Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Feeling cornered? Learn to use that space

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Using dead corner space can be a great way to expand your home's storage and display capacity. Corners are often left empty, which is a shame because decorating them can add spice to your décor.

Because corners are small on horizontal space but have lots of vertical space, they are a great place for vertical storage or display. Corner shelving units come in a variety of sizes and styles and might be the perfect fit for your crowded space. An open-shelf corner unit can be used in a small kitchen to house and display everything from dishware and pots to bottles of fancy oil and vinegar. This frees up cupboard space and offers a unique vertical element to a kitchen or casual dining room.

Corner china cabinets have been around forever and provide a great display for china and accent serving pieces. Corner display units, which usually have glass on three sides and are lit on the inside, are a wonderful option to showcase collectibles without taking up a ton of floor space or counter and tabletop space.

In the home office, a corner desk can be a great solution if your office is small because they use that dead space to the max. Corner desks can be more pleasing to the eye as well because of the angles of the piece. I've had a corner desk for years and really like that it frees up floor space and looks more interesting than a standard desk set against a wall.

Depending on the layout of your family room and the size of your television, a corner entertainment unit might be a good option for the TV versus a flat cabinet as it can provide more seating options for viewing. A corner unit can make a TV space more intimate and cosy.

Fireplaces can be real space eaters so if you don't have space for a traditional fireplace, consider buying a corner unit, which just might be the right fit. We have a wood-burning stone fireplace in our home, which was installed in a corner. It's a massive fireplace for the space but being on the corner it hardly eats up any floor space and looks appropriate in the room.

A comfy reading chair is the perfect fit for a corner of the living room or bedroom. If space allows, include a small table and a reading lamp to create a lovely vignette. If you have tall houseplants, place them in the corner not only for support, but also for drama.

There are some decorative items made especially for corners, such as corner shelves (that are pie-shaped) and photo frames that are bent on the 45 degree angle to go either on the inside corner or outside corner of a room. These are very unique items for the décor that are worth consideration. Just do a search on 'corner picture frames' on the Internet to get some pictures of these fun décor items.

Sometimes, emphasizing a corner can add drama to a room. For example, consider placingyour bed on an angle at the corner of the room instead of perpendicular to a wall. Place something tall behind the headboard if more visual height is needed (a canopy, tall plant, vase of tall willows etc.). If you have enough space to do this, you'll find your bedroom has a new and different feeling than it had before.

Items such as freestanding pillars that house art pieces look great in a corner, or if you have a tall sculpture, it can stand on its own. Folding screens are another great corner enhancer and can also hide things, such as an office workspace, when not in use.

Give corners a chance to become a focal point in your room. They can be helpful when space is tight and can add drama to a bland room.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2014 F19

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