Designer shares tips for small spaces

Designer shares tips for small spaces

Chris Williamson found me on Angie’s List. In one year, he moved, started a new job and became debt free.

He knew he wanted help with his small, third floor walk-up rental apartment. And as a creative, gregarious sort, he wanted to bounce his ideas off of a professional interior designer.

“I know that I can’t be an expert at everything, so I really believe in getting expert help for important things,” Williamson explained.    

His home office was dark, poorly lit and not conducive to the creative web design and development work he was doing.

“I need a lot of light,” he told me. “I really notice it in the winter."

The room also lacked the warm colors Williamson likes, so I knew adding light and color was crucial. He really wanted to add more energy to the room to help him focus and concentrate.

Since the workspace is located off the kitchen, he also wanted guests to be able to sit in the space and visit with him while he was cooking. I suggested an adjustable barstool that could slide beneath the desk.

We began with paint. As a renter, Williamson did not want to spend a fortune on remodeling. Since paint gives you the most “bang for your buck,” he checked with his property manager and found out wall painting was OK. I chose Benjamin Moore “Rich Cream” for the upper wall above the chair rail and “Golden Mist” below the chair rail, which worked beautifully with the nearby kitchen countertop tile. The trim would stay the same existing bright white.

I suggested a more colorful rug to add additional energy to the room. Williamson said he liked FLOR carpet squares - a good idea because a square could be easily replaced if need be. He ordered directly from the website, using its design software, FLORbuilderTM, to experiment with colors he liked. Williamson chose Frog, Hamster and Tabby Cat as the colors he liked.

An inexpensive Ikea track light illuminated new artwork above the desk. I gave him written sizes that would work and we discussed meaningful images to use. The transom window, which I suggested cleaning to allow maximum light into the office, and existing artwork on the wall behind his desk and added brightness to the room. An office task lamp Williamson bought online at Office provided bright, glare free work light to the desk area.

The last task was tweaking the art on the wall over his desktop. We agreed it would be appropriate to select three logos from his career history.

“The logos represent my progression from television to freelance email and web work to an interactive design firm,” Williamson explained. “The high contrast is striking, and the logos mean a lot to me - a constant reminder of important people in my life."

“A friend dropped by the other day and summed it up with one word—‘wow’,” Williamson said. “That really was music to my ears.”

Angie’s List Super Service award winner Joetta Moulden is the owner of, a home makeover decorating business in Houston. Her motto is, “If it’s paid for, let’s try to make it work."

As of April 27, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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