattern and color.” Grant K. Gibson

“Naked metal curtain poles have been derigueur for the past 10 years, but I’m betting on a return of the fabric valance. For the tailored sensibility, there will be simple ones with inverted box pleats. For the funky set, shaped valances a la David Hicks, with inset tape trim. And for our traditional
friends, romantic festoons and swags in colorful solids or prints.” Alexa Hampton

“Tradition and shine are back, so if you want to update your home without slipcovering everything in sight, add a pair of pillows in a glazed cabbage rose chintz or a beautiful Edwardian floral”- Kevin Isbell

“Rent a Dumpster and prune, prune, prune! If you take a day and actually look at the things in your
house, you’ll realize that a million of them can be tossed.” Jonathan Adler

“You could give one room a ceiling makeover: Paint it a fun color, then change a traditional light fixture to something big, modern, and splashy.” Mary McDonald

‘Make all your lighting more subtle and layered. Install dimmers in every room. They even make
dimmers you can plug into lamps.” Grant K. Gibson

“I foresee a return to floral chintzes, but not shiny like they were in the 1980s. The shine won’t be gone entirely—that glazing will be used to dress up super-crisp, solid-colored Belgian linens. And I believe technology will finally erase itself Rooms will be less and less cluttered as we better learn to hide cables and shrink stereos, computers, light switches, and TVs.” KCelerie Kemble

Phoebe Howard

Phoebe Howard

Grant K. Gibson

Grant K. Gibson

Annie Brahler 2

Annie Brahler

Grant K. Gibson

Grant K. Gibson

John Saladino

John Saladin