Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Decorator Phoebe Howard solves your small-space dilemmas with paint solutions, decorating advice, and product picks.

"What paint colors work best in tight spaces?"   
—Ashley; Jacksonville, FL

Phoebe's Solution: When it comes to a small room, there are three ways you can go.

1. "Light colors visually expand a space by appearing to push the walls out horizontally and vertically, giving a light and airy effect."
Her pick: Healing Aloe;

2. "Dark colors make the corners of the room disappear, so you don't sense the size and instead just focus on the cozy feel."
Her pick: Chocolate Candy Brown;

3. "A bright, strong color will make your room feel vibrant, happy, and definitely stimulating."
Her pick: Coral Gables;

"What should I do with the dormer window niche in my upstairs guest room?" —Eleanor; Charlotte, NC

Phoebe's Solution: "Consider using a writing table to turn that area into a functional space. Pair it with a small chair or stool, top it with a freestanding mirror and candlestick lamps, fill the drawer with essentials, and it's ready to go as a dressing table or desk. I also like to wrap a dormer with wallpaper, because it softens the angles of the room and instantly adds coziness. One of my favorite tricks is using the matching fabric on the window treatment."

"My seating area is too small for standard end tables. Any suggestions?" —Lisa; Macon, GA

Phoebe's Solution: "I'm a big fan of little accessory tables, which I call drink tables. Because of their petite size—usually 18 to 20 inches high and 12 to 16 inches wide—they can easily be pulled up to any chair, giving you a convenient place to set a beverage or book." Here are a couple of her favorites.

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