It doesn’t matter whether you live in a new build, an ex-council house, an older period property or a listed building, no home is ever completely perfect and there is always a room or problem space that you just can’t find a solution for. You may have a spare room that you can’t visualise what to use it for, a room with little or no natural light or maybe a dead space in a room that is not being properly utilised. Whatever your home issue happens to be, Alle Interiors are here with their 10 tips for how to deal with a problem space.
Whatever the size of your home it’s important to make sure that every inch of space is working hard to create a beautiful and functional space that is also a joy to live in. One of the most frequent issues in people’s homes is a so called ‘dead space’. This is a problem area of your home that could be put to better use, but is often an awkward shape or height. This ranges from the common under the stairs space, awkward alcoves, bay windows, empty corners, transitional spaces and most frequently the under-used ‘spare room’.
However, a dead zone can also be a perfect opportunity to create a unique area and you can even make a design feature of it – rather than feeling like you just want to shut the door on it. Here wetake a look at the most common problem areas and give you some solutions: –
1. Under the stairs – although this is often an awkward angular space, there is actually a lot you can do with it and it can boost your overall home storage. By adding shelving, doors or drawers, it is the ideal place for coats, shoes and seasonal items. Depending on the size it can also potentially become a work space with a desk and shelving or you may even be able to fit a toilet and basin in there.
Spare Room – if you don’t have frequent visitors staying, a spare room often becomes a ‘dumping ground’ for items or in many cases an ironing room. It is important not to waste this area and try to make it a functional space with many uses. This is often the perfect space for a home office or a hobby room, but needs to be designed so, that the room can be available for a guest at short notice. From beds that fold up into a cupboard to day beds that double as a sofa, there are many design solutions out there. Alternatively, you may be in dire need of more wardrobe space, in which case you can add storage to the room whilst also keeping a guest bed in it.
Empty Corners – an empty corner in an open-plan living area or a kitchen can be a great opportunity to add additional seating or create a separate zone. It is ideal for a breakfast nook with a bench on both walls of the corner and a table in front and it avoids you having to keep manoeuvring around a table. You can have fun designing it from an aesthetic point of view with cushions to match your décor and upholstery. Or turn it into a reading nook.
Transitional spaces – this is a space that connects one room to another, so, an entrance hallway, corridor, stairway or landing area. They are often forgotten and under-appreciated, but the hallway in particular is the first glimpse inside your home. Depending on the size of your hallway, it is also a great space to add either shoe storage cabinets to make it tidier or a simple console table with a plant or lamp to give a cosy feel. You can add a runner to the floor to make it look less bare and some colourful artwork – but avoid making it feel too cluttered.
Bay Windows – although a bay window can sometimes be seen as an awkward space, it is an opportunity to make the most of the natural light coming in to create a cosy reading nook. You could add a bench or a chair and make it the perfect space to curl up with a book.
Awkward alcoves – If you don’t have a spare room or a separate office, a nook or alcove can be the ideal place for an office area. Just add a small desk, a chair, bookshelf (or built in storage) and any other furniture you need or can fit in and make the most of the natural light. If it is dark add a small lamp, or install recessed lighting to brighten up the space. You can zone this area with colour by either painting it in a different colour to the rest of the area or by using a patterned wallpaper. Style it with some books and a few ornaments.
Dead space in the middle of a room – another design issue that homeowners frequently struggle with is a dead space in the middle of the room. One way to alleviate this is by rearranging your furniture to bring it closer together, as often furniture gets pushed up against the walls to free up more space, which creates an awkward dead zone in the centre. Try positioning the furniture to create a zoned layout, so in a living room you could place your seating around a TV or fireplace to create a more engaging and cosy area. If you have a large hallway or entrance, position a table in the centre to create a focal point as people enter your home. If you have a large empty area in a kitchen, use this space for a dining table or kitchen island.
Lack of natural light – If the problem you have in a particular room is a lack of natural daylight, try adding a decorative mirror on an adjacent wall, as this will bounce the light coming into your space around the room. Or brighten a dark space by painting your walls and ceilings in bright white paint, as this will not only reflect light, but will expand the look of your space.
Small Spaces – One way to make a room appear larger is by using neutral colours and textures for the overall space, but then add colour, patterns, and textures with your furniture, artwork or an accent wall to give it a pop of colour.
Empty Walls – If you are having a problem trying to fill expanses of empty walls, look at items that have meaning to you and add something to your space. This can range from tapestries or woven wall hangings, through to rugs or sculptural pieces such as baskets, ceramics, weathered wood and antique objects which all add texture, depth, and dimensions.Fixing a problem space in your home is not about trying to just fill it with clutter, but is about trying to maximise every inch of your home, to make it work for you. You need to try and keep open space between furniture and fixings to keep it feeling light and airy as clutter is not good for anyone’s mind. It’s about creating the right sense of balance, rhythm and flow throughout your home to make you feel happy and content. This process in interior design is called negative space and is essentially the empty space between two pieces of furniture, or between furniture and a wall, or around your accessories. Too little negative space and your room can feel cluttered and too much negative space, and the room can feel bare, so balance is key.
From under-used spare rooms to rooms with little natural light, whatever your problem zone is, Alle Interiors are here to help with any advice, so, please do get in touch and you can view our products, collections and the services we offer at www.alle-interiors.co.uk
Alle Interiors is a small creative team providing a one-stop-shop for all your interior design and soft furnishing requirements with customer service their utmost priority.
Image Credits: Photographe; Africa Studio; Nesolenaya Alexandra; United Photo studio; Mowlen&Co; Studio Duggan/Mariell Lind Hansen; Nune; James Hare