Decor with Aspasia

Her 10 golden rules for styling your home


Words: Sanri Pienaar | Images: Supplied 

Overheard: "Once a home is finished, it’s time to move on." Excuse me? Impossible, since homes are ever-evolving spaces that grow with their owners; an extension of our personalities, much like fashion choices. Styling your home may not seem as easy as putting on a fabulous dress, but it can be just as fun. Since our homeware purchases need to have a bit more longevity and functionality, sometimes we could do with some guidance, especially if you've recently discovered that you'd love to switch up your interiors yourself. We chat to publishing sweetheart and all-around style maven Aspasia Karras about her ten golden tules when it comes to styling your home.

  1. Art is your friend. Buy original art that you love. Start small, grow your collection and keep an eye on the auctions – they are like a free history of art class and you can learn so much. I move my art around, because you stop seeing it after a while and placing a painting or a sculpture in a new space reinvigorates your room and your appreciation. I also love to group work together on one wall. Lately, I have also developed a love for ceramics. 
  2. Paint is such a brilliant way to mix things up and renew your space. I love to paint rooms anew – I am going through a green and grey-blue phase, so I have painted my bedroom and my bathroom in these tones. When I get tired of them, I will change it up. It is a cheap and cheerful way of keeping things fresh and interesting.
  3. Reupholstery. I love changing the colour of a couch or a chair. Invest in a good classic couch with strong design and then you can have fun for years. I have a modernist mid-century number I bought on sale years ago and I just change the fabric when I get tired of a particular look. I have had indigo velvet for about two years now and am gearing up for a change.

4. Neutral upholstery choices like grey also work as a counterpoint to the one flamboyant piece of furniture or fabrication. You can pick things up and change an entire look with new scatter cushions or a new rug.  

5. Plants are a way of connecting nature with your home. I say the more the merrier. I think they soften the space and caring for them is very calming.

6. Cut flowers and candles make my heart sing. I like peculiar combinations in bunches and also single stems in many small vases. For a dinner party, I love to make a still life on the table. Lighting candles just warms up your home – I love candlesticks and collect them.  

7. Sometimes in a small space, making a very bold decision like papering the whole thing with wallpaper is fun and beautiful. I did this in my guest bathroom and it was really fun.  

8. Support local designers. If you can’t afford big pieces like dining room tables, buy small stools, lamps or mirrors – it is like buying art and you will always have these beautiful objects in your life.


9. Be playful. You don’t have to stick to one period or style of design. I love to mix up periods and play with junk store stuff that I find – rough-hewn wood and antiques mixed up with mid-century chairs.

10. I am not scared of a quick small-scale change. Before lockdown, I redid the tile on my splashback in the kitchen and chose a teal green. I have been so happy with the change. A small change is as good as a holiday!