10 of the Most Influential Room Decoration Guides

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Room with interior design

Getting stuck in interior design and having to figure out how to pull together all sorts of elements can be tough. If you have reached your wit’s end, an influential room decoration guide can help you learn the ropes. Here are 10 of the most influential room decoration guides that we found to be quite helpful in our research.

1. Jenny Zacharewicz (@bigfamilylittlefarmhouse)

Hang light fixtures illuminating a living room | home decoration guides

With over 167,000 followers on Instagram, Jenny is certainly doing something right. Her interior room decoration guides are chock full of useful information with actual demonstrations through high-quality images. Jenny’s whole shtick is juggling her responsibilities as a mother of 10 children and her online ambitions.

We found her #skoolieconversion project to be particularly helpful. The unique project is about converting a school project into a comfy little home. It’s definitely very insightful and goes to show you that where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

You don’t have to have a giant budget to pursue an ambitious interior decor project. Jenny also has a pretty impressive resume with publications in 4 magazines and 2 highly popular books. 

Jenny’s official website is bigfamilylittlefarmhouse.com where she shares in-depth instructions of her little pet projects. 

So why did Jenny make it to the top of our list? Her projects are entirely DIY and manage to be both whimsical and functional all at the same time. Jenny’s guide will be useful to anyone who’s big on DIY room decoration guides. 

In the future, we’d love to see more inspiring and helpful interior decor guides from Jenna and family. You can visit her official Instagram handle here.

2. Becki Owens (@beckiowens)

 Picture of a living room with hardwood floor and area rugs

Becki Owens shares her unique design sensibilities and her inspiring projects through her Instagram account. Her work mostly features natural wooden elements incorporating organic layers with clean lines and accented pieces to bring an otherwise dull decor to life. 

Some woods can give off an orange or yellow undertone and warmer temperatures, while others such as maple or ash, are a little cooler. There are some stained shades that balance both warm and cool tones, which is excellent for anyone who wants to go with different colours of wood. 

Becki’s room decoration ideas give you a rustic feeling and help set the mood of the room exactly how you want it to. 

You can check out some of her work here.

3. Kate Arends (@witanddelight_)

With over 348k followers on Instagram and counting, Kate is one of the most influential names in interior decor. Her posts cover everything from wellness and style, to beauty and decor. But it’s her fun and saturated interior shots that will catch your attention. 

They’re always bursting with bold patterns, clean designs, and fresh botanical. Kate often posts about her own home, which features plenty of natural wooden elements, bright natural lights, and a colourful palette. 

4. Kalef Alaton 

Kalef Alaton was an influential interior designer of the 20th century. His room decoration ideas were an intricate mix of clean modernism and ornate European history – his legacy consists of dozens of contemporaries who carried on his work into the 21st century. 

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Alaton was known for his eccentric and impeccable taste and an uncommon generosity to clients and fellow designers alike. He was born in Turkey in 1940 but pursued painting and sculpture at the Ecole des Arts Modernes in Paris. 

It was in Paris where he discovered his love for interior design and never looked back. He joined a large firm in Los Angeles before launching his own practice in 1973. Alaton would closely work with his clients and transform lavish homes from the West coast of the United States to Europe. 

His portfolio of work includes properties such as Hotel bel Air in Los Angeles and Park Royal Hotel in Australia. 

He was known for his counterpointing materials and objects. For example, he would use monochromatic corduroy upholstery to mix Louis XCI and Louis XV armchairs and contemporary shabby chic sofas. The idea was to help each material complement the aesthetic effects of the other.

Alaton died of complications from AIDS at 49 years old in 1989.

5. Brittany Robertson (@the.beautyrevival)

White sofas and a grey white splash of color

Brittany and her business are committed to creating exceptional living spaces based on handcrafted designs and unique 3D renderings. Her interior guides mostly focus on handcrafted products that are worked on by local artisans and professionals. 

She focuses on intricate details to create rooms that strike an ideal balance between visually appealing aesthetics and functionality. 

Brittany is a gifted artist who, much like Jenny in this list above, creates her own unique little spin on room decoration guides. Her blog mostly focuses on bohemian home decor such as rustic pieces and unique arts and crafts. 

More importantly, her website gives you access to an online store for anyone who is inspired by boho decor. 

Brittany’s blog shows colourful interiors that evoke powerful emotions with their rich colours and eye-catching patterns. She also happens to be a New York Times best-seller for her book, “The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes”. 

Her work could be part of the reason why the bohemian decor has flaunted its way back into style. Each post contains useful room decoration ideas that will appeal to both beginners and experts alike. 

6. James Mont

James Mont is the leading authority in mid-century interior decor. He was born in Istanbul and is said to have inherited his taste for art from his father who was a noteworthy painter in Turkey. 

Mont’s earliest designs included home bars that could be folded into six inches and tables with secret drawers (you know, for guns!). 

But some of his best work involved Chinese motifs with labour-intensive finishes that truly set him apart. Perhaps more interestingly, Mont was a decorator for top American mafioso’s and well-known names in Hollywood such as Lana Turner. 

Given the extravagant tastes of his star-studded client base, it comes as no surprise that their houses were replete with lavishing finishes that screamed luxury. 

Unlike most of his contemporaries, Mont’s work didn’t have any overarching theme in his designs. Instead, his designs were driven by his emotions to create flamboyant furnishings with aesthetics that were unique to him and him alone.

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Although much of Mont’s work has become a relic of history, it continues to be explored by fans of vintage designs. His bespoke room decoration guides have intrigued modern designers almost as much as the adventurous, fiery aspects of the life he once led. 

7. Albert Hadley

Clear glass table with five grey chairs

Housebeautiful.com coined Hadley as the ‘dean’ of interior design itself. His signature style was finding a unique connection between livability and elegance. To state that he taught America what room decoration was all about would be an understatement. 

This Tennessee-born interior designer left behind a lasting legacy when he died in 2012.  

His resume includes a curtain sketching assignment for the Kennedy White House and choreographing luxurious environments for Fifth Avenue duplexes. This mild-mannered interior designer changed 20th-century style forever. 

Although Hadley spent over seven decades at his craft, he was never averse to new designs and had an open mind to new room decoration ideas. He was particularly fascinated by cottages and palaces. 

Hadley’s interior style had less to do with wall colours or the furniture in the room. Instead, his work was completely designed from the ground up. 

It is said that Hadley would start from scratch using a hammer and saw. He would use his tools to make the perfect room by incorporating unique lines and a floor plan – actual design came much, much later.  

His favourite style was to mix vintage patterns and fabrics with floral arrangements and earthy elements. Hadley would often incorporate older pieces into his design, a trend that has largely continued into 2021. In most cases, Hadley’s work was about minimalism and simplicity. 

He would paint the walls with a neutral colour and then add simple statement pieces to bring the room to life. Small accent pieces, such as lampshades, would bring the design to life. 

8. William Haines

Picture of a sofa set against white walls

William Haines was Hollywood’s go-to interior designer until his death in 1973. He knew what his star-studded client base wanted because Haines himself was a leading box office star of the 1930s. 

He worked closely with renowned architects of the time such as Roland E. Coate, James E. Dolena, and A Quincy Jones. His room decoration guides created an intricate balance between formal and casual, style and substance. 

As a result, Haines and his designers created sleek, classic pieces that functional and aesthetically pleasing.  His rooms mostly leaned on swivel hostess chairs and low table ottomans that provided easy access to banter and flirtation to partygoers.

One of his first clients was Joan Crawford, who asked Haines to work on her Brentwood home and remained a close confidante for years. Other leading Hollywood women soon followed suit, including Constance Bennett, Tallulah Bankhead, and Carole Lombard.

Haines’s work departed from the typical new-colonial interiors that dominated the silent-movie era of the time and instead, adopted aesthetics based on 18th century English manor houses. These aesthetics changed how Hollywood approached interior design forever.

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Haines’s signature style was a custom-designed table and floor lamp in every house he decorated and featured ceramics ranging from fine export porcelains to Chinese Blanc de individually chosen for each project.  

His resume includes the desert house built for Lee Annenberg, the interior of Sunny-lands, and interiors for Winfield House in London.  

9. Kelly Wearstler (@kellywearstler)

Picture of two tufted brown leather chairs in the living room

Kelly Wearstler is one of the world’s most sought after interior designers, admired for her bold room decoration ideas and unique interior projects. Her impressive portfolio of work includes serving as a judge on Bravo’s Top Design and publishing several books on interior design.

Among her most iconic projects is the Bellagio Residence, a 1939 Georgian Revival overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club. Least to say, the run-down residence was in need of a modern touch. 

Wearstler ripped the place down to the studs and created an additional 3000 square feet of living space, pushing up the ceiling heights, broadening windows and doors to allow more natural light inside, and carved out a new master suite in the upstairs bedroom. 

Kelly Wearstler is mostly influenced by William Haines, a style that blends modernism and maximalism. She is credited to have brought maximalism back into interior design and giving it a unique spin. 

Wearstler would often visit auction houses to collect decor items for her projects. In 2008, Domino gave her the title of ‘mega decorator’ and described her work as ‘hip design’,  which is evident by looking at the many hotel interiors she has designed. 

10. Eleanor McMillen Brown

Picture of a loveseat in a living room

Eleanor McMillen Brown founded McMillen Inc. in 1924 when she began selling antique furniture from her Manhattan townhouse. She went to the Parsons School in New York and Paris, having studied design for three years. 

In just a few short years, McMillen Inc. grew into a full-service decorating business with an independent draft as well as a business office. 

Her tastes for interior design ranged from traditional periods to the Bauhaus architectural style, contemporary eclecticism as well as 18th-century Italian furniture. 

Dozens of photographs and renderings pulled out of the firm’s archives by Ann Pyne, the new company president showed evidence of McMillen’s prominence not only as a decorator of choice for the rich and famous but also as a training ground for some of America’s most influential designers, including Albert Hadley and Mark Hampton. 

Her room decoration ideas were largely traditional in tone, with a respect for antiques and inviting upholstery for influencers such as the notable socialite Baby Paley and Microsoft’s Paul Allen. 

Ms. Brown also had a stubborn reputation for not hiring anyone who didn’t have a degree from the Parsons School of Design. 

So there you have it, 10 of the most influential interior design experts who have changed home decor as we know it. Let us know if you agree with our list and if you want us to cover your favourite influencers.

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