Podcast, Ep. 259: Living Large in Small Spaces with Ginger Curtis

Designer Ginger Curtis

Designer Ginger Curtis

We are joined today by Dallas-based designer Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs. Ginger is passionate about helping others elevate their home’s beauty, comfort, and function to create a stunning design. She has appeared in over 100 magazines and digital publications, as well as several TV & radio shows and podcasts. Her new book Beauty by Design is available now nationwide. Most recently Ginger was recognized as the winner of HGTV’s Designer of the Year award for her tiny home transformation. We talk about the details of that project as well as other tips and tricks for designing a small space, Ginger’s inspiring personal journey, and more!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Ginger discusses the origin of the tiny home project that won her the HGTV award.
  • Multi-use function is a key element when designing for a small space.
  • Is symmetry important for a small space?
  • Sharp corners will not be your friend; lean into relaxed and more rounded items.
  • Artwork can be used to create balance.
  • How to know when to lean into symmetry or asymmetry.
  • Are colors off-limits in a small space?
  • After multiple cancer journeys, Ginger realized the impact that homes have on your life.
  • The first thing Ginger does for her client’s homes is draw in the natural light.
  • Why Ginger’s favorite color is always evolving.
  • How you can use artificial lighting to balance the cast from natural light.
  • Ginger likes to choose her floors before cabinets.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hi Ladies,

First of all, thank you all so much for the enjoyable and educational podcast! I love listening and have learned so much from all the designers! Thank you.

We bought a very traditional early 90s style home about a year ago and have done some renovations, mostly paint. It was very much in the red brick, mustard yellow, and very large leather furniture era. I need your advice on the family room.

  • Do I need window treatments for the two big windows? I love drapery and layers, but I also love the natural light.
  • What furniture arrangement do you suggest?
  • What are some other thoughts you have for this room?

Thank you so much for your help and again for your wonderful podcast!


Hi Hannah,

Your home is lovely and I love the white wall color you chose. To first address the window treatments, yes definitely get them for texture and warmth! I would suggest using curtain panels but not two on each window. Instead, I would hang your curtain road above the arch so it’s really tall and just flank the far left and the far right side of each window with a double width or even triple width panel. Since you have the fireplace in the middle you don’t want to suffocate it. It will also add drama and it will draw the eye up. Personally, I prefer using ring clips and a pinch pleat when hanging curtains. When it comes to using a solid or a pattern, I think both are appropriate so it will be what your heart gravitates to. I would look at some inspiration photos with rooms that are light and bright and see what speaks to you! You can ask yourself questions like whether you want it to feel more formal or more relaxed.

For other suggestions for the room, you could consider painting the fireplace mantle. A dark blue or green, charcoal, or even black; anything to add some weight to the walls since it’s all very light right now. As far as the furniture layout, I like what you have going on right now. On the right side of the couch you could consider a bench instead of a chair. It would add additional seating with also a unique design element. We love the bookshelf and the wallpaper, as well.

We really think the window treatments are going to go a long way in transforming the space! Please send us after photos!

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.