14 Tips for Making Empty Corners Pop

in Decorating on by
Empty apartment corners not only waste space, they also make your home feel cold and impersonal.

The kitchen in your home is organized and shiny, your bathroom decor gets rave reviews, and the living room beckons guests with comfort and style. But what about all those neglected corners? With minimal ingenuity and materials, you can make them just as spiffy as the rest of your home.

Go Artsy

Art encompasses just about anything that defies description. Corners are ideal for montages that draw and speak to guests, sparking great conversation between yourself and them all throughout the night. Create an assortment of antique photos of strangers, landscapes, ghosts, clowns, or any other tableau that reflects your thoughts and dreams. Alternatively, you can use an empty corner to display sports memorabilia from your favorite team.

Add a Seat

A small, armless chair, or even a mini-futon for one, works wonders for brightening empty corners, and it provides an extra seat that you’ll definitely need now and again. Peruse second-hand shops and yard sales for unique seating options that are practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Desk Diversion

Everyone can use a little nook to write in their journal or compose a torrid love poem in the wee hours of the morning. Small desks are widely available in modern styles, but old souls should be able to find a relic from the past full of history and personality almost as easily. Just pull up a chair and let your creative juices flow.

Shelve It

Right angles are ideal spaces for shelves. Step out of the bookshelf box and mix and match colors, lengths, widths, and materials. Extend the attraction with a hodgepodge of display items — maybe a baby cactus next to a small Buddha next to a framed greeting card you just couldn’t bear to part with. The more eclectic, the better.

Glorious Greenery

Empty corners just beg for tall, willowy plants or trees. Choose the perfect one based on the amount of natural light available in that corner. Alternately, use shelves to fashion a gardening corner for the space and fill it with small, slow-growing plants or a selection of your favorite herbs.

See the Light

Not only do floor lamps dress up empty corners, they also add subtle, dramatic shadows to the room they’re in. Choose an old-fashioned style to add kitschy charm to the space, or go with a modern type if you like large beams running across the ceiling.

Conversation Pieces

A mannequin’s arm (or head or leg) hanging from a hook in a corner is always guaranteed to spark conversation. If you want something a little less creepy, try using a Chinese lantern or kite suspended from the ceiling to fill the corner in a unique way. For something a bit classier, you’ll find that a narrow floor-to-ceiling grandfather clock also makes a nice touch.

Make Them Wonder

Find a pedestal at an auction or swap meet and plant it in an empty corner. Then top it with a statue of your favorite god or goddess, a huge antique book opened to a special passage, or drape it in ivy (real or fake). Just be prepared to answer lots of questions about the display and make the answers entertaining, if not necessarily true.

Reflective Tendencies

Mirrors not only draw attention to corners, they also add depth to any room. Mix and match framed mirrors of various sizes and hang them in the same room so they face each other to create a funhouse atmosphere that will intrigue visitors and draw praise for your imagination.

Raise the Bar

A mini bar is a welcome addition to any home, and a lonely corner is the ideal location for it. Find a slender table or chest at least waist-high and use it display carafes and decanters filled with your favorite imbibements. Add a mirrored tray for old-world charm. A portable bar cart also looks chic when tucked into an empty corner.

Winning Window Seat

Window seats make for adorable reading nooks.

Even if there’s no window near your empty corner, you can still create a nice window seat. Use an ottoman or any upholstered bench-type seat to fill the space. If possible, choose a piece with storage inside to make it both practical and pretty.

Looking Up

Suspend decorative baskets from the ceiling in empty corners. Use all bamboo, copper, or stainless steel for a uniform look, or mix and match the sizes and materials. Fill them with dried plants or flowers, or use real ones if the containers and ceiling hardware can take the weight.

Cozy Couches

The smallest part of an old sectional makes a perfect couch-ette for a corner. If it’s a little worse for wear, just cover it with a colorful throw. You’ll find you suddenly have enough seating for a small party.

Rank and File

Most everyone has a file cabinet to store important documents, printer supplies, and other whatnot that doesn’t seem to have a proper place. Why not paint that cabinet your favorite color, place it in a corner, and put a nice plant on top?

No matter where your empty corners are lurking, there’s always a cool way to put them to good use. And with so many of them in our homes, it’s important to always keep an eye out for angular options and tall, slender pieces full of both personality and panache.

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