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How to furnish an awkward space

By Claire Briggs

Have you seen a property for sale that has a space that simply defies all attempts to make it useable or beautiful? Here are some tips for furniture and decorations for those awkward spots.

At the bottom of the stairs

Create a reading nook. This is the go-to for awkward spaces. A simple chair with a bit of character, a pile of books, and a small table will do the trick. Stairways usually make use of natural light or large lighting features, so a lamp is not necessarily needed for reading.
A small couch or bench could work as well, especially if your stairway is near the entrance of your home. This becomes a prime spot for pulling on your boots before you go out, or having someone wait for you as you find your wallet and keys. For very small stair landings, you can create features out of umbrella buckets, hat stands or coat racks. If all you have is wall space, a nice collection of framed art or photos could create a more “full” feel for an otherwise empty area.

In a nook

Older homes usually have these – a small area of no use. There are endless options, but here are three very effective ones: breakfast, reading and writing. A breakfast nook is simply created with a small cafe-style table and two matching chairs. Ideally, this type of nook has a lot of natural light, and you are able to fit it out with light furniture.
If your nook is more cosy than light and bright, you can use a bit of DIY skill to create an awesome reading escape area. Build an elevated platform and top it off with pillows or cushions to lounge on. For writing, a simple desk and chair will do perfectly. Add a nice lamp and some writing utensils, and you’ve got all the old-world charm of a writing desk.

Everywhere else

Space under a window can be awkward for furniture – will a window seat work? Most unusable areas of a house can be used for storage if nothing else. A cupboard or tallboy with decorations on top are good examples.
Floating shelves are also great for filling out a space. A feature piece or two per shelf will make your awkward space look artsy in an instant. And if you’re trying to hide something ugly like a power outlet sometimes a potted plant or bright vase that is a foot or two away will distract the eye, rather than having to cover the object itself.

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