5 Great Design Ideas Straight From Celebrity Designer, Sarah Sherman Samuel

great design ideas

Sarah Sherman Samuel

You know your house has the potential for greatness. You just don't know where to start. What goes into a truly stunning room, and how do you negotiate the thin line between just too good and just too much?

It all starts with one great room idea, and you build up your foundation from there. And you already know what you like and what you need from a space. You just need a little bit of inspiration.

Below, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel shared the thought process behind some of her favorite rooms, as well as tips for recreating them in your own home.

Meet the Expert

Sarah Sherman Samuel is a multidisciplinary designer who splits her time between Los Angeles, California, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pick and choose what themes you'd love recreate or rework, and remember that a good design idea is always one that feels comforting to you.

01 of 05

Pack In All of the Details

great room design

Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel, Photo: Nicole Franzen

"This bathroom, although petite in size, was able to pack in some gorgeous features that make it one of my favorites," designer Sherman Samuel says. "The marble wainscot anchors the harlequin marble tile floor, and the oversized niche arch we put in creates a focal point to carry your eye through the entire space."

02 of 05

Let Amazing Finds Set the Tone

great room idea

Design:  Sarah Sherman Samuel, Photo: Mae Stier for Etsy

An overhaul using all pieces from Etsy quickly turned this guest room home office into a favorite of the designer. "The unique desk was such a good find and it’s the mix of vintage and new that make this room sing," she says.

If you love something, there's no rule against building an entire room around it. Buy that great white whale of a vintage piece, and the rest will fall into place.

03 of 05

Don't Overlook a Hallway

great room ideas

Design:  Sarah Sherman Samuel, Photo: Tessa Neustadt

This built-in sofa we installed in what was previously a neglected hallway space. This was previously a "neglected" hallway space, Sherman Samuel says, until they installed a built-in sofa that creates a moment of pause, as opposed to just something to pass by.

"The warm-toned velvet now welcomes you right in," the designer says, so don't be surprised if you end up with a new favorite reading nook.

04 of 05

Add Texture, Balance, and a Touch of Color

great room idea

Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel, Photo: Jessie Webster

"This breakfast nook checks all the boxes—texture, balance, and a touch of color," Sherman Samuel says. "With all the straight lines, the round table and the curved back chair add a softness to the space that is inviting but not busy—thanks to its clean, neutral palette."

05 of 05

Bring the Drama

great room ideas

Sarah Sherman Samuel

When asked for her top great room ideas, Sherman Samuel points to her sons' room as a forever favorite. "The built-in bunks with velvet curtains bring the drama, and that pattern play from the ceiling, bedding, and rug keep your eye dancing around the room."

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