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Looking for space in your mid century ranch? Turn the Corner!

When decorating a midcentury ranch the truth of the matter is this: the rooms are small compared to the houses built today. And although you may have one that has an added space or a finished basement, that doesn’t typically change the fact that the individual rooms will be much smaller than in current modern homes. The size of the rooms will dictate the size of your furniture, and if you are shopping modern styles you may quickly find that current trends do not literally fit in your house. Alas, no worries…more of a reason for you to look back at mid-century furniture to complete your atomic abode because it was built perfectly to accommodate midcentury houses. So-since it’s time to figure out how to use your space most efficiently I suggest looking to the corners!

The midcentury age was full of great furniture pieces that were made to fit perfectly into the corners of your home, saving you valued space and making the very best use of every inch of your floor space. I have done a previous blog post about the usefulness of  a stylish corner chair–but it’s the new year, after all, and everyone is focused on organization! So lets talk about mod corner storage. These furniture items come in all shapes and sizes and I have been lucky enough to happen up on 3 different examples that I use in my own house that I can share here.

My 1956 ranch contains a dining room that was converted from a bedroom by a previous owner. It’s 1950s bedroom-sized which means it’s approximately 12×10. It still has a closet door that needs to be worked around and two large windows on one side-needless to say it’s pretty tight to have a dinner party for more than six comfortably. I needed some china and barware storage in there that would use a small footprint, and the conventionally shaped rectangular cabinets and shelving could never work. Then shazam, I spotted a sweet corner cabinet that I had only previously seen in midcentury books that *bonus* matched my current dining room table and chairs! It was a great price and knew it might be my perfect answer. I measured the space first- I had a windowsill to work around- and then ran back and purchased–it was the perfect fit:

Heywood Wakefield Corner Cabinet M176

Is it any surprise that this cabinet was manufactured in the early to mid fifties and it fit like it was made for this room? Not to me-that’s why I seek this stuff out! But I will totally admit that this was a lucky find. This cabinet also has a large space underneath for additional storage to the three shelves and the top.

Because I am a person with -ahem -several collections of midcentury items I am always trying to figure out the best way to display my collections while also having them on hand and ready for use. In the breakfast nook by my china cabinet I kept thinking I needed another shelf for some of my retro kitchenware…but every time I stuck a regular rectangle shaped shelf there it was constantly being knocked around by one of the members of my household- and the jolting clink clink clink of breakables on a regular basis was giving me a nervous rash. Obviously this was not the right answer. To the rescue came a great midmod walnut corner floor shelf.  After moving this piece around my house to find it’s perfect placement, I had the bright idea to back the shelf up to the corner made by my china cabinet and the existing wall and use it there:

So, surprise! I idea that you didn’t have to have an actual corner for placement of a corner shelf was news to me, but this item was the perfect answer for this space. It was now placed in what had previously been dead and unused space due to its proximity to an existing piece of furniture so, now no one walked into the shelf anymore and no dogs accidentally bumped it either. And it had a smaller footprint overall while giving me the ability to store the majority of my Pyrex collection in one place-yay!

And here’s my 3rd and littlest corner shelf, found at a ReStore:

This corner tabletop shelf is completely versatile because it can both sit on top of a surface or it can be hung on a wall. I didn’t hang it for almost a year because I used it to stage things in different areas of my house and then I took it to a few vintage markets of which I was a part. And finally I decided some of my barware needed some specific showcasing- so up it went. I have also seen this version painted white and that’s pretty cute as well.

Needless to say I will always buy corner storage shelves when I find them- they are an incredible space saver and so ultimately useful in all their many forms and varieties.

**Don’t forget, if organization is your goal, the ReStore, ReNew event is Jan. 18 with fellow blogger and organizational master, Jennifer Burnham of Pure and Simple Organizating!**



I am and actor and producer on the lookout for midcentury gold while furnishing my 1956 atomic ranch! Happily thrifting my way through life and sharing the info and tips as I go... I am a vintage dealer at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall in Charlotte, NC

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