14 Things Designers Notice the First Time They Enter Your Home

It only takes minutes for them to reshuffle all of your furniture in their minds.

The first rule of design is: everyone’s taste is different. But interior designers know so much about trends and style that they can’t help but make some judgments (good and bad!) when they enter someone’s home. In case you have a design expert roaming your halls, or if you are just curious how to make your house completely designer-friendly, we put together a list of what professionals actually notice when they walk through the front door.

“I’m really sensitive to lighting,” designer Vern Yip says. “Nine times out of ten, I think when people walk into a room and they like the ambiance, it’s because the lighting has been done correctly.” According to Yip, this mean the room has a variety of light sources, including recessed, sconces, hanging fixtures and more.

When designer Scot Meacham Wood first visits a client’s home, he always picks out what isn’t working (usually the layout and room function). Why? So he can offer solutions, of course. “If we’re doing construction, I look for architectural errors that we could fix, like poorly aligned doorways and oddly placed overhead lighting,” he says.

Within minutes of walking into a room, Sarah Vaile of Sarah Whit Interior Design says she’s already reconfigured the furniture in her head. “Nothing drives me crazier than a sofa against the wall in a large room,” she says. Often, she finds her clients have good taste, but just don’t know how to lay the pieces out.

Small accents can say a lot, which is why CeCe Barfield Thompson of CeCe Barfield Inc always takes note. “Little touches help a space feel like a home,” she says, like flowers by the door, an organized-but-used entry way and a easily accessible bar, of course.

In this case, Vaile says more is always better: “It drives me crazy when there are only two sad throw pillows on a sofa.” Not to mention that multiple throws will make your couch so much cozier.


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