For a variety of reasons my long-planned departure from Taiwan may be delayed for another year, and I’m faced with the problem of finding a place to live. I’m at Lotus Hill at the moment, and sick of the commute, so I’ve been looking in the city and found an interesting rooftop.

What I’m looking at is a big long room with a slightly grotty bathroom at one end, plumbing and gas for a kitchen, and a huge balcony. It’s empty at the moment, and I’m free to do pretty much whatever I want as long as I don’t start moving walls around or putting new windows in.

It’s been a while since I did anything like this, and I’m half-keen to buy a bunch of tools and set to.

The trouble is, I’m absolutely crap at any kind of design work. I’m useless at visualising colours or how to use space. I have no taste, until things are finished and then I decide I don’t like them.

Anyone want to advise me?

What would you do with some space and a reasonable budget?

You enter from the balcony through a patio door and have a ‘hallway’ area formed by the bathroom wall. (The bathroom is one corner of the structure.) Turn left and the room proper is about 5 metres long and 4 wide. On the left it’s probably 4 metres high, and the roof slopes down to a height of about 2m on the right. The ceiling is horrible fibreboard and needs to be covered. There are windows, frosted glass, the length of the wall on the rhs.

The wall on the left side is nasty, with several boarded-up windows to the next apartment.

The ‘kitchen’ area is plumbed/wired in right in front of the bathroom door. Lovely.


Bud, I’d find someone to do it for me if I were you.

Also, I don’t think a verbal description is going to work. Try getting a few friends into the place to provide on the spot input. I’ll come by on a Tuesday or Wed night if you’ll give me a call.

I’m good at visualizing what needs to be done, and crap at actually doing it. My only experiment in remodeling resulted in the loss of my security deposit.

Good luck.

I’ve spent to years trying not to grumble about the shoddy work done in my expensive high class apartment by other people. I’d rather the horribleness was my own fault.

Actually, I may not have time to do it all myself and I’d have to find someone to do some of the stuff anyway. But I’d quite like to get my hands dirty again. It’s been too long.

I won’t take possession for a few more weeks, assuming I don’t revert to my original plan. But once I do I may invite a few folks to come and poke around. I’ll have a month with two places, so at least I won’t be camping in my own dust.

Loretta, i’ve gotten broken into twice living in a rooftop, just give you some headsup. be careful if anyone else can access your place from adjoining rooftops. (also broken into my office once and another house once ~ really bad luck here).

For colors, ive always like the starbuck look, burnt orange/olive/grey ceiling, but maybe too dark for a rooftop. Mos burger has the light yellow/green spring thing going maybe worth a look. Also you probably know down by Guting MRT Xamin Je (?) has lots of good second hand stuff, such as room dividers, sofas, barstools, etc. maybe a better deal if your only staying a year (and don’t want the hassle of moving your old stuff). Wandering around the streets there may give you some ideas (and prices are very cheap). Lastly, There is a cool software app called rastorbator (do a search in tech forum) which blows up any photo into a wall size mural, maybe with a color printer and some plastic lamination you can come up with something cool.

Can’t you live with things the way they are for one paltry year?

Why go to all the trouble and expense of decorating the place?

Tough it out, then move out.

I re-modelled the heck outta my rooftop place. It was just a matter of getting some stick on wood finish tiles for the floor, painting the walls some dark earthy colours and installing track lighting and a big bar table sort of deal. I also knocked out one wall and hung up a few posters. Looks pretty cool I think.

Why should I? It’s fine, but I want a change. Why should I forego change in my life? I’d rather deal with a new set of minor problems than the same old ones.

Because for me it’s not a lot of trouble and the expense is manageable. Like I said, I’d quite enjoy getting my hands dirty again. I used to do this crap for a living, doing it for me wouldn’t be hard.

No thanks. I’ll enjoy being in control of my environment and living in a space of my choosing. Two years ago some people told me not to move out of the city, for whatever reason seemed right to them. I have my own reasons, and I’m not here to justify them to anyone.

What I’m looking for is information on the artistic preferences of people who are more artistic than I am, so that I can deal with the practicalities of implementing the decision I’ve made.

That can be a reasonably rewarding exercise for all participants - those who don’t have the luxury of a space they can remodel but would love to, and those who have the luxury but not the vision.

bob, 4nr, tomas, thank you.

By the way, I kinda like the country look, you know dark red or green carpets, deep green or red wall paints, and some wooden furniture to go with that. Replace carpet with dark wood floor too, that is nice. I am kinda thinking of remodeling my place with some removable stuff such as carpets or stick on wood tiles… I dont know if its worth the expense because my place looks like a hospital! Sometimes I am actually expecting doctors to rush in to cure me of a heart attack that I am having from boredom of looking at my place.

However I dont have huge sums of money but I dont want to use those rubber tiles because they look too childish to me. I looked at BnQ and those wood tiles or whatever costs like over 1000 to 3000 NT per half ping and im just debating if spending that kind of money is even needed

what budget should I be looking if I want carpets? any good places to look other than BnQ (cause sometimes they are overpriced)

True. The plastic wood tiles weren’t cheap. They weren’t a lot of fun to put on either as the floor needs to be smooth and clean before you can even start thinking about putting them down.

Anyway, in Taipei I think what most people want probably is a cacoon type feeling as an escape from the harshness and glare, and they also want a feeling of space. Dark colours will do that for you especially if you make liberal use of mirrors as well. Over the years I’ve found a bunch that had been thrown out. Thick curtains and lots of fabrics around help to baffle the street noise too I suspect.

That’s been about the agenda at my place, and like I said, my place is pretty cool.

Also, from my experience, anything bamboo or black leather in a rooftop will have a constant green fuzzyness to it.

If you take some pictures of your new place and post them, people will probably have more of an idea as to what would look good.

Also, what colours do you like, what is your approximate budget, and what style of decor do you like?

Rustic cabin in the woods? Rococo? Tacky, clashing Taiwanese decor with thirty different flower patterns in the room?

Tell us more about what you like. Afterall, you’re the one that’s going to be living there. :slight_smile:

You want narrow teak planking, offset by areas of glossy white fibreglass. Make sure the toilet has one of those lever things so you can flood the floor with seawater when you forget to push the lever afterwards.

Does it look something like this?

Lupillus, thanks. I didn’t notice any curvaceous chick when I checked the place out, but will definitely advertise for one. The height of the room is about right, excellent.

Move the bathroom over to the right, and extend it ‘down’ to the end wall. Make it a bit slimmer too. The door is on the left vertical of your diagram, level with the bathroom. It’s amazing how few less than a thousand words are actually needed to paint a picture, isn’t it?

I like the wood floor idea. Not cheap, but probably affordable. Dark with a hint of redness? I’m crap at this. White walls. Off white? What looks good?

The walls on the left of Lupillus’ picture have all sorts of holes and things protruding slightly. I’m wondering how to deal with all that, other than just set to with protrusion leveller (hammer), float trowel and paint.

B&Q sell shoji screens (Is that the right name for those Japanese-style paper screens with wooden frames?) for 1500-2000 for approximately 4 square metres, with a frame so they stand upright. How affordable is it to just install a fake ‘Japanese’ wall over the top of what’s there? No frame required, just screw some upright timbers to the wall, paint them black, and fasten the screens to them. More importantly, how would it look? Like crap? Or excitingly individual and stylish? Where could I buy them?

Need a kitchen. On top of the (moved) bathroom in Lupillus’ diagram. This is where I get hopelessly lost. Up the wall on the rhs, and then a ‘bar’ sticking across the room? Need room for the microwave, and probably a real toaster-oven too!

Fitted kitchens are easy to do, fitted kitchens that actually look nice afterwards are beyond me. Fancy wooden doors on cabinets usually look good, but is that a bit over the top? It’s expensive too, probably too much so. Bright plastic is out. What’s a good alternative? I think I’m wanting quiet colours throughout. Something to complement the wood floor.

Plain white countertops? One of those fake stone things? Real polished stone? Don’t like the look of the last one. Don’t go for ornate taps and so on either. I prefer plain and simple to gaudy and ostentatious. But I don’t want to go spartan.

It all sounds a bit antiseptic, although the wood floor would help? A few pot plants? Or a great big mural at the end of the room? You can get oil paintings done in China very cheaply, based on photographs. NSFW link to what I’d love to have -

And where to put the bed? Bed plus a bit of space around it is half the room. A sleeping platform? Sounds expensive and complicated, but leaves a lot more space. How would it look?

I guess it depends on the ceiling too. There’s a beam across the middle of the room made of tubular steel. It follows the line of the roof, not horizontal, but it still looks frightful. It need to be beautified or boxed in. And the ceiling itself is unfinished. It’s just the bare construction tile. Can you even buy plasterboard in Taiwan?

Dark walls are a lot less in your face for the simple reason that they don’t reflect a lot of light. On the long wall opposite the door you could try a long picture, one that has a bit of dimension to it with the deeper end being away from the door. A big mirror down by the bathroom facing front, towards the front door, would look good. Organize the sitting space at the end opposite the bathroom or your dinner guests will be treated to bathroom noises as an apertif. Thick curtains.
I went with a big one legged wood table that mounts directly out from the wall. It’s about seven feet long and three feet wide. Available at IKEA. They install.

More like this?

The hot chick is supposed to be you, btw. :stuck_out_tongue:

With such little space, I would recommend you get a raised bed, like this:

I assume you want a double bed, this particular one will set you back $12,500 from IKEA. They also have another one made with metal, which I think is a bit cheaper, but it would probably not go with the wooden floor as well as the wooden bed would.

That bed though, is made out of cheap-looking pine, so you may have to sand, stain, and varnish it into the same colour your floor is, if you want it to look extra nice. If you don’t really care, then don’t bother.

You can do like in the picture and put a couch under the bed, or put a desk/work area underneath it.

As for the beam protruding from your ceiling, you can paint your ceiling, along with the beam, a dark colour. Dark blue, perhaps. The dark colour would also help to hide the construction tiles, so if you don’t look closely, you won’t see them. Saves you the work of putting up a new ceiling for your landlord!

Though you might want to do that anyhow, to actually insulate your apartment a bit.

If you paint your walls colours other than white, your place will probably look quite nice, and not anti-septic at all.

Your left wall, you can paint over, then cover with large pieces of fabric. This will hide the ugly bumps and pits easily, while giving it a interesting feeling. Overlap the pieces of fabric, use a few different colours if you want.

Are your floors wooden already? Or tile? If they are in OK condition, It’s probably better to just leave them. B&Q’s cheapest wooden floor looks like 600 for half a ping, and the space you need to floor is what? 6 ping? That would be like, 7200. Unless you can get the landlord to foot the bill, don’t do it. You can’t even resell it when you leave like you could sell funiture.

If you paint the top and bottom walls a different, darker shade than the left and right walls, it will feel like there is more space. Painting your walls all the same colour will make the room feel less…roomy. Hang a full-length mirror or two on the top wall to give the illusion of a larger room.

For the kitchen…are you really sure you want to go all out? It seems to be quite expensive to get one. The one below, I think is all right. But it is bright plastic, I suppose.

Really, if you are only planning to stay there for a year, I would not spend tons of money and effort on this place. Save it for your next place. Do a few, relatively simple, things to make this apartment nicer, but don’t go spending ten whole days smoothing out the wall.

And you still haven’t said which colours you prefer.

I don’t know what colours I prefer. I’m crap at colours. I can put them on, but only if someone tells me which ones to buy.

My current place is white (with a hint of something) walls and dark hardwood flooring. I like it. Simple, light, and airy. But I’m open to suggestions.

[quote=“Loretta”]The walls … have all sorts of holes and things protruding slightly. I’m wondering how to deal with all that, other than just set to with protrusion leveller (hammer), float trowel and paint.

And the ceiling itself is unfinished. It’s just the bare construction tile. [/quote]

I suggest very liberal use of tapestries… hang them on the walls and cover the ceiling with them. Cover your floor with tatamis and throw some big pillows all over the place.

Burn lots of incense and play funky sitar music CDs.

Check these out:

Here’s a classic:

But, if that’s too scarey, maybe this one would be preferred: