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12 Smart Ideas for Decorating Empty Corners

Charmean Neithart, Houzz Contributor

Fill a neglected corner with something useful, attractive or both, using these dozen thoughtful decorating strategies.

I was a fairly well-behaved child in school, so I don’t recall ever getting sent to a corner. If I had, I’m sure I would have done the same thing I do in any other space: think about how to decorate it. Corners are not just for time-outs; corners are where smart design can happen.

Many people stare at their empty corners and feel there is something missing. What should go in that empty corner? Trust me, it’s a good problem to have. I’ll show you why.

High-back chairs are perfect for corners. Most people like the look of high-back chairs but consider their height a visual challenge. Place two high-back chairs in a corner facing out. Add a small table in between and a rug. This creates a perfectly cozy sitting area.

Have a pretty writing desk inherited from a grandparent? Great! Now place it in a corner facing out and on a diagonal. Better suited for letter writing than plugging in to check email, a writing desk gives a space elegance and evokes calm. Notice the gorgeous green of the fiddle-leaf fig tree that adds a lush layer.

Freestanding shelves, especially a pyramid-inspired style, work well in a corner. Store extra dishes and pretty containers on the open shelves for a great-looking display.

A message corner is mission control in any busy household. Create a small corner for a landline, a chalkboard and messages. While you’re at it, add a drawer. A drawer is a must-have for necessities like tape, scissors, rubber bands and loose change.

A display cabinet that is built in or freestanding makes good use of a corner, keeping pretty dishes, extra flatware and linens close by.

Add a beautiful corner window. This is a larger job but reaps big rewards. An architect or contractor can help in determining the best place and plan for adding a window to your home.  Do you have a corner with a great view? Great corner views are a natural setting for eating and gathering. Dining tables in a corner multitask for eating, writing and gathering.

Add a freestanding fireplace. Look smart and retro at the same time. These freestanding units are fairly simple to install with minor mess. They really add warmth and a comfort factor to a room.

Set up a game table. Pair a game table with a banquette or chairs for an inviting nook that’s ideal for unplugged fun.

Even petite desks can be tricky to use in small rooms. This custom desk in a bedroom makes use of the smallest of corners, providing room for a lamp and small drawer. The beautiful chair creates a fabric opportunity to add to the room’s palette.

A corner play area is a nice use of a corner if you have little ones running around, and keeps books and toys somewhat containable. Notice the close-by placement of a comfortable chair for adult supervision.

Do you have a pretty chair that’s not so comfortable for long-term seating? Try it in a corner vignette with a fun table and lamp. In a bedroom, chairs like this are great for putting on shoes or displaying pretty pillows and a throw.

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If you have a lonely and empty corner in your house that is only used for ‘time-outs’ for misbehaving children and spouses, then send the offending family members to the cold cellar, banish the dust bunnies and perk up your decor vision for where the walls meet in your home.