(Free) awkward corner makeover

For awhile now we’ve had an awkward corner between the entryway and our living room.  It has been sort of dead space that I’ve always known is not being utilized  very well.  Things got really out of hand after Sydney was born–the corner became a dumping ground for the car seat and all manner of baby gear, which totally obstructed the flow between our entry and the living room.  A few weekends ago, DH and I finally cleared the corner out (the car seat lives in the car now that Sydney is no longer a newborn, and we found other places for everything else).  We were then left with this empty corner:

I thought about additional shelving, but thought that would be weird right next to the existing bookcase.  I started thinking about what we could really use, and a couple of things came to mind.  First, sometimes I think it would be nice to have an extra spot to set things down when we come home from running errands (or just a long day at work), especially now that the weather is colder.  Of course I always try to put things away right away, but sometimes it is nice to take a few minutes to greet the family first!  Second, now that DH and I share a desk, I thought it would be nice to have another place to put things like grocery lists temporarily to get them off the desktop, which we try to keep clear for one another.  Then I remembered our orphaned desk chair (from this post) and started thinking it would be nice to have a little desk/side table combo in this empty corner.  Here’s what I came up with after the first “pass:”

In addition to adding the chair, I put our bin for recycling under the chair (previously we had often tripped on it…), and put up three of the four fabric covered corkboard tiles that had previously lived in our old office.  You can see them in their former life here:

I like that the color of the cork boards ties in with the color of our sofa.  However one of my main concerns about our living room space in general is clutter, so I’m still not convinced cork board tiles will be a good idea (I am a teensy bit concerned that they could easily become a spot for clutter).  So, I put them up using 3-M strips (I think they are the picture hanging kind that have two velcro strips that fit together) to make them easy to remove–just in case!

Even after adding the chair and cork tiles, I still felt like the corner was missing a little pizazz.  So I grabbed a plant stand I had picked up at IKEA years ago that I had since painted black.  I had totally forgotten about this little guy, which I had, rather unceremoniously, tucked behind our couch previously.  He was rediscovered while we were installing our new console table.  After setting him in place, I topped him with a 12×12 mirror tile that I had lying around to make this make-shift side table:

I wanted to add a bit more sparkle to the space, so I thought of a quick way to tie in the cork tiles I was so nervous about–faux nail-head trim!  Yes, that’s right, I decided to add a border of silver thumb tacks around the edge of the tiles to tie the cork tiles in with the chair, and to make the three tiles seem more cohesive:

Here you can see the real nail head trim (on the chair) and the faux version I added myself in a few minutes to the cork tiles:

Overall I’m very happy with this little corner make-over.  We now have an extra place to set things (on the chair or on the table), an extra place to put on shoes, a (temporary) place for things like grocery lists to live, and our paper recycling is now tucked out of the way.  Not too bad for a completely free makeover!  Here’s one final pic taken from the entry, looking into the living room:

What do you think?  Have you recently found space in a awkward corner?  Or done a completely free makeover of a space in your home?  Please share!


I welcome your feedback, ideas, and comments!

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