Tips & Tricks: Make Your Interiors Seem Bigger Than They Are!

Plenty of us are plagued with a small room that just feels a little cave-like. It can be hard to make it feel more open and exciting, but today we are serving up some simple interior design tips and tricks to make your room spacious and fresh!

Paint the Trim

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Differentiating the walls and the ceilings is a great way to make your space look bigger and better! Painting the trim (or even just painting a line on the wall itself) in between the two will make a big difference. Simply find a great contrasting color that works well with your look, and it will provide a nice visual barrier for your room.

Use Light Colors

light paint color, well lit room, room with windows

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

A dark colored room feels like a cave, and you know what caves are? Small and claustrophobic! One good way to make your room feel more open and big is to use light colors and let the light in. White or off-white are of course the preferred wall colors for this, but they will not reach their full potential unless you get some light into the room! Opening up the windows is a crucial step in making sure your space does not look like a cave!

Stop Using Overhead Lights

portland riverside apartment, use of lamps, natural light

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

Overhead lights draw the eye to the ceiling, which is the last thing you want if you are trying to make your space look big.  Try to avoid using a bright overhead light, and focus more on wall sconces and lamps so that the light is coming from the sides rather than from above. And as mentioned above, don’t forget the natural light source revealed by opening the windows!

Use Clear Shower Curtains

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Your bathroom needs attention too! The same rules about lighting and wall color apply to a bathroom, but in a room that may or may not have any windows, you need to get creative. One of the easiest things that you can do is to use a clear shower curtain. If you already have a shower with a sliding glass door then great job, your bathroom is already looking more spacious than it would otherwise! A clear curtain sacrifices privacy, but when you walk in you will love how much space your bathroom seems to have when you don’t close off the entire shower.

Avoid Using Boxy Furniture

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

This is an easy one! Don’t get furniture with skirts around the legs. Find couches and chairs that are comfortable for you but do not take up a lot of visual space. Buying furniture with exposed legs, minimally puffy cushions, and light colors will help the most in making your furniture take up as little space as possible.


Hopefully these quick and easy tips and tricks help you out in your small space! Whether it’s an apartment, or just a small home, we hope that this will inspire you to get working to perfect your space!

Pro Organization Inspiration For A Better Home Office

If you’re like me, your home office is the space that needs the most love. I love all things organization, but for some reason my office space always tends to be a little…well, let’s be honest, disheveled. But that’s about to change! I went on a hunt for some inspiration for all things organization and I’m going to share them with you!

If your Office Reflects Your Style, You’ll Be Excited to Pay Your Bills!

Make sure your space reflects you and your work. If you are a creative person use bright colors and unique art. If you are a minimalist person use softer tones and more bins to keep everything in it’s right place. Whatever the case, make sure the space functions for you! After all, an office is for being productive, so it should actually promote productivity!

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Lack of Space? Not Anymore!

Whether you live in an apartment or a full sized house, space always seems hard to come by, and the office is often the room where all of the overflow ends up. take advantage of a tight office space by using creative storage solutions. If you need things handy, get a desk chock full of drawers. If you like minimalism and a clutter-free work space, get a lot of built in cabinets and a plain glass desk. Or get even more creative and get a cabinet unit with a pull-out desk, optimizating floor space when you’re not at the desk!

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Garrison Hullinger Design Photography by Blackstone Edge

Sharing Space With Style

Sharing a space with another person can be tricky, especially when it comes to your personal work area. There are numerous solutions to this problem but the easiest is probably to have common storage for basic supplies such as tape, staples, and note pads, and distinct personal storage areas for each individual’s documents and supplies. This will make it seem like there are two distinct work stations, and nothing should get mixed up when you’re both hard at work!

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Make It A Space That You Will Want To Never Leave

Don’t be afraid to make a place in your home you will never want to leave. Work and paying bills can be daunting, why not do it in a space that you love and inspires you? Fill your office with your favorite artwork, a comfortable chair, or pick a room with a view! (Just don’t get distracted by the view!)

garrison hullinger, home office interior design, organization ideas, home office inspiration

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge


Let us know how you combat disorganization and clutter in your home office, and if these GHID designs look like great inspiration for your next office!

Catch Spring Fever with These Simple Home Tips!

Spring is in the air, but is your house ready? Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter essentially never came, and the sun has been shining (no, really!). We have been in the spring mood for months, but now we’ve got spring fever! Soak in the sun and the cool breeze as we go through some ways to welcome spring into your home this year!

Use Cool Natural Colors to Refresh Your Space


Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Colors that are cool and relaxing are the best way to ring in spring. Think of the beach, but not in a nautical sense. Neutral beige colors reminiscent of sand, paired with pastel blues and greens will bring a refreshing look to your home. Spring is all about feeling refreshed and like you’re outdoors, and these more natural tones will help you get in the mood.

Bring the Outside In!

2014 Street of Dreams Aquarium

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

A great way to bring Spring into the home is to literally bring it into your home! Pick some fresh, bright flowers from your garden and use them as a centerpiece for your dining room table, or wherever you please! We here at GHID love terrariums, which would also be an excellent choice for any tabletop or shelf to add a bit of nature to your interiors.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

2014 Street of Dreams Rec Room

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Why pay to light your space during the day with light bulbs when you can take advantage of the springtime sunlight? Keep the blinds open or invest in some sheer curtains to take advantage of the light coming through. This almost seems too simple, but it really makes a world of difference to open the curtains, and even open the windows, to let the air and light in. Spring just isn’t spring until you can breathe the fresh air in (and hopefully not sneeze!).

Decorate With Softer Shapes and Patterns


Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

Hard geometric lines are not conducive to spring. Spring is about feeling refreshed, and nothing gets that across better than a focus on rounder shaped in your interior design. Nice fluffy pillows, rounded tables, floral and circular patterns, and rounded furniture can give any room a relaxed feel that you want to just hang out in. As great as a white room full of straight and modern shapes can be, it is just not as warm, refreshing, or inviting in the springtime as a room optimized for the season!

Don’t Forget to Do Spring Cleaning


Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, Photography by Blackstone Edge

More important than any design tip for spring is spring cleaning! It is hard for your space to feel refreshing to you when you don’t refresh it! Switch up your furniture layout, clean the floors, and organize the nick-knacks you’ve collected over time. If you let the light in a dusty room, are you really going to like it? Some of you may love cleaning, but to all of you that hate it, just remember that it will be worth it in the end to see your sparkling clean space! Break out the mops and brooms before summer comes!


We hope you enjoyed these simple tips to get your home in the mood for spring. Let us know on Twitter if your house is ready for nice weather and how you are preparing for the season!

Designer Insights with Garrison Hullinger

This week on the blog we thought we’d do something a little different. Garrison was just featured in Terrys Fabrics’ Designer Insights, so we thought we’d share it with all of you! Take some time and learn a bit about Garrison and find out his top picks for this season.

Remodeling Your Attic So It Is Usable: Designer Tips & Tricks

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Garrison Hullinger’s previous home in Portland, photography by Dana Graggs

Having an unused space like an unfinished basement, or attic in your home is a common issue that homeowners often times face. Rather than feeling like your busting at the seams, you can update those unused spaces and make them livable spaces on your own, or by enlisting the help of design and construction experts. A fun fact about GHID is that it all began in Garrison and Js’ home attic located in Portland. Garrison and J turned their cute attic into GHID HQ. Don’t leave that unused space for the dust, use it to you and your family’s benefit.

 Clean Up The Crawl Space

Is your master bedroom on the top floor, but you really want to have that fabulous master bathroom that we all dream about? Consider gutting your crawl space so that it expands your master bath’s square footage. You should take a look at what this bathroom looked like before, it was a disaster and now it’s a dream bathroom!

Make It An Oasis For Your Guests

You love your home. You love your home’s location. You don’t love that your guests and family have no place to stay when they come to visit you. Renovate your attic into a beautiful and cozy place that your guests might get awfully comfy in. Use this beautiful attic remodel as your inspiration for a soothing place for your guests to enjoy you and your family. Once you add a guest bedroom to your attic or crawl space, you are going to be asking yourself what else you can do with an old attic, or unused space!

Unusual Attic Restaurant Designs

Although you likely haven’t pondered the thought of putting a bar in your home attic, it might be the most ingenious idea I’ve come across in a long time! You may be short on space, but you can extend your square footage by converting a previously un-used space into a new take on the man cave.

Create A Great At-Home Office 

Similar to what Garrison did at his very own home, you can create a fun and bright office space in your existing attic. This particular attic shows off a modern and clean atmosphere that allows natural light to pour in. Brace yourself, working from home may never have looked so good to you, but as I am writing this, I am thinking of poking my head up into the attic to see what square footage I may be working with.

Are you inspired to clear the dust out of your attic and call up your interior designer? If you are not, do you need to see more? Let us know and we’ll help you get some more inspiration!