Common Interior-Design Problems Solved by Experts + Photos


Table of Contents1 To make low ceilings feel taller, draw the eye upwards.2 Make a small space feel larger by relying on neutral colors and textures.3 Increase closet space by making the most of hidden storage.4 Hide worn-out flooring with beautiful rugs or carpet tiles.5 Highlight exposed pipework and columns […]

To make low ceilings feel taller, draw the eye upwards.

Legless furniture and purposeful artwork can help draw the eyes up.

New Africa/Shutterstock

If you deal with the problem of low ceilings in your home, one of the first things to do is to visually elongate the wall, according to Susann Goerg, interior designer and founder of happyhomes design.

An easy way to achieve this is by drawing the eye up and off the ground, she said. 

Keep your furniture low to the ground so the ceiling will appear further away when you are lounging on your sofa. You may want to consider pieces without legs, she explained.

“Tall plants, light fixtures, and vertically placed art also draw the eye up and help to create a feeling of height,” Goerg told Insider. 

Make a small space feel larger by relying on neutral colors and textures.

White simple bedroom design with mirror, dresser and comfortable bed with white sheets, real photo

Neutral tones can make a small room appear larger.

A technique to enlarge a small room is to use a monochromatic palette consisting of neutral colors and textures for the overall environment, according to Maureen McClaine, interior designer at Stantec.

“Save the more fun or exciting colors, patterns, and textures for that sofa, art piece, or accent wall that you want to be your showstopper,” McClaine said. 

Increase closet space by making the most of hidden storage.

A young girl's closet neatly organized with hanging shoe rack, bins, and boxes

Shoes, belts, and purses can be stored in innovative ways.

Becky Wright Photography/Shutterfly

When it’s time to switch up your wardrobe for the season, make use of the often underutilized backside of your closet doors. This space can be used for storing shoes, ties, belts, and purses, according to Goerg.

You also have the opportunity to get creative with under-bed and under-sofa sliding or rolling storage that isn’t visible, she added. 

“Make sure to really push it into the center underneath elevated furniture so that nothing sticks out and no one will ever know,” Goerg told Insider. 

Hide worn-out flooring with beautiful rugs or carpet tiles.

Real photo of a dining area, television and gray couch in open space living room interior

A statement rug can cover up worn-out floors.


If you don’t have the opportunity to replace or refinish an unsightly flooring with stains or paints, one of the easiest strategies is to cover it up, according to Goerg.

“Since it’s one of the most sizable surfaces in a space, a large-scale rug or even carpet tiles can create a completely new impression and the possibility to bring your floor up to your own design aesthetics,” she told Insider. 

Highlight exposed pipework and columns by giving them a modern industrial look.

Modern sofa in the loft living room - 3 D render using 3 d s max

Drawing attention to exposed pipes gives your space an industrial look.


Instead of hiding the exposed pipes and columns in your home, you can choose to make them a focal point depending on the style you are going for, Goerg said.

“For pipes, you can wrap them in raw or dyed rope or use paint similar to the adjacent wall color to have them blend or metallic paint to enhance an industrial look,” Goerg told Insider. 

If that’s not your style, applying mirror material to a column’s exterior will have it virtually disappear, Goerg suggested.

A lack of natural light can be remedied by incorporating decorative mirrors into your space.

Elegant room interior with large mirror

Adding mirrors to a dark room can create the illusion of a bigger space.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

If your home is lacking the preferred amount of natural daylight, there are a few tricks to amplify it, according to McClaine. The first tip is to add a decorative mirror on an adjacent wall.

“This will bounce the light coming into your space around the room and increase the areas touched by the natural daylight,” McClaine told Insider. 

If you’re still hoping to brighten a dark space, paint your walls and ceilings in a true, bright-white paint, according to Courtney Robinson, interior designer and owner of Materials + Methods Design.

“It not only reflects light, but when it’s pure, it really expands the look of your space,” Robinson added. “When ceilings and walls are the same color and tone, it gives the appearance of a larger space as well.”


If you struggle to fill your empty walls, look for tasteful and meaningful pieces that speak to you.

White ceramic vase, bouquet of pink tulip flowers, wicker tray, candles, and macrame

Adding texture to your walls with statement pieces can revive empty walls.

Nesolenaya Alexandra/Shutterstock

Goerg said a lot of people struggle to figure out how to properly fill up their empty walls.

“When adding interest to your walls, consider context and meaning and look for opportunities to find something that speaks to you and your space,” Goerg said. 

From tasteful tapestries, woven wall hangings, and rugs to sculptural pieces such as baskets, ceramics, weathered wood, branch-like, and antique objects — all can add the desired texture, depth, and dimensions.

Replace vents and electric panels with decorative vent grates that match your interior design.

Furry dog lying on the carpet in colorful spacious living room with violet heater

Decorative heater covers can hide unsightly vents.

The built-in blemish of most homes — vents and electric panels — are often an afterthought and come with builder-grade covers.

One of the best things you can do is replace them with decorative or seamless vent grates/grilles that harmonize with your home design.

“You can even find custom floor vent covers that flawlessly integrate with your wood flooring,” Goerg said.

If switching the covers isn’t sufficient for your situation, and if the placement makes sense visually, you can hang a mirror or a piece of art with a wire at an angle so that it tilts and allows for airflow and easy access. 

Increase kitchen cabinet space by putting groceries into matching storage jars.

Organic bulk products in zero waste shop. Foods storage in kitchen at low waste lifestyle.

Switching out cluttered boxes for matching glassware can instantly polish your pantry.

Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

If you are lacking storage space in your kitchen, it’s probably time to reorganize, according to Robinson.

Start by emptying out all of your cabinets and sorting through what you need versus what you don’t, she suggested. 

Then take all of your groceries out of the original packaging and store them in matching storage jars. By doing so, you create a clean and crisp environment that appears to have tripled in size, Robinson said. 

Use your many large coffee table books as an end table.

Cozy home interior decor: white and black cup, stack of books, plants in pots on a wicker

Stacking books is an innovative way to create an end table.


If you’re unsure about what to do with all of your oversized coffee-table books, one solution is to use them as a makeshift end table, according to Kim Turner, principal and designer at Kim Turner Design and advancement director at Dwell with Dignity

“I have way too many interior design-related coffee table books without space for a nice large coffee table,” Turner told Insider. “Stack them beside a comfortable chair at end table height. Be sure and put a coaster on top for a drink so you don’t harm the book.”

Buy a cheap frameless frame if you don’t have the time and money to do it the right way.

Handmade ocean wave epoxy resin decor frame. Liquid marble texture - fluid art decor.

Frameless photos can replace expensive framing costs.

Anastasiia Krivenok/Getty Images

If you’re not in a place where you can invest money toward proper framing for an artwork or such, an inexpensive and temporary solution is to buy a frameless frame.

This is the kind with glass that attaches to a heavy cardboard back with metal clips. 

“Make it look stylish and purposeful by buying the frame the next size up from what you’re framing,” Turner told Insider. “Use decorative wrapping paper, handmade paper from Paper Source, or newspaper behind what’s being framed for a ready-made mat.”

Divide a large, awkward space into several zones to make the most use of the space.

modern office room detail vertical banner behind white wall decoration concept

Sectioning off your space can make it more dynamic.

united photo studio/Shutterstock

If you’re unsure about how to make use of a large space, consider breaking it up into sections, according to McClaine. 

“Rather than trying to make a large, open, irregular-shaped space serve one purpose, break up the space into zones,” she told Insider. 

Once you allow your thoughts to move past a singular use, you will begin to see an opportunity for that small reading nook, wine bar, or writing desk.

Don’t be afraid to push the furniture off the walls — you can then anchor the pieces with a table, art piece, or area rug, McClaine said.

Update your kitchen cabinetry by replacing just a few pieces such as the handles and doors.

Stylish light grey handles on cabinets close-up, kitchen interior with modern furniture and stainless steel appliances, kitchen design in scandinavian style

Updating small details in your kitchen can have a big impact.

Bogdon Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock

If you are looking to upgrade your kitchen cabinetry but do not have the budget to finance a gut renovation, consider replacing just some pieces, Robinson suggested, such as the doors, countertops, backsplash, and handles. 

“By maintaining the core structure of the kitchen, you also save yourself the headache of a lengthy construction timeline,” Robinson told Insider.

Corral your wires, remotes, and office supplies in beautiful boxes.

bench industrial with rattan box all size

Baskets and boxes can hide electronic clutter.


From wood and stone to metal and mirror, there are so many beautiful boxes available these days, and they make great storage solutions. 

Use boxes for everything that needs to be corralled such as your office supplies, electrical cords, remote controls, and anything else lying around the house, Turner recommended.

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