Interior Design Advice for a Fan

Interior Design Advice for a Fan

Rowena, a fan just moved to a new place, and she decided to email us an ask for some interior design advice for her space. After I’ve read her email I’ve got an idea …to post the pictures on the website and ask for opinions from our readers. So I’ve asked Rowena to send me some pictures and a few words about her place …

When I rented it, the furniture that you see came with it. As with all rented home, we cant do much when it comes to painting, hammering etc. The window that you can see covered with the curtain is not really functional. As in, it opens to a balcony that was later roofed. I cannot seem to re-arrange the furniture around to make it look decent. I do intend to buy a couch or a sofa set. What I buy is depending on how to arrange the room & I would like to buy a center piece rug as well. I do like to read & would like a little corner with a chair and the tall lamp. Maybe in the wall corner of the window on the right, I could put the shelved corner stand, for little show pieces. I don’t intend to buy anything expensive just something that does not look cheap and yet makes the place look really peaceful. – Rowena

Now please take a look at the pictures attached below and give her some advice in the comments section, and tell me if posting something like this was a good idea or not. Thanks.


  • Zain February 23, 2010 at 16:43 PMLogin to Reply →

    Hi, the room really needs some renovating! First of all that curtain is very depressing, it needs a bit of color to cheer up the room. The dining table needs to be moved to the center of the room (but at the side) and the seats at the middle don’t look comfortable for watching tv. So it needs some change (couches will be great!) also a rug will add more life to the room. If you can add some paintings, do so! Best of luck!

  • Lavinia February 23, 2010 at 17:24 PMLogin to Reply →

    I don’t like the fact that there are two tables in the room. Too many chairs there. Try to move one away. Zain is right, you could really do something about cheering the place up like adding some color here and there. Flowers would also have this effect. Good luck!

  • LK February 23, 2010 at 18:42 PMLogin to Reply →

    divide the room with a curved shelf about 2 m high. Place the mahogany table and chairs and the TV on the side where the mahogany door is, add a carpet, hang up wall lamps, provide this part with elegant dark pink drapery. The dinner table and chairs can go to the other side.

  • Peacefull reader February 23, 2010 at 20:03 PMLogin to Reply →

    Peacefull.. is peacefull.. !!
    But i’ll try to write somethink when i stop laughing!!!!!

  • Bronwyn February 23, 2010 at 22:47 PMLogin to Reply →

    Colour, colour, colour! Paint the room in 1-2 richly coloured midtones if you can, or add lots of art if you can’t. (Art can be posters instead of framed paintings.) Rugs and more elaborate drapes too. I don’t mean blaring saturated colours, I mean something with richness and depth. Not neutrals.

    Add coziness and a sense of anchoring. Use rugs or shelves or screens to divide the space into smaller areas. Get generously proportioned sofas or loveseats, ideally in mid to dark colours, so that the chairs are a pleasing contrast or not needed. And consider a big tall bookshelf or wall unit in mahogany to go with that lovely door.

    Right now the place is too light and empty and impersonal, especially for that furniture. All the furniture wants to be somewhere more crowded with colours and patterns.

  • Eva February 24, 2010 at 00:10 AMLogin to Reply →

    I know the feeling when you can’t pain the walls – you can however buy material or wall paper and attach it to the walls by hanging or using small pushpins. but I think you can work with the white walls

    use these as ideas for layout:

    otherwise try a black and white theme you can hang b/w pictures on the wall in large boxed frames using 3m hooks if the landlords don’t like or approve nails.

    find a unique bookshelf, or an art/ large mirrors to prop up, the possibilities are endless just take a look at the appartments page on here good luck

  • sabrina February 24, 2010 at 00:59 AMLogin to Reply →

    get rid of the dark chairs and low table. Paint the walls a medium shade, change the curtains, get a new tv stand.

  • kusnadi February 24, 2010 at 01:43 AMLogin to Reply →

    sorry if my english not good.
    1. buy furniture in same colour or same texture (wood)
    2. if the window not functional, put some photo in the window (landsape or city photo), remove the covered.
    3. put some indoor tree. use inderect lamp behind the tree to make cozy room.
    4. use the warm light colour lamp. change the lamp in ceiling with hanging or downlight lamp.
    5. monochrome colour maybe is the good idea. eye catching colour for the vase or painting or rug.

  • aspergilia February 24, 2010 at 05:14 AMLogin to Reply →

    Hideous! I’m sure it’s not ready-it’s only a deposit of tables and chairs……..

  • Tere February 24, 2010 at 05:20 AMLogin to Reply →

    You can use the foundation columns protruding from the wall as a base for perhaps a wallside shelving. It can also double up as space and decorating venue for wall pieces that you’ve got.

  • Shweta February 24, 2010 at 05:52 AMLogin to Reply →

    I feel there is no place you cannot redo in a budget, if you can add personal touches to it. There could more than one option to the place, depending on how you use it.

    The curtains definitely need a change. Shorter ones, till just below sill level could give u some space to position a low table under it. The seating arrangement could be centred around this. Push the chairs back to towards the walls. This will give u some place to add that cozy reading nook with a leisure chair as well…:)

    You could buy a Tv unit/cum crocery cabinet (reasonable one from IKEA or something similar) to house your TV and the small dining crockery. Add some casual shelves here and there alongside cheerful paintings to display your artefacts.

    Also, think ab’t changing places of the two tables!

    Colour could definitely help, as the place seems very neutral. You could highlight any one wall, either with paint or texture depending on your budget. Balance this in the colour of curtains or cushion upholstery.

    I’m sure yu’ll end up with a place you love…:)

  • Rowena February 24, 2010 at 06:35 AMLogin to Reply →

    Hey guys,
    Thanks a lot for your opinions. @ Peacefull reader: hoping to hear what you got after you stop laughing.
    Among the opinions, I will do the following:
    1) Def Change curtains (those came with the apartment)
    2) Looking at med. size couch (1) or a love seat
    3) Sorry Bronwyn – can’t change the paint but I’ll put up some of my paintings on the wall.
    4) LK, I like the idea of spliting the room, hopefully will look and see what I can find to do that.

    @ Michael – Thanks for posting this up. I, for one know this will help. Once I change the look of this place over the next weeks, I’ll send you pictures again. :)

  • SP, Kim February 24, 2010 at 07:58 AMLogin to Reply →

    I have a suggestion.
    how about Wall-Paper?
    if i were you, i would had better use wall-paper than painting.
    i think, one of the interior desing’s cores is impact of optical stimulations. that is onething, color.

  • Liz February 24, 2010 at 10:39 AMLogin to Reply →

    Initial thoughts are awful, can you paint the furniture? If you can I would paint it all white which might give it a shabby/beachy kind of feel. Get rid of the curtains and replace them with sheer white curtains that don’t cover the windows up totally, sheer curtains can be held back nicely with even a brooch. A very large rug in a neutral tone and I like the idea of a room divider to divide the room up into a dining area and lounge area.

    The colour of the tiles looks like a sandstone, so you need to stick to neautral tones (sorry others that disagree) or black & white with some occassion splashes of colour, a deep red, burnt orange or peach colour might work, and keep it clean. Maybe some black and white framed prints on the walls would give the room some interest.

    Lots of accessories but not too busy ones.

    Get rid of the TV unit, even painting it won’t make it look good!

    If you can get a hanging light pendant put one over the dining table.

    * Great idea to get everyone involved, I really like this inclusion in the emails. *

  • Shane February 24, 2010 at 14:39 PMLogin to Reply →

    The colour of the walls and floor in relation with the doors and furniture is causing the space to have a high contrast feeling making it stark and lifeless. You need to subdue that ratio to make it harmonious. I would suggest getting a sizable sofa in a warm Grey tone to start, then build up the rest from their. Large Red toned rug to anchor the sofa which should be placed on the wall where the T.V. is currently. There is nothing worse than staring at a front door while enjoying a sit down. The curtain rod is hung to low and is the wrong colour. Try a darker stained wood to match the existing door frames and hang something light and sheer to allow any light in. Hang rod about 3-4 inches higher than what it is. The honeyed oak of the dining table doesn’t fit and needs to be addressed. A quick solution would be to easily slip cover 4 oak chairs in white to contrast the Grey couch, use a patterned darker cloth for the table, and 2 existing arm chairs at the ends of the table, and position in front of the patio window. Change the light above with something that swags or hangs lower, and add something with texture to the wall left of the patio window at the end of the dining table to add interest. Hang large artwork with some yellow gold tones on canvas, 5×6 feet in size on wall left to the door when facing the door. Fill in the rest with personal affects. Good Luck!!

  • McFarty February 24, 2010 at 17:20 PMLogin to Reply →

    I think it would be great to see a section where you post readers homes or room photos when they’re looking for advice or criticism… then let the readers go to town on leaving comments…

  • lori webb February 25, 2010 at 02:19 AMLogin to Reply →

    This all depends on your budget, but you can do alot with just buying bed sheets to cover the dining chairs and a table cloth so that the wood is covered. you can find DIY on making slip covers for chairs on the web. to cover the air conditioner a folding screen. bought or made again go to DIY. Art work on walls if you are short of money make your own. area rug in the living room to seporate the spaces. move the dining table to the sliding door area. check your local thift stores for a sofa comfortable and warm calming colors. something that reflects you. try IKEA

  • Deb February 25, 2010 at 17:52 PMLogin to Reply →

    From what I gather she is stuck with the paint color on the walls? I would suggest different curtains maybe something a little more upbeat:) I’m thinking the dining set could be moved so that when you walk in the front door it can be seen. It would look nice esp if you have a nice table set up. Art definitely needs to be in there somewhere. Its so easy to make too. You can do a collage of different frames but similar style photos or paintings on the big wall. Yes a rug would play up the space nicely! I would suggest swinging the sitting area setup around so that it faces the eating area. I think the black and white scheme is a good idea if you choose an accent color and use it throughout your space. But thats only if you get new furniture. With the current set up now I wouldnt suggest anything to bold on curtain colors. I think a softer shade of blues,creams and browns would look good with what you have now.

  • Josh February 25, 2010 at 23:57 PMLogin to Reply →

    I agree with 99% of the people that have commented with thinking the room is way too depressing. Seeing how the walls are a bit off-white, adding a color would be the best thing in my opinion. I think you should stick with one main color as an accent and incorporate it in the couch, sofa, rug, and cutrains. Making them match is key. I wish you luck!

  • Anne-Marie February 26, 2010 at 16:00 PMLogin to Reply →

    Hi all!
    I think the most important thing here is to flip the two areas around. Place the dining table in front of the window, lengthwise. Add a large piece of art on the wall adjacent to the window to help ground the table, and get some lightweight white curtains. Add a carpet to the other area, and a sofa if you can manage it. Place the tv on the wall with the door (perhaps a bookshelf on either side?) and the sofa on the wall adjacent. If you can , get a console table and use it to seperate the entrance area and the living space. Place two of the chairs in front, facing the sofa. Place a long bench or pair of upholstered stools between the dining area and t.v. Paint out your coffee table. I would stick to neutrals for the sofa and walls, but something with more life than what you have now, and use pillows, art, and the benches for a pop of colour – good luck!

  • Joanne Fennell February 26, 2010 at 19:26 PMLogin to Reply →

    If you have the budget then I would spend the money on changing the floor. Tiles in this space look cold and uninviting. If you have the money invest in maybe oak floorboards (budget permitting) or laminate. I would also paint the chairs and maybe get some bright, patterned fabric to upholster the chairs. Personalise the space and put a big mirror and a cluster of pictures on the wall and it would transform the look and feel of the room.

  • Liliana Chocarro February 27, 2010 at 08:34 AMLogin to Reply →

    First of all,yes I think it was a good idea to post this. We come to this site on a regular basis and I think it is great to exchange ideas if one of us -fans- need help.
    Rowena, if you pick a soft colour you will not have problems with the landlord. The pieces of dark furniture are nice, and you could pick up the colours from that fabric. The fact that the dining set is a completely different kind of wood does not help, but if the room is big enough you could divide with a bookcase, or a light fabric. Good luck!

  • Liliana Chocarro February 27, 2010 at 08:41 AMLogin to Reply →

    Regarding the floor, since you are renting you will not want to spend so much in changing them. Use area rugs. The magazine trends and ideas the South East Asian issue, has lots of images, where the floors are all tile, marble, granite since they are common in warm countries.

  • N February 27, 2010 at 22:56 PMLogin to Reply →

    I agree with McFarty

    “I think it would be great to see a section where you post readers homes or room photos when they’re looking for advice or criticism… then let the readers go to town on leaving comments…”

    Rather than putting design projects on the main page have a section to post pictures and leave comments and then post the before and after pics on the home page with people’s comments when they are done.

  • Vikash Chaudhary March 24, 2010 at 12:23 PMLogin to Reply →

    Hi all !!!
    It’s really nice to suggest ideas to someone needy. Thanks for giving us this chance.

    Rowena, i have gone through all the snaps u attached here and keeping in mind that you have rented the house, I would suggest that-

    1. The room is too big, you’ll need to fill it with graphics, no need to paint your house, but use some wallpaper. You can also create your own wallpaper by some drawings or folding paper and fixing it to wall with some kind of glue.

    2. Place some huge flower vase and candle stands (long enough) to fill the corner areas.

    3. Place some floor couch next to any of the wall. And place some nice scene of your mood type over the front wall opposite to the couch.

    4. Obviously, you should place floor mats where it is required.

    5. On other wall try to put some of your family framed pictures.

    6. What if you some lighting stands at one of the corner of your room. It won’t be wasting of your money either, you can use it again when you change your house.

    7. Use draperies like Dual-Colored curtains to give dynamic look to your windows/door.

    8. On the television side wall, you can place a big Wall clock at the center of the wall.

    9. Why don’t you try out some Table linen, some draperies over it, so that wooden area of furniture will be less visible to your guest. Use light & soft color for this.


  • ros ros January 14, 2011 at 13:41 PMLogin to Reply →

    Rowena, there’s potential here, even though there’s too many shades of brown here (yucks). My added suggestions would be to return the coffee table and chairs to the landlord if possible, together with the TV and TV stand. If not, hide it somewhere!! You’ll be getting a couch anyway so there’s enough seating avail in the space. Definitely bring the dining table closer to the kitchen. Cover part of the door with something (wallpaper, cloth..etc). Buy cushion covers that have the colours of the door and the dining table and a splash of bright colour to tie it all together. Good luck! just realised the dates,… you must be done by now, show us the pics! :)

  • AIAM April 16, 2011 at 15:57 PMLogin to Reply →

    Please, freshome, ask this person to show us how it looks by now! It’d be great to see the result after all the advices given here =)