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Empty Space in Apartment? How to Fill Up that No Man's Land

July 10, 2012

In our long and storied history of browsing through the interwebs and picking up useless facts, tidbits, and occasional cat pictures, we've also stumbled upon quite a few interesting unsolved mysteries. Cue this particular question from Apartment Therapy, which wonders:

What to do with that "Dead Man's Land" Space?

And by "Dead Man's Land" space, we're referring to that awkward location in your living room or bedroom that has zero use, but also can't be filled by anything for fear of impeding movement or aesthetic design. Here's a prime example from the Apartment Therapy kids:

You know our pain. Millions of prime square feet are lost yearly to this disease. And as you well know, this isn't a problem that's relevant to only a small subset of the American population. Nay, this is a epidemic that plagues all of America and Europe, and in fact all homeowners who simply can't figure out how to use that d$^% empty space that just won't fill up. It's not just a problem. It's a First World Problem.

Another critical, yet unsolved dilemma of the middle class.[/caption]

So how do we fix this? We've compiled a list of four easy steps to try to get rid of the eternal problem of empty spaces in apartments.

4. Add a Rug and a Table

This is actually two suggestions rolled into one, but they go so well together, we couldn't resist. A rug turns the empty space into a beautiful addition to a room, adding color, identity, and a soft place for children to play. The table means that people will actually use it to place objects and to sit around, if you provide small chairs or a sofa as well. Depending on the size of your space, you could use a coffee table, or place a small bar table with alcohol and see how your spouse reacts.

3. Create a Floor Lounge

What's a floor lounge? It's generally a small, circular area with cushions, pillows, and a ginormous rug where people can sit around in a circle on the floor and hang out. As a favorite of college kids, young adults, and Japanese people, it'll be a hit with your younger guests, and it's a more intimate type of space that still encourages social interaction, a feature that's in short supply these days. It can also lead to late-night friends crashing on your floor and pillow fights, if you're into that sort of thing.

2.  Round Plushy Chairs

Round plushy chairs are an instant cure to any problem. But actually. Nothing compares to their softness, their inviting warmth, or their supreme comfort when watching a projector screen. Also, three of them will fill up any dead space for no more than $50 to $60, and offer a great chill spot as well. Pick a mix of colorful chairs to go with your already bright rug, and you'll be set. There's no downsides. Except for maybe that they're too comfortable.

1. Shuffle Everything Around

In the end, none of these options may appeal to you, or they won't fit with your particular empty space. Well, there's a solution for that as well. If nothing you can think of works in that dead space, it's time to move the rest of your furniture around to use your square footage more efficiently. Move the couch into the dead space, and shift the coffee table back so there's more room. Add a playpen. Place the TV on the other wall. If you reshuffle everything, you'll start seeing some more optimal configurations, and everything will click into place. Hopefully. Otherwise, there's still the option of knocking out a wall.