By Cora L. Diekman

Published on November 6, 2016

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Photography by TESSA NEUSTADT

The Problem:

There is major wasted space in the spot under the stairs.

The Solution:

Bring in furnishings that promote both form and function.

Take cues from the location of the space, letting the surround dictate the decor and purpose of the zone. If the stairs are directly adjacent to the living room, transform the area into additional storage space, incorporating built-in shelves or even a media console into the nook. For the stairs that come aside an entryway, use the area for a sitting bench (with storage!) or a coat rack.

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Photography by STADSHEM

The Problem:

Your room has no corners.

The Solution:

Move forward as if you never needed them!

Offset the curved aesthetic of the space by bringing in a slew of linear pieces to instill a well-balanced element to the decor. Use the curve of the room as a guide to placing each individual piece of furnishing, emulating the flow of the room’s structure.

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Photography by MY IDEAL HOME TUMBLR

The Problem:

An unusually high wall is impossible to style.

The Solution:

Try a graphic 2-hue diagonal.

Decorating an oversized wall can seem daunting. Oversized art? gallery wall Shelving? Wallpaper? Really tall furniture? There are so many options that choosing the right statement for you (that’s realistic and on budget!) is way difficult. For a simple, single-step solution that keeps your budget in check, a bold 2-toned paint effect is a fantastic quick fix. Yes, this space is naturally divided by a staircase, but a diagonal graphic would totally work on any oversized wall sans stairs. Bisecting it diagonally highlights the wall’s grandeur (high walls are good!) while providing chic visual interest from top to bottom.

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Photography by WE HEART IT

The Problem:

Your small closet overflows into your (even smaller) bedroom.

The Solution:

Embrace your overflow boutique-style.

Sure, you’d love more space – a walk-in closet, bigger bedroom, better storage, more square footage. But when those options aren’t realistic, move on to plan B and embrace the madness. Take a cue from this super sweet design and style your closet’s overflow by placing it front and center, creating your very own in-room boutique. The key to this look is continuity and neatness. Start with a free-standing garment rack and go from there. Match your hangers, hang clothes by color, and keep things neat and tidy to achieve a look that’s boutique-chic. Bonus points for utilizing the extra space below for shoes, or tuck in a few storage boxes for hiding away smaller items like scarves, gloves, and hats.

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Photography by NOUVELLE DAILY

The Problem:

Your office for 1 needs desk space for 2.

The Solution:

Get creative with non-traditional pieces that do double-duty.

Here’s a secret: office space doesn’t always have to include an actual desk. In this case, clever DIY-ers utilized IKEA staples to create this dual-office space with plenty of room for two (including storage!). To keep this mostly white Scandinavian-inspired space from feeling too stark, a pair of shaker-style chairs in honeyed wood tones give this office a much needed shot of warmth.

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Photography by APARTMENT THERAPY

The Problem:

An oddly shaped ceiling creates a decorating nightmare.

The Solution:

Continue wall treatments onto the ceiling for visual continuity.

This look would work equally well with wallpaper or even a single paint color. Continuing the shiplap from the wall to the awkwardly slanted ceiling makes the best of this design dilemma by blurring the line between wall and ceiling, and hints that everything at play in this bedroom is totally intentional.

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Photography by GARANCE DORé

The Problem:

Your bathroom offers zero storage.

The Solution:

Add shelving in an unexpected place.

When storage is at a premium, it pays to think outside the box. (Or in this case, the medicine cabinet.) Forget about storage norms, and get creative. Add a shelf in any (practical) available space, like above the bathroom mirror, above the shower head, behind the door…whatever. In this case, a small shelf fits perfectly below the bathroom mirror, and provides a glam storage solution for display-worthy bathroom necessities.

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Photography by APARTMENT THERAPY

The Problem:

Too many books, too little square footage.

The Solution:

Utilize overhead wall space with ceiling-height shelves.

Why didn’t we think of this before? Make use of that unused space overhead with a set of bookshelves that hang at ceiling level. This looks works best with low-profile furniture, obviously, and could be an excellent storage solution for anything from office supplies to closet spillover. Seriously! If your items aren’t display-worthy, simply pack them into a couple of chic storage bins and display those instead.

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Photography by GRAVITY TUMBLR

The Problem:

You avoid your boring balcony at all costs.

The Solution:

Look beyond its (boring) bare bones and layer on style.

This creatively styled balcony is so colorful and inviting that it’s hard to imagine the before. But if you look beneath the layers and stare into its cramped, dull beginnings – WOW! It’s amazing what a little styling can do! Take a cue from this amazing small-space transformation and start using your balcony for more than just a refuge for dead houseplants. Seek out a sleek bistro set in a bold, inviting color like this robin’s egg blue, and pad with plenty of chic throw pillows. Disguise what’s below with layers of rugs and brighten things up with string lights. We’re also loving the other little extras that help make this space an extension of the interior, like the sheepskin throw, candles, and (well tended) greenery.

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Photography by MIDWEST LIVING

The Problem:

Your bed blocks the window (and everything else).

The Solution:

Make it look intentional and style creatively.

No matter where you put it, your bed is in the way of something. In this case, an awkward ceiling structure only provides one possible placement for the bed, and it’s blocking the window, covering artwork, and leaves little room for additional furniture. And you know what? It totally works. Curtainless windows and a barely-there headboard allow for maximum daylight, while the thin black bed frame mimics the thin frames in the wall art – all of which create a layered effect that looks totally intentional (and way chic, too).

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