ASK THE DESIGNER “How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?”

Ask The Designer

This week we are asking a question from:

Tina Bousu @ An Eclectic Twist

“How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?”


“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.” 

Great question Tina!! I remember following your design in the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge, and your space turned out wonderful, it was one of my personal favorites.   (Click here to link to Tina’s blog and the get the rest of the answers from our 16 expert bloggers, including me at #11)

Top Tips for Decorating Tough Spaces from Expert Bloggers



Jessica Devlin Expert Bloggers Top Home Decorating Ideas

Sam Hay Expert Bloggers 16 Best Decorating Tips

Susanne Stewart Decorating on a Budget, 16 Design Bloggers Tell You How

Sarah Foote Making those Teeny-Tiny Spaces Look & Feel Larger; 16 Bloggers Share their Best Advice

Pam List Expert Bloggers Top 3 Decorating Items

Sam Franklin Home Decor Style & Trends; Design Experts Favorites

Denise Bryant Decorating With Thrift Store and Flea Market Finds

Susan Kuc Small Home Design; 16 Bloggers Tell All

Yami Platero How to Keep a Stylish and Organized Home with Small Children

Nicole Corr Design Experts Tell Us What Their Dream Outside Relaxation Space Looks Like

Emy Flint How 16 Bloggers Use Color In Their Homes

Jennifer Gainer Ask the Designer-What is Your Style?

Christy Harper Grey Paint Colors – Top Bloggers Favorites

Tina Bousu Top Tips for Decorating Tough Spaces from Expert Bloggers

Kimm Boes Ask the Experts:Favorite Paint Colors for Furniture

Liz Elliott Design Bloggers Top Design Tips


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  3. I am usually blogging too, so I really respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest in decorating. I’m going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for new information.

  4. There comes that point that a space may not be fixable. If none of the tips or tricks will work for you those are absolutely viable solutions.

  5. Floated over from Tina’s site love your stuff great post!

  6. I love to surf the net and find new people to follow you blog is being added to my regular search list.

  7. This ranks very high on stumbleupon, nice post but not sure why it has gone so viral, it is a advice column. Like Dear Abby with home decor.

  8. You have gathered quite a following on this page, but I here to tell these people branch out!!! She has tons a great posts, better than this one to read and comment on.

  9. ASK THE DESIGNER- I have a question about tough spaces, what do you do if there are not options to fix them, do you knock out a wall or just move?

  10. you have a really thing going here, I will have to check back regularly to keep up.

  11. Have been taking a little time upgrade my home and I never realized how many “tough spaces” I had until now, not to mention I may created a few more on my own :/

  12. ASK THE DESIGNER “How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?” this piece is a work of a genius. Love, love your site!

  13. A wealth of knowledge right at my finger tips. Thank you for the fun blog hop!

  14. I stumbled uponASK THE DESIGNER “How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?” | JENRON DESIGNS | and I highly recommend it those in a home design crisis. Great tips!

  15. This site is poppin’ top of the SEO, had to check it out to see all the buzz for myself. Nice forum and great layout you will go far kid.

  16. You have some really good advice thank your sharing in this forum format. Great group too

  17. Thank you for helping us peons out here. We haven’t a clue.

  18. You guys have a beautiful home which delivers a sense of authenticity to your blog, it is livable not just a staged home for tour and pictures. Thanks for being real.

  19. Your blog is on my One To Watch List, I have a feeling your could be the next Joanna Gaines, since her spot is open now.

  20. I did graduate college with a degree for interior design. I have not utilized it over the past few years. I am love the blog as a creative outlet to get back into the swing of design, but currently I am not taking on actual clients.

  21. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  22. Love the set of posts for Ask The Designer when is a new one coming out?

  23. Have actually been taking little over a month to view your blog. I read an article or two a weekend with my coffee. You pictures are beautiful and your design topics are very interesting too. It’s like a free version of Better Homes and Gardens or Southern Living. Keep up the good work, you have an audience that just loves it, because it is free and excess able for all.

  24. You have a great idea here with ASK THE DESIGNER, so many people need a sounding board to run ideas by. So, are you actually a interior designer that people can hire? Just wondering.

  25. I have so many tough and ugly spaces I am like the old woman in the shoe. Thanks for all the helpful free advice may be I can make some headway now.

  26. I hopped over from another link on this post, I must say I really love your blog. The pictures drew me in and now I am looking at all your DIY projects, oh my gosh now I ready to renoooooo.

  27. Fun site with lots of good tips and information. Thanks for sharing your design knowledge with the blogosphere.

  28. Great topic because everyone has those hard to fix places in there homes. I like the paint idea and organizational tips. Thanks

  29. I have very many tough spaces to decorate. I will take your advisement into consideration as I move forward in out new home.

  30. I appreciate all you ladies and your hard work on this forum. So many great decorating ideas.

  31. You probably will need a reno to fix the space issues. You can remove the shower and convert to a powder room, but if you need that shower for resale, you might be able to take over neighboring space. Check out what is around that bathroom to see if you can snag a closet or shave off some extra needed square footage from a larger room. Good Luck!

  32. A sliding door such as a barn door style might be a good option. Keep in mind it does not have to be a rustic farm barn door, the slider track is what you need. You could put any kind of door on that track.

  33. Tough spaces are hard to deal with and can be anything from to dark, to small, to old and to deterioated. It amazes me how you can answer all those unknowns with just this tips but you do! Great post.

  34. I love this, so many great people and comments, keep up this impressive hard work you will go far.

  35. You have a great site and it seems to get a lot of traffic. Any thought about monetizing? I must say I would prefer you didn’t I think all the ads will mess up you perfectly design site. Just wondering as I am future blogger and curious about the money side of it.

  36. I love that I am not alone with tough design spaces. Great advice and comments you have a fantastic site.

  37. I stumbled upon your site and I must say I am impressed. It is organized and laid out well. I will bookmark it as I do not have the time to search it right now, but I will be back for those pretty pictures.

  38. You ladies have a lot of good advice. I love each and everyone of your pages and tips. Thanks for organizing.

  39. I really like you site a lot it is pretty and easy to navigate. Good tips and on you Q&A post. Nice pictures too!

  40. I have so many tough spaces thanks for all the great advice.

  41. You have a great eye for home design, I could not imagine you have too many tough spaces as you have actually removed them from your home.

  42. I have an area with too many doors that clank into each other. We thought about a pocket door but have no idea what is inside the walls so we are afraid. Any thoughts?

  43. Stumbled Upon your site, looking…looking….looking Yes, I like what I see. Be back soon, hashtag bookmark. End dictation, no I mean end dictation, serious Siri stop dictation. ugh

  44. Beautiful site and very pretty pictures, you have very much talent.

  45. My kitchen is my tough space, I do not think it is designed well. I have a refrigerator door that crashing into a garage door, and no serrate dining room. Its just to small and I fear there is no help.

  46. Good tips and advice by all here at this site. Thanks for posting such a useful blog post. Love the Q&A style approach other bloggers could take a few notes from you.

  47. Any advice on a small bathroom? It really should be a powder room but it has a shower shoved in to it. It is so tight I have to turn sideways to get to the toilet.

  48. My children’s toy room is always a mess, no matter how much I clean it, or I make them clean it. I have just decided that until they move out it will always be a mess aka my tough space.

  49. One of my friends mentioned your site so I checked it out to see what it was all about. I love the way this particular post links to other sites, that is awesome.

  50. I have read several of theses Ask the Designer bits and they are all good. What made you decide to do a section like this? Was it based on a whole bunch of questions from other posts? Just wondering how this cam about.

  51. Have actually been taking little over a month to do some fixer upper projects, just doing a little research here.

  52. Have been around your site for little over a week know and just wanted to let you know I love it.

  53. I find that the tough spaces never get done around my home, they also end up being the clutter catchers and junk piles. Great advice I should really take it and follow it.

  54. My linen closet is alway a mess and never stays organized. It seems to be my tough little space. Will you do a post on linen closet organization?

  55. My patios alway seem to be junked up with dead plants, hunting gear and shoes, although it should not be a tough space in my house it is. Advice?

  56. My pantry seems to always fall apart around the holiday season, I need a good plan of action to layout a pantry properly. Could you do a post of what lies behind that beautiful door?

  57. ASK THE DESIGNER “How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?” Love this entire idea! Good Job

  58. You have a beautifully designed website, it had pretty content and is easy to navigate.

  59. Tough Spaces eh? I have a few inside these four walls. I will take you advice about planning them out may be that will keep me on track to the finish line.

  60. I have so many tough space that I plan on using the information for, just have to decide where to start.

  61. Great blog I will be back soon to check it out at length. I have been blog hopping but I like yours best so far.

  62. I have enjoyed reading a few of these posts and popping over to other blogs. I must remember to bookmark you for future reads.

  63. Fun site and great post, I love the round robin style advice blog hops they are so fun. You get to see a lot of stuff at one time.

  64. I think I met you at the Vintage Sale last week end, you gave me you card so I looked you up, Great blog can’t wait to see more.

  65. I am loving your blog, Great ideas and inspiration is alway a big plus for that pages I follow, you have that in spades my dear.

  66. Thank you for sharing such a great advice column so glad I stumbled upon it

  67. Nice read and good advice, tough spaces are everywhere I have a few in my office and at home.

  68. Thanks for all the great tips and ideas for tough spaces, this is a great blog.

  69. My closet need a complete makeover, I would really love a walk in closet as my as my bedroom but that is out of the question. Any space saving tips?

  70. I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  71. My family members always say that I am killing my time here on the web, except I know I am getting knowledge every day by reading such good posts like this one.

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  75. Hey there, You have done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and will personally recommend to all my friends. I’m confident they will see the benefit of my advice once they visit this web site.

  76. I like this advice very much especially the part about break it down into zones so the job seems less daunting. That just plain old good advice all the way around.

  77. I have so many tough spaces and too many animals and kids making a mess in my house. I pretty sure there is nothing I can do about this but I love looking your beautiful home and dreaming.

  78. ASK THE DESIGNER “How Do You Decorate a Tough Space?” is a great idea for a post thanks for sharing this with us blog lovers!

  79. I just wanted to say I love your site now that I have found you I can’t wait to read all you stuff.

  80. I have a tough space it is a bathroom room. It is tiny and dirty and hard to keep clean. I feel like the whole thing is a complete gut. Any ideas?

  81. Do you even reupholster furniture? I am trying to decide it it is worth the exorbitant pricing. Thanks

  82. Tough spaces are heard to deal with you guys had some great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  83. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  84. Great post and fun topic. I love sharing great ideas with people too, love makes the world go around!

  85. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  86. We have all been there. I recommend be proud of what you have, and what you have achieved. A lot of people still live at home with there parents. Just know that in time you accumulate more that you ever though possible. If you are worried about your place looking sparse it is ok just say you are doing the minimal look. 😉

  87. I hear ya, and I agree it might be easier to move, but there are some things you can do to make your living space more palatable while you are there. Organization is a key factor, no matter how outdated your home is as long as it is clean and organized it will always feel and look better. Try lighter paint colors to make the space seem fresher and newer, maybe take on a few DIY projects to keep everything in budget. Hope these tips help and I wish you all the best.

  88. My whole house is a tough space can you just come decorate it for me? I love you house so just make mine look just like it!

  89. You offer good advice and so do your colleges. Nice post very informational.

  90. Spot on advice from the pros, you guys really know what you are talking about. Good job, and very nice blogs lassies.

  91. Caught in jam, and decorating a tough space? These ladies have your back!

  92. You have some really great forums I stumbled upon this one. You appeal to every housewife out there since we all have an eye sore somewhere in our homes. I would like to know do you hid all your junk in a closet or are they organized as well?

  93. This advice gives me hope that I can over the obstacles of my outdated home. Thanks

  94. Do you guys have any experience with tiny homes? I know that is becoming all the rage but With a family 5 that is not ever going to happen for us. Bahahaha

  95. Your homes are all beautiful, but I really love yours JENRON. I would trade spaces with you in a heartbeat!

  96. You have a nice home. Here in South Africa we have a limited amount of home improves we can do. Your advice has not fallen on deaf ears, I will use what I can.

  97. Nice read I stumbled upon you and your Ask The Designer segment. You have a lot of interesting content so I will check back regularly.

  98. MY home challenges me in so many ways. My laundry room is too small, it’s essentially a closet in a hallway. My bathrooms are so outdated and don’t; get me started on my kitchen. I guess I just live in one big tough space. Any advice for that besides moving?

  99. Just got my first new pad and I have no idea what I am doing. I barely have any furniture. Any advice?

  100. You have some really great advice and I so happy to have found your site! Keep up the fabulous work ;D

  101. You actually make it seem so easy to decorate with your presentation, but I find this topic to be one that I will never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to budget shop and see it I can get the hang of it!

  102. This paragraph is genuinely a nice one it helps new home visitors and apartment dwellers, who are wishing for a bigger space. Nice blogging, great content.

  103. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little research on this with small houses. Thank you for spending time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

  104. Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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  106. Oh my goodness! Amazing post and great advice! Pinned for ref. Thanks!

  107. Hi there, I found your blog via Google at the same time as searching for a similar subject, your site SEO is really up there, and it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks for later returns. Thanks!

  108. I have a ton of tough spaces that decorating seems to elude in my home. Thanks for answering these questions, now I know I am not alone.

  109. I have a small space this was very helpful, thank you!

  110. This design tip is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and banter, I was almost inspired to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you and the other ladies had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  111. Hello friend, I am not sure what to say concerning this piece of writing, in my view it’s truly awesome. I like to have different points of view for the same topic, and I have a lot of tough spaces to decorate.

  112. Good post. I learned something totally new about decorating on your website. I found you through stumbleupon, which I do on a daily basis. It’s always useful to read through content from other writers and practice something from other sites.

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