101 Interior Design Quotes

Quotes can be an incredible source of motivation, especially when it comes to interior design.

These interior design quotes from designers and leaders both past and present are a source of inspiration, guidance and knowledge for experienced designers and newbies alike.

Sourced from interviews, books, blog posts, news articles and more.

These wise interior design quotes from some of history’s most influential architects and interior designers, including Albert Hadley, Bunny Williams, and Zaha Hadid, are sure to inspire you.


“Good design doesn’t date.” – Harry Seidler

interior design quote

“Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” – Constantin Brancusi

interior design quote

“A room is not a room without natural light.” – Louis Kahn

“We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.” – Winston Churchill

interior design quote

“The door handle is the handshake of the building.” – Juhani Pallasmaa

“The home should be the treasure chest of living.” – Le Corbusier

“No pattern should be without some sort of meaning.” – William Morris

“Interior decoration partly thrives on being social.” – Nicholas Haslam

“One should never be the oldest thing in one’s house.” – Patsy Stone

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames

“Real comfort, visual and physical, is vital to every room.” – Mark Hampton

“I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk.” – Dorothy Draper

“Dare to be different and unique but make sure you answer the brief ” – @amiconsulting

“Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves.” – Julia Morgan

“Being identifiably ‘something’ will help you stand out from the crowd. ” – @RunForTheHillls

“Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs one antique piece.” – Jan Showers

“I’d say the most important advice would be to network, network, network. ” – @chapter7design

“The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.” – David Hicks

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful—that will be my life.” – Elsie De Wolfe

“Be patient and positive. These things take time and do not happen overnight. ” – @noushkadesign

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” – Frank Gehry

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

“Most importunely enjoy it and welcome to this fabulous world of interior design ” – @Twist_Interiors

“Underneath all I design lies the solid belief that beauty is a positive force.” – Barbara Barry

“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There is begins.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Good buildings come from good people and all problems are solved by good design.” – Stephen Gardiner

“If your client doesn’t already know they’re style be the one to help them find it ” – @atominteriors”

“Chandeliers are the marvels of drop-dead showiness, the jewelry of architecture.” – Peter York

“Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” – Billy Baldwin

“To create an interior, the designer must develop an overall concept and stick to it.” – Albert Hadley

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

“A house is much more than a mere shelter—it should lift us emotionally and spiritually.” – John Saldino

“Architecture is the learned game correct and magnificent of forms assembled in the light.” – Le Corbusier

“Design is defined by light and shade, and appropriate lighting is enormously important. ” – Albert Hadley

“With plenty of self belief, ambition and hard work you can turn your passion into a career.” – @bhavintdesign

“Listen to the building and the project rather than impose a specific style and design to it ” – @AzouInteriors

“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space.” – Zaha Hadid

“There are two things that make a room timeless: a sense of history and a piece of the future.” – Charlotte Moss

“My advice to new interior designers would be to have confidence in your ability and your vision ” – @mrs__w

“Whether spare or elaborate, harmonious moldings are the mark of a successful classical interior.” – Peter Pennoyer

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.” – Charles Eames

“A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy.” – Juan Montoya

“Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting often belongs only in museums.” – Milo Baughman

“Another word for minimalism is ‘elegance.’ Elegance is beautifully resolving an issue with minimal means.” – Tom Kundig

“True modernism always appears effortless but can only truly be achieved by exercising the utmost discipline.” – Waldo Fernandez

“When you’re building a room, you’re building character, and character is the strength and wisdom of a home.” – Rose Tarlow

“The principle of the design – the harmony, rhythm and balance are all the same with interior design.” – Venus Williams

“I like an interior that defies labeling. I don’t really want someone to walk into a room and know that I did it.” – Bunny Williams

“Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“All rooms ought to look as if they were lived in, and to have so to say, a friendly welcome ready for the incomer.” – William Morris

“For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another.” – Andrée Putman

“Don’t undersell yourself – you have worked hard for your qualifications, your clients have come to you for those skills ” – @reynedesign

“Design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster

“The key to being successful is being really practical and totally understanding how your clients live and what their needs are” – @Urban_Grain

“A modernist seeks rigor and honesty beyond ‘form follows function,’ creating spaces that transcend enclosure and become an art form.” – Lee F. Mindel

“Tonal and subtle color combinations allow us to mix furniture and pieces from different eras together to create a cohesive narrative.” – Rafael de Cárdenas

“There is a real sense of perfection of scale in the neoclassical period. When mastered, it becomes easy to adapt to any kind of style.” – Jean-Louis Deniot

“It has to be a subtle, un-strident mix, and the key, of course, is getting the personality of both house and those living in it right.” – Nicky Haslam

“Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting.” – Sister Parish

“Classicism is about remembering instead of forgetting. I’m interested in making the old new and seeing what is modern in historical things.” – Thomas O’Brien

“Get paid for your time and for your work, otherwise you will be pursuing an expensive hobby rather than a professional interior design career. ” – @adriennechinn

“Minimalism is designing to allow the art, the books, the view, the people—whatever matters most to the inhabitant—to be the soul of the space.” – Deborah Berke

“Learn to look not just with your eyes but with your heart. Find the things that connect with you. How else will you know how to design your home?” – Kelly Hoppen

“Listening to a client when taking a brief is one of the most important skills you can have as an interior designer and one that is often over-looked” – @myintdesign

“The best traditional houses are anchored by a low-key sophistication—elegance and refinement balanced by understatement and an abundance of comfort.” – Gil Schafer

“Rawness and refinement are not opposite ends of a luxurious spectrum. They are two complementary features with which to populate a luxe environment.” – Kelly Weartsler

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

“Luxury is when it seems flawless, when you reach the right balance between all elements. Understated theatricality – that is what my luxury is all about.” – Jean-Louis Deniot

“Don’t be tempted just to pick any job, really go with what feels right in the aesthetic as you need to create beautiful things that you love and relate to. ” – @osborninteriors

“I want to create a place, like a little island, where you can have all your things around you and be comfortable and read a book and even sleep overnight.” – Patricia Urquiola

“Design is coming to grips with one’s real lifestyle, one’s real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one’s wellbeing.” – Albert Hadley

“Classicism is not to say it is staid—quite the contrary, as it is rooted in the classic elements that write the rules and then allow you to reinterpret them.” – Brian McCarthy

“You create your own decoration. You choose your color, you choose your mood…. If you are depressed, you put some bright yellow and suddenly you are happy.” – Phillip Starck

“Chairs are uniquely the best expression of design. They encompass more of the challenges by which I live and work than any other single component of furniture.” – Vladimir Kagan

“We often think of the principal responsibility of a modern interior, particularly one in a project with a beautiful site or a great view, as staying out of the way” – Steven Harris

“It’s the antithesis of ‘decor’ and the opposite of ‘designed.’ It’s full of personality and comfort. It’s collecting and layering to create a style entirely one’s own.” – Roman Alonso

“A designer has a duty to create timeless design. To be timeless you have to think really far into the future, not next year, not in two years but in 20 years minimum.” – Phillip Starck

“Designers and people in general are too attracted by ‘new’, but nothing ages more quickly than ‘newness’. All my objects reflect [a] marriage between past and present.” – Marcel Wanders

“In modernism there’s a certain openness, transparency, and relationship to context, how it deals with the pragmatics of the situation—all of these things are part of it.” – Richard Meier

“Integrating reclaimed materials into the architecture—among them, wood or stone flooring, rough-hewn beams, and parged walls—creates a very engaging and tactile environment.” – Darryl Carter

“We’ve found that bringing back objects from travels can add an almost totemic resonance to a space, invoking a different perspective and recalling that nomadic state of mind” – Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch

“Yves Saint Laurent’s fantastically eclectic rue de Babylone residence inspires me for all those überchic clients of ours today who follow their own paths and make their own rules” – Jamie Drake

“An iconoclast has vision. They mix things up and make you see things in a fresh way. They also often have a wicked sense of humor, which makes them so fun to sit next to at dinner.” – Miles Redd

“A combination of texture, soft patinas, warm woods, and old stone mixed with down-filled furniture, graphic textiles, and ceramics creates spaces that are easy, comfortable, and warm.” – Mark Cunningham

“In the case of not obeying the rules of design, something becomes incredibly personal. It becomes your own, and it becomes also something that nobody else shares because it’s your own eye.” – Robert Couturier

“Proper proportions, grounded compositions, and identifiably correct details make me feel rooted in time, place, and culture, but they also free me up to dive into decorative flights of fancy.” – Alexa Hampton

“To design for a globe-trotting client is always an exciting adventure. I love to use vintage ikats from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. And exotic tiles always add an air of fantasy to a space.” – Martyn Lawrence Bullard

“Minimalist design is deceptively complicated. Those clean lines and unbroken planes don’t come easily. Cornices, moldings, trim, and the like were invented to hide construction imperfections.” – Russell S. Groves

“I think my unrelenting drive for order is what makes me a modernist. It’s about creating an atmosphere with an economy of means and allowing anything extra or unnecessary to fall by the wayside.” – Thad Hayes

“Ultimately it’s about working with clients so they are comfortable and excited about all the new changes that are going to happen in their home and with trades to ensure the project is delivered! ” – @fbainteriors

“Furniture is needed for practical reasons, and because it must be there, it may as well be as pleasant as possible to look at, and in a less definable psychological way, comforting to the spirit.” – Edward J Wormley

“What is quality? Quality design must have a sense of authenticity. My work is not cutting edge, it is not supposed to be, but sometimes, the middle of the road is the most dangerous place to walk.” – David Collins

“Being an iconoclast is a state of mind and heart. It’s having a free spirit, finding inspiration everywhere, and not minding rules. It’s appreciating the raw and natural, finding beauty in anomalies.” – Kelly Wearstler

“The here and now defines modernity—being present in the moment while equally aware of past experiences and the likely future, thus able to synthesize this knowledge into a coherent and inimitable design.” – Alan Wanzenberg

“I like to try to achieve a calm serenity in my work. I want to create interiors that allow furniture, art, and, of course, architecture space to breathe—but there must always be a warmth in the atmosphere.” – Rose Uniacke

“Minimalists can answer the what, where, and why for everything they own. It’s designing to allow the art, the books, the view, the people—whatever matters most to the inhabitant—to be the soul of the space.” – Deborah Berke

“From the primitive crafts I discover to the changing colors of the sand dunes of Namibia as the day progresses, the constant awareness while traveling brings more depth and a broader color palette to design.” – Vicente Wolf

“Get to understand and know the market you are trying to build your business in and above all listen to your clients as it is important to create a scheme that suits them not you but have a little bit of you in it too… ” – @SassyProperty

“I love creating rooms that are layered, cozy, and familiar—filled with deep overstuffed sofas, venerable brown furniture, a friendly mix of patterns, colors, collections, and paintings, and carpets that look better with age.” – Richard Keith Langham

“To be a modernist is a way of living, and how one approaches life. It’s not just about having the latest design from Milan, because if you know what you’re doing you can have an antique piece that feels very modern in an environment.” – Steven Volpe

“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what’s in or what’s out. This is not an easy job.” – Albert Hadley

“First and foremost, travel to exotic places informs me as a designer as to pattern, color, and texture usually expressed in local crafts. It’s wonderful to work with the traditional artisans to produce a design element, then use it in a modern way.” – Richard Mishaan

“The basis of being a modernist and designing for one is clarity. Achieving the latter requires distilling an idea to its elements, and then carefully calibrating proportion, light, and materiality to most honestly reflect the way the client wants to live.” – Ron Radziner

“Nothing adds soul to a space like a distinctive wall covering. It envelops the room in such unique spirit. Designs that may read as too loud in larger quantities are a great choice to accentuate in moderation, such as on a ceiling or one wall. In smaller doses, they evoke just the right amount of drama.” – Kelly Weartsler

Woah. And there we have it. Over 100 incredible interior design quotes. Which ones are your favourites?

interior design quotes

Want to read about the best interior design trends? Read our article on everything you need to know about Scandinavian Interior Design.

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