Each room also got a judicious dose of color and texture. Linen, cashmere, and leather signal luxury in rooms remarkable for their simplicity. "Friends always say how serene it feels," says Stephanie. Her other design trick is to "use large pieces to make small rooms look grand." A vintage clock stands tall in the living room; an oversize portrait dominates the breakfast table. "I also keep the clutter down," she says. "It makes the rooms seem bigger."
For other tips on how to turn a small house into a calm retreat, read on.
Shown: Interior designer Stephanie King relaxes on a tailored sofa in her 1700s saltbox. She redid every room, but with a light touch.