9 ways to renovate a wonky-shaped room

How to make the best of the worst-shaped rooms.


In the highly-sought after suburb of South Yarra, the results of the first 24-hour challenge of The Block: Blocktagon 2015 were revealed last night (Monday September 7), dictating the apartment that the new Blockheads will take on, which could potentially determine their fate at auction.

Located inside the irregular-shaped Blocktagon building, one of the greatest adversities facing the teams is tackling a non-square area for their renovations. So this got us thinking; how can homeowners go about renovating and decorating unusual-shaped-- or just plain wonky-- spaces?

Results from the first 24-hour challenge

Contestants Results Score Wins & Blunders
Shay and Dean Won 27/30 Scored the penthouse (!)
Feedback: Stylistically, the couple didn’t "push the envelope" as their colour palette was a bit "pedestrian" but all in all, the area was well-zoned and finished.
Luke and Ebony Second 24/30 Apartment 4
Feedback: The siblings experienced post-traumatic stress as they waited for their competition results (based on results from last time), but turns out they really gave the room some "soul" with their diagonal feature wall.
Susie and Vonnie Third 20/30 Apartment 3
Feedback: The Gold Coast mums have an eye for colour, but terrible time management.
Andrew and Whitney Fourth 7/30 Apartment 2
Feedback: “It’s a pumpkin colour and we don’t do a lot of pumpkin in Australia”-- and with the wrong mattress size, the couple really need to raise the bar for their future renovation endeavors.
Kingi and Carolyn Last 5/30 (ouch!) Apartment 1
Feedback: While the pair get brownie points for creativity (using recycled materials for their room), they went 40% over their budget, which put them in last place.

Tips for renovating non-square areas

1. Measuring


When measuring the size of a non-square area, you should divide the area into smaller square or rectangular sections, calculate the size of each individual section, and then add the areas together for the total area space. It seems obvious, we know-- but you’d be surprised at how many renovations are thrown by the structural difficulties of oddly-shaped rooms.

Perhaps this is why Scott Cam slammed Shay and Dean for using a flat-pack in their challenge-- massive “schoolgirl error”.

2. Proportion & zoning

Most odd-shaped rooms require zoning of the space. That is, you should divide up sections of the space according to their individual function. An L-shaped living room is a common layout, but quite often homeowners don’t allocate enough space for areas that require individual scaling.

For living rooms, a circle or U-shaped arrangement of furniture of two couches facing each other can create a harmonious space. A good arrangement of furniture can facilitate the zone by directing flow of traffic within the area.

3. Furniture and layout


If you’re working with an awkward-shaped room, try to avoid large pieces of furniture as they can make the space appear cluttered. Try to source furniture that fits sloping ceilings, narrow spaces or other unusual architectural features. For instance, install open shelves in a narrow wall area to add practical function to the space.

4. Use asymmetrical rugs

Asymmetrical rugs can be used to fit a non-square room, as it can be tucked well in odd corners. A rug placed in the middle of the room can create a focal point by drawing the eye to the room’s centre, rather than highlighting its structural abnormalities.

5. Smooth over edges


In an unusually-shaped room, lessen the impact of curved or irregular walls by using round furnishings-- a rounded coffee table, for example, will take the focus away from harsh or contrasting angles.

6. Paint colour and finish

If you have slanting walls, use soft neutral colours such as beige and off-white white to open up the room and make it appear larger than it actually is. Use a semi-gloss finish to allow light to reflect in the space.

You should also consider painting skirting board and other window or door frames in the same paint colour to disguise erratic angles or curves. Try to avoid geometric patterns as this can emphasise any wonkiness like a deer in headlights.

If you have a low ceiling, paint it a couple of shades lighter than the existing wall colour to give it an optical illusion of appearing higher.

7. Custom furniture


Consider sourcing a skilled cabinet-maker or even embarking on a DIY project to create furniture that fits the space perfectly as this can help mask unusual-shaped areas.

For instance, a custom designed sofa could be used to tuck into a curved area which can create a more seamless look.

8. Sofa antics

When working with an asymmetrical space, a curved sofa is crucial. This can make is a whole lot easier when it comes to placing furniture in a room where a 90-degree corner of a couch doesn’t have to compete with contrasting angles.

9. Wonky walls


If you have slanting walls or ceilings, you can minimise this impact by positing shelves, curtain rails and other elements parallel to the wall, rather than positioning them horizontally.

With a $150,000 budget and a 7 day timeframe for the next main bathroom challenge, the contestants have more leeway to splash out. But how will they fare when renovating an awkward-shaped wet room?

We’ll soon find out.

The next episode of The Block: Blocktagon 2015 airs tonight (September 8) at 7:30pm, Channel 9.

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