Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


When it comes to decorating,
is there one area of your living space that has you stumped?

For years, I've come up empty on one corner of my home.
Since we just celebrated our 14th anniversary in this house,
it's high time to solve the problem.
  I've decided to put it out there, and ask for advice.
Maybe someone will have an idea for tackling this tricky spot.

The space in question is in our family room, which is open to the kitchen.
It's important that you see the entire space
to help you envision a solution for my problem area. 
Come on in, and I'll show you what I'm talking about.

French doors lead to the family room from the entrance hall. 

Walking into the room from this entrance, the kitchen is on the right.

Here's another view. 
(Who noticed the bigger TV in this photo?
I'm using a bunch of older photos for this post --
forgive me, but I just can't bear to straighten up to re-shoot! )

Now, turn around to see the other side of the room.
We're working our way over to the problem corner.
It's just to the right of those curtains.

My sweet Sadie loves to photo bomb my pics.

Okay, here is the corner in question.
Not only is it empty, there is a lovely cable wire coming out of the wall.
That's intentional, yeah. No. 

Let's swing around so you can see what's around the other side.

Got the picture?
It's an open-concept area -- with a big, gaping, empty corner

that's visible from almost every angle in the kitchen and family room.

When we first moved in, the room was furnished differently than it is now.
A huge, bulky 500-pounder "fat" screen TVs was in that corner. 
Pretty, right? 
Pretty ugly.

Family Room "Before" (and pre-blogging)

Once we ditched the old furniture, the corner stayed empty
for.......hmmmn.......over 10 years. 
Yes, I did attend the Snail's Pace School of Interior Design.
Obviously, I didn't get my degree. 

The previous owners intended to install a pot-belly stove in this space.
We considered that at one time, but it was expensive and quite complicated to do.
So, ix-nay on that idea.
Over the years, I've considered:

Family photo gallery on both walls.

A short corner bookcase.
A small table.
A big piece of framed art on the window wall.
Framed art on both walls.  

 The dimensions, and the angled step make it trick
to place furniture in the space.
Whatever I've tried there always felt like it was facing the wrong way!
Maybe something catty-corner is best.

This is not one of those posts where I'm pretending to have a dilemma, 
and have already decided what to do.
I'm really stuck, and unless one of you comes up with a brilliant idea,
I won't be doing an "after" post any time soon!
But I would like to figure it out before we move someday :)

Any ideas?
Let me know what you think!  

BEFORE YOU GO: Just a few words to bring you up to date about what's going on around here. I've barely been able to get out blog posts, since I've been consumed with planning another fundraiser, which we held this past Sunday night (I'm happy to report it was a success!). We've already begun planning the next one - no rest for the weary! The other thing taking a huge chunk of my time is that we are knee-deep in the college application process, so blogging will be on the back burner for the next couple of months. I'll be around, but just sporadically. For those of you who are bloggers, please forgive me for not visiting you as regularly as I'd like to. Thanks for understanding!



  1. I'm glad (but not surprised) that the fundraiser was a success!

    Now on to your dilemma...I believe it was Alexandra Stoddard who said we don't need to fill every corner. In fact, it's often best to just 'let them breathe'. But since it's bothering you I can only tell you what I would do, which would be to first get rid of the wire. Since it's not going to be attached to anything, there doesn't seem to be a reason to keep it there. For some reason, the molding on the bottom on the left side of the corner bothers me a bit. maybe it's because it's sorta 'out there' and not connected to anything. I almost feel like it would be best to get rid of it, or have it connected to another piece that is angled toward the floor.

    As for what to put there, I wouldn't go for a gallery wall or anything too busy. Your home is absolutely lovely and well furnished as is. A simple corner table with perhaps one item on top and/or a larger print of some sort on the left wall would be all I would do, or some simple framed art like you illustrated, but that's about it.

    Good luck with the application process! It will all be over soon :).


  2. Hello from NC!
    The rooms in your photos look really good. I know what you mean about the goofy corner. We have something similar in our foyer. I have a chest with a mirror over it. I do like your idea of an arrangement of plants. Maybe a tall fiddle-leaf fig, with 2 shorter plants underneath... maybe peace lilies? Also, a tall corner secretary might be nice there. I'm no pro but I enjoy decorating our own home! Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

  3. I think I went to the same interior design school ... ha ha. ;) Your home is beautiful, Amy! I like the idea of either adding an oversized plant, like a fiddle leaf fig, or a table combined with a gallery wall to fill in the angled space. A corner bookcase would work, too. Can't wait to see what you do!

  4. I love the photo gallery idea that would be awesome or a cute bench with an architectual piece above it on the wall. Perfect space then to decorate for the holidays. I know whatever you chose it will be amazing.

  5. Wow Amy this is a tough corner. I always think out of the box... I'd go huge antique Tuscan olive oil urn standing on its own as a true artistic expression. Oh and I would spotlight it with lighting. Just saying go big with it. Your home is beautiful and has that euopean feel, run with that.

  6. Well, my first thought was a corner hutch, a small one, for display. My next thought was plants. I tend to go with something to just cover things up rather than get down and dirty and actually get rid of wires, etc!

  7. I really like the idea of plants, I hadn't thought of it, but loved the way it looked in your picture. I'd also love the idea of a bookcase custom made for your dimension... it would look as if the corner was created to hold the bookcase and not the reverse: grab a book and then step down to the family room to sit comfotably and read!

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  9. Hi Amy, I agree with Doreen about removing the piece of molding. A extra table would look pretty. What about hanging dishes staggered on each side? This will avoid the wall looking too busy which will detract from your pretty room.

    Good luck with college applications


  10. First thing that entered my mind was a tree--for life and softness.

  11. I like the plant idea. Real not faux. I've seen enough faux ficus trees to last a lifetime. I would look for a little corner cupboard. Best wishes on the college application process. How is that possible? Isn't Jr. Goo Shoes in middle school? Time flies. See you when you can stop in.

  12. have cane and metal accents in that room, but all the white in the kitchen area. A see-through metal and/or cane corner shelf with some strong lines would give you some great display space, and also a place for a lighting source for that corner. It's too big a niche for a piece of art, and probably too dark for plants, unless you install an overhead plant light. While the see-through shelf, could fill the area without adding weight to that wall visually, your drapes and blinds do that. I would use it to display some lighter items that might even tie into the look of the kitchen as well as the caning and empire style of the table/chairs. A nice metal lamp or lighting source there would add the drama you could use in that area.

    Just a thought, Sandi

  13. my first thought was to add a "furniture piece" (aka something wooden) in that corner. A deep corner bookshelf, a corner bench (with storage underneath and picture wall above, or hooks for coats/purses) or a corner electric fireplace? My 2 cents.

  14. We're both graduates from the Snail School of Design. That is so me.

    As for the little corner, have you considered a corner-hutch. Not just a hutch, but one made for a corner. There are assorted sizes, shapes, and styles, and if you're into anything vintage sometimes you come across one in antique stores. My grandmother used hers to display a few collectibles and dishes. I wish I had it.

  15. My first choice would be built in shelving for books or other display, one where space between shelves can be changed. Or a tri-corner hutch/china cabinet, preferably an old one of good wood.

  16. My sister is struggling with a similar design problem. I think I would go with a large fiddle tree in a basket. It would add some colour and fill the space naturally. Good Luck with your decision!

  17. I know the struggle. I'm currently going thru the same thing. I think in your case a couple of plants and some frames would be nice. I can't wait to see what you decide to put there.

  18. It's been interesting reading everyone's suggestions! You have a great collection of ideas yourself -- I tend to want to go with fixes that are less permanent, so your plant vignette appeals to me. Put them in textured baskets for interest and I think that would be lovely. Good luck!

  19. I really like the plant idea, which would have been my first suggestion. Then I started thinking about how much you love and use your deck/porch. Since it is on the way out there, can you set up a bar cart or shelf that has things you take out there. I think you may even have one from a coffee station a few years ago. I am thinking in summer it could be a cute display with a basket of sunscreen, bug spray, etc. In Fall it could become a cocoa/coffee display with blankets rolled up in baskets. Otherwise, a think a standup bass would be great (you can have my daughters)!!!!


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