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Decorator Review: Betsy Burnham
Burnham Design

Decorator Review: Betsy Burnham

Betsy Burnham has a reputation as one of the west coast’s most well-known designers. That’s because Burnham isn’t afraid to take chances in her work. With an open mind for each new space she works on, Burnham incorporates modern concepts with high-level polished designs.

Burnham is not a west coast native. She was born in Connecticut, graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College and began her career in fashion in New York. It wasn’t until 1989 that she decided to make the move from east to west to start work with interior décor. It was then that she launched her design firm, “Burnham Design.”

Here are a few tips you can use in your home from this highly influential designer.

Furniture shouldn’t touch your walls.

Many homeowners push their couches flush up against a wall. According to Burnham, that habit can make a space feel a little less welcoming.

In an interview by Freshome, Burnham said, “Never push furniture up against the walls. By pulling your seating arrangement in (even just a few inches) you instantly warm up a space and create flow.” If your room’s layout requires that your sofa sits next to a wall, pull it out just a little bit. You’ll make the room feel more open and more inviting.

Don’t be afraid of some texture.

Burnham is known for creating an “unapologetic mix” of pattern and textures. This blend breathes life into rooms. It adds depth and makes a space feel more like home.

If patterns leave you feeling a little bit antsy about your design, consider this: you don’t have to go overboard. In one home, Burnham added patterns to her lampshades. It was this subtle addition that helped brighten up the room and give it personality. If you’re a fan of bold prints, add patterns on your walls, window coverings, or upholstery.

Let your personality shine.

You have hobbies and interests. Let those come through in your interior décor. For example, if you love to go bike riding, incorporate bike elements into your designs. If you’re passionate about the colors found in a specific part of the world, use those in your blankets and throw pillows.

The goal with any interior design project is to add flair and fun to your space, while still making it feel lived in. Visit Burnham’s website to see her rooms and learn more about her designs.


About Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland is a guest writer for Bestlaminate's Blog and founder of the She has an unnatural obsession with the power of words, which is really cool because she can speak two languages: English and Danish. Her other job titles include wife and dog-walker.

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