A built-in window seat provides permanent corner seating.

How to Create a Seating Area in the Corner of a Room

by Mary Cockrill

Take a "mini-vacation" anytime you want -- without leaving town or spending a dime. Yes, you can escape the everyday stresses and demands of motherhood right in your own home. Create a relaxing sitting area in a bare corner -- a special place where you can get lost in a novel, sip a cup of coffee or daydream about absolutely nothing. Occasionally, invite your kids to cuddle with you in your corner getaway to play a board game, become absorbed in a favorite storybook or chat and giggle about nothing in particular. Choose comfortable seating that fits your lifestyle and the available space.

1. Available Space

Before you transform a vacant corner of your home into a cozy sitting area, decide which corner you prefer and exactly how much space you have to work with. A vacant corner between two windows offers a bonus: an outdoor view. Grab a tape measure and stretch it from the corner along one wall as far into the room as you'd like your sitting area to extend. Apply painter's tape to the floor parallel to your tape measure against the baseboard. Note the dimension; measure an equal distance from the corner along the remaining adjoining wall; and apply painter's tape parallel to the tape measure against the baseboard. Next, make a triangle on your floor by connecting the two ends of the tape with a new piece of painter's tape. The tape triangle provides a visual of the actual space available for your new sitting area to help you narrow your seating options.

2. Function and Furniture Selection

Select furniture pieces to accommodate the functions of your corner seating. For example, a built-in window seat or small sofa lets you stretch out and catch a few Zs in the afternoon. Fashion an inviting reading nook by nestling a small accent table into the corner flanked by two plump armchairs. If space permits, substitute a chair-and-a-half for each standard-size armchair; these oversize chairs offer more snuggle-space for you and your kids. Settees, loveseats and small sectional sofas supply even roomier seating in large sitting areas. Opt for a sizable ottoman in the center of your sitting arrangement for a piece that does double-duty as a spot to prop up tired feet, as well as a convenient table for drinks and snacks. Choose an upholstery fabric for your seating, such as durable microfiber, that makes messy spills and dirty fingerprints easy to wipe clean.

3. Accessories

The right accessories add color, texture and comfort to your corner sitting area. If you have hardwood or tile floors, lay a large area rug underneath your furniture grouping to pamper bare feet with cozy softness. Situate a large serving tray atop a generous-size ottoman to deliver a flat surface for your coffee cups or drinking glasses. Drape an attractive woven throw across the back of a seat for an easy-to-reach blanket to warm you on a chilly day. And, don't forget to light up your corner after the sun goes down. Situate a table lamp or floor lamp within your seating arrangement to brighten the space, or add wall sconces for decorative, fixed lighting. Hang a favorite painting on a wall above your corner seating to expand the visual space by drawing your eyes upward.

4. Outdoor Rooms

Extend your family's living space to the outdoors. You can enjoy a corner sitting area in an outdoor room, such as a screened porch, sun room or partially enclosed patio space. Furnish the area with seats that are covered in fabrics designed to withstand the elements -- moisture, heat, cold, fading. Outdoor wrought-iron tables and chairs are weather-resistant and heavy, making them ideal for partially enclosed patios or decks. Hang canvas shades around an open-air porch to provide welcome shade to a corner sitting area on a hot day.

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