Interior Designers Share Their Favorite Pieces Of Furniture And Decor

Real Estate

There’s something that always stands out when a room or home has an interior designer’s touch. It’s generally because they have showstopping pieces of furniture and accessories that make the space feel complete. While most designers work on a variety of projects, they often have certain go-to pieces that shine in every space no matter the location, budget or size. I spoke with several designers to find out what these pieces are and the best ways to style them.

Oak Nightstand

HGTV’s Tamara Day finds hands down, the Beige Washed Oak Chest from her Growing Days collection is one of her most frequently used pieces. “They are the perfect piece for so many places,” she says. 

Day shares the versatility of this nightstand makes it a favorite. “I’ve used them in a dining room as a small corner hutch, in an entryway as a catch-all piece by the front door and in so many bedrooms I can’t count! They come in a beautiful blond wood finish but also a dark cerused black finish! I keep one on hand at all times.”

Unexpected Statement Lighting Fixtures

“You’ll notice most of my Instagram photos have fun and fabulous light fixtures,” says Philadelphia area Interior designer Alexis Rodgers of Home With Alexis. A statement lighting fixture can elevate any room in a major way. 

If you want to see how big an impact light makes, Rodgers has a test. “When you place your thumb over the light fixture in the photo, the room takes on a different form. It’s still pretty, but it loses something that helped define it and give it a personality,” she says.

White Sofas

Rodgers has also found that white sofas have become her go-to. “Many of our living rooms showcase a classic white sofa or pair of white sofas. They are a favorite category to work with when we are laying the foundation pieces of the room.” 

She suggests dressing up or down white sofas with pillows, throws, a rug, and everything else that surrounds it. “It’s the interior design equivalent to the little black dress, so versatile and classic you can’t go wrong with it,” she says.

But Rodgers isn’t the only interior designer big on white sofas. Lucy Loneragan of Mavens of Design is a proponent as well. She likes textured linen sofas in particular. “Comfortable white sofas give that fresh blank canvas that you need to create a calming, relaxed lounge space. They work well on any kind of flooring and can be layered up with ever-changing cushions or throws to fit with the season,” the designer explains.

Custom Rugs

It’s no surprise that Samantha Gallacher of IG Workshop and founder of the carpet brand, Art+Loom can’t get enough custom rugs. “They bring together an entire room,” she says.

When she says custom, Gallacher means it. This is because store-bought and traditional sized rugs tend to be too small. “The larger you make the rug the more complete the room looks. A custom rug will allow for all sizes which will enable the furniture to fit properly on it and not create a disproportionate room aesthetic.”

Pennsylvania-based interior designer Donna Hoffman also likes to customize rugs . “When a budget is pressed (or time is pressed), I love creating custom rugs for any size or shape we need by simply turning to machine loomed or hand tufted goods. All you need do is select your manufacturer and pattern, have it bound or surged and voila.”

All types of rugs can be customized including sisal, long thick yarns and loop styles. “Just make your own,” recommends Hoffman. “Not only saves time but also money, it lands well below a hand knotted or often a tufted area rug sold at retail.”

Martini Tables 

Hoffman says these tables are instant eye candy. “Choose right and they look high end; choose smart and they need not break the bank and they always look great.”

While this table is shown in a bathroom, they can be used anywhere in the home from the living room to bedroom and even home office. 

Tricked Out Dining Room Chairs 

To add instant interest to any dining room, in an easy way, Hoffman suggests dressing up the back of the dining chair with a piece of hardware or accent fabric. “It’s a rich flourish that is wallet friendlier then you’d think, depending on brand of course,” she says.  

Herman Miller Eames Desk Chair

Loneragan loves Herman Miller’s iconic desk chairs. “You can’t go past the sleek clean lined form of this 1958 design classic. It can be used in almost any office setting, be it a corporate space or home office. The breathable mesh fabric is perfect and I love the adjustable settings,” she says. These chairs are also incredibly comfortable to sit on, which is perhaps the most important feature.

Hidden Storage

British interior designer Aurore Martial of Domus Venus likes to create hidden storage wherever possible. “For the minimalist I am,” she says. “Storage has to be concealed and melt into the décor.”

She likes to keep her storage stealth with floor to ceiling invisible doors. “I even add moldings on the doors to make it look even more like a wall,” the designer reveals.

Custom Ottomans

Lisa Gilmore who is a Florida-based interior designer, can’t get enough custom ottomans. “I love the personality they can bring to a space. You can really have so much fun with details, sizing, and materials,” she says.

A practical piece, Gilmore explains they are great for using in furniture arrangements to balance a room and very versatile seating for guests. 

Statement Floor Lamps

Southern California interior designer Sormeh Rienne, who is best known for designing The Guild Hotel, appreciates the versatility of a long arm floor lamp. “Not only is it minimal, but that same aspect allows it to be an absolutely breathtaking statement piece, when styled to do so. In residences where the aesthetic is paired back, the light lives as an art object, and in projects that skew masculine it performs as a sleek task light.”

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