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5 interior decorating challenges and how to solve them

 

As far as décor is concerned, everything seems just about fine at home. But like with a pea under your mattress, you’re tossing and turning over some ignored part of your home that’s trying to get your unsolicited attention. Something unavoidable, like a pillar in the middle of the room, or a tiny window that you don’t know what to do with. You have tried to think of ways to deal with it, only to give up and make peace with the devil. But if you haven’t completely caved in then we have a few suggestions you may want to try out. 

 

WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE SMALL PICTURE WINDOWS…
Picture windows or windows that are small in size are a common sight in apartments. Most people cover it with a curtain the precise size of the window. It’s convenient, but is it ideal? No, it’s not. It looks like a big square in the centre of the wall. Here are some other options, based on possible locations: 

1. Suppose your window is on an empty wall and you’re not planning to place any furniture below it, you can make it look bigger by treating it with curtains that start a few inches below the ceiling and almost reach the floor.

2. If your window sits above a piece of furniture or a full-length curtain isn’t feasible, you can then either opt for shades or blinds, depending on how you want to control the light. This option also works if your window is just very small.

3. In areas like the kitchen, you could style your windows with café-style short curtains, which only cover the bottom part of the window. You can then layer it with a valance (a creatively draped short curtain that only covers the top section of the window). This will let you control the light, maintain privacy, look styled and it is easy to clean.

Living room window with floral curtain, green sofa and colourful armchair, potted plants and accessories on coffe table

Photography by Madhurjya Saikia, Styled by Aishwarya Bhonsle

 

WHEN A WOODEN WARDROBE FILLS THE ENTIRE WALL OF A ROOM…
Nowadays a lot of Indian homes have custom-built wardrobes that fill the entire span of a room. A sense of frugality, tendency to hoard, or perhaps we just have too many things, whatever the reason, in the interest of creating concealed storage options, rooms have been overtaken with wardrobes. If the wardrobes have been designed creatively and does not overpower the room, then that’s great. On the other hand, if it does overpower a room then perhaps you could try one of these solutions:

1. Blend the cupboard with the wall by cladding it in a colour that is the same as the rest of the room. This works best if your cupboard is wall-to-wall. 

2. On the opposite side of the spectrum of solutions, turn the wardrobe into a feature. Do this by covering it in an interesting wallpaper, or cladding it in a contrast colour, that complements the rest of the room. Or even paint it with an interesting pattern that will convert it into almost a piece of art. 

 

WHEN A BATHROOM HAS NO STORAGE… 
In a tiny bathroom with little storage space and bite-sized surface area, go vertical! 

1. Use at the back of the bathroom door efficiently. Hang baskets there to keep essentials. 

2. Insert adhesive hooks on the wall for hanging fabrics or tools.

3. Stack below, stack above. A medicine cabinet can be efficiently placed above a sink. And below, stackable shelves, and storage on wheels (waterproof wheels, of course), are great options. 

4. Use wall-mounted holders for toothbrushes and other tidbits instead of placing it on the sink. 

 

Living room with low ceiling, dark blue sofa, colourful cushions, paintings and two-tone carpet

Photography by Shamanth Patil, Designed by Vinithra Amarnathan

WHEN A STRUCTURAL PILLAR SITS IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROOM…
How you deal with a pillar depends on its location, how close it is to the wall, and which activity area it is in. Here are a few things you can do with an eyesore pillar…

1. If the pillar is in your living room, and if you are able to place seating furniture opposite it, you can use this for the television. If it is wide enough, then mount a flat screen on it, if it’s not wide enough, then add additional wall space around it. 

2. If it is positioned close to the kitchen or dining space, then use it as an anchor for a table or kitchen island. This way it will look like a part of the set up.

3. If two pillars are close enough to each other, the pair them by converting it to an arch, or fill the space between the two with shelves and make it into a storage or display space. If the pillars are not very close to one another, then turn it into a room divider. 

4. If a structural pillar sits in the centre of the living room then  

turn it into a centre of attention. Colour, clad, or cover it with something that takes your fancy, even a row of runaround shelves for a bit of extra shelving space. 

 

WHEN A CEILING IS TOO LOW… 

1. Paint the ceiling a lighter shade than the walls. And make the floor slightly darker, such as a dark wood finish. This will give the illusion of a brighter and bigger space.

2. Paint the ceiling with a glossy finish. The reflective surface gives the illusion of a bigger space.

3. Use tall accessories around the house. For e.g. thin and heighted vases and flowers. Decorative sculptures or floor lamps. 

4. A large commanding piece of art will also make the room seem bigger, rather than smaller. It is counterintuitive, but always works.

5. Use floor length curtains that start from the ceiling. Even the doors can be up to the ceiling. Long curtains and doors make your walls look bigger than they are. 

6. Choose furniture that is not too high or bulky. Having visual space also makes a room look bigger. 

 

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