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The Den

The Den

Elena W. Fluka
by elenawfluka on 8 Jun 2021

We are a family of bears and this is our home called The Den! It's made entirely in 3ds Max and rendered with Corona Renderer. Welcome and feel free to lift your paws up!

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The Den

An architectural visualization of an open plan kitchen and living room of a semi-basement

The Den is my vision of an open plan room in a semi-basement, which is an actual basement in my house. It has undergone some major changes, transitioning from a factory to an apartment. While being present to this change, staring at it's now clean white walls, a question came to mind: "How would this open plan room look like if I were to design it?"

Being a 3D student, working in 3ds Max for the past year, time came to think of a theme for my final seminar as well. Looking at this empty space, the answer became obvious.

What you're going to see in this open plan project is how furniture is laid out, which colors I used, models I made and references I looked at. All rendered in 3ds Max using Corona Renderer.

I welcome you to The Den!

Sneak peak of items in this project



If these walls could talk, they would tell a story how they housed a factory and it's many men working tirelessly to mold the liquid hot plastic. Machines so large they almost touched the ceiling, pumping fuel and cool water. Many hours spent in sweat, noise and fumes spread everywhere.

Then forgotten, for more than 30 years, stood in dust, dirt and oil that leaked and soaked trough the flooring.

Now, these walls are observing a different scene, more peaceful than the last, though sometimes noisy in it's own way. To house the next generation.

Floor plan

The room is 30 square meters in size, with 8.7 meters in length and 3.4 meters in width. Most of the sides of the wall are located underground in the yard (east, south and west side) while one side is on the ground level which leads out to the road (north side).

This might sound silly, but hear me out. Next to the sketch of the floor plan, I went ahead and made a floor plan using the Sims game. With its simple UI and plenty of furniture styles, it became a fast, easy and helpful tool to set all the furniture necessary for this space, to test all combinations where they should be placed (or should not be) in relation to the windows, doors and each other, so the space not only looks nice but also works well. That includes where the space for walking is to, I care a lot about making a space functional for every day use.

Most importantly, this floor plan helped us realize where the gass pipes should go for the stove, things like wiring, plumbing and light fixtures.

The Den floor plan in Sims

West side of the room has the greatest amount of space for furniture. With windows set all the way to the ceiling and having no doors, t's the perfect spot for placing kitchen cabinets and large items like sofas. It was decided that the north-west side will be the kitchen area and the south-west side to be the living room area.

North side, as previously said, has the shorter leg of the "L" that makes the kitchen cabinets, with a window looking out to the path to the main road.

East side of the room is a stark contrast to the west, having 2 doors, one of which is the main entrance and is the main walking route for reaching opposite sides. A large heating unit and a wall mounted TV are the only items near that side.

South side has a door and a bookshelf next to it.

The Space

Here are some before and after photos of the renovation process, as well as my own render.

Renovation: south-west side of the room

South-west side render

Renovation: north-west side of the room

North-west side render

The only difference in the real space and the rendered one is the north window. That windows was a topic of discussion many times. One camp wanted to have more light, others wished for kitchen cabinets and a smaller window. The large windows won. The furniture is laid out differently because of it. But I just wished to demonstrate a vision with smaller windows and how furniture would be laid out in that scenario.

North window and door render vs. real image

South-east corner render vs. real image

Color scheme

In 2020 dark kitchen cabinets really started to get under my skin, whether it's black or darker shades of gray. Which is why my color palette contains very contrasting colors, but I also tried to implement certain colors to achieve a modern feel. Dark gray cabinets, very light gray floor, blue-gray for seating items and golden accents.

Color scheme represented in a dining chair, floor, plates and a mug.

The Kitchen

The open plan kitchen and dining area.

Plenty of space for a large fridge, gass stove, oven, dishwasher, sink and a diagonal shelf for wine bottles. There's even a spot for a potted Monstera plant.

Living Room

Open plan living area, right next to the kitchen.

Lots of seats to rest on next to a three seater, armchair and two pouffe. There's also a coffee table, bookshelf and a wall clock.


Close-up shots of items all around the open plan space.

Very special coffee table; it can "store" pouffe under it.

A 5 ring gass stove; for that experienced chef in your life.

Nothing describes "home" more than that smell of freshly baked cookies and a bottle of good vine. Cheers!

Two faucets and a built-in in soap dispenser next to the sink.

The east side of the room with a heating unit, mirror and a wall mounted TV.


Next few images are examples of references I took as inspiration to model into my own scene.

Most references came form the internet, but for some I browsed my local furniture stores and took pictures of them, like the armchair I found in Prima store in Zagreb.

Last few words

Thank you so much for reaching the end of my project, it honestly makes me really happy.

You were looking at a lot of "first's" in this project. My first try at making a sofa, my first go at modeling an armchair and a dining chair, table, coffee table, faucet, sink, stove, oven, Monstera plant... literally every single model in this project I created in 3ds Max for the first time. Except for the food items like cookies and pastries, those are OBJ assets from Textures dot com (thank you!).

This project / seminar I've worked on since late 2020, upgraded my 3d modeling skills in 3ds Max from a beginner level to someone who can make a whole armchair in a single day. I can't wait to be able to create even more objects for arch viz in a shorter time. If I, a total beginner with no prior experience with 3D rendering software was able to create this from a speed 3 month course in Autodesk 3ds Max and a 6 month guidance from a mentor, then I guarantee so can you at much easier pace. Especially if you're like me and spent your entire childhood decorating houses in Sims or other house decorating games.

This is just the beginning. Learning 3ds Max and Corona Renderer makes me crave for knowledge in other programs for modeling and texturing; Maya, Blender, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Quixel, I want to learn them all! Now I know I want to make arch viz my career and I won't stop improving until I get there. Continue to follow me and my obsession for realism as I continue to grow as a modeler.

Special thanks to...

I wish to thank my professor for 3D design Enco Dell'Olio. For all those countless hours explaining all ins and outs of 3ds Max, trying to cram as much information into our little brains in such a short amount of time, in a methodical and easy to understand way. Your patience toward students with many questions is literally limitless. I will never forget you.

And I have to thank the head of multimedia computing department of Algebra, my mentor, Predrag Šuka. You're seen the worst and best of me in these tough times and you've only been a support, which is a shining demonstration of a true teacher. Thank you for encouraging me and continuing to follow me on my journey.

Thanks have to go to: Autodesk for giving students licenses for 3ds Max. To Chaos Group for also having their own student license program and allowing the use of Corona Renderer for projects and learning.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." - Isaac Newton

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