Corners are a tricky-to-decorate but mandatory space in every home. Unless we start building all our homes to be curved (which would create a different problem!), you’ll always have several sharp angles in every room. That isn’t a bad thing inherently, but room corners tend to be darker than the rest of the room, and nesting rectangular furniture right in the corner can leave you feeling a little cramped. Of course, you can put furniture at an angle or pull it away from the wall to avoid the corner. But the more of the room you “clip,” the less you’ll have to actually live in. The solution? Choose furniture designed to maximize that corner space.
You Can Sit With Us
In any given living room, you likely won’t have a ton of options for where to place or how to orient your sofa. After all, they’re among the heftiest pieces of furniture in any home, and are constrained by windows, doorways, walkways, and the positioning of your TV. And still, if you put your sofa directly in a corner, someone’s probably going to end up putting their elbow through your wall. Instead of cramming a little end table into a shadowy corner to act as a buffer, consider upgrading to a sectional sofa. Now, I’m not talking the behemoths of the early 90s; smaller L-shaped sectionals with a corner chaise (or a more limited amount of seating that rounds the corner) can turn that awkward corner into the best spot on movie night.
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The Coveted Corner Office
Everyone wants a corner office, but they probably don’t mean a standard desk shoved directly into the corner of a room. Without an adjacent window, this is a cramped and gloomy prospect that won’t do wonders for your work-from-home experience. Longer desks can help mitigate the problem, moving you out of elbow-bumping distance and the darkest part of the room. Even if you don’t have much space to work with, you aren’t out of luck. Corner desks come in two main flavors: small, wedge-shaped desks that fit into the corner but face outward toward the room (giving you a lot more wiggle room) and L-shaped desks that sit against the wall on one side, but let you turn out to face the room when using the adjacent desktop. I’ve had both these setups variously throughout my life, and let me tell you: it makes a bigger difference than you’d think.
Hardware and Other Utility
I’ll admit: some pieces of furniture that are designed to fit in corner spaces can be a little gimmicky. But corner cabinets are a different story. Whether for the bathroom or kitchen, specially-designed corner cabinets or vanities can make a world of difference. Corner storage is notoriously poor and difficult to use, but a good cabinet will allow you to make full use of the space without items getting shoved out of reach far in the back. Lazy Susans, pull-out shelves, or other clever folding bits might look a little silly (and often come at a premium), but they’re well worth the investment for the frustration they’ll save you over the long-haul.
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In the Bath
Yes, there are options to even get the most out of your bathroom corners! Okay, I’ll admit: putting a tub in the corner of your bathroom is hardly revolutionary; more like it’s the default option. But there’s a big, big difference between a standard acrylic shower/tub and a luxury corner bathtub. In a smaller space, really big, freestanding tubs often aren’t a viable option – you just won’t have the space for one without overcrowding your space. But while “clipping” a room corner with a sofa is a waste of space, doing the same thing with a bathtub actually lets you get a much, much larger bathtub in significantly less space. The corner orientation means the tub can be longer without taking up the full length of one wall, and that it can be wider (often enough to fit two) in only a little more space than you’d dedicate to a standard tub.
Working with a really, really small bathroom, where even a small tub is out of the question? This is another place that corner-specific fixtures really shine. Diamond or wedge-shaped corner showers are about as small as showers get. But unlike square enclosures in a similar size range, corner-oriented showers afford you some much-needed elbow room. Like desks that fit directly into the corner and face outward, corner showers put the bulk of the hardware in the narrowest part of the corner, but let you stand comfortably back for a more comfortable, natural shower experience – even though it takes up less space than a standard enclosure.
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Shelving Your Corners Away
Lastly, corner shelving is a simple, effective way to make use of empty-feeling spots left once the rest of your room is set up. After all, even in a tight space not every inch will be occupied, but corners in particular can be fussy. Put two standard bookshelves kitty corner to each other and you’ll either have an overlap or a gap. Ditto for chairs, tables, and so on. Corner shelves look and feel more natural while still providing the storage space you’d miss from leaving the corner empty. Whether it’s for books, decor, or family photos, a corner shelf can help nicely round out an awkward space.
While corners are notoriously difficult to work with for a whole host of reasons, don’t despair! There are lots of options out there to help you make the most of these awkward but ubiquitous spots.