Photo by Wendi Milam. Custom built-in by Ford Thomas.

Designer tip: Carrie Griffin on personalizing a room

The key to making a large space seem personal and cozy? Proper scale, says interior designer Carrie Griffin.

“With all of the soaring ceiling heights in today’s homes, proportion is so important, from the light fixtures down to the size of your flooring,” she says.

And the secret lies in the planning. “Take into consideration the dimensions of your room, including the ceiling height,” she says. “A small light fixture or piece of furniture can get lost in a large space. Don’t buy the furniture you want and then try to make it fit. Measure twice, buy once!”

For those on a tighter budget, Griffin suggests hiring a designer to do a floor plan, then implementing it yourself. “This way you will have a guide to follow, and you will avoid costly mistakes,” she says. “Select items that fit the plan, but also add something unexpected. Just have fun with it!”

In terms of personalizing a space, Griffin also recommends mixing new and old items to create a unique atmosphere. “I love displaying a client’s collection in one area, or breathing new life into an old piece of furniture,” she says. “The trick is to start with a clean and updated backdrop, and use the sentimental pieces sparingly. That way you avoid your space becoming too busy or cluttered. Add natural elements, like the custom live-edge coffee table by Andrew Moran [in the photo above]—they will give your space instant warmth and character. Last, it’s always a good idea to mount your drapery panels as high as you can, to give height to the room.”

To learn more about Griffin and her designs, check out her Facebook page.