02/26/2013 01:45 EST | Updated 04/24/2013 05:12 EDT

A House Is Not A Home Without...: Tips On Personalizing Your Space From An Expert

Hi all, Terri Higgins here from the Calgary Home + Garden Show. An interior design refresh can be for many reasons; including a change in season, the need to better reflect our personality, or moving into a new home. Home staging can increase the desirability (and value!) of a home by helping potential buyers visualize themselves and their furniture in the space. Meanwhile, moving into a new home means a blank canvas that allows you to transform a house into a home. After recently completing the move to a new house myself, I can tell you that these projects can be exciting, but also overwhelming. That's where today's guest steps in. KerryLynn Wyszynski is the Owner and Creative Director at One Space At A Time Interiors; a consulting company that helps homeowners do everything from staging their home to choosing paint schemes to interior decorating; ultimately turning their house into their dream home. KerryLynn and her husband also own THE Hardwood Company; a complete hardwood flooring business that treats every project as if it were in their own home.


KerryLynn Wyszynski, Owner and Creative Director at One Space At A Time Interiors

1. How did you get started in home design and staging?

I grew up in the business - my dad owned a home construction and renovation business in Manitoba. For fun, he would give us blueprints and say, "How would you fix this problem?" We would move walls around, redesign kitchens, pick paint colors... all the fun stuff!!

2. What inspires you when redesigning a space?

When I visit a client's home for the first time I always ask for a tour. As I wander through their home talking with them, I get a feel for who they are and their personal style (even if they think they don't have a style!) More often than not, there will be one specific item (usually hidden away) that jumps out and says ME! Use ME!!

3. What's the best advice (creative or business-related) that you've ever been given?

To follow your gut! This business is not about being able to work with everyone - sometimes you need to say NO when your gut tells you to.

4. What are your design pet peeves?

Design that doesn't take the individual personality into consideration - cookie cutter design! You need to know your client and find what is right for them. Trends can be an inspiration, but very rarely are they the final destination!

5. How would you describe your signature design style?

ECLECTIC - I really enjoy mixing styles! Just because you like a more modern style doesn't necessarily mean that a traditional piece, that maybe has some sentimental value, can't be made to work in the design. Individual style is just that - individual!

6. Can you describe one of your favourite design or staging projects you worked on?

I love clients who have budgets that go with their tastes - but I find a lot of satisfaction in turning a small budget into a WOW project. Small budgets are challenging and really make you get creative. Just last year I had a great example of one of these projects:

It was a condo that had been rented out for years - never updated from the time it was built (late 60's). I got involved because the owner decided to give the place a facelift and put it on the market. The budget was really tight and this place needed everything. The kitchen was falling apart and had no storage, but it also had a lot of wasted space.


Kitchen redesign by One Space At A Time Interiors - Before


Kitchen redesign by One Space At A Time Interiors - After

I redesigned the kitchen adding an eating bar/island area, opened the space up as much as possible to the adjoining dining room and put in new everything! There was worn carpet in the dining room and living room areas, so we tore it out and put in a laminate floor that complemented the old stone fireplace. The main bathroom needed a new vanity, but the tub was in good shape, so we had it re-enamelled and it turned out like new! A fresh coat of paint and some new lighting and the place sold within 3 days of going on the market!

7. What is some advice you would give to those of us with less of an 'eye-for-design'?

If you aren't sure - talk to a professional designer or decorator; and find one that you feel comfortable with. It's much cheaper to pay them to help you make the right decisions than it is to fix the wrong ones!!

8. Social media handles:






Kerry will be lending her expertise at the Ask A Designer Booth at this year's Home + Garden Show, taking place February 28 - March 3 at the BMO Centre. Bring your design, décor or renovation problem, along with any relevant swatches or pictures for a free, 15-minute consultation with Kerry or one of our other amazing design professionals!

I'll be interviewing many more design experts, so keep checking back for insider advice and visit the Calgary Home + Garden Show website for any additional information: