Modest apartments have it. Hollywood-style mansions have it. For all we know, even the Buckingham Palace has it.
We’re talking about spaces that don’t serve any purpose, but just lie there, looking a little forlorn. It could be that space under the stairs. Or that vast expanse of space over the kitchen cabinets. It could be a skinny wall or a narrow entryway.
Like self-conscious, awkward teenagers, these spaces don’t seem to know what to do with themselves. And if you are the kind of person who’d like to put every bit of your space to work, these spaces could be causing you some angst. Well, armed with some creativity and initiative, you can utilize these spaces to superb effect. Here are some killer ideas you could implement!
If you have an empty corner begging to be used, it might be the perfect spot to hang up your art. You could also affix shelves or place a desk to create a work area where you can complete your projects in peace. If your corner is too small to accommodate a desk or chair, just place a tall lamp, a sculpture, or a potted plant to jazz it up.
You could leave your entryway the way it was made, bare and functional. Or you could use it to create a welcoming first impression. Walls and rugs in cheery colours get noticed instantly. You can use stencils for different patterns and textures, and wallpapers to give the space a warm, vintage feel. If you have a cramped entryway, you can make clever use of colour and objects to give your hallway an appearance of looking more spacious than it is (think mirrors and light shades). You can also put up seasonal decorations all year around to delight your guests every time they walk in.
Above Kitchen Cabinets
The space above kitchen cabinets is usually featureless, save a cobweb or two. But there’s so much you can do brighten it up! How about some mood lighting? Try arranging concealed lights along the length of your cabinet, or if you’d like to go easy on the budget, twinkling lights that can be plugged in. Another creative use of this space is to arrange your collection of glass bottles, ceramics, or art. Or you could stack your cookbooks in wire baskets and store them here, to combine utility with charm. If you’re starved of space for your collection of fine wines, you can even convert this space into a storage unit by putting in custom bottle holders.
A warm, comfy nook you should definitely have in your home, if you can help it! The space under a staircase lends itself very well to the idea of a work area. Put in a small table and chair, a couple of bookshelves, and you are ready to work up a storm! If the staircase is located near the main entrance, this space can work as a closet for shoes, jackets, and rain wear. You’d rather not? How about using some colourful wallpaper along with some oversized cushions to fashion a play space for your little ones? Of course, you could do as Harry Potter did, and put in a cosy, low bed to nap in.
The space under a sloped ceiling can be turned into a cozy spot to read in. If there is no natural light streaming in, consider using a reading lamp. You can also put in a day bed or some fluffy cushions and create a nap spot to escape the din of the outside world. If the sloped ceiling is in a bedroom, just place the bed under it, and you have a nice headboard created by the slope. You can also put up some netting to create a canopy, thus giving your room a fairy tale-ish twist!
A split-level staircase is sure to have a landing, and this has ‘awkward space’ written all over it. You can introduce elements of light and art to give it a dose of panache. A group of mirrors or photographs on the walls, a slim corner shelf holding a potted plant or sculpture, or a corner table with interesting showpieces will all make for attractive additions to this space.
So, are you still seeing those nooks and crannies as wasted space? Or as canvases to create a space that is uniquely yours? If you have design ideas you’ve used to transform your spaces, do tell us about it! We’re all ears.