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Going to the corner can be chic, fun

Corners of rooms are often thought to be awkward areas, suitable only for a potted plant. But that’s far too limited an assumption. Corners can actually offer opportunities for visually striking and space-maximizing placements of furniture or equipment.

Q: Please advise us on how to arrange the furniture in a guest room with little usable wall space. A large window fills one wall, while closets and entrance doors take up most of the others.

There’s only one obvious spot for a queen-size bed: directly under that picture window. But putting the bed there would make it impossible to enjoy the beautiful view from the guest room. We might be able to fit the bed at an angle into an empty corner — an option I’d consider if you could suggest how to make that arrangement attractive rather than awkward.

A: The photo shows a bed situated the way you’re considering. It doesn’t look awkward, does it? This corner is part of a bedroom designed by Vicente Wolf for a Showtime House in New York City. Wolf qualifies as one of the most fashionable designers working today, so you can be sure that putting a bed in a corner will be seen as a chic choice.

Color was used here — as it can be in your guest room — to divert attention from the wall angle and to focus it on the bed itself. A monochromatic color scheme with subtle variations makes the corner fade away. And so Wolf covered the walls and the window with a pale shade of blue-grey and chose a much deeper shade of the same color for the carpeting and bed.

Please also note how the designer reinforced this asymmetrical, modern treatment by avoiding the expected. Instead of the usual matching pair of night tables, Wolf has included two unrelated tables. At the same time, identical reading lamps flank the contemporary-style bed.

The windows were meanwhile fitted with a simple yet decorative covering that creates a soft surround for the bed. Similar to a pleated Roman shade, this Poirette covering from Hunter Douglas can be easily adjusted to allow for either a view or for privacy.

A combination like the one seen here can work well regardless of whether a room is traditional, modern or contemporary in its styling. The trick is to ensure that any piece of furniture placed in a corner will function as a focal point. A bed or a chair that makes a strong design statement can relegate the corner to the role of mere background.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

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