Designing For Different Stages

From decorating your first apartment to resolving design deadlocks with your significant other, these local designers can help you find your way.

Whether it’s putting the down payment on your first place, downsizing, or melding your style with your significant other, designing for the different stages of your life can be a difficult task. Here we share advice from two local designers: Debra Funt, founder and president of Debra Funt Interiors, and Lorri Dyner, owner of Lorri Dyner Design LLC, to make the process a smooth transition, no matter what the stage may be.


1.) Buy Items with Resilient Style (Hint: Stick to Neutrals)

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Debra Funt suggests that you splurge on the items you will want to take with you, no matter when or where you move. She also recommends you keep your palette neutral. “Keep your walls neutral and add color with pillows, accessories, rugs, and things that can easily be changed out and layered to add personality,” says Funt. Lorri Dyner agrees with the neutral recommendation and specifically suggests choosing a neutral colored sofa. She understands temptations to buy otherwise. “I, too, drool over navy velvet sofas but they are trendy and in three to five years they are going to look totally outdated.” So stick to neutral colors and only splurge on the items that you have undying love for.

2.) Get the Mature Look on a Small Budget

It’s important to have a game plan if you want to achieve an adult look. Funt says first and foremost that planning is key with a small budget and a small space. Before buying, you should, “Decide what style makes you happy; are you minimal, are you contemporary, or industrial chic, what kind of feeling do you want to live with?”

Once you make that decision, Dyner recommends purchasing curtains. “Adding pre-made drapes from or from can completely change your room and make it feel grown-up,” Dyner says.

3.) Use Outside Resources and Inspiration to Find Your Style

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To alleviate stress in finding what design style makes you happy, reach out for help.  Funt recommends, “you call up any designer and ask them to do you a favor, to give you a flat rate for organizing you and giving you some direction and resources.” She also recommends that you look at magazines, and once you find a picture with a room that you like, don’t hesitate to rip it out. The feeling you get from the picture in the magazine can be easily replicated in your space.

4.) Compromise with Your Significant Other to Find Style Harmony

Dyner advocates two ways for how one can learn to share and compromise their interior design choices with the one they love. “Sometimes he gets to pick the elements in one room and she gets to pick elements in the other,” says Dyner.  “Or, you can compromise item by item – ‘okay, you got to choose the bedding, so I get to choose the sofa!’ ” If you are shopping for new items with contradicting styles then find a common ground.

Dyner has found “a nice happy medium” to couples with dissenting styles is often “an Asian aesthetic.” Whether your style be more contemporary and your partner’s is more traditional, Dyner believes that an, “Asian feel fits in with both aesthetics and can satisfy both parties.” It can be tricky making style choices alone and twice as complicated with another person. It is key to remember that you both will live in this space and the end goal is a warm and comfortable living environment for you and your significant other. 

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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