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Furnishing and Decorating Awkward Spaces

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Published on
January 24, 2014

While creative architecture can make a home truly unique, it can also make it a bit more troublesome to work with. Strange angles, random nooks, and sporadic columns are just some of the things that can create furnishing confusion. If you have a home with one or more such awkward spaces, you’ll benefit from reading our must-know tips for accommodating their distinguishing design.


Create a focal point.

This is critical for any room, but especially so for areas with odd shapes or features. If one side of the space has architecture that is less than pleasing to the eye, create the focal point on the other side. Attention will be drawn away from the unsightly element. Sometimes, rooms have natural focal points: a fireplace, large window, etc. For those that don’t, you will have to make your own, using lighting, seating, and art.


Mask height differences.

Some upstairs spaces have sloping walls that come very low. By using a little paint and color theory, you can camouflage the imposing angle. Either paint all of the walls and ceiling a single shade for complete blending, or paint the slope and ceiling a lighter color than the rest to lift it up.


Avoid clutter.

Rooms with sloping walls or narrow spaces can’t sustain the same amount of decorations as a traditional room. Don’t bombard the walls with large collections of pictures, or layer seating with several throw pillows. Keeping decor limited to a few key pieces will make it seem as if there is more room than there really is.


Balance with mirrors and like items.

If there are unique structures in your room that create an unbalanced feeling, it can easily be remedied by introducing a few items of a similar size, style, or shape. This unifies the overall space, instead of making it feel as if random furniture has been assembled in a strangely built area. You can create the same feeling of symmetry by strategically placing a mirror so that it captures the image of the unique structure – on the other side of the room.


Arrange sensibly.

If parts of a room have ceilings that are too low to stand beneath, don’t try to make them standing spaces. Instead, put seating and bedding in these areas if they fit. You’ll find that this arrangement actually creates quite a cozy feeling.

Urban Bedougirl

Use custom furnishings.

You don’t need to go out and have all of your furniture hand made to fit your room, but a few important pieces may be helpful. Installing built-in storage under a sloped wall or in a narrow nook can bring some much needed functionality to the space, while making an end table that fits into that polygonal corner can save it from emptiness. Also, take measurements of these tricky areas and go furniture hunting. If you find a unique piece that might just work, you won’t have to do any guessing.


Embrace it.

Instead of toning down the eccentric design of your room, play it up. Add in patterns that mimic its odd angles, or put the strange feature on display with strategic lighting and a bright splash of color.

Have you successfully designed an awkwardly shaped room? Let us see what creative solutions you came up with. Post your photos and tips in the comments to share.

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