The worst architectural feature ever foisted on a defenseless homeowner is the corner window. Although it is often used to take advantage of a spectacular view or perhaps provide light and air, the corner window's placement in a living room can be difficult for the designer.

It's tempting to simply drape it and make believe it isn't there, but this defeats the purpose and plunges the room into deep gloom. There are ways to bring this outlander back into the room, however, without losing all sense of light and air.

One of the easiest is to use a window covering that is versatile enough to close or open the areas as needed -- vertical blinds spring immediately to mind. The corner can be built out with a narrow frame of four-inch lumber deep enough to contain the three-and-one-half-inch louvers, and then filled from ceiling to floor with blinds that match the surrounding walls.

A corner window is occasionally teamed up with a smaller window on an adjacent wall. Vertical blinds can be used with both corner and straight windows to make the corner window seem like part of the same room. Simple fabric curtains can also be hung, either inside the windows themselves in a sheer fabric that allows light to penetrate, or in a heavier fabric, paired on either side of the small window and on each side of the corner window. The heavier fabric can be drawn over either window for privacy, warmth or light control as needed.

The people for whom I design don't like draperies and are tired of vertical blinds. The solution is something that looks like a window covering, but allows as much light to enter as possible.

In one living room blessed with nothing more than a large corner of glass, I treated this element as a major feature, rather than trying to obscure it. I placed the sofa on the one long wall adjacent to the corner window and surrounded it with two large hinged panels made of trellis. This material can be purchased in stock sizes or it can be custom-made with strips of wood set into a sturdy frame, built to fit your room.

I used a wider pair at the corner window. The panels, standing parallel with each in a right-angle formation, covered the outer frames of the windows, but allowed plenty of light and air to penetrate.

On the other side of the sofa -- the windowless wall -- I placed the pair of narrower panels in a shallower right-angled formation, framing the sofa. To feature both sets of panels, I installed a down light in the corner at the window and another just to the left of the sofa. The light shining down illuminates the many plants and sculptures clustered in front of each hinged set of panels.

Lighting is important. If you cannot light from above, buy two floor-based flood lights in white cylinders and set them among the plants.

The trellis creates bright white accents around the sofa, covered in offwhite linen.