Interior Design Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old interior design quotes, interior design sayings, and interior design proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

Decorating is not about making stage sets, it's not about making pretty pictures for the magazines, it's really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.     

Albert Hadley

An interior designer must be able to clarify his intent keeping ever in mind that decorating is not a look, it's a point of view.     

Albert Hadley

Understanding the person or people living in a home is a far greater need in design than focusing purely on the aesthetics. The home is designed around emotional needs.     

Amanda Talbot

She well knew the great architectural secret of decorating her constructions, and never condescended to construct a decoration.     

Anthony Trollope

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.     

Aristotle

Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.     

Arthur Erickson

Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.     

Billy Baldwin

A design isn't finished until someone is using it.     

Brenda Laurel

Details are not details; they make the product.     

Charles Eames

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.     

Charles M. Schulz

Decorating is like music. Harmony is what we constantly strive for. At home, we want a peaceful atmosphere where the objects are the notes and nothing is off-key.     

Charlotte Moss

Have you ever noticed how some rooms exude a certain energy, warmth, and a harmony of spirit? If you have, then you have experienced the language of the home. A language softly spoken, and universally understood.     

Charlotte Moss

Design should never say, "Look at me!" It should always say, "Look at this!     

David Craib

I'll always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk.     

Dorothy Draper

It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room, as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress.     

Dorothy Draper

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.     

Dorothy May Kinnicutt

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

Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.     

Eliel Saarinen

There never has been a house so bad that it couldn’t be made over into something worthwhile.     

Elsie de Wolfe

It is the personality of the mistress that the house expresses. Men are forever guests in our homes, no matter how much happiness they may find there.     

Elsie de Wolfe

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.     

Frank Gehry

Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.     

Frank Lloyd Wright

The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.     

Frank Lloyd Wright

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.     

Henry David Thoreau

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.     

Jeffrey Zeldman

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.     

Joe Sparano

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

Juan Montoya

Home is the nicest word there is.     

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The home should be the treasure chest of living.     

Le Corbusier

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.     

Leonardo da Vinci

A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.     

Louis Kahn

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.     

Marie Kondo

Real comfort, visual and physical, is vital to every room.     

Mark Hampton

The life of a designer is one of fight: fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.     

Massimo Vignelli

I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That's art to me.     

Maya Lin

Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.     

Nate Berkus

As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.     

Norman Foster

One of the great beauties of architecture is that each time, it is like life starting all over again.     

Renzo Piano

For me, design is like choosing what I'm going to wear for the day – only much more complicated and not really the same at all.     

Robynne Raye

Have no fear of perfection You’ll never reach it.     

Salvador Dali

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.     

Steve Jobs

Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up.     

Tate Linden

Our opportunity, as designers, is to learn how to handle the complexity, rather than shy away from it, and to realize that the big art of design is to make complicated things simple.     

Tim Parsey

Interiors speak! Rooms emphasize whether one exists or lives, and there is a great difference between the two!     

Van Day Truex

The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.     

Verner Panton

Curiosity about life in all its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.     

Leo Burnett

For such an art nothing patchy or scrappy, or half-starved, should be done: There is no excuse for doing anything which is not strikingly beautiful.     

William Morris

Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea.     

Yoshio Taniguchi

Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space... On the one hand it's about shelter, but it's also about pleasure.     

Zaha Hadid

To create an interior, the designer must develop an overall concept and stick to it.     

Albert Hadley

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.     

Steve Jobs

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

Andre Putman

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

No pattern should be without some sort of meaning.     

William Morris

I am going to make everything around me beautiful, that will be my life.     

Elsie de Wolfe

One should never be the oldest thing in one's house.     

Patsy Stone

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.     

Scott Adams

Fashion and interior design are one and the same.     

Iris Apfel

We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.     

Winston Churchill

Design is defined by light and shade, and appropriate lighting is enormously important.     

Albert Hadley

Interior design is a business of trust.     

Venus Williams

Interior decoration partly thrives on being social.     

Nicholas Haslam

Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.     

Charles Eames

The details are not the details, they make the design.     

Charles Eames

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

You can never judge a paint hue by the liquid color in the paint pot. You must apply it to a wall, wait for the paint to dry, then decide.     

Dorothy Draper