Making odd angles even more appealing


March 03, 1991|By RITA ST. CLAIR

Rooms and hallways with walls that meet in other than ordinary right angles present a special design challenge.

Here, for example, is a photo that shows a clever strategy for beautifying an awkward corner space. In this case, the design relies on wall covering from the "Paisleys, Plaids & Stripes" collection of Pelican Prints.

While this setting is a converted attic, similar configurations are found on the second floor of houses built in certain architectural styles.

The typical technique for treating such sharply sloping walls and ceilings is to camouflage them. That's often an effective way to minimize the shadows cast by odd structural angles.

A camouflage operation can succeed, too, in making out-of-scale doorways and windows blend better with the room's geometry.

In this instance, the designer decided to emphasize the architecture rather than disguise or downplay it. And the result shows, I think, that such an approach can work equally well.

The striped paper actually calls attention to the angularity of the walls. On the straight side walls, the stripes run vertically, but whenever the angles change, so does the direction of the stripes. The patterns produce interesting, pyramidlike shapes that draw your attention to the custom-fitted door.

In order for this somewhat daring design to look its best, some sort of unifying element has to be introduced in the room. Here, a decorative wallpaper border was applied all around the baseboard and at the height of the lowest sloping plane of the walls.

The border acts as an enclosure to define the space while simultaneously enhancing the setting's traditional, rather nostalgic look.

The furnishings themselves are quite simple.

Country-style chairs and a table fill the corner of what could be a gentleman's dressing room or bedroom. Framed photographic portraits grace the walls and table. The accessories, including a braided rug, matching candlesticks, wind-up clock and lace cloth over the table contribute to the dreamy feeling from a simpler, bygone era.

While I generally don't try to create the illusion of living in another time, I can readily understand why some people like to fashion their interiors in a manner conducive to reveries.

For them, a space like this will probably have a special appeal.

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