A SMALL CHAT: Lisa Parks of Space/Lift Interior Design

Posted on: November 16th, 2009 by rebecca

Interior designer, Lisa Parks, is this week’s A SMALL CHAT. Lisa is no stranger to designing spaces that feel comfortable and stylish in both form and function. Aside from design, Lisa has been prop styling for many years and has an eye for detail. Let’s hear what she has to say about incorporating color into small spaces, versatility and design challenges that she often encounters.
What would you say is the most versatile small space accent?
That would definitely be a square or round coffee table with a little bit of height (21″ – 24″ is perfect!). This table can serve its original purpose, but can also function quite well as a dining or game table – just have a few floor pillows stacked nearby.

As an interior designer, you work with clients looking for change. What’s the design challenge you see most often and how do you encourage your clients to improve their space?
Many people that call me for a consultation for smaller spaces have furniture that’s oversized for the room, or they have too much of it. One of the first things I do is to shop around in other rooms to see if pieces can be swapped for something more size appropriate. I also help clients determine which items should stay and which need to go. It’s sometimes hard for them to part with certain things, but in the end they’re always happy with the results.

Color is an affordable and impactful way to change a small space. What are your best tips for incorporating layers of color in a space to add dimension without the space feeling overwhelming?
If I’m working with a small space I’ll generally use softer colors on the wall or will paint just a focal wall in an accent color. Incorporating pops of color with throw pillows or a small upholstered chair is a great way to add dimension to a space. I also tend to stick to one main color and then usually bring in a couple of accent colors. Bringing in shades of white is a nice way to add a little contrast, give the colors breathing room, and keep the space feeling airy.

What’s the rule of thumb you follow with small spaces? some people say “when you bring an item in, take an item out.”
Just because the space it small, it doesn’t mean you should always use small accessories. That will just make the room look cluttered and will draw attention to its smallness. Instead, limit your accessories and choose some items that are more substantial in size such as a larger piece of artwork rather than a lot of smaller ones.

What are 3 simple ways to improve the layout of a small space?
  1. Try not to put every piece of furniture against the wall if you can help it. Doing so makes the room feel flat and defines the perimeters of the room, making it feel smaller.
  2. Invest in furniture that can perform double duty (such as a high coffee table). You might find that you’ll need less furniture in the room.
  3. It’s okay to have a small blank wall or an empty corner. Don’t feel that you need to have every space filled.
Thanks, Lisa! Check out Lisa’s professional website, Space/Lift, right here and her fun blog of the same name right here.
Enjoy more A SMALL CHAT’s from loving. living. small.
Fleur of Phunklab
Viv of ish and chi
Laure Joliet of Dwell
The Novogratz’s of Sixx Design

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