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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Long and Narrow

The Problems

The fireplace, on one of the room's short walls, is the focal point. The long sofa can't be pushed closer to the fireplace because it would create a traffic block. However, lining up the furniture along the walls creates a static, waiting-room feeling and leaves too much distance between pieces for conversation. The piano is crammed into a small corner next to the fireplace, putting two heavy pieces on one end of the room. A large area rug overpowers the small room.

The Solutions

Replace the sofa with a love seat for flexibility in a narrow room. This one can be snuggled up to the fireplace. Pull the chairs away from the window -- where they block both architecture and light -- and let them flank the fireplace, encouraging conversation. For details, scroll down below the plan.

1. Turn a plain corner into a quiet reading nook with a chair, ottoman, and lamplight. 2. A narrow, low bookcase holds books and knickknacks without blocking light or traffic. 3. A small area rug bridges the gap between seating pieces to define and warm the conversation area. 4. Move big items, such as a piano, away from the room's focal point for better balance. 5. Push a love seat closer to the fire. Replace traffic-blocking end tables with a sofa table. 6. Don't have a fireplace to anchor your scheme? Create a focal point with a wall unit or armoire.


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