Inspirations, The Latest Buzz

Shhh… Designer Secrets Inside!

We had a great time pouring over House Beautiful‘s colorful May issue, especially when top designers shared 101 of their best secrets.  Who knew that the best dog-proof floor covering is cowhide or that the only time white curtain lining should be used is with white curtains?  Well, we decided to put some of these designers to the test and see if they take their own advice when they design a space…

Jan Showers' Black Accents and Antiques

“Every room needs a touch of black. just as it needs at least one antique piece.” ~ Jan Showers

Tobi Fairley's Bench

“A bench at the foot of the bed should be no less than 2″ shorter than the mattress width.” ~ Tobi Fairley

Ann Wolf's Collection

“Make sure you display everything in your collection together.” ~ Ann Wolf

Lindsey Coral Harper's Wallpaper

“Use wallpaper in unexpected places: on the ceiling in a paneled room, in closets, hallways, and small foyers.  A great pattern or tecture in small spaces can be a prodigious twist!” ~ Lindsey Coral Harper

Christopher Peacock's Island

“I typically suggest an island 5′ wide by 8′ long.  You don’t want it to look like an aircraft carrier.” ~ Christopher Peacock

Peter Dunham's Curtains

“Hang curtains.  They make a room seem finished.  Think of them as the lipstick of decorating.” ~ Peter Dunham

Have you seen the issue?  What is your favorite design secret?

Photos via Jan Showers, Tobi Fairley, Ann Wolf, House Beautiful and Traditional Home

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Meghan @ Wishful Thinking April 27, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Argh, my pet hate is when white curtain lining is used on dark curtains (I shouldn’t really complain because I actually have these at home) but they drive me nuts! I also loved Christopher Peacock’s comment about not having a kitchen island that looks like an aircraft carrier – just brilliant!

  • Reply quintessence April 27, 2012 at 7:01 am

    It just came in the mail but I haven’t even had a chance to open it!! It looks like such a fabulous issue!! Always love getting tips from the experts!! Happy weekend!

  • Reply The enchanted home April 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

    All great tips..especially agree about the touch of black and wallpaper in unexpected places. Think I broke C. Peacocks cardinal rule..but think it all depends on size of kitchen too. Beauitful pictures…have a great weekend!

  • Reply Donna with A Designer's Perspective April 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Great post!! I love Jan Shower’s living room, so fresh!

  • Reply The Zhush April 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Loved that bit with all the secret’s quoted as well…love when mags do stuff like that! Happy Friday! xx

  • Reply diane April 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I did see the magazine and felt that some of those “secrets” were just wrong but you really nailed it with your choices. I love all of these simple “rules” to follow…thanks for narrowing it down.

  • Reply stitchfork April 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Hmmm, thinking I need some cowhide around here…
    Have a great weekend!
    xo Cathy

  • Reply Jeanne McKay Hartmann April 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Haven’t looked at the issue yet – I’m saving my magazines to devour on the flight to France. Nice to have the best pick of the design secrets here to tide me over! Thanks! Have a wonderful weekend! XO

  • Reply kathysue April 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Great post, love the line-up of quotes and examples!! I have this issue and still have not set down to read it,

  • Reply pretty pink tulips April 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Loved this issue, too!!! I’ll be taking quite a few of their tips.

    Have a wonderful weekend!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  • Reply Barbara@HausDesign April 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the insights since I don’t get the magazine! I agree on using wallpaper in unexpected places…I’m searching my new home to figure out where I want to use it…when I do I would love it to look like that beautiful entry!

  • Reply Mona Thompson April 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    The best issue in a while…Sister and I were in the back seat of a car for over two hours on Tuesday going and coming from a dear friend funeral. We poured over the issue…Some great designer tips. Have a great weekend. Mona

  • Reply Georgica Pond April 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Oh I love designer tips – always something you can incorporate in your own home almost instantly. Gorgeous images too. Love the quote by Peter Dunham, helped me make up my mind about the question of blinds vs curtains. Solved!

  • Reply Haus and Home April 28, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Yes I saw it, but what cracked me up was the contradictions on the color of curtain liners. That was a fun one!

  • Reply claudia lane April 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Beautiful images, great tips, what more can you ask for?
    Have a fantastic weekend xx

  • Reply lauren April 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    these are great tips. the black & the island sizing are going to stick with me… 🙂

    ps. saw your candle artwork with Patricia and loved it. l.o.v.e.d it.

  • Reply StyleLinx May 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Great ideas! Of course it’s always nice to break the rules too! (& Happy Birthday week to both of you!)

  • Leave a Reply