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HOME MAKEOVER FOR LESS: Ideas from Qatar-based Architects

A few days ago, my wife came across an interesting video on Facebook about home makeover by an Architect-couple who is based in Qatar. They are doing a special project for their portfolio which showcases their design styles and expertise and in the process, helping out close friends and colleagues who want a home makeover but don’t have time and expertise for it.

One day, I also received a message from one of my previous blog posts:( And when I realized that they are the same people, we readily scheduled a meet-up and asked if we can feature them on our blog, which they gladly accepted. This will be a new type of content for us and we are excited to bring about fresh ideas as we usher in the new season of our blog.

We met Architects Emil and Khang Francisco of Space Makeover by ArchitectsKhang&Emil at Little House of Latte, which is one of our favorite meeting places lately for its proximity to our house as well as its cozy ambiance. We came to know them more as they also shared their desire to make a transition from Facebook to Youtube videos and on other social media platforms, too.



We had a very fun and insightful first meeting. And as we try to answer some of their questions on content creation and social media, we also got a lot of lessons on home makeover. And we would like to share some of the practical tips that we got from them:

BLQ: What do you think are the primary considerations when designing a space?

In an Architect’s point of view, the first thing to consider is the Client’s demand and need. From there we can define what character of the space would look like. The mood, functionality, and personality must come together. It won’t work alone by itself. We simply characterize our space designing to be “aesthetically livable“. That is why we always say to our vlogs that “every space deserves to be well treated”. Because if you treat your space well the way humans treat themselves then you’ll have an inhabitable environment that could give you peace and comfort.

Normally when people seek for our advice, we basically tell them to prioritize comfort over style especially when you’re on a tight budget. You can style what you want if you have all the resources. But in comfort, you only need a little creativity and a bunch of energy to organize things and achieve that.


BLQ: What are the rules in color coordination? Does it have to be the same color or it can be a mix of related colors? What is the “in” thing right now?

There are no rules in choosing a color on one’s space. It all depends on the theme or concept you wish to achieve. But if we would suggest on how to make your space extra special, neutral light colors like light grey, light blue, and lightest green are the colors that could easily change the mood of your room compare on having plain white or beige. Sometimes, when you add an accent wall that’s slightly darker than the majority wall color, it will give you contrast and shadows to play with. Then choose fabric or accessories with geometric or organic patterns to compliment with these colors.


When you are more edgy, darker bold walls like dark grey, dark blue or dark green is a huge statement. But then, this only fits if you have a bigger and wider space or if you have existing wide windows. It’s because dark colors occupy the senses being covered which make a space smaller. But if you can’t paint the walls, try to add big artwork pieces or very nice patterned curtains to give the space a character.

BLQ: What are your tips on buying a piece of furniture?

If you are on a budget, always make sure to buy less expensive but quality furniture. Furniture such as bed and mattress are very important to be of quality range coz quality good sleep depends on it. Changing mattress every year is also costly so better
buy something that can last 3-5 years or more.

You can consider buying preloved or second hands for wooden types of furniture such as cabinets, tables, and drawers in good condition. No one will notice that it’s “pre-loved” when they are really in great shape. We suggest buying second-hand furniture if they are working on a budget. But of course, make sure that it will last for another year or two.


Another way of saving money and space at the same time is finding or buying stuff that has multi-purpose stuff such as chair as a side table, a sofa bed, a footstool cum storage box, bunk beds, bed with headboard shelves and the like.

BLQ: How do you mix old furniture with new ones?

We simply assess the old one’s character so if we need to buy a new one, we find something that will blend with the available space.

If possible to paint the old furniture into a color that can match with the new theme of the room, that is also an option rather than getting rid of them completely.

For an existing sofa that looks old, try to add a blanket that can cover the part of it. Also, buy new cushion covers that can match the new theme. By that, it can infuse softness and blends on the new armchair or center table.


Watch the video here.

BLQ: Do you suggest any tips in organizing small items (toys, books, collections, souvenirs) – ala Marie Kondo?

Well, Marie Kondo says it all. Her style of organization is really doable. But if you really can’t follow her ways, the easiest thing to do is to sort out your stuff per classification. One for keeps and one for disposal.

We always do it when our client seeks for help. The hardest part of decluttering is letting go. So what you can do is, put all the things that you don’t like to see in the room in one container and not to put them in any display shelving units or cabinets. These will consume spaces that supposed to be for items that are useful or have decorative value.

We believe that when you don’t see things more often, eventually you will forget them. So it would be better to dispose those things that you think are unnecessary anymore and display the things that make you smile.


BLQ: Which one is easier to design or more exciting to decorate? A new space or an existing room with characters and existing furniture?

For us, we don’t classify which is easier or more exciting until we know the extent of works to be done, regardless of the budget. But now, working with the program “makeover on a budget”, we consider all of them as challenging yet enjoyable. Definitely, if the work doesn’t excite us, we don’t accept it because we may not be able to work passionately.


BLQ: What budget range can a home makeover start from?

Most of the time, we assess the actual situation first to tell approximately how much is needed for the makeover. But just to give you an idea, for a bedroom let say, given that all the furniture is still in good shape and in style:

A new set of beddings like comforter and pillow covers (approximately QR300-500), new curtains (approximately QR200-300), a D-I-Y accent wall paint costs (approximately QR200-300 for cost of paint only), a new set of decorative lightings (approximately QR100-200), and QR200 for other accessories like plants, frames, or simple rug etc.

This will only cost you QR1000 – 1500 makeover budget to achieve the coziness that you are aiming for.

Additional inputs

A good lighting fixture can also add a huge impact on the mood of the space. So choose lightings that are less expensive but beautifully crafted to add some statement. Make sure to buy a correct bulb color to achieve the mood that you like. Do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) artwork pieces are another option on how to save on your home makeover budget. Buy some inexpensive frames and download readily available and printable images on Pinterest.


New Youtube Account

You may find most of their stuff on their official facebook page: Space Makeover by ArchitectsKhang&Emil. But recently, they also launched their Youtube channel where old and new videos will be available soon. We believe that by featuring them here on the blog, people will get encouraged to do their own redecorations or even to consult professional Architects to help them with their complete home makeover.

Make sure to follow them on social media for more Home Makeover Tips:

Facebook: Space Makeover by ArchitectsKhang&Emil

Instagram: spacemakeover_byarchitects

Youtube: Space Makeover by Architects Khang&Emil

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