Awkward Nooks, Spaces and “What is THAT?” Features
Welcome back! #ShelterandStagewithKLH
It’s Day 7 of Shelter and Stage with KLH!
Yesterday we talked about staging office spaces… So today seems like an ideal time to talk about awkward nooks, spaces and features – especially since many times, we turn our awkward nooks into office spaces by using furniture pieces like a leaning desk accompanied by a chair. (This is just one of many solutions for the awkward nook or wall space!)
Whether it’s new construction or a historical home, almost every house has an awkward space – or a really strange feature – that just defies staging.
Some spaces that immediately come to mind are alcoves under stairs, or those charming – but rather random – nooks. These nooks are common in historical homes; these spaces are so intriguing, but they’re also adjacent to larger rooms and don’t seem to service a particular purpose (at least anymore).
Watch Kim Hackett’s YouTube video about office spaces for a great example:
On the flip side, there’s new construction and the contender there is the hard-to-stage category of the blank-and-boring corners. Typically, these corners are too cramped to hang an additional piece of art or shove another table or chair… Yet, leaving these areas empty make it feel hollow or unfinished.
Another challenge with new construction is load bearing beams and rather random bump outs that hide duct work (or God knows what else)… Leaving us with design challenges all around!
And regardless of how old a property is – there’s always going to be those random features… Whether it’s slanted ceilings or random ledges.
When thinking about staging, we have to find ways to make these awkward spaces have purpose, and these odd features feel charming… “Character,” am I right?
So, what do we do with these spaces and features? How do we stage?
Let’s look at some examples and talk through our staging choices.
New Construction – The Beams and the Bump Outs
Take a look at this new construction property… The location of this load bearing beam in this open concept layout forced us to use just the right sectional (and the right number of sectional pieces) to make the beam feel purposeful… Like we wanted it there to begin with.
And the basement bonus room featured a bump out in the corner which we decided to stage as seating – a sort of bench – with a pillow, a few books and a small plant. (Would you ideally want to sit on this hard bump out, when there’s a couch just hop away? No. But we’re painting a picture, here…)
Here’s another example of a living room wall with a random bump out… This space was actually directly off the living room – but still considered part of the living room. We decided to stage this space as a small reading nook and accessorized the actual nooks with a standing lamp and a plant. The idea is place the right items, just so, within the bump outs and the nooks to make they feel like they were intentional, design choices – part of the plan. Yes! We want these bump outs and nooks…
It’s best to try and work with the bump outs. At the top of the stairs before entering this bedroom suite on the third floor, we hung a mirror and positioned a ladder with a blanket and basket. Due to the size and position of the window, and the small door leading to crawl space storage, there was no attractive way to utilize that wall space with a functional piece of furniture like a desk or even a dresser. Without those few accessories there, the space would have felt blank and unfinished. Now, is the ladder, basket and pillow functional? Because this is a bedroom, yes… And the mirror at the top of the stairs is a great way to check yourself before heading downstairs to start your day. It works!
Not all bedrooms are perfect squares. Take this master bedroom, for example. Because of the location of a bathroom, closet and built-in mini fridge area, there was only one location for the bed. However, the slanted bump out in the wall made art and lighting a little tricky… By leaning a larger art piece on the floor – I know, crazy – and substituting a standing lamp for the typical matching side lamp, we were able to work with the space instead of against it.
Ledges are another usual bedroom feature… But, they’re not exactly a negative. We see this particularly in basement units. Ledges offer opportunities to display art (specifically heavier art pieces and without risking damage to walls). We recommend keeping ledges clear of clutter!
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Project Manager, Home Stager
KLH Home Staging