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It’s a common misconception that decorating your home with expensive pieces is the only way to make it stand out. Whether you want a minimalist, modern, bohemian or eclectic design aesthetic, there are a myriad of options to enhance your space without going over budget. To inspire your next look, we asked five inspirational interior designers to share their favorite home pieces. They give insight on how they made the decor work for their style, and they offer useful advice on how you can, too.
When it comes to planning your home’s overall look, you can always find ideas and similar products to complement current design trends (don’t miss our roundup of smart decor ideas for 2022). And if you have a passion for crafts, consider adding character to your home with creative DIY home decor projects or upcycling your pieces. Before you even think of renovating and buying an excessive amount of decor that might break the bank, see how these designers beautify homes in a cost-effective way.
Naïka Andre: Woven Floor Baskets
As the founder and principal designer of NJA Interiors, Naïka Andre combines her Haitian heritage with her love of travel to make eye-catching and vibrant designs throughout a space. In her client’s home, they included a colorful Senegalese woven floor basket into the design that she purchased from a local small business in Brooklyn, NY. While her clients use it to store blankets, the storage possibilities are endless. “It’s multifunctional and works in various settings,” Naïka says. “You can use it as a shoe bin in your entryway, a laundry hamper in your bathroom or to store toys in the family room.”
Emma Kemper: Murals
Emma started her design firm, Emma Beryl Interiors, in 2015. With her work, you’ll find a combination of vintage and modern pieces, along with a mix of unexpected materials that make a room pop. This includes designing this kids room with a striking mural — perfect for bringing creativity and a sense of adventure into a space. “When you are designing a kid’s room, it’s important to embrace color and imagination to make the space come to life,” she says. “I love that this mural feels appropriate for a toddler, but will also be something that an older child will love, too.” Emma considers a kid’s room to be one of “the best places to take chances and do something fun.”
Bria Hammel: Botanical Artwork
Bria Hammel, founder and creative director of Bria Hammel Interiors, loves adding botanical artwork to projects. “For our Fargo Project’s sunroom, we opted for this black and white eucalyptus art, as it adds the perfect pop of contrast against the white fireplace mantel for a graphic, statement moment,” she says. If you don’t have a green thumb but love plants, botanical artwork can be easily incorporated into any part of your home for a lively aesthetic.
Imani James: Greenery
Atlanta-based designer Imani James, uses fresh flowers and plants in her interiors. “Fresh greenery is particularly attractive when included in vignettes, on top of nightstands and placed in empty corners,” she says. “Hydrangeas and orchids add an instant touch of elegance.” Her favorite plants are Monsteras, Birds of Paradise and snake plants for their ability to take up space in empty nooks, while improving indoor air quality.
Imani’s note: “Snake plants help convert used-up carbon dioxide back into oxygen as you sleep at night. So, they are especially beneficial in the bedroom!”
Jeannelly Jay: Photo Gallery Walls
As the founder of Ivyleaf Interior Decor, Jeannelly Jay enjoys creating photo galleries to spruce up empty walls — especially in common areas such as entryways or living rooms. While adding character to your interior, she also believes they make great conversation starters. “The best way to create a photo wall is to pick images that you absolutely love, printed in the same orientation,” she explains. “Whether vertical or horizontal, as long as the sizes of the pictures are the same, you can create a design that is clean and symmetrical.”
Jeannelly’s design tip: You can easily arrange photo walls with measuring tape, a pencil and a level (to ensure they’re hung perfectly). If you find the task to be too difficult, she suggests hiring a handyman for a mess-free installation.
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