How to fill an awkward-sized small space, according to design experts

If you've got an oddly-sized small space that you need to style, these tips and tricks will help you out

Two pictures of small spaces: one of a bedroom with a gray bed and one of a living room with gray couches
(Image credit: @simplysanfordco / @sundayharris)

Learning how to fill an awkward-sized small space is useful for those who are renting or just don’t have the time and energy to renovate their home. If you have an unusual space and aren’t sure what to do with it, there are lots of ways to decorate it.

I live in a rented Victorian property, which is absolutely gorgeous, but has a lot of awkward-sized gaps in it that I never know what to do with. From cozy corners to even a serving hatch, there are so many character features that I want to style properly. 

If you’re looking through small space decorating ideas and are in the same situation as me, I’m here for you. I’ve spoken to design experts to find out how exactly to fill these, plus picked out stylish buys so that you can start filling your awkwardly-sized small spaces ASAP.

How to fill an awkward-sized space in your home

From small space storage ideas to finishing touches, these ways to fill an awkward sized space are seriously clever. I've also matched up the experts' advice with stylish buys.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Go custom built

A wooden shelf with wall art and flowers on it

(Image credit: @simplysanfordco)

If you have the budget or aren’t renting, getting custom-built furniture for the space could be a great way to fill it. “Whether it be custom shelving, a custom built-in with cabinets and drawers, or even wooden slats, having a custom piece uniquely designed for the space is an option that allows you to make the space functional while filling up those oddly placed nooks and crannies,” explains Luis Carmona, interior designer and founder of VERDE Interior Design

A picture of Luis Carmona in a gray hoodie
Luis Carmona

Luis Carmona is the owner and lead designer at VERDE Interior Design. With almost two decades of experience in the creative space, Carmona gets to blend his many passions into one design studio, offering interior design and branding services to his commercial clients.

For those who are renting and want to do this, it could be worth speaking to your landlord, as they might be willing to contribute to the cost.

2. Add a plant or two

A wooden bed with gray and white bedding and plants on the wall

(Image credit: @simplysanfordco)

Indoor plants are a great way to not only add texture and a sense of life into a room, but they also tend to conform to whatever space they are placed in. “If the awkward-sized space has odd corners or lines, a plant can also soften those lines and fill in any nooks that may be visible,” says Carmona. He suggests opting for larger leaf plants like a fiddle leaf fig or a monstera deliciosa. You could even pick plants that are air-purifying.

3. Choose multi-functional furniture

A brown wooden drawer set next to a mirror and curtains

(Image credit: @highboyla)

If you’ve got a space that isn’t working very hard for you, why not make it work twice as hard by adding super useful furniture? “The key in small or unconventional spaces is multi-functional pieces where every inch serves a purpose,” explains Houna Bech, interior designer and founder of With Houna. 

A picture of Houna Bech with red lipstick and a gray headscarf
Houna Bech

Houna Bech is a professional interior designer and the founder of With Houna. She lives and breathes aesthetics, which is why she started With Houna, a site dedicated to the pursuit of beauty and style.

She adds that a seemingly restrictive room might feel opened up with a sofa bed for guests sleeping or an ottoman with built-in storage for seating plus stash space. “The items must be functional and complement the aesthetic, so the space feels not only practical but harmonious.”

4. Utilize vertical space

A small living room with two couches and two wooden bookshelves with decor

(Image credit: @sundayharris)

When dealing with an awkward-sized space, it's essential to make the most out of every inch. “Instead of focusing on horizontal space, think vertically,” says Keith Sant, founder and CEO of Kind House Buyers. “Consider adding small space bookshelves, hanging storage, or tall furniture to maximize the use of vertical space.” This will not only provide you with more storage options but also create an illusion of a larger and more organized space.

A picture of Keith Sant in a black hoodie next to a navy blue wall
Keith Sant

Keith Sant is the founder & CEO of Kind House Buyers, based in Tacoma, WA. As a real estate professional, land developer, home design enthusiast, and investment advisor, his mission is to assist clients in finding, building, purchasing, and achieving their dream homes.

5. Think outside the box

A picture of a small living room with a colorful rug, coffee table, and fluffy chair

(Image credit: @highboyla)

Don’t just limit yourself to traditional furniture and storage options. “For example, you can turn an awkward corner into a cozy reading nook with a comfy chair and some shelves for your books,” says Sant. “You could also use decorative baskets or bins to store items in an unused space under the stairs.” The possibilities are endless — all it takes is a little imagination. 


Whats the quickest way to fill an awkward space?

You can fill an awkward space in your home with furniture items that are multifunctional and take up vertical space, as well as with decor items like mirrors and plants. 

How do you fill dead space?

Dead space in the home is any space that is empty or not used. To fill it, you can use furniture like slimline console tables, ottomans, or even poufs - anything that will make the most out of it functionally. 

By filling awkward-sized spaces in your home, you can transform spatial challenges into stylish features. “Those awkward spots are no longer viewed as limitations but as chances for innovation,” Bech finishes by saying. “Form and function work together to elevate tight or irregular layouts into practical, beautiful spaces.”

Now you have filled your whole space properly, you might be wondering how else you can elevate it. Designers say that these details will upgrade any small space instantly.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.