Space Oddities: Making Quirky Spaces Functional

By | February 18, 2016

Quirky Space PicWho couldn’t use a little more storage space at home? Some spaces are obvious choices for our storage and display needs. Closets, attics and garages typically handle our storage needs, while wall units, bookshelves and media centers provide great solutions for organizing and displaying our media, artworks, knickknacks and collectibles.

But you may have additional, less obvious, storage solutions available as well. Architecturally odd or awkward spaces in your home could hold hidden possibilities. Such odd spots may present design challenges or not even seem useful at all. But a bit of ingenuity could help you transform these oddities into unique and functional storage or display spaces. Here are just a few examples:

Under the stairs. This is an area with a lot of potential. Shelving that is custom designed for the space, or an artfully arranged storage system, can bring this often underutilized zone to life. If the space is near an entryway, you could set it up to serve as a functional landing strip. A stairwell that folds into an odd nook could make an interesting place for a bold display of collectibles, oversized books or artworks.

Nooks and alcoves. Some recessed nooks or alcoves can be challenging to finish into a useable space. They might be too small to hold furniture or in a location that is awkward to decorate. But a nook can be made both cozy and appealing. A nook or alcove can be highlighted by applying a different wall covering or paint color. Anything placed in the nook should fit snugly so it does not appear to be jutting or out of place. Narrow wall-mounted or free-standing shelving arranged in an artful manner can create an interesting focal point. Or, depending on the location of the nook, you could enlist the space to serve as a functional entryway area, work or study space.

Attics and angled ceilings. Traditional, rectangular furniture pieces can seem awkward or ill-fitting in rooms with sloped ceilings. Rooms with angled ceilings can be challenging to decorate, but they also provide unique spaces for inspiring creative arrangements. Of course, custom fitted furniture or shelving is an ideal way to maximize use of the space. Alternatively, shelving or storage can be arranged to fill odd spaces. You could also think of wall spaces situated underneath sloping ceilings as a big nook and, as with your smaller alcove spaces, set it off with an interesting wall covering or different paint color before installing any furniture, shelving or storage system along the wall.

Unused garage space. Many of us use our garages for much more than just parking our vehicles. You might use your garage to store sports equipment, tools, extra clothes, or holiday decorations. Using wall shelving is a great way to maximize garage storage, neatly keeping all your items vertically organized and off the floor. But an often overlooked area for storage in the garage is overhead. You don’t need soaring ceilings to utilize overhead storage in your garage. Whether you have room for a full loft or just a simple ceiling mounted shelf, overhead space can provide some welcome extra storage possibilities.

Perhaps we all wish for more storage space in our homes. But expanding our ideas about where we can find that extra space helps us discover more storage capacity than we knew existed. You might even be able to think of some quirky, odd or underutilized area in your own home that could be transformed into a useful space that is cozy, functional and fits your unique home and style.


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