Clever Alcove Designs
When space is at a premium, utilise an in-between wall space like this to create additional storage. A neat wall-hung coat rack will keep coats, scarves and bags handy, and free up space in a wardrobe – a pretty fab solution for an otherwise empty nook.
Display artworks in their own space
Don’t leave your alcove walls empty – they’re practically begging for statement artworks to be hung on them. Whether you create a personal gallery with multiple pictures, or go bold with a single piece that continues your colour scheme – as here – your living room will benefit.
See? Those alcoves do have a design benefit, beyond your standard storage solutions. It’s time to get creative and update your space… Question is, which room of the house are you going to tackle first?
Create a grown-up work space
If you’re building or renovating an extension, why not make space in the plans for a grown-up work area. This little nook takes up barely any space, features storage for books and files, and feels like a private space in an open-plan area. Subtle and chic – one of our favourite design combinations.
Take a classic country approach
Take a leaf out of the book of early 20th-century houses, which often featured built-in bedroom storage like this. Floor-to-ceiling, flat-fronted wardrobes streamline the space, look crisp and clean and keep clutter hidden away. What more can you ask for?
Pop in a mini bar
If you don’t have space for a cellar, but do have a penchant for wine, why not make way for your bottles in the most sociable of spaces – the living room. The cabinet above has plenty of space for wine and glasses, and frees up precious space in the fridge and kitchen cupboards?
Make space for pampering
The combination of a bay window and a fireplace alcove needn’t cause excess design difficulties. Work through it by creating a neat little beauty or work area like this, which benefits from the natural light filtering through the adjacent window.
A pale wood desk and metal tolix chair combine for a smart country-style feel, while a single large art print on the wall behind the desk enhances the sense of this being a separate space.
Camouflage awkward recesses with pattern
Don’t need extra storage, and want to pretend your alcoves don’t actually exist? Use a wallpaper to camouflage them into a feature wall, with a fireplace at the centre of the scheme.
Retro prints like this one work well – busy enough to distract you from the different depths of the wall, it also matches the fireplace tiles, and almost seems to pull the walls forward. Oh, and don’t go hanging pictures or shelving on it – this will just confuse things!
Opt for freestanding storage
Built-in alcove storage can look quite traditional in a period property, which is great if that’s the look your after but if you want a more modern finish, freestanding storage might be a better fit for you (excuse the pun).
Use smart paint choices to recede your shelving into an alcove recess – visually, if not physically. For instance, here the grey tones of the wooden shelving blend with the dove grey shade on the chimney breast, keeping the focus on the rest of the decor, as opposed to the stacks in the alcoves.
Make it a dressing area
As good idea for little ladies as it is full-grown women, a dressing area will make picking outfits for the day ahead an organised and enjoyable occasion. Include a chair for ‘dumping’ in case you’re indecisive over fashion choices, and full-length mirror for taking it all in.
Use the space for a shower
Use a bathroom recess to your advantage and install a streamlined shower enclosure (in an ideal world, it’s in addition to a beautiful freestanding bath!). Simple metro tiles and a classic glass shower screen make for a neat unit that adds to the overall feel in this luxurious bathroom.
Build in a seat
In an old farmhouse kitchen, where the stove has been removed, turn a brick chimney into a casual seating area – ideal for guests to sit and chat with you when you’re cooking. A wooden beach seat, a scattering of comfy cushions, and this dead space takes on a whole new lease of life.