37 Genius Ideas to Fill Up an Awkward, Empty Corner in Your Home

updated Dec 19, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A colorful maximalist living room with an orange wingback chair and full bookshelves in the corner of the room.
Credit: Viv Yapp

We’ve all got them — you know, those awkward empty spaces that are a little too small for an accent chair but way too big for a lonely side table. If blank spaces are making you uncomfortable, the good news is that you’ve got plenty of options for filling them without cluttering up your home.

We’ve gathered up our favorite (and most creative) awkward corner ideas to fill the space — whether it’s a living room, small bedroom, or entryway — in the most stylish way possible.

Credit: Erin Derby

1. Incorporate a decorative room divider.

Think outside the box and add a vintage-inspired room divider to liven up an awkward corner in your home. Interior decorator Ally Doman incorporated a decorative room divider, a unique art piece, and a beautiful lavender accent chair to make her Queens bedroom more interesting.

Credit: Layne Dixon

2. Go with vintage items.

One of our favorite awkward corner ideas is adding vintage decor. Take this historic Chicago house for example — an adorable mid-century mirror fills the corner and adds interest to the space.

Credit: Julie Caylet

3. Add stylish storage bins.

Keep things minimal and add some beautiful (and functional) storage bins to fill the space in your awkward corner. Buy cute storage bins and fill them with your out-of-season clothes, extra blankets, or other necessities. This simple yet chic apartment in France is a perfect example.

Credit: Mimi & Hill

4. Add a (stylish) wine fridge.

Looking for a clever design idea that appeals to all of the senses? Hillary Kaplan of Mimi & Hill has an easy way to occupy that awkward corner — and cater to your virtual happy hour. “One way to fill an empty corner is with a wine fridge. But a wine fridge on its own can be an eyesore.” To get around this, hide the wine fridge in a cabinet along with your liquor collection, she suggests. In the above home, Kaplan also added custom shelves to her clients’ setup, but a bar cabinet is a budget-friendly alternative.

Credit: EQ3

5. Create a reading nook.

Calling all bookworms: That awkward corner could be your opportunity to finally create the reading nook of your dreams. “With many of us still spending a lot of time at home, rethink an empty corner as additional living space, and create a small reading nook,” explains Liana Thomson, EQ3’s accessories product developer.

Want to double down on your reading nook? She says to add an ottoman or accent chair in a calming color such as blue or green; a stool or end table to hold your books and beverages; and a floor lamp that you can direct the light exactly where you need it.

Credit: Viv Yapp

6. Get creative with your bookshelf.

A bookshelf is a surefire way to occupy any awkward corner, but a simple, store-bought option feels a little expected. If you want to make your bookshelf feel a bit more personal to your pad, take a cue from Hannah Broadway, who opted for a corner unit. The result? A well-stocked library that doesn’t take up too much precious square footage.

Credit: Shawn Outley

7. Style with storage.

Why limit your awkward corner to books? Designer Alessandra Wood, is a big proponent of using this unclaimed space as storage. (Stylishly, of course.) While you’re at it, you might want to reconsider your room’s layout.

“You can position furniture towards the corner rather than centering it on a wall. This allows you more wall space for other furniture and decor and eliminates an empty corner,” she explains.

8. Work on your home office.

Whether you’re a hybrid worker or permanently work from home, a good use of an awkward corner is to create a home office. And, as this Chicago-based home tour proves, it’s even possible to squeeze in a teeny-tiny desk. Owners Sam Rosen and Linsey Burritt made the most of the small space with floating shelves and a wall that doubles as a message board.

Credit: Ike Kligerman Barkley

9. Embrace your artistic streak.

When in doubt, a great piece of art never fails to zhuzh up your space. “I normally use a sculpture or art for the empty corner,” says Mia Jung, interiors director at Ike Kligerman Barkley. “Art instantly enhances the space and makes it interesting.” Not only can a great sculpture double as a conversation starter, but good art is also available in a bunch of shapes and sizes, so you’re bound to find the perfect match for your home.

10. Add an easel.

If you want to flex your artistic muscle, consider placing an art easel in your awkward corner. (Psst… you can complete the look with a canvas of your latest work in progress, as seen in this grandmillennial house.) Art, decor, and something to do rolled into one formerly awkward corner? Consider us sold.

11. Make a meditation nook.

Let your awkward corner work overtime to create a calm, soothing space.

“A quick guided meditation session is a favorite way to start my mornings, so I created a meditation nook in an empty corner of my apartment by the window sill,” shares Abigail Cook Stone, CEO and co-founder of Otherland. You can achieve a similar vibe by creating an altar-like setup with a stack of books topped with crystals and a candle. Be sure to surround the area with lush greenery for a truly relaxing vibe.

Credit: Lula Poggi

12. Mix it up.

Why settle for one design idea when you can enjoy two? “My grandmother was a collector of interesting chairs and it taught me that chairs can be used as a functional sculpture in most spaces,” designer Kelly Martin says. “You can stick one in the corner and stack books, magazines, or a plant, and they instantly become a funky little addition to your room. The weirder the chair, the better!”

Another perk? Martin says it’s also a good excuse to get a stylish chair that’s not exactly comfortable. That’s right: Your cute, yet impractical stool finally found its home.

Credit: Andrew Bui

13. Beautify with your cosmetics.

If you don’t want to schlep to and from the bathroom to grab all your nighttime skincare essentials, put ’em in your corner. In her Harlem-based bedroom, influencer Folasade Adeoso keeps her favorite lotions and potions in a shallow basket.

Credit: Christina Neilsen

14. Make room for mirrors.

If you’re going to fill that awkward corner with something, you might as well make it work for your overall space’s vibe. “A mirrored screen that has antique mirrored panels adds a sculptural statement, while also giving the illusion of a larger space,” explains designer Christina Nielsen. Sure, you can accomplish the same look with any other mirror, but the paneled silhouette seen here can really hug the corner.

15. Pile on the plants.

Let’s face it: One large plant might be the obvious choice for your awkward corner. But adding several? Now that’s an innovative alternative. This Chicago-based home has 90 plants — including a handful of leafy greens bunched into a corner. This easy trick gives this living room a tropical feel.

Credit: Andrew Bui

16. Defy gravity.

As Kim White’s Brooklyn-based home proves, the only way to go is up. We love how the makeup artist and stylist filled a corner with a slim dresser and hanging planter, drawing the eye upward and emphasizing those high ceilings.

17. Paint a trendy arch.

In case you didn’t get the memo, you don’t need to physically put something in a corner to make it pop. For a clutter-free awkward corner idea that makes a statement, add an oh-so-trendy painted arch. Let actress Janina Gavankar’s Los Angeles pad show you how it’s done.

Credit: Joann Pai

18. Feature your firewood.

If you’re blessed to have a working fireplace in your home, take a cue from this Parisian apartment, which fills an otherwise awkward corner with spare logs. Not only is this super practical — especially when you want to light an impromptu fire — but it’ll also give your space a rustic, casually cool edge.

Credit: Viv Yapp

19. Incorporate those antiques.

You know those trinkets you find in a vintage store that are so cool, but you have no idea where to put them? This awkward corner idea is perfect for those. Let this storage rack in designer Emily Rickard’s Bristol home show you the way.

20. Show off your personality.

If you want to bring a little more you into your space, fill your empty corner with items that are special to you. Kelli Collins added a surfboard to her tropical home, but a guitar or rolls of leftover fabric will work wonders, too.

21. Give it the television treatment.

More times than not, a television set finds its home in the center of the room. But, if you want to cut down on screen time, try inching it closer to the corner, as Michelle Jones did in her Toronto home. Trust us: This unconventional design move pays off.

22. Pet-proof your pad.

Have a furry little friend at home? Place a scratching tree or dog bed in the corner of your room. (Spoiler alert: It’ll look ten times cuter when your little pooch is curled up there!) In her San Francisco rental, Geraldine Silva mastered the look for her dog, Marni.

Credit: Neha Paroha

23. Add an unconventionally-placed end table.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: You don’t need to buy a new piece of furniture to create the illusion of a sectional. We love how Neha Paroha placed two matching sofas together — and completed the look with a small accent table. Of course, this awkward corner idea has more to offer than good looks; it’s practical, too.

24. Flex your home gym muscle.

Think you don’t have enough room for a gym? This 385-square-foot home in Chelsea will prove otherwise. The former Small/Cool winner added a Peloton to the corner of her bedroom. Though she was nervous the bulky equipment would cramp her style, she swapped out the window treatment for lightweight curtains, brightening up the space in the process.

25. Go for copious countertops.

As this Argentinian home proves, you can never have enough storage space. It would’ve been so easy to place a bistro set or spare plant in the corner of the kitchen. Instead, owners Lígia Baleeiro and Ramiro Pena doubled down on storage — and even made a little meal prepping station. Living in a temporary space? You can always recreate the look with a portable kitchen island.

Credit: Vicki Wang

26. Bring on the baskets.

Think of a cute, woven basket as an effective (and super easy!) way to keep your home in tip-top condition. (The one in this San Francisco apartment is perfect for stowing spare blankets and children’s toys.) Best of all? It can fit perfectly in that awkward corner.

27. Cram in a closet rack.

Looking for an awkward corner idea to fill the space right next to your front door? Make that area work for you with a coat rack. The slim style in this renovated Victorian gets the job done without upstaging the rest of the foyer’s charming features.

Credit: Jacqui Turk

28. Mix and match wallpaper

Jono Fleming and Ryan McGregor’s Australian home single-handedly convinced us that the coolest way to fill an underutilized corner is by getting creative with wallpaper. This bedroom features two different repeats, but uses a similar color palette to keep the room cohesive. The result? A simple corner that’s eye-catching, not awkward.

29. Build visual interest with mirrors and antique finds.

Empty entryway corners and stretches of bare wall aren’t always easy to avoid, as they’re awkward spaces to fill. These spots might be highly trafficked, but they’re transitional zones — not rooms you’d really hang out in. For inspiration, look no further than this Amsterdam home’s gorgeous take on an entryway. The mirror and mannequin combo are incredibly bold, eye-catching statement pieces that can also be functional. Moreover, these items take up visual space without adding too much clutter to the room.

Credit: Neil Landino

30. Install a dry bar.

If you’re interested in truly transforming a blank spot, follow in the footsteps of these Cape Cod homeowners, who took an odd little wall niche and transformed it into a sleek dry bar. The soft gray cabinetry helps it blend seamlessly into the rest of the room, but the smart, functional use of space is what makes it stand out. This is the perfect place to serve drinks and apps from.

Credit: Chinasa Cooper

31. Repurpose a vintage find.

A rustic ladder makes for a beautiful shelving system in this small NYC studio apartment. The blank corner is instantly made more welcoming with these thoughtful touches, proving that you don’t need to go overboard to fill a corner. A few personalized items will do just fine.

32. Style a corner bar.

Radiators commonly occupy valuable real estate, and they often do so in corners. The owners of this West Village apartment made the most of the situation by adding a shelf to create a makeshift bar. If you’re radiator-less, you could still follow their lead and set up a small bar, coffee station, or tea tray with the use of a small cart or occasional table.

33. Infuse extra coziness with textiles.

A basket of throw blankets and extra pillows close at hand makes for an ultra comfy room and no awkward corners. A version like featured in this cozy Indianapolis home is slim, which means that it won’t take up much space and keeps warmth at the ready.

Credit: Submitted by Katie

34. Shed some light to fill empty corners.

Corners tend to gather shadows, so it’s easy to quickly transform them with some kind of light fixture. In this California cool bungalow, a light makes perfect sense, since the corner is next to the sofa, a common spot for reading. But you can also use this trick in random corners. Add a salt lamp for a soft glow or hang a pendant for some extra drama.

Credit: Submitted by Fernanda

35. Set up a hammock.

Admittedly, this would take a fairly specific corner, but even when it’s not in use, a hammock can add a splash of color or a bit of softness, as seen in this light-filled Brazilian apartment. Not to mention, a hammock or hanging chair is an unexpected touch that most homes usually only feature outside.

36. Add shape and structure with a screen.

You can remedy bare corners simply by cutting them off with a folding screen. This can help create a little extra separation and privacy, or, as seen in this Burbank apartment’s bedroom, a screen is great for added visual interest.

37. Warm things up with a chic table.

This triangular table in a Highland Park home provides a place to rest for a plant and a lamp. It also adds some warmth to what otherwise might be a pretty sterile corner.