25 Tips on Designing Jaw-Dropping Interior Spaces

We’re suckers for interesting interiors. Which is why we were so excited for this opportunity to partner with Jill Geisdorf of Chic on the Cheap, whose mission is to “create sophisticated and impactful designs for clients at various price points by using creative and strategic elements''. Jill and other Chic on the Cheap designers boast a unique ability to balance interesting visuals with functional features. Paired with a fervent pursuit of a personal touch, it’s no surprise that some seriously stand-out designs are born. So without further ado, here are Jill’s 25 Tips to Designing Jaw-Dropping Interior Spaces, to help you create personal, functional and memorable interior spaces of your own. 

1. Use glass or mirrored accents to reflect light in windowless spaces, like designer Amanda of Chic on the Cheap did with this wet bar, creating an intentional destination out of what was previously a pass-through space. 

2. Use drapes to conceal utility closets, and consider a pivot door to create a grand entrance, like Jill did here in this Ritz Carlton residence entry foyer.

3. Framed TVs are a great addition to multi-purpose living areas, which provide the dual function of aesthetics and utility, allowing you to enhance your space with the art and photography of your choice whenever the television isn’t in use. 

4. Add lights to highlight decor in shelving units, an easy way to draw the eye to your most prized and interesting possessions. 

5. Use luxurious upholstery and functional features like Docking Drawer in-drawer outlets to transform unused space like this one (previously slated to be a wet bar) into a purposeful place to relax and recharge

6. Look for functional off-the-shelf elements, like these pedestal file drawers, that work in harmony with your custom desk or cabinetry. In this instance, Jill and Holly of Chic on the Cheap had custom pedestal file drawers priced, which came in at “a small fortune due to the horizontal wood design”. So these off-the-shelf solutions were a good way to save while still striking the perfect balance of aesthetics and functionality in this home office design.

7. Add a whimsical accent by including your hobbies when designing secondary spaces. This is Jill’s own laundry room boasting fish wallpaper, a personal and playful touch to represent her family’s love of fishing.

8. Including a dramatic headboard is a simple way to add something... well, dramatic... to a primary, kids, or guest bedroom. 

9. Maximize small kitchen and dining spaces by utilizing a bench seat against a wall, instead of four chairs positioned around a dining table. This eliminates the need for extra space to move chairs in and out.

10. Work your profession into the mix. Jill and Tori designed this powder room with “word” tile to represent the client’s job as a host of NPR’s “Says You” game show.

11. Add a fabulous, dramatic mirror. We love everything about the funky contrast this mirror brings into the guest bath!

12. Add some personality to the room by displaying your collectibles with open shelves that are sized just right for your space.

13. Add patterned floor tile, and tie it in by painting the beadboard (black, in this case) to match.

14. Consider a patterned backsplash, like this cement tile. Remove the standard countertop backsplash so that the tile goes all the way to the countertop for a custom look.

15. Keep it neutral to put the focus on the view. Tip: Include Docking Drawer in-drawer outlets into custom TV consoles like this to keep bluetooth speakers, gaming systems and other devices connected while remaining out of sight, an important consideration to achieve the same result. 

16. Continue wood flooring up the wall for a warm and consistent look. Add some character by including a cut out custom-sized to fit a special piece of art.

17. Build in some brilliance! Have a bed wall designed with custom shelving. The sides of these cabinets open up to face the bed, doubling as nightstands with a place to display your clock (yes, a regular old clock!). The base cabinet drawer is complete with a Docking Drawer Blade series outlet, adding a concealed charging station to connect phones, tablets and other devices out of sight, overnight. 

18. Find a fabric you love and use it as a jumping-off point for your design. In this case, Jill picked a fun fabric for a lumbar pillow and commissioned an Australian artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art using these same colors. Simple, yet dramatic.

19. Use basic panel molding to dress a large wall without breaking the bank, so you can splurge on other elements like this custom-width console. 

20. Don’t skimp on detail. “I like a lot of things in this room: the detail on the back of the DWR sofa, the marble on the fireplace, the beams in the ceiling, the dramatic Thayer Coggin chairs, the original tile above the fireplace that created the blue and yellow color palette”, says Jill.

21. Add wallpaper to a small bathroom and paint the ceiling a softer version of color from the paper. This is the iconic Beverly Hill’s Banana Leaf paper, which we love.

22. Paint your existing cabinets a rich taupe color to allow a quartzite countertop or backsplash to shine. (Clutter free countertops courtesy of a Docking Drawer charging station.)

23. Adding wallpaper with the same saturation level as your wood stain and countertop is a simple way to add impact without breaking the bank. For this project, Jill’s team also changed the wall sconces to tie in the wallpaper’s tropical vibe.

24. Tile beyond the shower for a lux bathroom look. These large-format marbled porcelain tiles add an extra layer of elegance to this already-fabulous space.

25. Enclose a den or work area in an open floor plan with glass to create privacy without cutting off the spacious feel with walls.

And that’s a wrap! While this party has come to an end, there’s still far more design inspo to be found by following @chic.on.the.cheap on Instagram, and don’t forget to give us a follow too (@dockingdrawer) for more content like this.

About the Designer

Jill Geisdorf is the Senior Interior Designer at Chic on the Cheap. She takes a collaborative and individual approach to projects and focuses on balancing form and function. She is known for creative space planning and making spaces that are simultaneously warm and crisp. She encourages her clients to find their voice by keeping an open mind and stepping outside of their comfort zones.