Dealing With Odd Shaped Apartment Spaces

Sometimes apartments have oddly shaped areas that prove to be a decorating challenge. Although these unusual spaces can be interesting simply because of their shape, the trick is to work with the spaces in a way that accentuates their unique shape, while maximizing their usability.

Unusual Nooks and Crannies in Older Apartments

Older buildings often have small nooks and crannies that can create an unusually shaped room. Especially in the case of apartments that were created from large older homes, small rooms such as bathrooms might have been created from what were originally large closets or service rooms. In other cases, one large room might have been divided up into several unusually shaped rooms when the home was converted into apartment space. Or, your challenge might be that the rooms are still large, albeit unusually shaped, and you have a desire to use the room for several purposes, such as a home office and a living room. There might also be sharp angles where the walls connect, or an unusual layout of windows in some of the rooms. Small areas such as alcoves were also common in older home and apartment construction.

Breaking Larger Spaces into Smaller Room Shapes

If you have an unusually shaped large space in an apartment, chances are you might be able to divide the area into two or more smaller "mini-rooms" that can be used for different purposes. For example, a room with a small alcove abutting against it could be divided up into a living room and a small office. Once the large unusually shaped area is divided into visually separate rooms, the space no longer looks to be an odd shape. You can also break up unusually shaped rooms by using furniture or room dividers.

Connecting Disjointed Spaces into One Space

Another method of dealing with unusual room spaces and shapes is to visually tie them all together. You can use furniture to soften sharp angles, such as angling a bookcase along a wall, or using a rounded sofa to reduce an angular appearance, making the room seem more connected and inviting. If you have a small alcove space that doesn't fit into the room in any kind of useful fashion, consider visually squaring the room by placing a decorative room divider in front of the alcove. You can then use the alcove as hidden storage space. Using the same wall color throughout the room can also help tie the area together, or use an area rub in the center of the room to visually pull the focus away from the unusual shape of the room.

Interesting Uses for Unusual Spaces

Just because an apartment is unusually shaped doesn't mean you need to try to disguise its uniqueness. Accentuating a few of these areas to add interest and usefulness to the room is often a good approach. Try utilizing a very small space as a reading nook, adding a chair, end table and small reading lamp. This can create a charming spot out of what was once an awkward space. Free-standing bookcases and shelving units can also be added to small areas to create home library spaces. Storage benches can also be used in small spaces to give the look of a built-in seating area, especially if used under a window.

Alyssa Davis is a staff writer and specialist in decorating with coffee cup metal artwork and metal wall art for

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