Home Staging & Interior Design Blog

How To Tackle The Agony Of Designing Awkward Spaces

by | Interior Design Tips, Staging Tips

Do you have an awkward space that’s a challenge to decorate?   Professional Home Stagers run into this challenge on a weekly basis.  Houses are not often designed with furniture placement in mind.  When buyers are home shopping, not all are able to picture the home furnished.  This can be a hindrance when selling a home with a room whose use is unclear, or with an atypical layout.

If you’re a creative home buyer with a knack for decorating, this won’t create a challenge for you, but the average potential buyer may walk away from the challenge. Here are a few tips that stagers incorporate when tackling difficult spaces.

Purpose of the Awkward Space

If you are decorating the home for a family, think about the spaces that a family needs and then consider how this space can meet one or more of those needs.

For this finished basement space, we determined that it needs to be a family room because the main floor has a more formal living area.  It also needs to have a space for homework. 

Basement Design - Helpful Home Staging Cleveland

Use Pinterest For Design Ideas

Make use of free resources.  Stagers love Pinterest.  It’s free and it has so many uses for decorating and staging.  For our finished basement space that we need to turn into a family room, we would enter “finished basement family rooms” in the Pinterest “search” space. 

This search will produce photos of multiple family room spaces.  Look at these photos closely to see if any of them have a similar layout to the one that you are challenged by.  If you find ideas for a space like yours, start a Pinterest board with your favorites. If you need more photos than this search provided, broaden your search to “family rooms.” 

If you have a preferred style, you can narrow your search, “farmhouse family room”, or “farmhouse finished basement.”  Pinterest has many ideas from professionals and amateurs that can really be helpful when you need inspiration or direction. Houzz is a great resource too.

If Pinterest or Houzz is not a fruitful option for you, draw out several rough floor plans of the space in pencil and then try different furniture placements.  Make sure that you’re taking into account the furniture dimensions and room dimensions. 

Think outside of the box about ways to make it work for your family.  The sofa doesn’t need to be up against the wall.  You don’t have to have two end tables and a coffee table. 

Be realistic, what pieces are functional for your family?  If it’s not functional or beautiful, don’t use it.  Mom needs light for her crochet work, dad needs a reading light, and the kids need a well-lit desk area.  We need a soft area rug so we can lie on the floor.  We need a table to play games on.  We will typically have four people using the room at the same time.  We like privacy so we need curtains or blinds that will provide privacy.  We need a place to store blankets that we use when we watch a movie. 

Choose a style of decorating that you like (Pinterest can help you “pin” this down too 😊 ).  Select the pieces that are necessary first, add décor to make the space stylish. Use matching toss pillows, a coordinating area rug, coordinating window coverings, art that you love that also ties into the style and colors in the room.

Then, if there’s still space and budget, add something fun (a popcorn machine, a gaming console, a movie screen, etc.)  Make it a space that a family will love and they’ll want to spend time there.  For our difficult space challenge with this basement, we decided on a semi-casual modern family room with a small “office” area.

Basement Design Ideas

If you find yourself still struggling with furniture placement or decorating an awkward space, call a Cleveland home staging business.  This is their specialty, and you’d be amazed at how helpful and productive a professional home staging consult can be.  Stagers are professionals and they deal with all kinds of challenges.  They can be the solution to your difficult space challenge.

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