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We’ve all got them, those awkward spaces and nooks we aren’t quite sure what to do with. But they are valuable square footage. Sometimes it takes a little thinking outside the box to come up with ideas to maximize those once dead spaces.
Reader, Amber, wrote to us about the awkward nook in her family room. It’s a leftover bump out where a wet bar used to be. She knows it’s a valuable space, but isn’t quite sure what to do with it. Here’s what she said:
One of the rooms that’s had me stumped is our living room that we spend majority of our time in. The house is a ranch style that was built in the late 70s with great quality wood everywhere. The living room at one time had a wet bar in it but now it’s a random decent sized nook that I am not sure what to do with.”
I’ve got three ideas for Amber’s nook. With a little modification, these same ideas could work for any awkward, unused spaces in a corner, under the stairs, or in a dormer.
My first recommendation with these types of spaces, is to treat them like their own separate space. Trying to integrate them into the room or downplay them usually makes them stand out more. Instead, give this space it’s own unique, special function AND make it a destination spot in the room.
For Amber’s empty living room corner, I think she can make an enchanting play space, cozy reading nook, or a mini home office or study area.
Three Ways to Use an Awkward Nook
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Hidden Play Space
Every parent’s dream is a place for the kids to play in the main living area without seeing toys. Amber has an opportunity with this nook to create just such a space.
For small kids spaces, use a fun bath mat as a rug.
See sources below
By hanging curtain panels from the ceiling to floor she can create a hideout for her kids. Toss in a small rug, floor poufs, and toy storage, and they might not ever come out. Plus, whenever the toys get messy or company is inbound, she can close the curtain panels and no one will be the wiser.
Cozy Reading Corner
This little corner doesn’t have any natural light, but an adjustable wall sconce can add perfect light for reading. The old wet bar shelves would make a great place to stock favorite books.
See product sources and similar items below.
Measure the space carefully and stuff in the biggest chair that will fit. It’s okay if the footstool sticks out of the nook. If you’re handy, build in a bench with storage cabinet or drawer underneath. Top it with a nice thick cushion and pile on the pillows and throw blankets.
Mini Homework Spot
Another great option for this space is a small writing desk. A built in desk would be a budget-friendly option, too.
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This corner would be a great spot for the family computer, so the kids can be supervised while using it. Or add paper trays and pencil cups for all the necessary school supplies and make this the homework spot.
Amber, we truly hope one of these fun ideas will help you make the most of your nook.
Now it’s your turn, if you lived in Amber’s house, what would you do in the living room nook?