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How to fill an awkward space in a room

Design — May 21, 2021

This is a fun post! At least I think it is a fun post as it took several years to figure out this design dilemma in our living room and I hope by sharing these simple tips for how to fill an awkward space, it will help you solve any problem areas you might have as well…

Get the Look

art | lamp | vase | roman shades | book 1, 2, 3 | vintage snuffer | pillow

The problem area :

Our living and dining rooms are one open room joined together. The awkward space we always had trouble filling was this wall of windows in the living room with a little bit of wall space in between four windows. You can see below just some of the different variations and arrangements we have tried over the years- we mostly have tried a chair with a side table, but here were our issues with those options. One, I didn’t like that the chair sat right up against the wall… it would always end up pushed into the wall and window trim causing marks. Two, we always struggled with which direction to face the chair- face it towards the sofa for conversation, face it towards the TV and fireplace (which are beside one another) but then the side table would sit behind the chair, or face them straight which just didn’t feel right. Some other options we tried were a blanket latter, an olive tree, a small side table with a vase, a small side table with a lamp (which you can see the scale was off since the lamp was too big for the side table)… and I am sure many more I am forgetting about.

So, I thought about what we needed and I came up with (or so I thought) a game plan. We were going to find a taller (at least sofa arm height) vintage table that was large enough to hold a lamp, coffee table books and maybe a candle. We went to a local vintage market last weekend in search of this perfect table (spoiler alert, most of the time you go searching for something specific, you will not find it… BUT, you most likely will find something better if you keep an open-mind!). After finding a few options that could work, we came across this dresser, and I knew it would be perfect. Here’s why…

It was a true, solid, vintage oak dresser with beautiful details… but aside from the aesthetics of the piece, it was the perfect scale! It was just slightly taller than the arms of our sofa, which is what we were looking for. We also loved that it is visually bottom-weighted, meaning it was a lower but substantial piece of furniture which would help ground/fill that awkward space. It had storage which was perfect, AND it was wide enough to fit our lamp, some greenery, and accessories.

Tips to remember :

SCALE – Think about your awkward space and how it is used or how you would like for it to be used. When deciding on what you want to fill the space, thing about the scale of the piece of furniture, art, mirror, or whatever it may be. You don’t want something too small, like our side tables above, but you don’t want something too large that will draw attention and crowd the space. Also thing about the the height of the piece or the overall visual weight. Make sure your piece isn’t too low where it feels out of place, or not too high where it overpowers either.

FUNCTIONALITY & PRACTICALITY – These two go hand in hand, but think about what you need the space to do for you. For example, we really needed additional lighting on this side of our living room, and after trying two different floor lamps, we knew a table lamp was the way to go. We also knew we wanted something that didn’t stick out too far from the wall since we do walk in between the dresser and the sofa.

AESTHETICS – What is your space lacking? Is it lacking character? If so, maybe you need a vintage piece that will help bring in that character. Is your space lacking warmth? Maybe, you need something that is a pretty wood tone to bring in that warmth. Does your space just feel awkward and you don’t know how to bring life to it? Add a plant, or some fresh cut branches from your yard in a beautiful vase for an instant visual boost!

So, what do you think?! Doesn’t this just feel like it was suppose to be there all along? I can’t tell you how much joy this space now brings us every day and night! Awkward space turned favorite space!

Do you have an awkward space you struggle with in a room? Tell us below!

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Laine and Layne is a home and lifestyle brand located in Northeast FL. Through simple and intentional design, we hope to inspire you to create a wholesome home.