How to make the most of your home's awkward features

Learn to love the flaws in your home with clever design and some inspiring ideas

No home comes without one to two hard-to-like features - and ignoring them won't make them go away!

Learn to embrace them instead with some inspirational design ideas - and a little imagination...

On a downward slope

bedroom with large tiles and sloping ceiling

(Image credit: TBC)

Bathrooms with sloping ceilings can seriously limit the amount of space you have to play with, and usually require some clever thinking. Showers need a height of at least two metres, and if your space is very tight, a custom-made shower door cut to the angle of the slope may be the answer. Large tiles, mirrors and clever lighting will make the room seem larger and will create visual depth. And if you really don't have the space for a shower, remember a small freestanding bath is very on trend and doesn't need nearly as much head room.

Straight and narrow

grey diamond pattern painted on white floorboards and frame on wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Although this hall is no wider than the front door, it makes an attractive and practical entrance. A grey diamond pattern painted on the white floorboards gives the illusion of width, while the grey paneling breaks up the plain white wall and prevents it from looking so narrow.
And it's not all about looks, the shaker peg rail and wicker basket provide somewhere to hang your up your jacket and leave your umbrella, keeping the space clutter free.

Dealing with dead space

redundant corridor with white flooring and shelves

(Image credit: TBC)

Do you have a wasted hallway, a redundant corridor or an alcove that serves no purpose? There are always ways to put neglected spaces to work. This narrow space makes a brilliant home office with floor to ceiling shelves providing easy access to all those books and files.
Drawers underneath conceal essential paraphernalia. A long narrow desk underneath the window creates ample work space - and all without blocking the walk through.

Pillar of strength

kitchen design with breakfast bar and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

You've come up with your dream kitchen design and, in your mind, you're already enjoying coffee at your elegant breakfast bar. There's only one problem - the large column in the middle of the room is right in the way. Rather than doing your best to ignore it, try and incorporate it into your design. Build an island around it or extend it to provide shelving or to conceal pipework. It's also worth consulting a kitchen designer who will have experience of planning around these sort of structural features.

Change of scene

galass window with cushion and plants

(Image credit: TBC)

Banish a less than inspiring view quickly and cheaply by fixing window film to the inside of the panes. If your room is dark and curtains would cut out even more light, this is the ideal solution. There is a huge choice of designs - from a classic white etched pattern to intricate computer-cut films. And all have the added bonus of giving you privacy, too.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.