Top Tips For Decorating Tough Spaces From Expert Bloggers!

Top Experts Tips and Tricks for Decorating Tough Spaces home decor decorating design interior design

Do you have a difficult space to pull together and not sure where to start or what to do? I’ve got an amazing group of top bloggers who had this very problem AND shared how they solved their design dilemmas! Check out all of their toughest spaces and their best tips on how to work with them!

The Fab Experts!!

Nicole Corr of Green Isle Landscaping

The most challenging space to decorate in our home was my daughters room, it has evolved as she has grown. My husband and I have had different ideas about how to decorate the room, but to be fair it is our daughters room and I do feel we needed to listen to her and watch her function in the room to figure out how to position her furniture and all her toys. She was a miracle, and we were blessed with a lot of gifts which were overwhelming and unexpected. So she has always had a lot of stuff. Storage is now under control as is her play area and toy dressing table as my daughter loves books, singing, dancing, dressing up, painting, drawing, dolls, doctors and makeup. I am in love with dolls houses and have included these in her collection.

Susanne Stewart of Life on Pearl Street

The room I had the most trouble decorating was our new family room addition. It is 20ft by 30ft. It is huge! You would think that would make it easier, but in reality it is just as hard as doing a small space. Large spaces need to be broken down into zones. We have our seating area to watch tv and behind that area is a another area with an antique table that is currently being used as a desk (while the grandlittles are occupying my office). We have two sofas facing each other to invite conversation when we have company and they are pulled away from the walls to create a cozy seating are, which is why I thought about looking into something like indoor living walls by PHS to add something different to the aesthetic of the office. With such a large area you have to balance having enough decor so that it doesn’t look empty or echo and not too much so that it gets cluttered. The walls are long, and even with the windows it has been challenging to fill them. It is important to create a focal point so built in bookshelves take up one whole wall where the tv is and there is a secondary focal point with a gallery wall of family pictures on another long run of wall. It is my favorite room in the whole house and we spend the majority of our time there.

Jessica Devlin of Jessica Devlin Design

The most difficult place for me to decorate was my last kitchen. That’s because I hated it and no matter how I tried to fancy it up it was not going to make me love it. The best thing I ever did to that house was gut the kitchen, change the layout and get all new cabinets. It dramatically changed the look and feel of that entire house and I loved it so much. I cried and hugged my kitchen island the day I moved. Even though I was moving into a much bigger place, with a much bigger yard, I knew I would miss that kitchen.

Sarah Foote of The Project Pile

I would have to say that my most challenging space to decorate was probably our dining room. It’s off of our kitchen and you have to walk through it to get to the living area. Since this room has to double as a walkway, it was a little tricky to make completely functional while still having pathways large enough to walk through without tripping or without stubbing your toe. I’ve tried many different pieces of furniture in there over the years, and I think that I’ve finally got the layout to be pretty close to perfect! Our table in this room is in the shape of a rectangle, and it is actually thin enough that I have enough room for a buffet on one side of the room, and a window bench on the other side. Since we have a covered porch around the front of our house, the dining room also happens to be one of the darker spaces in our home. In order to help combat this, I covered the bottom half of our walls with a white textured wallpaper. It really helped to lighten up the room. I also added a mirror here or there to help reflect the light around… One on the top of my buffet, a simple framed mirror hanging on the wall, and a subtler mirror that functions as a wall sconce for candles. I also used shear white curtains for my window treatments, to help keep everything nice, light and airy looking.

Kim Boes of ReinventedKB

I think my most challenging space to decorate has been our family room. Because I spend so much time there, I have tried out every one of my style whims before finally settling on our modern farmhouse style, so it has spent a lot of time in transition. Because I love to decorate so much, I dreamt of a space with a pile of beautiful accent pillows on the couch, and perfectly placed accessories on the coffee table, but struggled with the fact that my perfect things were constantly out of place, or dusty and covered in dog hair. Simplifying the room by clearing off surfaces and actually removing the accent pillows (they are all on my bed now! ;)) calmed the room and my mind and saved my poor family from my constant nagging to keep it perfect.

Christy Harper of The Harper House

My most challenging space to decorate was the living room in our previous home. It was long and narrow and also served as a walkway to get to the kitchen. We maximized space by creating a cozy seating arrangement with a love seat and sofa and then placed the television on a dresser directly across from the sofa. The dresser served as extra storage too, holding dvds and games. We anchored the space with an area rug and added lots of texture with soft fluffy pillows, wire baskets, green plants, and books.

Pam List of MommaCan

Hands down the tiny laundry room. It is a walk through from the garage and spare family room, is cramped and is basically a wall of cabinets, an old tile counter top, and the washer and dryer set. My tip for cramped spaces that have tons of activity is light-colored paint and good lighting. I am looking forward to tackling this space in the near future.

Sam Franklin of A Happy Home in Holland

The most challenging space in our home was definitely our bathroom. This is purely because of the size of it, I think we officially have the smallest bathroom ever! It is only 2 meters x 1.75 meters so we were very limited as to what we could do. We opted for just a single shower cubicle and a small narrow sink and cupboard unit that is hung on the wall. Because the cupboard unit is raised off the floor it helps to give the illusion of more space. We also kept the décor very plain with white tiled walls and grey floor tiles.

Emy Flint of Semi Gloss Design

I struggle with my children’s rooms. I want to give them beautiful rooms that will grow with them. My daughter’s tastes seem to change every year, so I really struggle with her room. They’re both in the pre-teen/teen years so they’re still in between being big kids and little kids. The rooms are not complete. They’re summer projects.

Yami Platero of The Latina Next Door

My family room has been and still is my hardest room to decorate. This is probably because instead of spending time actually decorating it, I have spent time living in it (which is not a bad thing). But it does have kind of a weird layout. The most “aesthetic” thing to do with the TV was put it over the fireplace, but it was just too high to for the kids to watch comfortably so we moved it to the wall next to it. We used to have a sectional, but it was just taking up too much space, so we swapped it out for a couch and loveseat and now the space doesn’t feel so cramped. There is one really long wall across from the fireplace and I have added a gallery of family pictures to it to personalize it and fill it up. It’s still a work in progress, but the best advice I can give is to try something out for a while and if it doesn’t work, you can always change it. In addition do not pressure yourself to have every single space in your house perfectly decorated – it’s totally okay if you don’t.

Jennifer Gainer of Jenron-Designs

I think for me it has been my family room, mainly because of the scale of the room and the fact that it is a open concept. This is my first home with the open concept layout, which means everything must work together. I can not long have multiple one color stories going in the separate room. There must be a good flow and continuity for these spaces. The scale is a challenge since I want the room to look furnished, but not just by throwing a large sectional sofa in the room and calling it day. I decided to take a cue from hotel lobby spaces with multiple seating groups different sets of chairs but all with a cohesive feel.

Denise Bryant of My Thrifty House

The most challenging space to decorate in my home is my living room because it is so long with large windows on each end, two doors to enter the room on one side and a long wall on the other side. I do have a large family so we purchased a huge 9 piece sectional off of Craig’s List. It can be configured in various layouts and it seats 15 people. Above the couch I created a gallery on the really long wall with some frames, pictures and pieces of art. I also broke up the room into a couple of seating areas so there are more places to sit besides the sectional.

Susie Kuc of Tiny House Giant Life

Master bedrooms tend to be the hardest for me because of the need for both partners to be equally represented for balance. First, figure out the layout of the room regardless of exactly what goes in it. Then, decide on what the style mixture is going to be (mid-mod & traditional, industrial & floral) how vastly different doesn’t matter. Finally, pick or DIY pieces that represent one of those styles only a tiny bit but not overwhelmingly. So a clean lined dresser with angled feet for the mid mod and a clean lined traditional wall sconce for next to the bed. Nothing in the room will scream for attention and the items will blend together nicely just like the couple in love.

Sam Hay of Raggedy-Bits

A room just off our kitchen which was to small for our dining room table. It is separated by the kitchen bench with like a high wall but your still able to see over the top of it. So we decided to make this into an informal area with some single arm chairs a coffee table, book shelf and a side board. It’s my favorite spot to sit and read!

Liz Elliott of Franc and Eli

We have a weird room in my house that is sort of part of the kitchen but also where everyone watches TV, etc. It is small and has a weird shape – we used a floating island to separate it from the kitchen and put a couch up against that to make it feel more like its own room and create some additional “wall” space against the island.

My Toughest Space was…….

My ORC space was the toughest to date. The size of the room was only 64 sq ft and had NO windows/natural light. I solved those issues by being picky with the furnishings and choosing a comfy but super stylish sofa that was the correct size for the space. Instead of a coffee table I used 2 small side tables together with minimal bases to keep it feeling open. I used an acrylic bookshelf which gave me storage without feeling heavy. And an old ladder which I used as shelving, it had a small footprint but gave me style and a spot for my vintage books. I broke with traditional thought and went big and bold on the walls. With such a small space I wanted major impact and instead of going the tiny equals light color route I went black on the main wall with a rustic wood ceiling and blush pink on the other 3 walls. The black draws your eye up to the wood ceiling which makes it feel bigger! The blush pink goes beautifully with the black while keeping it fresh feeling. For light I went with an oversize chandelier that had 8 lights on a dimmer, this way it feels much brighter yet you can tone it down if you choose to. I’m very happy with how it all came together. It’s now a fun, interesting, beautiful and comfortable space.

For more answers to design questions, don’t forget to visit my design blogger friends! Some awesome info to be found here!

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