What do the designers see?

An interior designer’s eye is different. Instant reactions to what’s happening in a room are second nature to those who design for a living. After some informal chats with the interior designers in our HomeStores, we decided to poll our creative audience in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—asking some of our designers to talk about what things they notice when they enter a home for the first time. From entryways to hallways, here’s what our designers had to say!


“I think I always look at the floors first, then work my way up. I look at placement of furniture and then how the walls are decorated. Eventually, I look at the ceiling to see light fixtures or any fun details. While I am scanning the space, I am always thinking what could make the space better. Overall, I pay the most attention to furniture and the space planning.” – Vera


“As a designer, when I enter a new space or new home, I’m usually on sensory overload. I take in the whole space. What I probably notice first is the amount of lighting, as well as any fragrances. After that, I start to pick up on the whole vibe or emotion of the space and how that is directly correlated to the colors within the room. My eyes are then searching for focal points—and hoping that it isn’t a multitude of clutter. Once I can digest all of that, I’m usually trying to remember that there is probably a person in front of me that requires the attention of my wandering eyes. Then I start sneaking peaks of all of the other things… flooring, finishes, furniture, artwork, textiles, textures, etc. Oh, and I always tend to notice awesome doors! I love arched tops, little window cut outs, and when a door is painted in a darker color. I like how anchoring a dark door helps bounce my eyes back around to the artwork and accessories in the rest of the room.” – Matthew


“When I first enter a home, I take it all in as a whole. I love a lived in, loved home. Especially if I know the person who lives there. I can see their personality in what they’ve chosen to surround themselves with. I sneak peaks at everything I can, and then usually, at the same time, I’m looking for any signs they have animals to pet!” – Sarah


“When I first enter a home I can’t help to just see where my eye goes. I love to find the focal point of the space. I love to dissect what was the inspiration for the whole look? I go from there and look around. I look at the furniture placement… if it makes sense or if there is a better way to make it look more inviting. I also look to see what the theme or color story is. I feel color tells a lot about the person and their interests. I always look at all the small details—pictures, small knick knacks… this is where the person’s personal touch shines.” – Michaela


“When entering someone’s home, I first take in the basics like if the room is full or not. I look at color and wall art. I love when homes have interesting wall art. I also notice if there are prints, whether it’s on the couch, curtains, or in art. Print designs are personal; I can get a sense of the person’s style by what they chose.” – Anna


“The first thing I see when entering a home is either the pets or the kids. If there is a dog, I will notice nothing else. If there are kids, then I usually notice the mess (but that’s parent life, I guess!) Next, I notice the color, and if there is a non-neutral color scheme. I think I see the biggest, heaviest pieces first, like the sofa or TV and entertainment pieces. then I start seeing the decorations. My house is always under some kind of renovation, so messy houses don’t bother me, but it also makes me always see what needs straightening. When I walk into a beautiful, neat, organized house, I am a child of color and see whatever is bright and beautiful in front and center. – Alicia


And there you have it… a glimpse into what designers might see in your home. We hope you have a blast making your home you, using the inspiration from our team!