3 Big Box Secrets from Top Interior Designers


In the majority of the interiors we feature, the furnishings and fixtures are exquisitely crafted, limited-edition or one-of-a-kind items–but not always. There are at least two reasons to use off-the-shelf items from mass-market retailers: They are readily available and they don’t bust the budget. We asked some of our favorite designers to share their own little big-box secrets.

Tip:  A great accessory can arrive in sheep’s clothing.
Designer: Tamara K. Honey, House of Honey, LA
My Secret: RENS Sheepskin Rug, IKEA
Price: $30
Why: “I’m obsessed with this rug and use one in almost every project,” says Honey. “I drape one on a chair or a sofa for an unexpected pop or an extra layer of comfort and depth–it’s also an easy way to hide wear and stains.”

Tip: A table that fades into the woodwork can still be a star.
Designer: Melissa Warner, Massucco Warner Miller, SF & LA
My Secret: Peekaboo Clear Nesting Tables, CB2
Price: $199
Why: “I can’t get enough of these lucite nesting tables!” says Warner. “They don’t take up much visual space, so they work especially well in tight spots. The fact that you can configure the distance between each table to suit your needs gives ton of flexibility.”


Tip: An unassuming floor covering provides a firm foundation.
Designer: Grant K. Gibson, Grant K. Gibston Interior Design Inc., SF & NY
My Secret: Flat-Braided Jute Rug, Pottery Barn
Price: $39-$499
Why: “I love the texture that jute adds to a room. If clients have kids or dogs (and 90 percent of mine do) it makes sense to use an inexpensive rug. If something happens to it, you just replace it!” says Gibson.


More news: