Home decorating has the power to influence our personal world, by creating an atmosphere that uplifts, comforts, and inspires us every day. Whether you prefer contemporary, modern decor or shabby chic, traditional styles, interior designers can help you design the space of your dreams (no matter what your budget may be).

To help us learn the insiders’ secrets to home decorating, today’s edition of “Interior Inspirations” features home decorating tips from acclaimed interior designer – Dorothy Willetts of Willetts Design & Associates in Southern California.

Start with a childhood raised among English antiques, add a rigorous training with one of the most famous interior designers in America, and mix in a quirky streak that re-imagines breathtaking landscapes with a classical twist, and you’ve got award-winning interior design artist.  Currently based in the Coachella Valley with A-list clientele, Dorothy Willetts integrates fine art, nature, and comfort as her designs evoke a classy lifestyle that is both awesomely inspiring and refreshingly approachable.

Interior Inspirations: Home Decorating Tips From Interior Designer Dorothy Willetts

Since she regularly works with home owners (including celebrity clients) to help them design a private sanctuary that enables them to have a beautiful personal space to live, enjoy, and entertain in, Dorothy’s mission is to “shape the place where… clients’ aspirations come to life. And in so doing, their homes embrace and protect, complement and enrich their day to day experience.”

In addition to being an active member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Dorothy earned a BA in Fine Art and a BFA in Interior Architecture from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also is a protégée of the world renowned interior designer, Bruce Gregga. Having received numerous awards and accolades, her primary focus is on serving the needs of her loyal clients, which primarily consists of custom residences, in addition to commercial projects.

Home Decorating Tips from Interior Designer Dorothy Willetts

We recently did a Q&A session with Dorothy, to find out what motivates and inspires her, and learn some of her expert tips on home decorating (on a budget).

CLP: How would you describe your design aesthetic? What makes your style different than other interior designers? 

DW: I love to mix styles. Well curated but eclectic: I  like Asian antiques, Early American and Biedermiere pieces mixed with some post modern accents and modern art. Additionally I am formally trained so not only do I have an innate design ability, but the training to back it up.

CLP: Has working in Southern California influenced your design aesthetic? If so, how?

The indoor outdoor lifestyle almost forces design to be more more relaxed and less structured than the Midwest or East Coast aesthetics.

Interior Inspirations: Home Decorating Tips From Interior Designer Dorothy Willetts

CLP: What have been some of your most memorable moments in your career? 

DW: I was just out of school when I started working for noted interior designer Bruce Gregga so there were a lot of learning moments. One time I walked into a client’s living room to come face to face with a Picasso. I was so taken aback that I didn’t realize I hadn’t removed my shoes and was standing on her antique carpet with my shoes still on. She politely asked me to remove them at once!

Interior Inspirations: Home Decorating Tips From Interior Designer Dorothy Willetts

CLP: If you only had $1000 to update your home, where would you shop for fab finds that add glamour and luxury (without costing a fortune)? What are the must-have items any home should have?

Dw: Actually if I only had a $1000. I would repaint the house! It’s the most cost effective way to give your rooms a new look!

CLP: What are a few design trends this year that you love? How would you recommend people incorporate these trends into their homes, without dating their homes?

DW: Mixing finishes and metals is a trend that I like.  But I think all trends are cyclical and the key is to not take any of them too far.

Interior Inspirations: Home Decorating Tips From Interior Designer Dorothy Willetts

CLP: When it comes to designing a space, where do you find your inspiration? 

DW: I find a lot of inspiration from nature.  A plant, a leaf color or a flower can get a whole house design started for me.

CLP: If you were giving advice to a aspiring interior designer, what steps would you tell her to take to help her become successful? 

DW: Remain true to your aesthetic. Get a good education that includes design and business.

For more great home decorating tips and ideas, visit the Home Decorating section on Inspirations & Celebrations.

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[Images c/o Willetts Design & Associates. This is not a sponsored post.]

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