The Top Ten Most Famous Interior Designers

The interiors of houses and buildings are just as important as the design and architecture of the structure. And the job is not that simple. You need to maximize the space by utilizing furniture that would enhance the look, flow and movement of the room. Everything from the color and spacing to the flooring and materials should go together and complement each other.

Here is a list of the top ten most famous interior designers in the industry.

10 Frances Adler Elkins

This American interior designer from Milwaukee was responsible for the magnificent interiors of the Yerba Buena Club during the Golden Gate International Exposition, Cypress Point Club clubhouse, the Zellerbach mansion in Broadway and the Casa Amesti in Monterey in California. While her style was futuristic, she managed to complement it with vintage designs. She loved playing up the combination of colors and contemporary furniture. She passed away in 1953, but not before inspiring other popular designers.

9 Elsie de Wolfe

Known for her work on the mansions of rich people like Barrymore, Beckwith, Crocker and Frick, Elsie de Wolfe was a trendsetter who advocated minimalist designs and furniture that could be easily cleaned and maintained.  Though her style was essentially Victorian, she also introduced a lot of innovations. She was able to spice up the Victorian style by using fresh colors, metallic finishing and even animal prints to old 18th century English and French furniture. Examples of her innovations include a foot stool upholstered with leopard skin, comfortable writing tables and chair lounges and the use of potted palms. De Wolfe was also responsible for the interior design of the dormitories in Barnard College in her native New York. She passed away in 1950.

8 Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper did away with staid, common, boring and usual designs and instead introduced modern and contemporary designs to a lot of large public spaces using wild color combinations. She also mixed it in with floral and striped designs and made use of elaborate furniture. It was modern Baroque, with a hint of fun, boldness and mischief, even as she spiced it up with uncommon but refreshing color contrasts.  Some of her more famous works include a restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called The Dorotheum, the Arrowhead Springs Hotel in California, the Hampshire House and the Carlyle, both in New York City, the Camellia House in Drake Hotel in Chicago and the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. International works include the Quitandinah Palace and Casino Resort in Brazil and the Royal Palace of Lithuania. She passed away in 1969.

7 Petra Blaisse

The Dutchwoman is known for her creativity in combining different elements. She was not only good in interior design, but also in architecture, exhibits, landscapes and textiles. She mixed various styles using colors, flexibility, lights and movement to bring fresh graphic effects. Her style reflected a blend of the inside and outside, the landscape and the structure, and culture and nature. The result was a design that is sophisticated, yet functional. All these are reflected in her works, which include the golden curtain at the Nederlands Dans Theater, the curtains and flooring of the Lille Grand Palais in France, the spiral sound curtain in Kunsthal in Rotterdam and the Museumpark, also in Rotterdam.

6 Laura Day


Laura Day is a classic interior designer who plays with furniture, lights and color to achieve a feel of easy sophistication. She stresses the use of natural elements in a design in order to get a clean and comfortable space. Her elegant style allows a design that is not only beautiful, but also functional.  Her works include designing a bar for Skyy Vodka, a table for Home Depot that was used in Diffa’s Dining by Design, and TLC’s Trading Spaces.

5 John Saladino

This American interior designer is a minimalist who advocates comfortable use of space and the use of fashionable and detailed furnishings. He likes manipulating colors by combining new and old hues. Along with the correct geometry, lighting and scale, these colors are utilized to create an emotional impact. His works include the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii in Italy and the huge Palladian mansion in Palm Beach.

4 Juan Montoya

Juan Montoya usually prefers the restoration of old materials rather than the creation of something new. His style is light and lean, inspired by the Scandinavian approach. The workspaces he creates are usually clear and comfortable, yet sophisticated, even as he utilizes a combination of various materials, lighting, colors, texture and climate. Montoya is also an advocate of the environment, practicing green designs with retro furnishings and hard surfaces.

3 Samuel Botero

Samuel Botero is a modernist who employs a wide variety of designs. This is because he prefers to personalize his work based on a client’s need. Thus, the color he utilizes usually reflects the personality of the client. He believes that combining a user’s style and history with his modernist technique will help create a more classic and personal workspace.

2 Geoffrey Bradfield

Geoffrey Bradfield is known for his daring, yet elegant, designs. While he follows modern trends and contemporary art, he makes use of fine antiques even as he stresses the importance of both luxury and comfort in his structures, thus creating a functional opulence. The South African’s works are inspired by art deco, Oriental and African designs. Some of its examples are the Vanderbilt Estate in Long Island, the mansion of the Jordanian king in Maryland, the Equinox Resort in Vermont, and Oliver Stone’s dwelling in New York.

1 Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck is known for his uniqueness and imagination. He loves creating unconventional shapes and objects that will not only be talked about because of its beauty, but also because of its practicality and functionality. He also advocates making use of all the available area as much as possible. His classic works, like the design in Elysee Palace in Paris, are considered environmental and affordable.  He believes that green design concepts can be used even for mass production work.


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