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Home School

Learn how to shop like an interior designer. Ten local designers share their “it list” of the best local shops and products, when to make a splurge, and tips on how to create a comfortable and chic living space.

Dianne Davant

President of Dianne Davant & Assoc. and owner/partner of Dianne Davant Reserve Collection

Design style: I like to create my clients’ interior spaces to reflect their individual styles and personalities. My goal is to create comfortable and enduring interiors that exceed my clients’ expectations.

Inspirations: Nature – natural surroundings inspire me. I enjoy doing interiors that reflect and fit in well with their environment.

Best splurges: Comfortable, classic sofas. They are forever items that can be accessorized differently if you want to create different design styles in your home. Lamps and art that speaks to you are good splurge items, also.

Every home should have: Proper lighting. Inappropriate lighting can destroy the most beautiful design. Great lighting creates perfect ambience.

Favorite color palette: Greens have always been very popular, with emerald being the most recently featured. Now various shades of blue have come to the forefront.

Favorite 2014 trends: I love the popularity of geometrics. They mix well with any design style.

Design trends that will be over soon: I am not sure how long this year’s popular color, a fuchsia orchid shade, will be in fashion. I will use it for accents only.

How do you use sites like Pinterest and Houzz? I enjoy posting on both sites to inspire others. It is also nice to admire what other designers have created.

Lorraine Rogers - Bolton

President of Rogers Design Group

Favorite color palette: I’ve always embraced various neutrals, ivory, taupe and beige.

Must-have item for organizing: A great closet designer!

Design style: Timeless, contemporary elegance.

Inspirations: Exotic travel – my favorite is Italy.

Best Splurges: Anything permanent and art.

Every home should have: Treasures collected through travel.

Top three tips for creating a beautiful and functional home: Purchase finest pieces you can, mix various textures and make it personal.

A Good entertaining space must have: A Champagne bucket.

Stephanie Ferguson

Owner of SF Designs Inc.

Design style: Clean and modern meets vintage eclectic.

Inspirations: I am inspired by architecture and the visceral influence of color application. Barry Dixon is a great inspiration, as well.

Every home should have: Flowers!

Favorite local boutiques: Well, SF Designs and Cirque 612 of course! I also love Becks Used Furniture and Matilda’s.

Best splurges: You should always make an investment on a unique chandelier. Chandeliers are always a fantastic statement piece for your home. My favorite splurge store is Cirque 612 and Mecox.

Favorite budget-friendly places to shop: My favorite budget friendly place to shop is the same as everyone else’s – HomeGoods.

Favorite coffee table book? Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor

Favorite color palette: I am in love with the seafoam greens and tomato reds. The contrast of hot and cold creates a spiritual balance in any environment. Cobalt blue and Kelly green will always be my favorite preppy color splash, and black and white is my forever Hollywood crush.

Proudest DIY moment: I think DIY is my middle name. I think my proudest moment may be the soup-to-nuts construction of a custom, shell-encrusted, king-size headboard.

Must-have for organizing: A laundry basket in every bedroom!

Francesca Morgan

Principal interior designer at Francesca Morgan Interiors

Design style: My personal style is eclectic. There are so many beautiful things out there that I don’t like the idea of being confined and labeling myself!

Inspirations: COLOR. It evokes such feelings in people.

Best splurges: I am a huge advocate of if you absolutely love it, BUY IT! ... Art, rugs, window treatments and accessories are all important, but a quality comfortable sofa and a bed are an absolute must!

Every home should have: The owner’s distinct personality, an outdoor space no matter how big or small, and an awesome open area to congregate and entertain.

Favorite 2014 design trends: The use of window treatments – they are so important to a finished interior. I often use the analogy when there is a lack of use of treatments on a window, it’s like a woman all dressed up for a black-tie affair with no makeup or jewelry. It’s naked!

Proudest DIY moment: One that’s stored in my memory bank as a fond memory and makes me really proud is when my daughter and I (she was 4) redid a lamp shade for this phenomenal Moroccan lamp I found in an antique store. ... My studio has just recently launched something called “Wine & Design,” an awesome workshop geared toward DIY and inspired by Pinterest. Great fun, and I get to assist the attendees through the process and offer inspiration.

Favorite interior design blogs: I love “Apartment Therapy,” “Remodelista” and “Casa Sugar,” just to name a few!

Deborah Freedman

Owner of Deborah Freedman Design, Inc.

Design style: My design style is reflective of my clients’ requirements, whether it be traditional, transitional or contemporary.

Inspirations: The trend toward green design, making interiors healthy spaces.

Every home should have: Good lighting. Both direct and indirect lighting is very important to set a mood in a room.

Favorite local boutiques: One of my favorite places to shop for unusual pieces is Antique Row on U.S. 1 in West Palm Beach. You can find an antique period piece for a traditional interior or find that retro piece to complete a contemporary interior.

Favorite budget-friendly place to shop: True Treasures in North Palm Beach is the place to go.

Favorite color palette: The new color trend for 2014 is the new neutral palette. The shift will be away from the grays into soft tints of greens, blues, lavenders. Colors that make your room fresh and complement your possessions.

Proudest DIY moment: My powder room, in which I hand-painted a fleur de lis pattern in a bronze finish.

Planning tips? Be sure and plan a project down to the last detail before you begin in order to avoid costly mistakes. I also suggest that you consult a professional designer.

Best splurges: One room you should splurge on is the master bedroom. For finishing up the perfect bedroom I always shop for linens at Pioneer Linens in West Palm Beach.

William R. Eubanks

Founder and CEO of William R. Eubanks Interior Design, Inc.

Design style: Sophisticated, timeless, exotic, refined and sensual.

Inspirations: A beautiful sunset, walking in the garden, sailing in the Mediterranean; I could go on and on.

Best splurges: Quality fabrics and great upholstery.

Every home should have: Rock crystal.

Favorite budget-friendly place to shop: WRE Antiques & Things, our sister store located on Antique Row in a 1920s bungalow – once a home, now a boutique store filled with surprises.

A good entertaining space must have: Good lighting (lots of candles) and great music.

Dominique Carpena

Senior designer and partner at decorators finest gift boutique and design

Design style: I love all design styles, however, I would have to say that my style most reflects the sophistication of transitional, working in same color hues with different textures. I really like thick shag area rugs, great velvet and suedes and tweed upholstery pieces. I also like to work with the coziness of country French and the freshness of coastal.

Best splurges: I always try to guide my clients into purchasing quality upholstery, decorative throw pillows and mattress. As for the upholstery that you are “living in,” you are making an investment not only in something that looks nice, but feels great for years to come. ... Kreiss Furniture would be my favorite store to splurge at.

Favorite budget-friendly shop: Target. They have a variety of well-priced items for the home and some items that are done by designers and chefs.

Every home should have: A conversation piece, something eye-catching and unusual such as mementos from traveling or heirloom pieces.

Favorite color palette: Depends on what is surrounding the area such as water, trees, etc. – I can be daring if a client lets me by using extraordinary colors. However I have been drawn lately to hues in creams, buttermilks and silvers – you have your warm and cool tones mixed together.

Favorite 2014 design trends: We are seeing more and more fabrics with texture – I design using a variety of textures so I love it.

Design trends that will be over soon: The trend of vibrant paint colors such as turquoise – it takes a unique area to carry such a bright color. I feel that it is best used for accent only.

Favorite coffee table design book? Barbara Barry’s Around Beauty

Mary Washer

Owner of Mary Washer Designs

Design style: My style can be fun, it can be fresh, as well as luxurious but above all it is an inviting, exquisite design that reflects my clients’ tastes.

Favorite local boutiques: Matilda’s and Cassidy’s.

Best splurges: Splurge on a wonder fabric to set your design – everything then builds from that. I find myself personally wanting to splurge on lighting. There are gorgeous handmade fixtures out there, and one of my favorite companies is Made Goods.

Every home should have: In Florida, I think a wonderful outdoor living space. Great for entertaining, dining al fresco, or family time gathered around a fire pit.

Favorite color palette: Right now I am into gray with just about any other color. Gray and turquoise, gray and tangerine, gray and yellow, gray and navy blue – they all look great!

Proudest DIY moment: Right now I have a DIY project going on with one of my clients out of necessity, as we could not find an ombre fabric for her teenage daughter’s room. So we read up on dying techniques and have set out to make up our own ombre fabric for her drapery.

Favorite websites for inspiration: I love Pinterest and Houzz. I use them for research and get inspiration from all the eclectic pinners.

Must-have item for organizing: Bookcases. I love pictures of family and friends and wonderful little accessories, so bookcases allow me to display and not use up valuable table surfaces.

Lisa Erdmann

President of Lisa Erdmann & Associates

Design style: Comfortably traditional with accents of unexpected furniture or treasures.

Favorite local boutiques: Elephant’s Foot is my favorite store for antiques and found objects – their inventory is always different every time I visit. Pioneer Linens for bedding and bath accents, and Mary Mahoney for tabletop. Devonshire, Excentricities, Island Home for furniture or last-minute accessories and pillows.

Best splurges: Nice quality paintings and antiques. Favorite budget-friendly place to shop: One Kings Lane.

Every home should have: A treasure purchased while traveling to remind you of a fantastic adventure.

Storyboarding tips: We pin up grouping of fabrics on large linen-covered boards in our office so we can step back and look at the palette and textures to decide coordinates and direction we should take.

Do you use sites like Pinterest and Houzz? We don’t use them in the office. We still love to tear pages from magazines every month.

Favorite interior design blog: “Stylebeat” by Marisa Marcantonio. She always showcases the best new products and looks.

What’s at the top of your wishlist right now? New monogrammed sheets for my master bedroom from Pioneer Linens.

Loree Jill Weeks

Interior designer at Petite Surprise

Design style: Visionary, independent, civilized and passionate.

Where to splurge: Miller’s Decorative Hardware, Floor Specialists of Martin County, Smith and DeShields, DCOTA showrooms of Lee Jofa & Schumacher, and Jerry Pair showroom of Clarence House.

Inspirations: Color, pattern, texture and function. My design mentor is Frank Lloyd Wright for his innovation and his design process of relating the exterior architecture to the interior space.

Favorite local boutiques: In West Palm, Excentricities. In Stuart, Petite Surprise.

Best splurges: Hardware for doors and cabinets, the right flooring material, carpentry and fabrics.

Every home should have: A Lee sofa or chair.

A good entertaining space must have a: Warm and inviting kitchen and a decorative bar cart close by.

Proudest DIY moment: I painted a demilune hall table. It created a more inviting approach to the space.

Favorite coffee table book: Alexa Hampton’s Decorating in Detail

Must-have item for organizing: A desk and a decorative file cabinet.