decor, inspiration

kelly adami shares her decor advice for new homeowners

Liezl Zwarts
Kelly Adami was always fond of the idea of starting her own business, and was simply waiting for the right moment to take the plunge. 'The opportunity came when I decided to make a change from working in retail,' she says. While she'd planned to take a hiatus to consider her options, she wound up helping her friends with odd design jobs almost immediately and so, in 2015, her design consultancy Copperleaf began to take shape. Guided by a keen eye, impeccable taste and a creative streak that keeps things interesting, Adami endeavours to provide tailor-made design solutions within the interiors industry. As one of our Next Generation stars for 2017, we get to know Adami better in the August 2017 issue of House and Leisure. In this online exclusive, she shares a few helpful decor tips for new and first-time homeowners.

concept is key

If you want your interior to reflect your personality, it helps to have a clear vision from the outset. Choose a concept that will work as the starting point for your look – for example, ‘Cape Cod’ – and then decide on a limited number of finishes that work with it, such as wood, wicker and blue-and-white fabric,’ Adami says. 'Then, it never hurts to keep it simple! Stick to the bare necessities and make sure you only buy items that you absolutely love. Once you've done this, you can slowly add objets and embellishments that complement the look.'

make it last  

Turning a house into a home is a process, and for new homeowners, gathering the basics takes time – never mind splurging on large pieces of furniture. Even though you may be in a hurry to 'finish' your space, it's always worthwhile to make investments if and when you can. ‘I’m a big believer in investing in classic, quality pieces upfront, pieces that you can keep forever,’ says Adami. ‘Go for clean, simple lines and uncomplicated silhouettes that will remain timeless and beautiful, even if your tastes change. You can always add interest and colour using less expensive items that are easy to replace seasonally, such as scatter cushions and throws.’

go big or go home

A clever, affordable way to make a statement in a room is to choose one big-ticket item to draw focus. ‘This could be an oversized artwork on a wall, a striking, one-of-a-kind lamp or a showstopping rug,' says Adami. 'Whatever it is, let it be the focal point around which you style the remainder of your space. Plan the rest of the room to be quiet and understated so that it functions as a kind of canvas for this special central feature.’ Of course, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the backdrop – focus on quality fabrics and use layers and textures to create warmth and depth.

use trends sparingly

‘I’m not mad about following trends as they tend to be fleeting, which is not exactly ideal if you’re trying to create an interior with longevity,’ says Adami. ‘That being said, if you spend some time, energy and money ensuring that the bones of your design consist of good quality, classic pieces, then you can easily update your look using smaller, inexpensive items to keep the aesthetic modern and up-to-date.’ For example, metallics are huge at the moment – think of adding them in the form of vases, candleholders and trays to keep your look current.

have fun with it

Getting to create your dream home - no matter how long it takes - should be fun! It should never feel like a chore. 'Don't take the process to seriously,' is Adami's advice. 'It's an opportunity have fun in creating a home that reflects your unique personality, tastes, interests and dreams! If you find yourself lacking in inspiration, think of what it is that makes you tick and try to bring it into your scheme. If you're an avid mountain climber, for instance, consider a gallery wall of beautiful, dramatic mountainscapes that will give you an emotional lift every time you walk past it.'
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