Living

STYLE AT HOME: Supersize your decorations

Some things in life are best when they are small, like your credit card bill, your to-do list and your thighs. But sometimes, bigger is definitely better. Case in point: super-sized accents that instantly boost a home's wow factor.

Lamps

To add a charge to your rooms, amp up the size of your lamps. Replace that skinny buffet lamp on your end table with something more substantial, like a large ceramic lamp in a peppy accent color.

I've fallen in love with the transitional lamps I've seen at market in recent years. These simple, sleek pieces come in every size, color and style imaginable. You can find them in glass, wood and metal, shaped like circles, rectangles and squares.

When I ordered some of these beauties for my store, I couldn't resist getting a few for my own home. Even though my historic house is as traditional as they come, I love how these chunky side lamps add bulk to my seating arrangements, bringing a new dimension to the mixed-up look I adore.

Once you've found a lamp you love, accessorize it with care. Don't add lots of clutter that will be dwarfed by the light fixture. Instead, pick bigger accessories to balance the chunky lamp, like a topiary in front of a platter propped up in an easel.

Accessories

While I'll never go for a bare bones, minimalist look in home design, I do adore today's trend toward attention-grabbing but edited displays. Instead of a tabletop covered in tons of tiny trinkets, opt for a few larger accents that will make a bold statement. Pottery pieces like urns and vases, twiggy baskets and vintage boxes are some of my favorite accessories to super size. I'm also crazy about huge apothecary jars, which I fill with anything from forced bulbs to dog food to wash cloths. One large-scale accent I can't get enough of right now is a tall, clear glass cylinder vase. I like to use this two-foot-tall towering beauty to hold seasonal displays in my home's entryway. In the fall, you'll likely find one filled with a few long, leggy branches dotted with autumn foliage and berries.

Furniture

When I arrange furniture in a room, I always scout for one large piece to anchor the space. Whether it's a mammoth bookcase, an armoire or a sideboard topped by a mirror, this big boy adds oomph to the space, giving it the visual interest every room must have.

If your room is not endowed with interesting architectural elements, like a gorgeous fireplace or stunning windows, it's even more important to add a bulky, show-stealing piece of large-scale furniture. But even if your space is blessed with beautiful bones, I still recommend adding a hefty piece of furniture on the opposite side of the fireplace or bank of windows to lend much-needed balance to the room.

Artwork

Awesome art is one of the best ways to take your spaces from average to out of this world. And nothing makes we weak in the knees more than a display of art that makes a big statement.

Instead of placing a standard-sized painting above your sofa, shake things up a bit by hanging a huge piece of art. In my home, a gigantic painting that my husband Dan discovered on one of his buying trips to Europe spans the entire space above our sofa. And another vast canvas piece throws its weight around in my stairwell.

To achieve the same effect, you can also create a grid out of medium-sized pieces of art. That's what I did on the wall in our guestroom. To add drama to this small wall, I filled it with a block of botanical studies created by school children in the 19th century.

While big is beautiful, be careful not to go crazy when you super-size your interior decor. As in all good design, balance and harmony are the keys to success.

Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three successful home-furnishings stores in Atchison, Kan., and author of several best-selling books on home decorating.

  Comments