Professional Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Home

Interior design tips to use in your own home…also known as, professional tricks of the trade you can use today!

Hydrangeas in a white kitchen fresh flowers as a interior design tip to use in your own homeround wood block  //  votive  //   candle  //  blue and white jar  brass cabinet hardware  //  blue and white jar  //  bowl  //  small lidded jar

Professional Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Home

So, what are five of the best interior design tips to use in your own home?

This is a GREAT question!

Similar questions I’ve received through the years actually inspired this post.

I first wrote this blog post back in the summer of 2019, but have since updated it so much, I thought I’d re-share it here today.

In the past, I’ve worked with some great interior decorators in my home.

However, for some spaces (like my laundry room and our guest bathroom) I’ve completely relied on my own design skills.

When I do rely on myself, I try to incorporate a lot of the advice and tips I’ve learned from the professional interior designers I’ve worked with.

Today I thought I’d share some of the best tips and advice I’ve gotten through the years from the pros, in case you want to use them in your own home and living spaces.

The Top Five Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Home

1. Don’t be afraid to mix metal finishes.

While there’s nothing wrong with staying true to one type of metallic finish throughout a room, there’s something really special about a space when you mix the metal finishes.

Using a mix of metal finishes looks a bit more sophisticated and collected.

It’s also very freeing!

In our kitchen we have a mix of brass hardware, stainless steel appliances and polished nickel lights.

Somehow it all seems to work!

I love this layered, less sterile approach to working with metals in the home.

In fact, I did a whole post a few years back about a gorgeous kitchen which really illustrates this point so beautifully!

Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Homecoral //  hardware

2. Never underestimate the power of paint.

Regardless of your design style, paint is a great way to take your home’s design to the next level.

Before our high gloss butler’s pantry was this gorgeous shade of blue, it was a drab, dark wood space.

We changed the hardware and then had it professionally painted a Fine Paints of Europe custom blended high gloss blue lacquer… and that’s basically it!

This post with the before and after images of this space really illustrates the difference paint alone can make (paint is also a great way to revive old furniture pieces!)

And, if you’re thinking about painting your walls, I highly recommend you check out all these great Benjamin Moore paint colors we’ve used through the years.

Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Homeblue and white large jar  //  gold wall mirror

3. Start a collection and show it off!

I picked up this tip from paying close attention to magazines and stylists.

Grouping “like” objects in a vignette or display is such a great designer trick.

Try it with the same color scheme or the same object or both!

This type of styling can create such an interesting focal point in a space.

Maybe you’ll even be inspired to start a collection, but I’m willing to bet you can create one in your home with objects you already own.

If not, flea markets and thrift shops are a great place to look for interesting objects.

As you can see from the photo above, I have a penchant for blue and white pieces.

I utilized this same idea for all the faux coral in our butler’s pantry (above).

It’s a fun and easy idea for styling your home.

Another example I’ve seen is with candle sticks on a dining table and it really looks so amazing.

This is a quick look at my blue and white porcelain collection.

Interior Design Tips To Use In Your Own Homelumbar pillows  //  coffee table //  wall sconces  //  hurricane

Wall color here is Benjamin Moore Cape Hatteras Sand.

4. Don’t forget the ceiling. 

Often refereed to as the “fifth wall” – the ceiling should not be over looked;)

In fact, paying attention to the ceiling is one of my favorite ways to get a designer look.

I chose the photo above of our living room, because the ceiling is painted pale blue or “haint” blue.

Our’s is Benjamin Moore’s Morning Sky Blue. We left the molding white, to really make it pop!

If you want to read more about what trim paint colors we use, be sure to check out this post.

For more ideas on painted ceilings, check out this post on ceiling paint and if you’re really feeling daring – be sure to check out this post on wallpapered ceilings (my personal favorite!)

drapery in dining room hung higher than windows as a professional interior design tip to use in your own homechandelier  //  mirror  //  wall sconces

5. Hang your drapes higher than the window itself.

This actually applies to almost all window treatments, not just drapes.

Hanging window treatments too low, is a common design mistake I see quite often.

Sounds like such a small thing, but, correcting this common mistake can make a huge difference.

It’s a good idea to always hang your drapes higher than the actual window (window molding or opening).

You can see from the image of our dining room above, our drapes are at least seven inches higher than the actual window.

We brought the drapery rod up right up to the bottom edge of the ceiling molding for a clean and elegant look.

It makes your windows and your whole room look taller!

This also allows for more natural light to come pouring in.

Next time you’re looking at a high end shelter magazine, check the height of the drapery rods… I bet you’ll start to see this little trick a lot.

Update: This question is so popular I devoted a whole post on how to choose the best drapery and curtain lengths for a professional look.

Professional Interior Designer Tips To Use in Your Own Home Conclusion:

I hope you enjoyed all this advice I’ve gotten from the pros through the years.

Hopefully these tips can help you incorporate your own style into a home you love.

One last thing, don’t miss this very informative post if you want to know what professional designers and organizers recommend to keep your pantry beautifully organized.

If you’d like to hear more of these tips – be sure to let me know, because I still have a bunch more!

For a more in depth look at window treatments in general, be sure to check out this post, here!

If you’re looking for even more quick and easy home design ideas, be sure to check out this popular post on how to style a large blank wall.

grid of art hung behind a sofaWall paint color in our upstairs seating area is Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud.

Additional Thoughts on Interior Decorating


Design lovers! Have you joined our fun and VERY helpful design Facebook group?

In this group – members share photos with their design questions and dilemmas from their own home.

We all chime in with our best advice!

There’s both professional interior designers and non professional design enthusiasts in this smart group.

It’s also great for sourcing hard to find items and and home decor pieces.

design cheat sheet front page

Lastly, to help you even further with your home projects, download my FREE DESIGN CHEAT SHEET, because it’s loaded with all sorts of home decorating quick tips and handy measurements.

Sign up below to grab that because it will be super helpful!

And, this way you’ll be subscribed to this blog, so you’ll get some great house tours and even more helpful style advice.

Even More Interior Design Inspiration

If you’re looking for even more interior design possibilities, be sure to check out these other posts by clicking on each title below-


*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase something, I may get a small commission from it at no cost to you. For more info, please read my disclaimer. I only refer things that I truly love and hope you will too!

Leave a Comment


  1. Vicki Coffin wrote:

    Thanks for the decorating advice!

    Published on 8.2.19 · Reply
  2. Idasco wrote:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful interior design tips for us. Waiting for more such posts!

    Published on 6.19.19 · Reply
  3. Diane Stella wrote:

    Love all your design tips especially painting the break front, I just moved from Cape Cod to Stuart Florida, and hoping to find my forever home. Nothing like making a life changing move at the age of seventy three, but what the heck why not? Thanks for your tips, Regards, Diane

    Published on 6.15.19 · Reply
  4. Arleen Masone wrote:

    Can I paint over popcorn ceilings. Will it look good.? We can’t afford redo the ceilings. Help!

    Published on 6.13.19 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      You can, I’ve seen some good examples on Pinterest! Good Luck!

      Published on 6.13.19 · Reply
  5. Susan Ferguson wrote:

    The before and after on your butler’s pantry is amazing! Love it!

    Published on 6.12.19 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      Thank you!!!

      Published on 6.13.19 · Reply
  6. Gray wrote:

    I love doing something special on the ceiling. But I have 8’ceilings. Does that matter?

    Published on 6.12.19 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      I would focus on the walls with vertical stripes, hanging drapes higher and consider using glossy paint in a neutral or white on the ceiling! Good luck!:)

      Published on 6.12.19 · Reply