Oakland, Calif., interior designer Sheri Sheridan says the most important areas in a house are the entryway and the living and dining rooms. “These are your entertaining spaces, and they should be celebrated every day.” Each needs something big and bold, so the room feels substantial. “You want to add something tall to support flow and draw the eye up, making the ceiling seem higher,” Sheridan says. Note her Greek column in the corner.
Invest in furniture that will withstand the test of time; its basic shapes and colors serve as decorating cornerstones. In Sheridan’s house, design icons like a Saarinen dining table, a modern sofa, bubble lamps, and an acrylic coffee table balance her colorful, eclectic accessories.