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    8 Decorating Tricks for Awkward Spaces

    Does your house have awkward spaces? If so...what does that mean to you?

    Does it mean a corner that won’t accommodate usable furniture? Or does it mean emptiness under a staircase? Do you even notice or care about the gawky area?

    Determining your attitude about these typical decorating problems will point you to the remedies to spruce up the area.

    These awkward space strategies are geared for the most commonly complained about home decor situations in the home.

    1) Split foyers are on many lists of homeowners’ gripes.

    The initial floor space is minimal and there is a bumbling jig of sorts that occurs each time the front door opens to accommodate multiple people. Keep the foyer as neat as possible. There is a natural inclination to dump the day’s accessories there, but pick a flight of stairs and take the items into the house. 

    Hanging racks or hooks will help with the necessary dog leashes and light jackets, but the bulky stuff takes up too much real estate. A diminutive table with a drawer for keys will help control clutter. Some people like to make the stairs the center of attention and will embrace the look with contrasting painted risers and steps.

    2) Consider yourself lucky if there is an opening under the stairs.

    It can be used as extra storage for linens, winter gear, and other not often used items like board games for grown-ups. Three vintage trunks or charming pieces of luggage will look interesting stacked. If you are so inclined, a built-in kid’s fort can be created by adding spring curtain rods which would completely hide any toy items.

    3) Treat nooks and too small closets similarly.

    Paint or wallpaper the inset wall an eye-catching color. It's an easy DIY project to install a desk top or a shelving unit for a home office. In a bedroom, the closet may lend itself to a vanity area with an antique mirror as the focal point.

    4) Tiny bedrooms have many options for alternate uses.

    If there are multiple children, combining their clothes to form a closet and dressing place will keep laundry from traveling. Limited square footage is easily converted to play and craft rooms with creative storage and shelving units, thereby freeing up space in traditional sleeping spots. In small children’s bedrooms, using closets to house the chest of drawers will allow more options for play. This works especially well for infants because their tiny clothes are stored easily in drawers.

    5) Narrow, awkward corners require to-scale furniture pieces.

    Just because you can physically jam a comfy chair in the empty gap doesn’t mean it will do you any favors aesthetically. Perhaps this corner should show off a large, prettily potted plant instead. Another option is to stand decorative ladders or tall window shutters in the corner. For example, a kitchen corner can be enhanced by adding hooks to a shutter and hanging utensils and dishtowels.

    6) Strange blank walls found in stairwells and other oddly angled entries can be perked up.

    Try shelving options, hanging baskets, or even framed mirrors. Photographs and artwork also can contribute to livening up the location while showing off special collections.

    7) The expanse above kitchen cabinets provides storage for seldom used pots, cookbooks, and other kitchen accessories if artfully arranged in crocks and woven baskets.

    Easel style plate stands offer the chance to display serving ware and other specialty items. Many military families like to show off their china and dishware purchased from previous duty stations.

    8) Air vents and radiators are tricky to disguise while remaining functional.

    The DIY Network has a great tutorial on how to safely build a radiator cover, direct air flow, and add a shelf above for more storage or display spot. Sometimes the easiest way to camouflage an air vent is to remove it and paint it the same color as the wall.

    Lastly and most importantly--If it’s not bothering you, it’s not bothering anyone else! Keep the Swiffer at the ready to fend off the dust bunny army.

    Home Decorating Toolkit for Military Families

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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