Elegance and sophistication infused with New England charm is Kerry Spears’ specialty. A Northerner who has adopted Southern flare into her designs, Spears brings her love for historic homes and detail to her interior company, Kerry Spears Interiors. She enjoys creating an exciting yet personal space for each client, one that turns a house into a home. Here are her 10 simple tips to decorate your home beautifully:
- Size Matters
When considering décor for your room, make sure it fits. Bigger is usually better when selecting rugs and lighting. If you don’t have the budget for a wall-to-wall decorative rug, layer a small rug on top of a larger, less expensive one. The eye will be drawn to the decorative pattern of the top rug, while still covering the floor.
To determine the right size for a light fixture, add the length and width of the room in feet. The result should be the diameter in inches of your light fixture.
- Add Height
Trick the eye into thinking your ceilings are higher by hanging curtains well above the windows or even all the way to the ceiling. To add to the illusion of high ceilings, paint the walls and trim the same color or add vertical stripes to help elongate the walls.
- Decorate in Odd Numbers
Arranging décor in odd numbers creates interest and forces your eyes to move around. Layering items also creates a collected look. Whether it’s three or five items grouped together, make sure to stagger their height and texture.
- Combine New and Vintage
Mix old and new in a room to create a polished look. If it’s all new, it loses personality. If it’s all vintage, it looks like a thrift store. Create a lived-in, collected look by combining new and vintage pieces.
- The Art of Hanging Art
Art can really tie a room together; however, it’s critical that artwork is hung properly and that the size works with the space. The typical height for art is when the center is hung at about 57 inches, considered “eye level.” If hanging a piece (or multiple pieces) of art behind a sofa, be sure it covers about two-thirds of the wall space and that the bottom is hung 3 to 8 inches above furniture to prevent your eyes from resting on a blank wall space.
- Pattern Play
Keep a consistent color palette when mixing patterns, which will allow you to use more without giving the room an overwhelming feeling. Break up patterns with solids and mix different scales. Bring in natural materials, such as wooden tables or wicker baskets, to tone down the patterns and balance it all out.
- Add Personality
Your home should be a reflection of yourself. Include pieces from your travels or artwork from your children, but keep the overall flow of the room in a consistent color palette. Expressing yourself through décor will never go out of style. As design legend Billy Baldwin said, “Even when they are far from perfect, loved possessions add personality.”
- Statement Entryways
Often forgotten, the entryway to your home is very important. It is your home’s first impression and sets the tone for the rest of your house. Keep it simple and uncluttered, but be sure to showcase your style.
- Texture, Texture, Texture
Textiles are one of the easiest ways to add texture and make your space cozy and inviting. Keep a room from feeling monotone by mixing dark and light wood and using multiple metal finishes. Consider all surfaces when adding texture. For example, wallpaper is a big trend right now because it is an easy way to add texture and major style.
- Focal Point
You need one really great piece to pull a room together. Whether it’s an amazing mirror or an antique chest, decide what that must-have piece is, and design your room around it. This can determine your color palette and style. It’s a foolproof way to ensure that you will fall in love with your newly designed space.
Photography by John Sloan