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Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

February 13, 2017
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'What were they thinking designing a house like that?'

Perhaps you have a funny area that defies all interior logic, or an odd pocket of space that you can't fathom fitting anything in to. Don't give up just yet - there's still hope in these difficult places.

With the help of interior designers Leon from Free Space Intent and Montie from M3 Studio, here are some helpful tips to fixing the strange spaces lurking in your home.


Curved Walls

You love some curves on a woman, on your TV, but on your house walls? Maybe not so much. A rounded wall can be a statement feature that sets a house apart from other conventional boxy layouts, but decorating it may prove to be a challenge.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Urban Design House

Here's What You Can Do

1. Keep furniture to the centre

Leon (L), Free Space Intent: "When arranging your furniture in a curved room, don't lean them against the curved wall. Leave some space, and centralise your layout, so as to disassociate your furniture from the curved lines."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: The Interior Lab

2. Built-in linear carpentry

L: "Built-in carpentry can be made to offset any odd curves with a straight finish. However, this is only advisable for homes with a gentle or small curve to their walls, as doing extensive work can be expensive."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: 7 Interior Architecture

3. Embrace your curves

Montie (M), M3 Studio: "Instead of fighting with it, incorporate the curves in your interiors. This is what we call 'Design by Form' where the shapes are the pinnacle of the design theme. You could have curved shelvings, a curved false ceiling or soft furnishings to emphasise the theme."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

L: "You can also show off your curved wall as a feature wall with textural effects like wallpapers, or tiling. Shine a spotlight or two on the wall for a glowing, grand effect."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent


Diagonal Walls

The OCD in you is probably having a heart attack right now - these walls just refuse to fit into your equal rectangular format. Whether it's veering off in obtuse and even acute angles, diagonal walls have the ability to make any perfectly aligned furniture look perfectly misplaced. Ugh.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: AD. I. WRKS

Here's What You Can Do

1. Arrange furniture along the diagonal line

M: "Place your furniture perpendicular and placed close to the angled walls to blend the into the oddly shaped layout. In addition, having items face inwards at different angles helps to create a unique space in the center."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: DISTINCTidENTITY

2. Even out with carpentry

L: "Like curved walls, you can build carpentry that evens out a slanted angle. Whether its shelving or a built-in table, these components help to grab attention away from the wall's slanted properties."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Inspire ID

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Concept Living

3. Use shelving to soften sharp wall edges

L: "If your space has an acute wall edge, soften the sharp angle by inserting a simple shelf or plank in between. This will transform that difficult corner into a functional cubbyhole."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Fineline Design


Random Structural Pillars and Beams

Alas, no matter how hard you plead the HDB gods to permit you to knock it down, that obtrusive structural pillar is here to stay. Might as well make friends and work around it, right?

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: DISTINCTidENTITY

Here's What You Can Do

1. Blend into a feature wall

L: "If you can't get rid of it, you can make it look as if it never was there in the first place. Conceal and shift attention away by blending the column and pillars and building it as a continuous, curved feature wall."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

L: "Finish with a splash of vibrant paint, or fancy textures like mosaic tiles or wooden planks and voila, even you won't be able to tell the difference."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

2. Cover it up

Tip: If you aren't keen on doing extensive carpentry works, there's still a simpler and cost effective way to solve this problem; Transform bigger columns into convenient end-tables for placing a cuppa or two, or hide pillars with standalone houseplants or bookcases.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: De Home Studio


Tight Corridors

The claustrophobia is real in this one. Unfortunately, you've got yourself one of those cramped, dark hallways that feels like a black hole you're stepping into instead. Isn't there any way to brighten and widen up this depressing space?

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Absolook Interior Design

Here's What You Can Do

1. Play on lighting fixtures

M: "Lighting is essential, as the more light that bounces off and re-directs, the bigger a space feels. Thus, I'd suggest installing lights that shine up, reflecting off the ceiling and walls to create an illusion of taller and bigger space. To further accentuate an airy effect, choose lighter paint colours for your wall and ceilings."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: M3 Studio


That Recessed Area In Between Two Protruding Walls

It's hard to explain what it really is, or why most newer HDBs have this feature in their living spaces or rooms. But, one thing is for certain - these uneven walls are throwing your entire look off, and are making it a pain to place furniture and items in an orderly manner.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

Here's What You Can Do

1. Use partition boards to even walls out

L: "To flatten out the entire irregular area, you can utilise partition boards to cover the recessed areas and columns, and use it as a feature wall. Remember to board over the protruding columns, and not join the boards on their sides. This is so as over time, a building structure may make slight movements, which might cause the partition board wedged in between to crack. Placing it on top would avoid this from happening."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: D5 Studio Image

2. Make a statement

L: "The layout of the pillars and recessed area looks like a frame, which is great for drawing attention. You can design it as a feature area or unique nook, adding a wall mural or place some artwork to make the area the highlight corner of your home."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: M3 Studio

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: The Roomaker


Staircase Nooks

Everyone loves a grand-looking staircase, but what about all that wasted space on its base? Jutting out in all the wrong corners and obstructed by the stairs' low, sloping bottom, it feels too sparse leaving it alone, but too complicated to decorate it right. What a dilemma.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Imagine by SK66

Here's What You Can Do

1. Create a fun, lighthearted corner.

L: "Most homeowners would opt to create storage space within the nooks ( a la Harry Potter style), but what I'd suggest instead is creating an aesthetic, display corner, like having a water feature area, a tiny grass patch or seating area which will inject a bit of fun to your interiors."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Space Sense


L-Shaped Living Area

There's more than meets the eye in this layout - one moment its a rectangular living space, and the next you're making a 45 degree turn into (surprise!) an additional area. Feeling as lost and confused? Us too.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Weiken.com

Here's What You Can Do

1. Make use of mirrors

M: "Such living rooms are normally narrower in depth and bigger in length, thus I would use a play of reflections and lights. One way is by adding mirrors to the walls leading to the turn, which will help reflect and pre-empt the rest of the L-shaped room."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: U-Home Interior Design

2. Mark spaces out with dividers

M: "I would also recommend using dividers, plants or bookshelves to demarcate the different spaces. These items not only mark the transition, but also soften the turn of the angle, making the L-shaped layout less obvious."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Source: Famurat Builders


Sloped Ceilings

While they are more of a perk than a problem, the differences in height and wall space are tricky to balance out, especially in terms of lighting.

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: AkiHAUS

Here's What You Can Do

1. Pick the right lighting

L: "With a sloped ceiling, its best to avoid down lights, as they can be stark, and will shine focus on the imbalanced room height. Instead, cove lights are a better choice, as they help to illuminate and create subtle attention to the ceiling. Another good choice is hanging lights, whose dangling feature creates a focal point in the enclosed space."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: The 80s Studio

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Interior Designer: Weiken.com

2. Practical storage space

L: "You can either opt for a clean, uncluttered look on the slanted side walls, or maximise your storage by adding shelves that build up the wall space, like a bookshelf. Instead of filling up the entire wall with shelves, which can be impractical, stop at a certain height, and install lights to create attention to the place."

Help! My House... Has Awkward Corners

Source: Desire To Inspire


Have more problems or questions you wish to clear up about your house? We're here to help - drop us a message on our Facebook page, and we might be featuring your ideas in our next article!

Check out Free Space Intent and M3 Studio's portfolios here. For more home renovation ideas from over 200 interior firms, download the Qanvast app, available on the App Store and Google Play, and save your favourite designs on the go!

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