Simple, Jazzy Interior Design Tips for Families and Others by Ross Alexander

Over the past few weeks I’ve had clients reach out for help adding interior design finishing touches to their homes and apartments. Many of us are spending more time indoors these days.  Some are hunkered down solo. Others with friends or a significant other. Still others with family members. While everyone’s needs and experiences is different, I would like to offer the following tips that might spark some inspiration for you……



– Bring in more color through accent pillows, smaller accessories such as colorful fruit bowls, vases, or cashmere blankets. I love William Sonoma and LiveAuctioneers for vintage items.

– Buy some clay pots and fill a window sill with flowers, herbs, or bulbs.

– Find simple wooden picture frames and paint each in a different color. Think pale pink and navy!

– Create a display wall for your child’s artwork. Find vintage frames and insert a cork panel into each. Your child’s art can easy be pinned inside each and rotated every few weeks!



– Create your own private chill space away from the family in your bedroom, purchase a small club chair and ottoman from an online retailer and have it delivered. A private space to curl up with a book.  Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel have the perfect items that won’t break the budget.

– Make a sunny corner of the kitchen your own private workspace and move the kids to a worktable in the Living Room.

– Have a guest room that doesn’t get much use? Why not make it into your own private studio to paint or sew! A simple trestle table could be used as a long work surface where paints and projects could be left out. The guest bed could be turned into a Murphy bed or rotated to act as a daybed, filled with vibrant pillows.

– Need a designated home gym space but where do you keep all of your equipment? Why not find a vintage trunk or something attractive from Pottery Barn to store all of your items. This could be placed in the Living Room that could function as a flexible gym space early in the morning while the kids are still asleep.



– Move a small table 36″ square into the Living Room where after dinner you can play cards, a game or do a puzzle with the family.

– Buy paper lampshades and paint your own designs on them in wild colors!  Just Shades on the Upper East Side is my go-to source and can ship direct!  As an interior decorator, this is one of my favorite, fun tips!

– Find a wood serving tray and paint it with the kids in multi-colors to look like your favorite Missoni print!

– Find blank white canvases and create your own abstract art inspired by the painters Franz Kline or Jackson Pollack.



– Buy a book on your favorite artist such as Matisse and some basic stock frames from Michael’s Crafts or Etsy. Frame these and cover a wall in your Living Room. Instant color at a nominal cost!

– Interior design made easy!  Start a collection of small mirrors and fill a wall in your entry. Mirrors could be sourced from Bed, Bath and Beyond or Pottery Barn.

– Collect vintage blue and white plates, the more mismatched the better. All blue and white goes together! LiveAuctioneers is a great website to find such items.

– Forget paper napkins and use colorful ones from Crate and Barrel or William Sonoma. Fabric napkins are more luxurious and sustainable.



– Candles and soft lighting are the key to creating ambience and a soothing interiors. Why not order large candles from Pottery Barn and fill the center of your dining table and enjoy an evening by candlelight.

– Overhead lighting isn’t flattering, so add table lamps where possible, even small ones on a bookcase with a 40 watt bulb. The glow, particularly in the evening, is sure to help ease any stress.

– Fresh cut flowers in any space, the kitchen table, or on the bedside table, help to brighten the day, not to mention adds a calming scent. Can’t afford real flowers? Online retailers and shops from the floral district such as Jamali sell beautiful and convincing fake flowers. A weekend craft with the kids could also entail making paper flower arrangements out of colorful construction paper. Paper roses would add instant color and charm.

– Disorganized spaces create stress. Messy closet or desk? Why not find simple, beautiful baskets from Pottery Barn to store desk supplies or hold winter hats and gloves? The inside of your closet should be as beautiful as the rest of your apartment.



– Have low ceilings? Extend the wall color onto your ceilings to bring the eye upwards. Paint a 5” wide band of your wall color around the perimeter of your room. This technique works even if you have crown molding.

– Make your bedroom or living room feel larger and find an in-stock rug online from Wayfair. The larger the better, the rug should really fill the room, avoid anything too small so it doesn’t look like a postage stamp. An overscaled area rug will fill the space and unite everything in the room for a cosseting effect.

– Have a long, dark hallway in your apartment without much room to hang art? Why not paint the walls and ceiling the same color white, and each door a Nantucket Red or Cornflower Blue tone for pop of color! The graphic quality will make the space instantly cheerful!

– Have a dark room that doesn’t get much sunlight? Don’t try and make an inherently dark room light.  Emphasize the romantic quality of the space and use it primarily in the evenings. Paint the walls and ceiling a glossy jewel-tone such as a deep turquoise! If you can’t get the walls to be perfectly smooth, don’t worry, the texture will add to the space and be more forgiving in the long run. A dark room will feel larger when all of the surfaces are painted in the same tone.


Your home is your cocoon, so why not make it warm and charming for yourself layered with personality! Color is comforting and soothing, used in the right doses, it’s the perfect backdrop to help boost a mood and lift spirits. A day spent at home in an all beige interior leaves a lot to be desired. Banish the beige and incorporate more color. Don’t be shy! After 15 years of interior decorating for clients across the country, I keep hearing the request for color more and more. If you would like to learn more about my interior design work, visit www.RossAlexanderDesigns.Com.

Interior Design and Project Management Services:
Furniture and Architectural Concept Plans
Material Specification for Kitchens and Bathrooms
Paint Color Selection
Purchasing Furniture by Auction or Retail
Furniture Installation
Creating Custom Furniture, Lighting, Carpets, and Textiles
Perspective Renderings and Sketches
Full Interior Renovation and Decoration

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,