Shayla Copas

Shayla Copas, one of Arkansas’ most highly acclaimed designers, gives her top tips for decorating.

Revamping a whole home when moving into a new place is a big challenge. Where do you start when you have a whole house to tackle?
Come up with a color palette that moves smoothly from one room to the next. There is definitely a theme when designing entire homes. While it is ok to veer off in a completely different color story in a powder bath or master suite, a kitchen, dining and living space should feel like they “tie-in” together seamlessly.

What is your advice when it comes to choosing a theme for a home?
The client should consult with their designer and look at their favorite and not so favorite colors. It is helpful if you identify the color palette you gravitate towards on the front end. The designer will also help the client identify if their taste is in the direction of contemporary, transitional, eclectic or traditional design.

Of course, budget is always a key issue. What are the most important items to invest in, and what can you do cheaply without sacrificing quality?
We offer lines that include price points across the board with quality to back them up, including our new private label furnishings. However, if one were to prioritize top investments, I would say upholstery, quality fabrics, drapery and artwork.

What are some of your favorite interior design tricks? Perhaps for creating the illusion of more space, or creating the impression of something very costly for a small budget?
For creating the illusion of more space, we select light colors, making sure that the furnishings are in scale with the space, and we highly recommend mirrors. Light tones and mirrors open a small room considerably. A cost-saving tip for a master bedroom with a luxurious look would be to go with a store-bought bedding package and then layer with higher-end custom pillows. This tip saves hundreds.

What is your favorite room in the house to decorate and why?
This is kind of like choosing my favorite child! I would say that there are two spaces that are my absolute favorite to design: kitchens and glamorous closets. A properly designed closet should look as if you stepped into Neiman Marcus for a day of shopping. When appropriate space planning is utilized in closet design, the client can easily find their clothing and accessories. I love kitchen design/space planning because kitchens are now the most popular room in America for families to entertain and gather. The kitchen is a room worth investing in and can increase the value of the home dramatically.