Celebrity interior designer reveals home décor mistakes you’re making

  • Brigette Romanek, 49, shared her top interior design ‘don’ts’ with Insider
  • The Los Angeles resident launched her namesake interior design firm in 2018
  • She’d previously embarked on careers in the music and fashion industries

An interior designer whose star-studded clientele roster includes the likes of Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joe Jonas has revealed the seven things she’d never let past the threshold of her residence. 

Brigette Romanek, the 49-year-old founder of Romanek Design Studio, shared her thoughts on the interior design ‘don’ts’ to Insider – while offering her opinion on more sightly alternatives.

Based in Los Angeles, Brigette launched her studio in 2018 after previous stints in other creative fields, including fashion and music. 

Her studio went on to be highlighted in Architectural Digest’s AD 100 four years in a row, beginning in 2019. Here’s what she’d never allow into her home.

Brigette Romanek, 49, launched Romanek Design Studio in 2018 and boasts star-studded clientele including the likes of Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow

Avoid short curtains if you don’t want your room to be ‘sterile’

Brigette expressed to Insider that she believes short curtains make a room feel hospital-like and sterile.

As she explained to Insider, she prefers ‘drapes that pool on the floor, just kiss the floor, or gently caress the floor.’

The question of curtain-length aesthetics was separately floated to House & Garden‘s Dear Fiona column in May 2023.

The advice seeker, looking to cut costs in decorating, wrote in asking if there was ‘anything actually wrong with short curtains.’ 

She pointed out that they seemed functionally identical to long curtains in terms of blocking light. 

Fiona responded that while there’s ‘nothing wrong with short curtains… per se,’ she went on to argue that choosing them over long ones for budgetary purposes would deny the interior ‘the elegance of long curtains.’

She further pointed out that curtains historically began as a status symbol rather than a functional accessory.

‘You’d also be visually cutting the height of rooms in half, to the detriment of proportion,’ Fiona added of electing short over long curtains.

Brigitte has told Insider that she doesn't like the appearance of short curtains - instead preferring curtains that at the very least 'gently caress' the floor

‘Loud’ paper towels or napkins may be design ‘going too far’ 

Another one of Brigette’s ‘icks’? Paper towels or napkins – namely those used for entertaining company – that feature loud patterns and/or overly bright colors.

‘They don’t feel natural to me, and I think details like these are where design may have gone too far,’ she told Insider of her qualm with the disposable product.

She instead put forth that natural-toned paper towels in any guest bathroom were far easier on the eyes. 

Don’t kill the vibe with bright, harsh lighting

It’s no secret that overly bright or generally harsh lighting can kill a good vibe from the get-go.

Brigette laid out her go-to approaches when replacing ugly interior lighting to Insider.

‘I like to use lighting that emits a low light, such as that from sconces or lamp,’ she said. 

‘Sometimes I’ll embrace neon to add some color,’ she added.

It's no secret that overly bright or generally harsh lighting can kill a good vibe from the get-go

Ditch sateen fabrics and opt for silk or velvet for that luxury feel

The interior designer also reportedly has a dislike for sateen – a cotton fabric constructed with a silk weave. 

As far as commercial home décor products go, it’s most commonly used for bedding.

Rather than sateen, Brigette prefers real silk or velvet given how, as she described to Insider, those fabrics provide ‘a more elegant alternative that provide a luxurious feel and look through their texture and colors.’

According to Parachute Home, some of the pros of sateen include its subtle sheen and resistance to wrinkles – while cons include it feeling heavier and thereby prone to trapping heat.

Vinyl flooring is a big ‘don’t,’ try reclaimed wood or stone

Brigette strongly prefers using natural materials over artificial vinyl paneling for floors

Vinyl flooring is another big ‘don’t’ for Brigette. 

‘I like reclaimed wood and stone for that natural, organic feeling throughout a home,’ she told to Insider of her preferred alternative flooring materials.

‘If wood is already installed, I’ll refinish the original floors,’ she added.

While most homeowners would surely prefer the sumptuousness of a natural wood or stone floor, that design direction is rather cost prohibitive.

In contrast to vinyl flooring, which averages from $3 to $5 per square foot according to Forbes, reclaimed wood floors tended to cost at least twice that price range.

Stone flooring, meanwhile, can cost on average up to nearly $50 per square foot, per Forbes

Shag rugs are a no-go – with the interior designer enjoying a floor covering that’s ‘comfortable underfoot’

Ah, the eternally controversy-courting – not to mention dirt-acquiring – shag rug.

For Brigette, the decorating accent is a no-go. 

‘I like rugs to be comfortable underfoot,” she explained to Insider, adding that she prefers ‘silky, wool, and rattan rugs.’

The shag rug first rose to prominence in the 1960s and would fade from mainstream design trends two decades later.

But, as of late, their coziness plus retro appeal have set them up for a comeback, according to Apartment Therapy.

White refrigerators are ‘uninspiring’

The interior designer is also not a fan of white refrigerators in a space

Of white refrigerators, Brigette also admitted to Insider that it’s a pass for her.

‘It reminds me of my grandmother’s house… Though I love my grandmother and hold her house dear, it doesn’t inspire me,’ she said.

She instead recommended ‘panel-ready’ refrigerators.

The interior designer said it meant the superficial paneling could be easily swapped in and out to match the surrounding kitchen décor. 


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