5 things to do with an empty corner in a bedroom that will make the space so much more useful

Transform an unloved bedroom corner by decorating with one of these five designer-approved ideas

a bed styled with a coverlet draped over
(Image credit: Madeline Harper. Design: Emily Lauren Interiors)

In any bedroom, your layout can create an awkward empty corner that feels unloved, unused, not to mention uninspiring. So how can we make the most of these spaces? 

Designers suggest turning them into destinations in themselves, reimagining these corners as cozy and cocooning zones to relax and unwind. I've spoken to the designers to find out how best to cheer up these empty spaces, and how to embrace them and turn them into your favorite spot in a modern bedroom.

1. Go for bespoke joinery

A bedroom corner with built-in console table

(Image credit: Phil Crozier. Design: Stephanie Brown)

Have you considered that your bedroom corner might be ripe for some custom joinery? Instead of an awkwardly placed wardrobe that you've managed to shuffle into the corner, why not get rid of it altogether and go for something a little more bespoke that beautifully fits the space?

This makes the most of the shape and footprint of your bedroom. Consider bedroom shelving, a wardrobe, or closed cabinets that slot perfectly and neatly into the space. The overall look will be satisfyingly seamless as it fits snugly into the space, giving that corner a whole new lease of life.

'When space permits, we suggest incorporating a custom console table, which creates the foundation for a nicely styled vignette with books, a lamp, and possibly art or a mirror over,' says Stephanie Brown, founder of the eponymous studio who designed the above bedroom.

'Consoles can also do double-duty as a desk or make-up table. If there isn’t sufficient space for a console table, consider bringing in a woven basket to hold extra blankets or cushions; the texture adds warmth and interest to an otherwise empty space,' adds Stephanie.

2. Add a potted plant

A transformed bedroom corner with a potted plant

(Image credit: Walid Rashid. Design: Marie-Claire Mrad)

Potted plants and indoor trees are a great way to bring interest to an unused corner. Drawing your eye upwards, the best indoor trees are tall with sculptural-shaped leaves - almost working like a piece of artwork in your bedroom corner while adding that all important greenery. For drama, I love a fiddle-leaf fig tree or an exotic-looking palm. I have had the same monsterra for years in my bedroom corner, and its beautiful leaves never fail to make me cheery. For added height, mine is perched on a side table to make it even more of a focus.

'Transforming an empty bedroom corner into a captivating haven involves incorporating a touch of nature with a strategically placed plant, infusing life and freshness into the space,' says Marie-Claire Mrad, founder of the studio.

'When filling an empty corner, plants breathe life into the space with a vibrancy, adds designer Apartment 48's Rayman Boozer. 'Just make sure you're corner is blessed with natural light or the plant won't survive,' he advises.

3. Create a corner to display your art

A bedroom corner transformed with artwork

(Image credit: Tim Lenz. Design: Atelier RO)

Turn your corner into a destination by giving it an artistic focus. Go for a curated gallery wall, but be careful not to overdo it. I like the look of one painting on one wall, balanced with two pieces of art on the other wall that adjoins. Art is a simple trick that makes your small bedroom look bigger as it creates extra space.

'To make an empty corner feel lived in, using a large piece of artwork or photography can bring great scale and interest to a room without being too over cluttered,' says Juliette Spencer, founder of Atelier RO who designed this bedroom in Nolita, New York.

4. Turn a corner into a reading nook

An empty corner is just begging for a cozy reading corner. When in doubt, and if you are lucky enough to have surplus space in your bedroom, creating a zone for relaxing and reading at the close of the day can really change the feeling and atmosphere of the room. With just a few simple furniture additions, you can give an unloved corner a shift in focus.

A cozy armchair, complete with a stash of your favorite reads, or even a shelf that makes your books easy to reach is such a simple addition. Don't forget to complete the look with a side table for a place to rest that end-of-the-day chamomile tea (or glass or wine) while you tuck into a good book.

Finally, don't forget the lighting - essential to give you light while you read and a great opportunity to add your sense of style. A floor lamp is a good addition, also shining light downwards to avoid harsh glare in your eyes, but a side table complete with a table lamp can also do the job.

5. Introduce a lounging chair

A bedroom corner with lounge chair

(Image credit: Tim Lenz. Design MK WORKSHOP)

Sometimes, something as simple as an accent chair is all you need to liven up a corner that is in need of a bit of attention. 'Another item you can use is a statement chair. It not only creates a lovely vignette, but when hosting a larger dinner party, you have that spare chair ready for action,' says Juliette.

The type of accent chair you go for will be dictated by the design of your room, but for something simple and reliable, a wooden frame or rocking chair can be an elegant finish. If you want more of a seating area, go for something that reclines like this addition in a bedroom by MK Workshop.

Just be careful not to get into a habit of dumping your clothes there - the chair is a piece to be admired, and not adorned with your washing!

3 buys to transform that unloved bedroom corner

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.