Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Decorating a 24sq unit Condo – H Layout

In Design, Items of Interest on May 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

Decorating a 24 sq. m. studio unit – The C & D Layout

In Design on April 11, 2010 at 3:11 am

The C and  D  Layout

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Decorating a Small Condominium Studio Unit

In Design on April 11, 2010 at 2:44 am

Decorating a small studio can be a bit challenging. Firstly, you really need to be wise about utilizing your space since it’s small. The choice of furnitures and furnishings can make your condo look spacious or cramp. The choice of paint is also important.

For first time condo buyers and owners, I advise not to buy any furnitures and furnishing until the unit has been turned over to you.  Sometimes out of excitement, buyers would advance purchases of home furnishings (like me!  Especially if there are good deals and furniture sale out there. Haha.). But it’s better to wait. There is no harm to look around.  After all, you need to get ideas on home decorating, provided you don’t get tempted to buy everything you like.    But before you go buying, plan your space carefully.   For small spaces, bulky furnitures is a no-no.  Go for simple sleek, and functional.

I’m sharing some of the interior designs I’ve made for my 24sq meter condo.  Since I bought it at pre-sell, I had a lot of time to design how I want my condo to look.    Please feel free to make comments.  I don’t really have good title for the designs, so I’ve decided just to call it A-Z layout.  Check the next blogs for other layouts.

A- Layout

Decorating Small Space

In Design on January 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

I’m not an expert, but after going over many,  many interior design resources, I’ve gotten a lot of tips on how to decorate small space. Also, by simply looking at people’s spaces, you already get ideas what makes good design.

For small spaces,  the biggest challenge, is how to create more space with small space.


  1. Color Harmony and Pattern – this is a very basic design concept, but sometimes people forget how important this is.  It’s not just about getting a nice art deco print as wall paper and buying that really sleek  furniture.  Sometimes, the furniture may not match the color of your cabinets or the wall paint.  Know what colors and shades look good together, and how all the stuff you intend to put in your space will blend together.  Too many colors can seem cluttered or having  too many loud colors or patterns can make a room look over the top or unclassy.  Getting the right color and pattern combination can make or break your space.   Establish the main colors that you want to use, and when you make your purchase whether it’s  furniture or some throw pillows, always go back to your color scheme.   A few color accents that divert from your main colors are fine, just don’t overdo it.  Strike a balance.

    Kids Bedroom from Tumidei. A room that achieves color harmony and balance. An example of efficient use of space

    Contrasting colors on this tiny bathroom creates illusion of space and livens up the space

  2. The right furniture –  for small spaces,  you really need to put much thought on furniture.  You have to go for the small, sleek, multi-functional furniture.   Before buying furniture, it’s a good idea to have measurements of your space (always bring a tape measure), to make sure  the furniture you’re buying is just the right size.  Or have it custom made.  It would be nice if you have one or two accent furniture pieces.  Beautiful furniture adds to the personality of your space.

    A table that converts into a picture frame by Ivy Design

    Compact Office by Crate & Barrel

    Sofa that converts to a bed and a lounge from Stacks & Stacks

  3. Storage & Shelving – every little nook and corner counts.  Optimizing storage is important.    It takes away clutter and keeps you organized.  if  you have enough money,  invest on a a really good cabinet maker to help you design an efficient storage system.   For me, when I think of storage,  I just don’t think about where to store my clothes or kitchen  items.  I also think about where I can store other stuff like  mops and other cleaning items, a vacuum cleaner, or the ironing board.  You don’t want these things lying around the room.  Hide the ugly and display the beautiful as far as house ware is concerned. 😛

    Small Office Space Design with a simple shelving system

    Compact Wardrobe perfect for small spaces by Naomi Dean

  4. Appliances with today’s technology, a lot of the bulky appliances and electronic devices have become tiny and sleek.   If you ask me, go modern when buying appliances.  They take up less space.  And,  I couldn’t stress enough about color.   If you’re eyeing for a modern look, then choose  safe or neutral colors for your appliances.   Honestly, I really hate anything that’s not black, white or silver, but different folks different strokes.

    One gadget that can do almost anything.

    Go for the sleek TV

  5. Moulding and Trims -trims and mouldings is what I call the icing on the cake.  It’s that extra thing  that makes your space look prim and special.  It’s optional,  but putting trims can tranform a boring room to a lively one.

    White trims on the wall and around the windows and doors accentuate the red paint of the hallway

  6. Mirrors – an old trick but still works.  Create an illusion of space by installing mirrors.  The wider the mirror, the better, but of course, you have to check if you have space for a big mirror and where you want to put it.  It depends on the layout and design  of your space.
  7. Good Lighting – lighting  creates drama to your space.  From observation, lighting affects the way you see color.   Some colors look good on natural light.  Flourescent light may not always be the best choice for interior designing.  It can make some colors look unflattering.   Tungsten lights, though not as energy efficient are probably the best lighting.    I would probably install both.  If  I’m entertaining guests, I  would turn on my tungsten lights, but for everyday use, I’d turn on my flourescent. Also, apart from visual aesthetics, consider functionality of lighting.  It’s not all drama. Lighting has to be functional.

  8. Smaller Details – things like  china, kitchen utensils, bathroom items,  rugs, decorative & art pieces,  and other knick knacks matter.   Your space reflects your personality so your ‘other stuff’ matters.  For me, show that aspect of your personality you like people to see.  Impressions last. For smaller spaces, you can’t have too much though.

    Your furnishings reflect your personality

  9. Cleanliness – with a small space, it’s better to stay clean and avoid clutter.  Minimal is better.  Your space shouldn’t look like a big storage room.
  10. Budget – consider your finances, before decorating.  If you go over your budget, you might leave some things unfinished.  If you are working on a small budget, I think you need to prioritize what is more important, and I guess everyone knows this, but having a good color paint has to be first.  You don’t need to buy all the things you want all at once, just focus on the things that you need first.  Still, even if you have a tight budget, you can still have good design.  And if you remember the first tip about color harmony, I think it will do as a start until you have enough to buy yourself good furniture and other furnishings.  Some design experts even advise that you don’t need to buy everything at once, because you might find something that you like in the future, and guess what? You have no more space to put them.  I believe this is good advise.  You should make space for future purchases. 🙂

Resources (and some of my favorite blogs): smallplacestyle | desiretoinspire | momoy | smallspaceresources | potterybarn | containerstore | stackandstacks | ikea | wshome | crateandbarrel | lampplus

Mini Homes

In Design on January 17, 2010 at 4:54 am

Living in mini or even micro homes is becoming a trend in the U.S. and perhaps, in Canada too.

Jay Shafer. The Tumbleweed HouseI watched these videos of mini or micro homes. One of the homes was already featured in Oprah. The owner is Jay Shafer, and he calls his house as Tumbleweed. Literally, it’s a mini-house on wheels.

A really small space but surprising enough, it has all the basic parts of the house such as the kitchen and dining, T&B, bedroom, and a porch too!

What’s nice about these mini homes is that it is mobile and you don’t need to worry about rent or mortgages as long as you have a place to park your house on. 😛

This is taking small space living to the extreme! Houses are really cute, cost efficient, and has less environmental impact. PLUS! You also save on the cleaning. 😛 I’m just not sure if it’s the right house for claustrophobics.

See Jay’s Tiny House:

Another mini-home which I found fascinating. It’s solar-powered.

I think small spaces are harder to decorate. You have to be clever in designing furnitures and storage systems, and they need to be strategically located, as every inch of space matters. For me though, I like the idea of small space living. 🙂

3D Layout Of My Condo Unit

In Design on December 23, 2007 at 1:43 pm

I finally made the 3D layout of my condo unit, using Better Homes and Gardens Home Design Software. I’m not an interior designer, but since I purchased a condo, I needed to find a way to visualize how I want my space to look. So I purchased this interior design software from the net. It’s quite good for non-professionals like me.I started by drawing the floorplan, specifying the dimensions, and placing furnitures and fixtures from the library.


Then with the camera mode in the software, it tranforms the floorplan into a 3D view. Other objects where placed during the 3D mode.


This area of the condo has a 3-in-1 function. It serves as the kitchen, dininig and workstation. I made sure that there were a lot cabinets and shelves for storage, since it’s a small space.


Above is the closer view of my workstation/office nook which is somewhat connected to the dining table. The idea is being able to convert the dining table to a work table, if needed. The dining is separated from the bedroom and living area using roller curtains or blinds. I chose roller blinds instead of sliding partitions probably because they might be cheaper to make and they need less space because you can just roll them up or down. I thought of adding a full height curtain partition which reaches up to the ceiling between the bedroom and the kitchen/dining area because I hate the smell of frying oil. The partition will hopefully be contained in the kitchen. (Not certain if this will work, but hopefully it will.)

Below is the bedroom/living area. I haven’t perfected the bedroom yet. For one, the tv is below eye level. It’s my fault, I raised the bed so I could add drawers to the base.


Below is the dollhouse view of the condo unit.


Here’s the glass house mode of the bathroom.


And here is the closet which took me hours to make (because I was still learning the software)! I figured that the closet needs to be close to the bathroom. The same way hotels do it. The only setback is it eats up the space of the hallway which is already small.


Interior Layout of my Condo

In Design on December 8, 2007 at 3:01 pm

I recently purchased a condo unit. I can’t wait for it to be completed! It’s a 24 sq m studio type condo. Pretty small, but that’s all I can afford for the meantime. But I am so excited about decorating my condo that I have already laid out what sort of stuff I would like to have in my small space. I wanted to create a place which could be converted into a workspace, but with a small space to work on, I realized that I would need to maximize the floor area and the walls.

My major consideration is storage, and having furnitures and fixtures with dual functions.

The studio is a rectangular shape. Here is a 2D drawing of the left wall when you enter the hallway. Click the image for a full and larger view of of the layout.


And here’s the other wall at the right where you will find the bathroom and kitchen area. Of course, I flipped it over, so you will find the bedroom and living area at the left side, instead of the right side on the first drawing.


I have recently purchase an interior design software. Hopefully, I would be able to create a 3D version of my interior layout soon.


The Making of Geek Girl

In Design, Items of Interest on December 8, 2007 at 1:59 pm

I wanted to create a blog site about interesting stuff I discover in the net. My main objective is really to share it with other people who may be interested in the same things as I do. So while I was pondering about this, I decided to create a character for the blog site—sort of my heroine.

I made a few sketches of how I want my character to look like, and this picture just popped in to my head and I drew it. It’s not really hard to guess how she should look like.


Then I went further, and draw her sitting down tapping on her laptop.


Then I traced my sketches in Adobe Illustrator and rendered it in Adobe Photoshop. I made a few tweaks here in and there, but I’m quite happy with the way my heroine turned out. Here’s my final digital illustration of Geek Girl.


I’ll probably make a few more tweaks as I go on. Probably improve her shoes and the background. But I intentionally left out the eyes and the mouth. I don’t know…but I just think she’s cute that way.