Top six design secrets for small living spaces

Small spaces pose a unique set of challenges when it comes to interior design and decoration, especially for those with collections of art, furniture and heirlooms they want to incorporate into their home.

With home sizes trending smaller, it’s becoming more important for every interior designer, decorator, home staging company and new homeowner to learn how to dream big in smaller living areas.

We spoke with Trinity Wilbourn of Trove Collectivea Fort Collins-based home staging and design company awarded Best of Houzz 2016 and 2017—to find out how they work their magic in spaces without much wiggle room. The following are some of Trinity’s best tips and tricks for transforming your small space.

Start with the lighting. Bring in as much light as possible and find ways to bounce it around the room. White treatments hung 4-6 inches above and extended 10-12 inches beyond the width of the actual window will create the illusion that the window is larger and make the space feel more expansive. Hang a mirror across from your window to help reflect and emphasize the natural lighting, and have two to three lamps set up on side tables—like our modern cube tablesor accent pedestals to further dispel the shadows.

Get creative with shapes and textures. Incorporating different textures and materials—like acrylic, wood, metal, etc.—into your design can help differentiate various objects and surfaces, transform light, and add complexity to a space. For example, if you have a lot of rectangular shapes in your space, consider a cylinder pedestal to break up the hard angles.


Utilize the Rule of Three. Bring three objects of varying shapes, heights and colors into a grouping. The brain loves odd numbers and unusual pairings and tries to resolve it, keeping you engaged with the space. Try putting three objects of various heights together—like a book, a bowl and a vase of flowers—on a white display pedestal. These can easily be rotated out with changes in the season or personal taste.

Christa Tippmann Photography

“Put a plant on it.” Plants offer a shape and texture that you simply don’t get with any other object, and they bring life to a room. They’re proven to be a powerful presence in any home and look stunning displayed on a wood or white plant stand pedestal.

Be consistent with color. Choose a palette or a few main accent colors coupled with neutrals and repeat throughout the room. Trove Collective currently stages using a cooler palette of greys and blues.

Add height-differentiation to your furniture. This adds depth and interest to the room. A pedestal or display stand can help break up sofa/coffee table lines, divide the room or fill an awkward-sized empty space.

Have a small space solution we missed? Let us know and we’ll share them with our followers!