Genevieve Gorder’s 8 Best Tricks for Small-Space Decorating

In her time on Trading Spaces and Stay Here, celebrity designer Genevieve Gorder has taken on everything from tiny wine country bungalows to vintage houseboats. In other words, the girl really knows her stuff when it comes to small space decorating. We caught up with the supremely warm and funny Allstate spokeswoman to glean her best tips for working with an itsy-bitsy floor plan.

Is Netflix Star Genevieve Gorder the Next Joanna Gaines?

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Use The Vertical

“When your eye gets stuck on the smallness of the footprint…we believe the room is small. When you bring the curtain hardware, bookcases, paint color, tile, molding, etc. up to the top of the wall…the illusion of grand appears. Voilà!””

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Diversify Your Lighting

Pendant, recessed and table lamps—all on dimmers! Typically, small rooms are given one little pendant and when there isn’t enough light, guess what? The room feels smaller. Bouncing light off of other reflective surfaces also creates the illusion of more space (think: chandeliers, mirrors against natural light, etc.).

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Use Mirrors

"Mirrors are great illusionists. When placed across from a natural light source (a window; a doorway), they can make a room feel longer or wider."

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Incorporate Lines

You know how you wear pinstripes to look leaner and taller? And how the reverse can make you look wider? Same thing happens when you use a stripe on the wall. Vertical lines will make everyone think your ceilings are higher than they are, and horizontal lines will give you a sense of greater width.

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Scale Up Your Pieces

“Use full-size furniture and decor pieces, and make sure to edit down your clutter. Small area rugs and sofas will actually make a space feel smaller—trust."

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Think Multipurpose

“Can the coffee table hold storage? Does the desk function as a bedside table? Did you put drawers under the bed? Making sure every piece works twice as hard is crucial in small-space living situations.”

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Add Depth With Texture

“When it comes to walls, floors and ceiling, adding wallpaper, surface treatments and upholstery can add major depth. Texture = dimension!"

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Keep Lines Tailored

“Headboards, furniture, lighting fixtures…keep it tight! The more tailored and architectural the lines, the more elegant and less cluttered this little space will feel.”

Further reading: Gorder’s partnership with Allstate is all about teaching folks to protect their digital footprint. For tips on keeping safe digitally, visit


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.