Have you ever wanted to own something impressive, like a big fancy room, a large garden, or a grand collection of Picassos, but are unable to due to various reasons?
It is the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen, says successful American basketball coach John Wooden.
Big things are not needed to spark a big change in your life. A light touch can be highly inspirational and effective!
If you have a spare corner in your living room, consider turning it into a conversational corner. Do not mistake this for a conversation corner, which is a private corner to have a tête-à-tête. A conversational corner is a focal point in the house, a special corner that your visitors would first notice and be attracted to when they enter your room. A talking point. A well-designed conversational corner can enhance the appearance and atmosphere of the whole room.
For the art lover …
You do not have to be a professional art collector or appreciator to display art pieces in your house. These days, modern art pieces, photography works, calligraphy and even replicas of famous masterpieces are easily accessible.
Decorating folding screens come in multitudes of colours and designs. A decorative folding screen easily fills up a corner without hassle, can be adjusted to fit the space, and be folded for easy storage or relocation. You can even use the folding screen as a unique backdrop and place a chair or indoor plant against it.
A good art piece always adds poise to a room. Frame up a simple art work, or if you can spare the space, stand a sculpture, large floor vase, decorative column or water feature in the corner. Install art lighting above and your corner would not look out of place in an art museum! Do note that exposure to UV rays in fluorescent lights can cause certain artworks on paper to fade over time, such as pastels, prints, photographs and watercolours. Art museums typically use low watt halogen and incandescent lights.
Apart from art galleries, various furniture stores like Ikea sell art simple, elegant and low maintenance art pieces for home décor.
For the collectors…
Own some cool things? Don’t keep them all to yourself. Corner display cabinets, complete with internal lighting, are great for displaying books, trophies, figurines, toys, small art pieces and lots more. It is an interesting means to keep a guest occupied while you’re busy, and to engage a guest in conversation. Display cabinets ought to have a theme. If you keep elegant little sculptures on one shelf, displaying McDonald’s collectible toys on the next shelf will look awkward for example. Never stuff all sorts of junk inside out of convenience. A display cabinet is not a storage cabinet.
If cabinets are bulky, corner shelves installed on the wall ease the bulk while creating extra space for your collections. Display decorative objects on it, or create a mini library with books (use bookends to prevent them from collapsing). The disadvantage would be that you would have to dust the items and shelves frequently.
For the nature lover…
Indoor plants not only beautify a house, they also add a lively touch to the room, making it look cozy and welcoming. All you really need is a large indoor plant in a decorative pot that fits the theme of your room. Indoor plants can be bought from plant nurseries, as well as some branches of Cold Storage.
However, indoor plants require sunlight to grow well, albeit not as much as their outdoor counterparts. If your corner is not exposed to sunlight, you will need to shift your plant to a sunlit area every week or so for it to rejuvenate.
Indoor plants require regular care. If you are not able to commit yourself, you should substitute them with artificial plants.
For the sentimental…
Too many photographs to display on your table? You can stick them up in your corner! First, you may want to apply a wall paper of layer of paint that is of different colour from the rest of the room over the area where the photos and drawings will occupy. This will make the corner stand out. Plan the placement of the pictures, then attach them to the wall with damage-free adhesives like Command.
Apart from photos and drawings, you can also turn this into a memory corner, and supplement them if other items, like the sea shell you collected on your first visit to the beach, the dried out petals of a bouquet for first anniversary, your child’s first drawing… If you have an artistic streak, this will be a fun project!
For the practical…
Corners can be beautiful yet functional. If you feel the need to make use of every inch of space, corners are actually good for displaying furniture, although they are severely underused in this aspect.
A large, stylish floor lamp literally brightens up a corner without getting in anyone’s way. Add a plush arm chair or even your massage chair, and you have got yourself a charming reading nook.
It is not very often that we see triangular furniture that fits perfectly in corners, but in truth, they are wonderful space saving options. Given their rarity, they are sure to become a talking point. While not really common, you can still pick them up at some large furniture shops. There is also the option of getting them custom-made. Examples of practical furniture suitable for the corner include bookshelves, side tables and cabinets.
If you have spare dining chairs for a guest and a table too small to fit them, simply put one or two in a corner, and decorate it with some showy upholstery that can be removed when needed.
With a little imagination, you can breathe life into your old room at minimal effort and cost!
– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine