Inside corners can be handy as backgrounds for furniture. A right angle, filled with plants and a pair of floor lamps, makes a perfect piece for a sofa, especially in a room where windows are misplaced or no one wall is long enough for the sofa.

Inside corners can be a pleasant bonus in a room, too. A corner with an antique screen and a tall tree, a small round table and a pair of small-scaled arm chairs is an ideal spot for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

The inside corner might be a resting place for a king-sized bed in a room where no other wall could support anything larger than a double bed. Fill in the angle with a triangular shelf, place the bed against it -- and you have created your own headboard wall!

Outside corners, however, can be a good deal more challenging. In a living room that defied any logical arrangment, I had to find a home for a seating group, a dining area and a work space. This was a first home for a young couple, and surely this challenge has faced others: There simply was no room for a table in the so-called dining area. A work surface for two, as well as a dining table, was essential for this two-career family.

To meet the challenge, I grouped the sitting furniture in the inside corner, where two windows meet, the sofa with its back to the corner and the chairs on either side. The rounded shape of the Victorian sofa fram lent itself perfectly to this unconventional arrangement.

I designed a right-angled table to fit the outside corner, between the entrance door to the apartment and the door to the kitchen. The top is plastic laminate and the frame is painted wood. A wood strip, obscured by the top, supports the shelf at the wall and also keeps it from shifting about. Two legs at each end, and one at the outer edge of the corner, support the top at its edges. It's big enough for four. To meet storage requirements, I filled what was left of the dining area with one wall of file cabinets and a shelf over them. These function in tandem with the work surface. The shallow drawers also hold place mats and cutlery for dining.

Wall-mounted lamps light either work or dining. A series of tall, narrow black and white drawings are illuminated by wall washers to provided eye interest for diners, while adding a feeling of height to the space.

Off-white, creamy walls contract with the charcoal gray wall-to-wall carpet, a color scheme that is carried into the gray vinyl floor and white cabinets in the kitchen, making a handsome background for this awkward corner.