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Trade Secrets of Top Interior Designers

From curating aesthetics and resources to creating spaces to fit every client’s individual needs, interior design is truly a craft––and BDG has the inside scoop on exactly how it’s done. Here are 13 exclusive trade secrets from our hand-picked PRELUDE X Master Designers. For access to QR codes with even more resources, check out this feature in the PRELUDE X Digital Edition here!

Acampora Interiors

Corinne Acampora

“Making antiques livable in modern-day design…”

"We love to look for ways to incorporate antique pieces into our design projects. A mix of old and new requires finding a balance between preserving the historic charm of the antique piece while also adapting it to fit modern functionality and aesthetics. In our Suburban Retreat project, we added antique chairs to the dining room that needed to be modified to fit the height of a traditional table. Working with an expert craftsman, we created extensions to the legs that perfectly matched the existing design. A little trade secret that really paid off."

(Photographer: Jessica Delaney)

Blakely Interior Design

Blakely Interiors

“Challenge the Status-Quo…”

"The Blakely philosophy is rooted in a bold approach to design and an uncompromising commitment to an elevated project experience. Through collaboration and leadership, our experienced team of creatives serves as your true project partner each step of the way, providing thoughtful solutions and a highly personal level of service. Our client-acclaimed signature process allows us to get to know you on a profound level to create a design that considers how you’ll live in every square foot. The result is a distinctive, intentionally designed home that focuses on function as much as form."

(Photographer: Greg Premru)

Digs Design Company

Jocelyn Chiappone, Digs Design

“Incorporate the unexpected…”

"I want all my spaces to deliver a sense of fun and the best way to do that is with an unexpected element, a bit of a surprise statement, that takes the room to the next level. My trick when layering bold color and textiles is balance - I offset the statement pieces with quieter moments and use vintage furnishings and natural materials to ground the color. We add in fun pops of color for personality and elements of surprise to the design without disturbing the flow of the main living areas."

(Photographer: Greg Premru)

Eric Haydel Design
Eric Haydel

“Mix and match your rugs: what’s under your feet never has to break the bank…”

"A designer’s best friends are always their trade sources; even sources like Stark Carpet, who offers both contemporary and traditional approaches to rugs and carpeting. Often to work within our clients’ budgets, we will take Stark’s wide band carpets & have them cut to size while binding or trimming the edges with a contrasting cotton or leather edge to achieve a “just for your home” look. Add in traditional, contemporary and even a little artistic under your feet will add to the personality of your home."

(Photographer: Warren Patterson)

Erin Gates Design

erin gates design

“Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns…”

"Everyone has a different tolerance for mixing patterns. Some people like the cacophony of an eclectic and busy mix; others prefer something more calming. A safe rule of thumb: in one room you can mix one geometric pattern, one small scale or stripe, and one organic (floral, paisley, etc.) among your rugs, upholstery, pillows, and drapes. Having a home that creates a sense of peace, happiness and expression is an invaluable asset to a well lived life."

(Photographers: Michael J. Lee, Kirsten Francis)

Heather Vaughan Interior Design 

Heather Vaughan

“It’s all about collaboration…”

"We believe the most enduring and successful design projects are the result of a collaboration between a trusting client, an open and experienced design team, and valued trade partners. Good design is always co-created. We listen carefully to our clients’ needs, wants, and wishes and encourage them to share inspirations and ideas. Client participation in the design development process allows us to present highly detailed designs customized to their taste and lifestyle. That spirit of open communication and collaboration extends to our trades people, artisans, and makers. These valued partners are behind the custom work that HVD is known for."

(Photographer: Michael J. Lee)

Interiology Design Co.

Interiology Design Co

“It’s your home. Don’t be afraid to show off your personal style…”

"Our design team starts every project by listening. What do you love? How do you want your space to feel? Together, we explore design concepts and create a personalized solution that exceeds your expectations. Our clients loved blue so in this kitchen project we paired glossy lacquer with contemporary walnut cabinetry. For the family home on the right, we carried our clients’ love of color throughout, from the dining area with bold artwork and a wallpapered ceiling to their child’s room with wallpaper that mimics the home’s water views."

(Photographer: Jared Kuzia)

Kate Coughlin Interiors 

kate coughlin, coughlin interiors

“Every room needs a surprise…”

"The best part of our job is working with trusting clients. Every room needs a surprise. It’s those things that a client might initially struggle with, which end up making the room. Our test is always, 'Do we truly love it?' and 'Would we want to live there?'"

(Photographer: Sarah Winchester)

Kotzen Interiors

Barbara Kotzen

“Each room should speak for itself…”

"My designs are timeless yet unique for each client to reflect their individuality and lifestyle. The inspiration for every space is the client themselves, with the intended functionality for the space as the driving force for the design process. With these key factors in mind, I start the process of layering textures and patterns and balancing colors in each space. Antique writing slopes are some of my “go-to” pieces as they add a bit of history that works with any design style."

(Photographer: Michael J. Lee)

Robin Gannon Interiors 

robin gannon interiors

“Live life in layers…”

"At Robin Gannon Interiors, we are all about layered, intelligent design with a nod to the past. As our designs reflect, we think about spaces in layers. Each layer complements the one before it, creating richness and depth. This is very much like our lives: our experiences, interests, passions, and travels create the people we become. We believe your home should reflect that! Playing with color and texture, mixing the old and the new – this is how we create truly timeless spaces."

(Photographer: Michael J. Lee)

SLC Interiors 

SLC Interiors

“Work within a limited non-neutral color palette to create spaces that pack a punch but still evoke a sense of serenity…”

"Designing a relaxing room doesn’t mean you can’t use color and pattern. In this Primary Bedroom, we’ve applied a beautiful coral wallcovering to give the room personality. We’ve balanced it with crisp whites and soft hues in similar tones, so there’s a sense of consistency and order. You don’t need to use a monochromatic palette to achieve this holistic feel, rather, work within a narrow range of saturation across the color wheel. It will help your room maintain a serene feeling and allow for an easy and playful mixing of patterns and textures. The result: a unique and forward feeling Primary Bedroom."

(Photographer: Tria Giovan)

Taste Design Inc.

Taste Design

“Let art lead the way…”

"When you have a client with a compelling art collection, let it serve as a springboard for the design. By selecting quality millwork and finishes and carefully planning interior spaces, you allow each work of art to have a revered place while retaining the classic, comfortable feel of a coastal summer home. Helping create this congruous arrangement is Benjamin Moore’s Cloud Cover, painted on the walls, trim, and ceiling of the living spaces. This uniform canvas lets art lead the way and helps ensure our compositions."

(Photographer: Nat Rea)

Trellis Home Design

Trellis Home Design

“Blend classic design with contemporary colors and patterns to create a fresh and timeless feeling…”

"I love juxtaposing classic style with a more contemporary use of color, art or fabrics - Many of our projects are secondary vacation homes that are built for families of all different ages to gather and entertain. We specialize in creating homes that are not only beautiful and a reflection of each client’s lifestyle, but also homes that are meant to appeal to all ages and become a special place for families and friends to create memories in for generations to come."

(Photographer: Jessica Delaney)


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