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Friday, June 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Unused Spaces Can Be Display Places Create Decorative Storage Nooks Under Stairways Or Along Hallways

By Gary Krino The Orange County Register

They’ve become so familiar that we really don’t see them even though we pass by them time after time every day.

Small, unusual spaces tucked here and there throughout our homes that stand as silent and, more important, faceless witnesses illustrating that things do not always have to be what they seem.

Ignoring these spaces can be a major mistake in space use and planning. Instead of giving them the decorating cold shoulder, look at those spaces as little gems waiting to be mined with imagination and vision.

Know that space above the kitchen cupboards? Looked at it so often that you actually haven’t seen it in years? Straighten up, folks. It’s the perfect display/ storage space for items that you seldom use but are still a must when you need them.

Baskets are a prime example of what we’re talking about here. They tend to accumulate over the years. We don’t need them often, but when we do, we do. Stand and stack the baskets on cupboard tops that act as handy display/storage space.

Accent the display with dried flowers, a framed picture or two standing on the cupboard top and leaning against the wall, or other collectibles you might have. This is a two-fer deal. It frees the space the baskets would otherwise be stored in for other uses.

Many new homes have wide, double entries with double doors. That’s a lot of space dedicated to something as ordinary as coming and going.

Now, really. All you need is one door to get in and out. Pretend the other one is a part of the wall, and suddenly you have a good chunk of space to work with.

Incorporate a reading nook. Stick in a bookcase; a small, comfy chair; and a brass pharmacy lamp. You’ll love curling up there, and the look is all the more welcoming for guests. Your comfort zone begins at the front door.

Many new, two-story homes have a landing/ mezzanine at the top of the stairs. Many of us simply use it as a walk-through. Now you see it, now you don’t.

Take a close look at it this way. If the space is large enough, it could function as a small home office or computer center. Put in a sleeper sofa and you have extra sleeping space for guests and a miniretreat for yourself. If you’re the crafty sort, set it up as a crafts work center.

The space under the stairs can also be put to good use. Depending on the size, it might serve as a communications center with a small table and chair, telephone and even the family computer.

A friend uses her under-stairs space as the setting for a vignette of dolls and doll furniture she has corralled over the years. It’s an attractive look and makes fine use of a space that otherwise might be neglected.

Don’t overlook hallways. The most common are those that lead to bedrooms. The walls are begging for decoration.

Frame that slew of family photos that is moldering away in a drawer and create a rogue’s gallery. Hang a quilt, a tapestry or an especially attractive rug on the wall. Place a small chair beneath it and place a large framed picture on the seat leaning against the chair’s back. A perfect decorator vignette, but you’ve done it yourself.

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