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In an age of design dominated by neutral walls and minimalistic furniture, bold design can make weightier statements than ever before. From unexpected paint colors to textures on the ceiling, the out-of-your-comfort-zone choices are often the ones most beloved in a home. However, the options can be intimidating, and many of us are hesitant to move forward without some guidance. We tapped a few industry experts to share their experience with bold design and how the big decision leads to unique and personalized rooms. Here are local experts’ tips on adventurous design — how to implement, where to do it and how to make it work.

EXPERT: Beth Haley of Beth Haley Design

Make decisions that feel exciting and personal, and balance the bold accents.

Beth Haley steers her clients toward decisions that express who they are and what they love. She encourages each client to pull inspiration from a place that speaks to them — daring to use it in unusual ways. She says, “Paint or paper your ceiling a bright color, paint your kitchen island a vibrant hue or hang a lively piece of artwork in an often-used pathway. Finding spirited, cheerful and artistic ways to express yourself and surrounding yourself with meaningful items makes for a warm and welcoming home that screams you.” This sentiment rings true in each of Beth’s projects, as they are always unique to the client, ensuring their personality is felt throughout the home.

She leaves us with this tip, reminding us the importance of balance: “Adding a tile with texture or an interesting pattern can bring movement and visual interest to a room, but always remember to give your eye a place to rest when using bold accents.”

Textured walls

In this modern kitchen, Beth uses a textured wall to add interest, while maintaining the neutral color palette. Image: Nick McGinn

Patterned wallpaper

This playful pattern undoubtedly fits the personality of the homeowner, as Beth helps her clients identify and implement what best suits them. Image: Leila Grossman

EXPERT: Brad Ramsey of Brad Ramsey Interiors

Trust your designer when it comes to making statement-making choices.

Brad Ramsey recently encouraged his clients to try something out of their comfort zone, confident the results would speak for themselves. He shares, “We created a music room — there is an upright piano to the right not seen in the photo — in a historic home in Franklin. I really wanted to panel the walls to create an old library feel. We kept the original fireplace and stained the rest of the walls to complement. The biggest challenge in the room was convincing my clients to panel all of the walls. At first, when I got them on board with the vision, they wanted to panel just one wall where the fireplace is. In the end, I was able to convince them that paneling all of the walls would give the biggest impact and make the room feel more authentic.” There’s a level of trust between interior designer and client, and these are the situations when the payoff of that relationship is great.

Brad continues, “To this day, it is their favorite room in the house, and they love how it transformed from a catch-all to their favorite place to relax, read, play music and entertain.” We can see why!

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Expert Tips for Making Bold Design Decisions

The paneled walls give this music room an inviting, cozy feeling, and ultimately made it the family’s favorite room. Image: Brad Ramsey Interiors

EXPERT: Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors

Choose a daring color and incorporate it throughout the home. 

Roger Higgins of R.Higgins Interiors opted for a daring color in a recent project, and the gorgeous green will make you reconsider your white cabinets. Roger tells us, “We chose green for this family’s butler’s pantry to break up having too much white millwork throughout the house. We have scattered pops of green in the color palette used throughout the house, easily blending it in with pillow fabrics, McCarty pottery and fresh greenery.” The little notes of green throughout the home make this standout wall of color feel cohesive.

Roger continues, “Our clients had this pair of white cast Roman intaglios that made the room a direct opposite of the adjoining rooms as they are mostly white with green and blue accents. An antique rug ties all the colors in the home together, making this room quite a bold little jewel box in the center!” The juxtaposition of the two adjoining rooms is one of the thoughtful details that allows this room to shine!

Expert Tips for Making Bold Design Decisions

We love how Roger incorporated little green accents throughout the home, building up to the statement wall in the kitchen. Image: Provided | Paint Color: Inverness by Sherwin Williams

EXPERT: Andrew Denny of Textures Flooring

Use timeless elements with bold customization.

Textures Flooring offers design impact below the feet. Andrew Denny of Textures tells us, “We love the opportunity to collaborate with our clients in creating special design elements within our floor offerings – particularly with our hardwood floors. Whether our clients customize their floors with rich texture, bold character elements or customization of wood pattern or direction … it all works so beautifully with the overall design concept of each home. These vast offerings provide a tasteful boldness to the overall project cohesiveness.” Together with interior designer Julie Davis, Andrew created a custom chevron pattern with the wood flooring transforming the small hallway into a custom detail. For Andrew, it’s all about bold customization with timeless elements. That way, the impression is weighty (and beautiful), but the client won’t tire of it over time.

RELATED: The Custom Wallpaper You’ve Got To See to Believe

Expert Tips for Making Bold Design Decisions

Textures Flooring, together with interior designer Julie Davis and custom builders Grove Park Construction, added an unexpected layer of design in the hallway by creating this custom herringbone pattern. Image: Caroline Sharpnack

EXPERT: Derek Van Mol of Van Mol Restoration

Keep it neutral, make it interesting.

Van Mol Restoration brings the eyes upward in a recent ceiling design. Derek Van Mol shares, “While living in Williamsburg Brooklyn, we fell in love with the tin tile ceilings in many of the historic buildings. We wanted to bring a little bit of Williamsburg to Nashville, so we added similar tiles to the basement of the home here. A basic white ceiling hardly gets a cursory glance. But when you cover it with patterned tin tiles, it instantly becomes an eye-catching feature.” The impact of this choice comes from the texture and the shine — a neutral design decision that packs a punch!

Van Mol Restoration Ceilings

The unique choice to add tin tiles to the basement ceiling adds character to the room without distracting from the other design elements. Image: Shannon Fontaine


For more interior design inspiration, visit our home archives here!

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