Blog by Beebe Cline

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12 Ways to Make the Most of Your Dining Room Corners

When I was growing up, the TV game show The Price Is Right made me think that dining rooms were a real snore. The new dining room sets of the "showcase showdown" usually included a matchy-matchy dining table and chairs, a buffet and a cumbersome cabinet, all lined up parallel to one another atop some thick wall-to-wall carpet. One way to avoid TPIR dining room set ennui is to distract with "Barker's beauties" (the show's models). The other is to place your furniture off that grid and cleverly angle some furniture and accessories into the corners.
Angle in the extra chairs. We've all seen the extras pushed up against a wall; try filling an extra corner with one.
Make a reading spot. In a small home, every little area counts. An armchair paired with a lamp can result in a favorite reading place.
Add storage. Build in a corner cabinet ...
... or better yet, nestle in two corner cabinets. This is such a handy way to store those unwieldy platters and tureens that don't fit into the kitchen cabinets and to display beloved pieces of china and silver.
A more contemporary take on the built-in china cabinet, this freestanding shelf unit makes the most out of the space.
Use other furniture. Secretary desks are neither built in nor typically used in a dining room, but angling one into a corner is a great idea. The top can be used for display, the hidden desktop can hold large serving pieces, and the drawers can store linens.
Arrange a meeting for your window treatments. Coordinating drapes that frame windows and cover a corner create floor-to-ceiling continuity.
Tuck in a plant. Whether perched on a plant stand or placed in a banquette corner, a plant will breathe life into your dining room.
Make room for a fireplace. While you may not have room along one side, a corner is a good spot for tucking in a fireplace; it will be out of the way yet still in view for cozy dinners.
Find art that rounds the bend. Whether it's unique pieces like these that can be assembled at an angle or a larger wall mural, art can enliven a corner. In this dining room, a well-placed floor lamp illuminates it.
Similarly, you can prop a painting on an easel in the corner.
Place a sculpture. A large piece of artwork will ensure that your corner is anything but boring. Just make sure to balance it with your centerpiece.
Nestle in a bar. Why waste time shuttling to the kitchen for cocktail refills when you can keep everything you need in a built-in or freestanding bar? This one includes undercabinet lighting, glass doors for displaying glasses and a stunning copper backsplash.
Here's another example of a built-in bar that works.
You can also place a temporary bar in the corner without having to make a big commitment.
It would not be one of my corner-themed ideabooks if I didn't include a gratuitous corner window shot. I think this one wins for best view. As 30 Rock's Liz Lemon says, I want to go to there!