Interior Designer for a-Listers Shares What She Won’t Have in Her Home

  • Celebrity interior designer Brigette Romanek shared the seven things she’d never have in her home.
  • The designer said short curtains can make a space feel sterile.
  • Romanek also recommended staying away from bright lighting, vinyl flooring, and white refrigerators.

Celebrity interior designer Brigette Romanek – founder of Romanek Design Studio – has helped A-listers like Beyoncé, Joe Jonas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Demi Moore design their homes. 

Given her many years of experience curating inviting spaces, Insider asked Romanek about the personal design choices she makes. Here are the seven things she’d never keep in her own home. 

Short curtains can make a space look and feel sterile

A modern living room with long curtains. Two accent chairs face each other with a small table and rug in the middle. There are flowers on the table.

Brigette Romanek recommends using long curtains to make a space more inviting.

New Africa/Shutterstock

According to the designer, short curtains can make a space look and feel like a sterile hospital room.

“I like drapes that pool on the floor, just kiss the floor, or gently caress the floor,” Romanek told Insider. 

Paper guest towels with busy designs or bright colors can look unnatural 

Romanek said she typically avoids placing paper guest towels with patterns or bright colors in the bathroom. 

“They don’t feel natural to me, and I think details like these are where design may have gone too far,” she said. 

Instead, she recommended choosing disposable towels with a natural hue.  

Bright or harsh lighting can ruin the mood of a space

A kitchen with bright, overhead lighting. There are three barstools at the white center island. The floor and backsplash are wood and the cabinets are white.

The designer avoids using bright, overhead lighting.

David Papazian/Shutterstock

Romanek said she avoids lighting that’s too bright or harsh, as it can greatly impact the mood of the space. To avoid this, it’s essential to find the right balance of soft lights.

“I like to use lighting that emits a low light, such as that from sconces or lamps,” Romanek told Insider. “Sometimes I’ll embrace neon to add some color.” 

The designer doesn’t keep sateen fabrics in her home

According to Romanek, sateen, a cotton fabric with a glossy shine, is the antithesis of understated elegance. Instead, she suggests opting for silks and velvets to create a more luxe look. 

Silks and velvets “are a more elegant alternative that provide a luxurious feel and look through their texture and colors,” she told Insider.

You won’t find vinyl flooring in Romanek’s home

Vinyl flooring in a kitchen. On the left, the cabinets are black. On the right, the cabinets are white. A large window takes up the back wall.

You won’t find vinyl flooring in the designer’s home.


Instead of vinyl flooring, Romanek said, try to choose a more natural material. 

“I like reclaimed wood and stone for that natural, organic feeling throughout a home,” she said. “If wood is already installed, I’ll refinish the original floors.”

Shag rugs are a thing of the past

A bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows. A beige shag carpet is laid over hardwood floors. The king bed on the left has white sheets and a tan blanket

Thick, shag rugs are a tired trend.


According to Romanek, it’s time to move on from the shag-rug trend.

“I like rugs to be comfortable underfoot,” she said. “I gravitate towards silky, wool, and rattan rugs.”

A white fridge can look dated and uninspired

A white kitchen with a white refrigerator, bright lighting

A white refrigerator can make any kitchen look dated.


One thing you won’t find in Romanek’s kitchen is a white fridge. 

“It reminds me of my grandmother’s house,” she told Insider. “Though I love my grandmother and hold her house dear, it doesn’t inspire me.” 

She pointed out that functional items can still be beautiful and recommended a panel-ready refrigerator, which allows you to install a custom panel over the doors for a seamless blend with your cabinets. 

Click to keep reading other things interior designers say they would (or would never) have in their own space.

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