3 Designers On What They Love Most About Their Own Homes

A bright and eclectic living room with teal walls and lots of artwork.

Jarret Yoshida

We all have something we love about our homes—whether it’s a particular room in the house, a quirky feature, or even a favorite piece of furniture or technology that makes life so much easier for you.

We spoke to three interior designers to find out what they love most about their own homes, but rather than focusing on the design of their homes, all three had more to say about how their homes make them feel. Here’s what three interior designers had to say about their favorite part of their home.

Meet the Expert

The Garden

For interior designer Jen Dallas from Jen Dallas Interiors, her favorite part of her LA-based home is her quiet and tranquil garden. For Dallas, her garden is more than just a place to grab some fresh air and grow a few plants; it’s a break from the chaos of everyday life.

“I like to call it a secret garden as I live in the hustle and bustle of LA but my garden is surrounded by 20 feet hedges on all sides, [which] helps to create a more intimate space,” she says. 

Dallas designed the space with functionality in mind too, breaking her garden into multiple gathering spaces so she can easily host dinner guests or spend a comfortable night by the fire. On cooler nights, the fire pit with a couch and lounge chairs is ideal for roasting marshmallows, while the dining area with a small fountain is perfect for hosting dinner parties, she says.

“On warm California evenings I can hear the fountain from inside my house,” she says.

In addition to the lounge and dining areas, Dallas left plenty of space for plants and trees to thrive. Herbs, tomatoes, flowers, and fruit trees like lemon, key lime, and kumquat can all be found growing happily in her space.

“The thing I love most about my garden is how comfortable it is and how I feel transported to a different world when I am there,” she says.

The Historic Moldings 

Interior designer Jarret Yoshida from Jarret Yoshida Interior Design says his favorite part of his iconic Brooklyn brownstone is its historic traditional moldings. When he and his partner first bought the 160-year-old brownstone it was in rough shape, to say the least. It had been vacant for many years, didn’t have front doors, and mother nature had done quite a number on it.

It also came with over 40 stray cats (many of which were lovingly cared for and adopted out by the new homeowners over the years)—which, Yoshida says, just added to its charm. Under its rough exterior, the intricate details and historic architecture weren’t lost on him.

“After years of seeing them (brownstones) in books, magazines, and movies I was finally doing a renovation with gorgeous traditional wood and plaster moldings,” he says. “Multi-level crown moldings with frieze panels and picture rails, newel posts, bolection molding: they became a critical part of my brownstone renovation, transforming it [back] to its original glory.” 

The renovation not only helped Yoshida turn the abandoned brownstone into a home, but the first-hand experience was invaluable in his practice of renovating and restoring brownstones in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“Now, when I visit historic museum homes in the US or European castles, I find myself comparing and contrasting moldings to learn more about how to make my client projects more sophisticated,” Yoshida says. “Contemporary projects, in particular, benefit from using updated traditional elements for an added sense of glamor and gravitas. [These] homes can often look unfinished otherwise and it is the difference very often between low and high design schemes," he says.

Transforming the historic brownstone, coupled with the adventures with the stray cats that came with it, has “helped me appreciate gentle kindness and constant, steady, unequivocal love” Yoshida says.

“When we first bought this 160-plus-year-old abandoned wreck, I was excited about the opportunities ahead to change my house. However, the best part was about how my house changed me," Yoshida says. "As a colleague likes to say, 'great houses teach you something', and apparently it isn’t always about design."

The Nature-Inspired Design

When you spend your days bringing other people’s design dreams to life, coming home to a space that is uniquely your own becomes invaluable. For interior designer and strategist Chelsey Preuss from Chelsey Home, her favorite part of her home is how calming and inspiring it is.

“Nature has, and always will be, so grounding to me which is why I incorporated many aspects, textures, and hues found in the outside world into the design,” she says.

Desert landscapes in particular, with their warm colors and striking native plants, are Preuss's primary inspiration. So what does this look like in her home? Think warm tones, natural materials, and lots of greenery. “My home is filled with various houseplants, warm woods, and warm colors,” Preuss says.

She also likes to incorporate some vintage pieces into her decor to help complement the midcentury architecture of her home.