Room Arrangements for Awkward Spaces | Midwest Living

Room Arrangements for Awkward Spaces

Using smart floor planning to tame spaces in your home that seem too narrow, too boxy, too cramped or just plain awkward.


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Nooks and Crannies

The Problems

This room is plagued by bump-outs and awkward niches. Plus, having an opening on every wall leaves limited wall space for placing furniture. The fireplace is off-center and battles the bay window for focal-point status.

The Solutions

Create vertical lines to lift the eye and give the illusion of more space. Tall furniture can build height and fill the corners of the room. For instance, slip a bookcase next to an off-kilter fireplace and offset a large window with a corner cabinet and room-softening plants. Make use of narrow bump-out spaces with filler tables for display or storage. Pull seating pieces away from small walls and snuggle them together for coziness. Finally, highlight the room's good qualities with light. For details, scroll down below the plan.

1. Add built-in or freestanding bookcases to fill fragments of space and offer more storage. 2. Slide the coffee table in front of the chairs and out of the way of traffic entering the room. 3. Pull the sofa close to the chairs. A sofa table fills the niche and holds a task lamp. 4. Put a corner to good use and balance the room's vertical openings with a tall cabinet. 5. Separate chairs with a large round table to loosen a grouping and allow in more light. 6. A tree or a cluster of tall plants joins the corner cabinet in framing the large window.

See Midwest Living's tips for decorating small living rooms


Comments (1)

dkdabillo1 wrote:
We have an awkward L shape livingroom that I am confused by how to arrange it. When you walk in the front door, you are immediately faced with a built in curio type cabinet, but that is a supporting wall, so it has to stay. Turn slightly to the left is the main room, on the left a huge picture window that takes up the entire wall. Then at the corner there is about a 6' empty wall berofe an 8' wide marble fireplace, then another 6' space. on the next wall, aprox. 6' before a wide doorway to kitchen, after the doorway begins the leg of the L, an area aprox. 20x20. We have a buffet and piano in there now, but it looks awkward. For furniture we have a couch, loveseat and recliner as well as 1 lamp table and a coffee table. We recently moved the 50" TV to the wall before the kitchen as it was hard for people on one side of room to see it. Any suggestions?

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