Interior Design Strategies to Help Every Room Feel Beautiful

From focal points to décor, Maestri Studio takes you behind the design decisions of this beautiful lakeside home.

Written by:Diane Conrad
Photographed by:Nathan Schroder
A Rose Bay and White Cliff quartz kitchen

Cambria designs shown: Rose Bay™ and White Cliff™

The team at Dallas-based Maestri Studio knows a thing or two about managing a major remodel. The turnkey architecture and design firm led by architect Eddie Maestri handles projects all over the country, including every step of the process from the first design drawings to the final pillow fluff. But the renovation of this suburban Dallas home featured in the 26th issue of Cambria Style was extensive even by Maestri’s standards, according to its Director of Interior Design, Katie Paulsen. The successful transformation relied on a few important strategies to help every room feel beautiful and—just as important—make the most of the home’s lakeside setting.

Strive for open, flowing, indoor-outdoor living spaces. This isn’t a new design strategy, but it’s one that can change the way an older home feels, making it better suited to casual modern lifestyles.

Focus on beautiful focal points. Those focal points need not be inside the house. In this project, the designers kept drawing attention to the lake. “We enlarged the windows so they’re almost floor-to-ceiling and some of them wrap around corners,” says Paulsen. Then, the team took care not to block the views they’d just created. “We avoided any heavy window treatments. You can hang a pretty sheer, or panels you can raise and lower, but you want to be able to see out most of the time when you have a great view,” she says.

Orient key furniture pieces toward focal points. In this case, the living room sofa, for example, is situated so you can sit and look right out at the lake. Other common focal points can be a television, artwork, or a fireplace hearth. Keep in mind that arranging furniture to accommodate multiple focal points can throw off the flow and cohesion of a space.

Avoid decorating clichés. In this project, Maestri Studio brought in some traditional cottage and beach house touches—like the white oak cabinetry and a blue range that references the water outside—but balanced them with bold strokes of black for contrast. Paulsen says, “The Cambria Rose Bay countertop is a great example of that—it’s very natural looking, but it’s also dramatic and has a lot of movement, so it looks fresh and original.”

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