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Small Space Decorating

Clever Decorating Ideas for Every Room in Your Home

Architect Heather Wilson shares her clever, budget-friendly secrets for making a home as functional as it is lovely. 

White, gray and black living area with fireplace, elephant painting
William Abranowicz

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Bring Personality to a Neutral Palette

If there’s one thing that the soothing, airy home of the Wilson family, in Charleston, South Carolina, makes clear, it’s that gray, black, and white don’t have to be boring. “I try for a big moment in every room,” says Heather, who oversaw the renovation of the house and designed the interior. In the living area, furnished with scaled-down pieces that suit its dimensions, the “wow” comes from the elephant in the room, a large palette-knife painting by Georgia-based artist David Ryden. It’s tonally in sync but playful and unique—and a favorite of the Wilson kids. (If you have a hankering for a large mammal, peruse and consider a print on canvas.) When a whole open-plan area is rendered in neutrals, even hardworking features can look artful. The fireplace framed in dark sheet metal makes a pleasing focal point.

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