Make It Work: How to Deal With an Oddly-Shaped Room


Whether your home is old or new, big or small, chances are you’ve had to deal with oddly-shaped rooms -- ones where walls are too long or too short, meet each other at non-perpendicular angles, or form small, seemingly unusable nooks and crannies.

While it can be difficult to imagine how to make the space work, fear not! Here are a few tips and tricks that I like to keep my sleeve:


1) Divide & Conquer:

Use furniture to create “zones’ to isolate irregular walls or areas. Defining these zones can easily be done by organizing your furniture around a focal point, like a fireplace or television, thus separating the angled walls from the rest of the space.

Try creating a conversation area with a sofa, coffee table, and set of chairs, like Furniture Maison’s own Iris Sofa with a Walnut Coffee Table and a Nova Chair, and then placing a favorite picture, bench, or desk along the isolated angled wall. By dividing up the space and treating the areas as separate, you no longer need to worry about how to address the entire room at once.

 The eating area here is made spatially distinct by locating the bench, chairs, bench, and shelves along the angled wall and away from the kitchen beyond.(apartment by RAS arquitectura, photo by Jose Hevia, via


2) Built-in or Custom:

Invest in built-ins or custom furniture that perfectly fit the space. This space-saving furniture solution might be more costly, but it ensures a personalized, flawless fit! I love how custom pieces, like storage or seating, can transform unworkable or impractical areas into usable, valuable square footage, while also camouflaging unbalanced or angled walls.


The unusual space next to the entryway is converted into an ideal storage and seating solution for a small mudroom area, with a bench, drawers, hooks, and cabinets.  (via


3) Seek out Opportunities 

See opportunities instead of impossibilities!

A nook could be the perfect spot to install a set of shelves, a potted plant, or a piece of artwork. Suddenly, what had been a problematic area becomes a focal point, a space that frames and even highlights what is located there. For me, these irregularities can easily become some of the most unique and character-defining elements of my space.

Thick planks of reclaimed wood are the basis for these character-heavy shelves in this narrow, in-between space. (project by interior designer Jen Langston, via


4) Subtle Design Tricks

If all else fails, fake it ‘till you make it. When celebrating the irregularities just won’t work, as a last resort, you can simulate balance and symmetry through subtle design tricks, like installing curtains symmetrically along a wall with unevenly spaced or uncentered windows.

Even just repeating the same element throughout a space gives a sense of unity, taking attention away from the irregularities of the room.

Neutral colors and continuous curtains unify the asymmetric oversized window in this home. (project by architect John Pawson, photo by Gilbert McCarragher, via


In the end, whether you choose furniture, built-ins, curtains, or other design strategies to make use of those irregular walls or oddly-shaped spaces, we hope that you can better use your home or office and love it for all of its quirks!


Kate R.

Kate is a New York-based architect and preservationist, with a love for all things design! 


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