I live in a rowhouse and let me tell you — they are not easy to decorate. In fact, they present numerous obstacles that take a little time and effort to figure out how to get around. Needless to say, rowhouse residents are always open to suggestions and welcome inspiration with open arms.
House & Home design editor Cameron MacNeil purchased a rowhouse that wasn't in the best of shape. He's lucky enough to be in the design industry, so he didn't have much trouble when it came to the renovation process. He changed a lot, but also embraced a lot of the key features of the house and highlighted them.
One feature that isn't typical of the average rowhouse is the very large two story window in MacNeil's dining room. He embraced the window in the best way possible by hanging the largest sun shades he could find. When they are pulled up the whole room is illuminated with sunlight, and when they are closed there's still a soft glow. He says that the black framing reminds him of an industrial loft — the stark contrast of a rowhouse! In the same room, he hung a collection of artwork in similar frames closely together — he purposely did not take up the entire length of the wall because he simply didn't think it was necessary.
The walls when MacNeil originally moved in weren't in the best of shape. He selected a heavy grass cloth wallpaper to mask any rough patches that were previously there. It adds so much texture and interest to the small space that we're thinking about using it in our home. On the opposing wall, he used a graphic wallpaper and decided to hang his art in a gallery style. Each piece is hung on wires and can be moved at any time, with no damage to the walls.
To add height to the room (since the living room doesn't have the 20 foot ceilings like the dining room) Cameron chose to have wall to wall sliding curtains. It makes the wall look taller and longer — adding much additional visual "square footage" to the space.
He even had a thrifty tid-bit to throw in — his sofa was actually a thrift store find that he had reupholstered and made the pillows out of fabric that he already owned.