Here at ELLE DECOR we see so many stylish and inspiring rooms, it’s hard to play favorites. But as 2012 comes to an end, we’re asking bloggers, designers, and tastemakers to share the rooms that left a lasting impression this year.
See which rooms they loved, and be sure to share your own picks in the comments, on , or .
"You can pack a lot of punch when using a mixture of materials and finishes, especially when they're unexpected. That's what I love about this kitchen -- the hammered sliver cabinets mixed with heavily-veined, grey-and-white marble, the brass and opaline light fixture, and the wrought-iron window latch. Each element makes a statement while creating a cohesive look. It's nice to see a small, simple space treated with such sophistication."
-Designer and Blogger ,
"Alex Papacristidis's dressing room, featured on the cover of the November issue, took my breath away. The space is sumptuously layered, balanced yet complex, feminine without being too-too, and classic yet totally on-trend."
-Sarah Firshein, Editor,
"When I saw this room on the cover of ELLE DECOR, I was in awe. To me, this image defines 21st Century design -- bold colors, cultural patterns, and global furnishings that have been collected over time, coming together in a single space. In this room, traditional pieces blend with a modern and fresh take on design that's all about the eclectic mix."
-Jeanine Hays, Creative Director & Founder,
"The mix of patterns is kooky and irreverant, but not too jarring. The mix is executed perfectly, because the room feels comfy and deeply personal. You can tell it's full of favorite pieces."
-Jamie Meares, and
"This room has so much charm, from the rich colors to the sculptural furniture, to the portrait wall. While Frederico de Vera has taken risks with the room, the result is a completely livable, comfortable space I would love to relax in for hours."
-Eliza Blank, Founder,
"First of all, if I had a bathroom this pretty, I'd put a big, cozy chair in it, too...because I'd want to sit in there all the time. I love finding inspired seating areas in homes, and this rich, masculine element in a chic, airy room is unexpected and luxurious."
-Jordan Reid, Founding Editor of and host of
"Jackie Astier's apartment manages to be sexy, fresh, retro, eclectic, and chic all at the same time...and that isn't easy to do. Black lacquered walls in the dining room are not for the faint of heart, but she's willing to make a statement like that and the statement is: 'MY APARTMENT IS THE MOST FAB PLACE ON EARTH'. I bow down to its genius."
"Everything about this space is so chic and glamorous. From the glossy, dark, lacquered walls and crystal chandelier to the white rug, brass table, and velvet upholstered chairs, there is so much interest and texture, with tons of luxe details. This is quite a sexy dining room!"
"I would love to dine in this dining room by Jackie Astier. The room has high-style rock star elements -- dark, sexy walls, a glitzy chandelier, and an exciting mix of vintage and modern. I die for the glam, gilded French metal chairs upholstered in peacock blue velvet. The delicate look of the white rug juxtaposed with the substantial architectural brass base of the dining table is amazing."
"His Miami living room is 'quiet' in the best way possible. Masterpieces of 20th-century design don't shout over the cool palette of coral limestone, off-white curtains, and mismatched blues. So bright and airy with just the right amount of seriousness ... a high-style fantasy version of Florida, my home state!"
-Designer and Blogger
"I'm in love with the mix of modern and traditional elements in this Manhattan apartment's study. I adore the clean lines of the beautifully-styled bookshelves, juxtaposed with the dramatic statement of the Hermès wallcovering. Add in the statement-making desk, and it wouldn't be so bad to go to work in this room every day!"
"Julia Reed's sunroom in her beautiful 19th-century Greek Revival home in New Orleans spoke to me. This room exudes a graciousness that clearly speaks volumes about its owner. Every detail has been accumulated over time and contributes to its understated elegance in an authentic, lived-in sort of way. This is a well-loved room I could imagine spending hours in, perusing her bookshelves and then lounging with a cup of tea in the comfort of the simple slipcovered sofa or sink-in arm chairs covered in a classic Bennison linen. Sitting overlooking the tropical garden through the French windows, I could easily stay until it was time for an aperitif!"
"I love a red room, and this one has so many shades, patterns, and styles within a monochromatic palette. It's incredibly elegant and warm, and is the kind of place in which you could spend hours with one of the many good books from Alex's leather-studded etageres."
-Julia Noran Johnston, President,
"Purple, in all its variations, is having a major year! Everywhere I look I see lilac, burgundy, periwinkle, and plum. This room hits all of those notes, though (thankfully) one wouldn't really describe it as a purple room. I would just describe it as fabulous!"
"This room is chic, carefully curated, personal, and not trendy or manufactured. Plus, it has global appeal -- I love that it could fit into any home in any city. You could look outside the window and see the streets of New York City, the buzzing energy of Mumbai, or the calm European countryside and it would be the perfect fit."
-Designer and Blogger Carrie Carr,
"I fall in love with everything Darryl Carter does, and this is no exception. I'm drawn to the serenity of the white walls and ceiling, which work to let the furniture and decor truly take center stage. The mix of silhouettes and styles of the pieces keep the space visually engaging, while the soothing palette brings it all together."
-, editor in chief of
"As an hostess who loves to entertain, I view the bar area an essential part of the home. I am also loving this modern twist on eclectic glamour. The gold ceiling, gold accents, and grey wallpaper with metallic moments are truly a winning combination."
-Ashlina Kaposta, Interior Decorator + Creative Director, The Decorista
"I love the mix of unexpected colors and textures that make the room look like it has been there forever -- in a good way! Each piece looks like it was chosen with the utmost restraint and a talented eye, making the room highly sophisticated, inviting, and yummy."
"I love the story behind Athena Calderone's rustic house: design by Bates Masi Architects, a rope ceiling installed by an Amagansett fisherman, and fixtures sourced by Athena herself (like this chandelier from Oakland-based blacksmith John Sarriugarte)."
"The open plan and high ceilings of this family beach house really are perfect for relaxed weekend living. And the creative use of rope throughout the home really catches the eye and creates a subtle yet very hip surfer vibe."
-Sue De Chiara,
"This foyer shows how serious decorating can still feel fun. I love how Wisehart plays with scale by filling the smaller space with the larger-than-life lighting and rambling wall art. It touches on eclectic, but still reads as casual."
"The contrasts in this room blend in such incredible harmony that it gives me the chills. Cool and warm, modern and traditional, safe and eccentric, muted and metallic, male and female. This soft and sexy room beckons every facet of me."
-Elaine Bauer Brooks, Founder,
"The library in Jackie Astier's apartment is more glam then my usual style. But the moodiness with pops of color and shine, that sofa (that I'm dying to lounge on!) makes me rethink my design mantra. The Damien Hirst against the faux-bois wallpaper is the perfect finish to a room that makes me want to skip nights on the town for a good read at home."
"I never forget a Hirst. Especially the one above this Dunbar sofa. Add a brass coffee table and that rug... this room is a true showstopper."
-Designer and Blogger
"In keeping with her exuberant, unmistakable style, Kelly Wearstler designed this entire home with unabashed gusto and moxie, creating glamorous, provocative moments throughout. My favorite room is the fanciful entryway. The bold striped floor is matched with an exuberant striped ceiling that creates an almost dizzying effect. The brass light fixture and stair railing add even more drama and glamour to the striking space."
"This Moroccan fantasy, created by Maryam Montague in Marrakesh, captures all the old-world glamour, mysticism, and fantasy that one visits for. I made a trip back in April, and to be surrounded by authentic handmade creations and architecture is the best part of the experience. The black and gold mural with window cut-outs brings nature inside, capturing the gloriously beautiful Moroccan sky. The interiors incorporate the artisanal hand of the ages with global textiles gathered from trips afar. This wondrous place is worth exploring and her varied interiors capture it in the best of all possible ways."
"This room is bold, dramatic, and glamorous, yet still maintains a balanced, clean, and restful feel. It feels both historically rich and stylishly contemporary. It's an ingenious, complex mix that is a testament to Maryam's skillful design talents."
"I saw this room in Miami last year at the Showhouse so I can attest to the fact that it's awesome in person -- I loved it instantly. The designer had to compete with a killer view, but made sure that the room held its own. It is bright and cheerful, celebrates art without letting it overpower the design, and is over a playful, fun and bright room."
"It's a challenge to pull off a true mix of old and new. But this room succeeds; from the bust in front of an Eric Fischl drawing to the classically-lined chairs and antique side tables sharing space with a very graphic rug. The skillful use of color is another memorable factor -- I love the many subtle shades of white and cream in combination with the bits of upbeat blue and, of course, that amazing pink!"
-Janel Laban, Executive Editor,
"This courtyard is luxe and lush, overflowing with romance and old-world elegance. On a bright winter's day, one could slip away and soak up a few golden rays, imagining oneself in the garden. It is also the perfect place for tea and leisurely flipping through magazines for a few stolen moments in the midst of a busy day."
"I had the great pleasure of experiencing this ravishing room firsthand on a . Castillo's elegantly eclectic mix of things resonates with my own aesthetic -- we both share a passion for decoration done by some of the masters of design, Albert Hadley, Billy Baldwin, Maison Jansen, David Hicks, Emilio Terry and Duarte Pinto Coelho.
-Designer and Blogger James Andrew,
"This room makes me so happy. I can imagine spending every waking moment basking in the light and the life of this room. It looks like the perfect place to entertain, dream, draw, read, and live."
"This bathroom is everything I could ever want. It is restrained and classic with a masculine detail that I appreciate but can never seem to get quite right on my own. Sometimes even a designer needs a designer!"
-Interior Designer Rebecca Stringham of
"The library of libraries. Condensed, colorful, and eclectic. I have so many resources that I pull from, and this reminds me of the organized chaos at home. The mixture of furniture is a nice touch to compliment the stacks: everything has a story."
-Shayna Kulik, Art Director & Editor of
"I spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house, so I always have severe kitchen envy. In this kitchen, the modern finishes coupled with the battered wood accents and the floor-to-ceiling windows provide a truly amazing space to cook. And the breakfast bar provides the perfect spot for friends and assorted on-lookers to hang out and keep you company while you're cooking."
-Amanda Waas, founder,