A few years ago, as I was chatting with Denver-based interior designer Nadia Watts, I floated an idea to her on a whim: “I’m thinking of painting my dining room navy blue.” Nadia (whose knack for style is on display in Simply Charming) tilted her head, smiled, and said, “No, I think you should use grasscloth.”

She was right. The handsome textural wallpaper was exactly what the room needed: prettier (and fancier) than mere paint for the room where we celebrate holidays and birthdays and—more often—tackle jigsaw puzzles or homework projects with our kids. It elevates the room without upstaging or distracting from the real life that happens in it.

If you wish you could have your own serendipitous chat with a local pro before you hang curtains, create a home office, or refresh your kitchen with brightly colored cabinets , you’re in luck: We’ve packed this issue with ideas and tricks from Denver designers about all of these things and more. (How do you update your bungalow’s master bath but keep its historic charm?)

And while I’m all for handy tips that solve small design dilemmas, the truth is that interior designers do much more than tell you how to choose the right statement chandelier. They improve your home’s function, save you from costly mistakes, help you design a space that brings you joy, and encourage you to create—and appreciate—beauty all around you. And that’s the best tip of all.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home October/November 2017.
Hilary Masell Oswald
Hilary Masell Oswald
As the former editor for two of 5280’s ancillary publications, Hilary Masell Oswald split her time between the vibrant design-and-architecture scene in the metro area for 5280 Home and the always-changing field of health for the annual 5280 Health.