Molly Lansing didn’t hit it off with a local designer she hired for her Hailey, Idaho, home, so she called another one 2,360 miles away.

The 39-year-old school administrator reached out to Courtney Sempliner, an interior designer based in Port Washington, N.Y., she felt could give her newly purchased, five-bedroom 1997 home a fresh look. “We wanted a Hamptons-meets-Scandinavian vibe,” she says.

Ms. Lansing, who lives with her husband, Kurt Lansing, and two young daughters, opted for family-friendly durable materials and streamlined furniture that doesn’t detract from the home’s impressive mountain views. She turned to Ms. Sempliner, who has worked in London and New York, for advice on where to splurge (a dining room chandelier, a bedroom dresser) and where to cut back (accent pillows, a bedframe). “It worked exceedingly well,” says Ms. Lansing, who attended college with Ms. Sempliner and has followed her career. The couple purchased the home for under $1 million and spent $300,000 on the renovation.

Homeowners living far from urban design centers—or their favorite interior designers—are taking the extra time and effort to bridge the distance gap. That means creating a sleek New York look or a relaxed L.A. aesthetic in unexpected places.

“They don’t want to sell themselves short on style and they are willing to make the make investment in hiring someone with a global eye,” says Carrie Livingston, who has worked in London, St. Barts and Los Angeles for her clients, including Roman Abramovich, Ralph Lauren and Gwyneth Paltrow. Some of her more recent projects have included homes in Columbus, Ohio, and Coral Gables, Fla., where she has hired wallpaper installers, kitchen designers and other staff remotely.

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