Alcove ideas: 25 ways to style an awkwardly shaped space

Alcove ideas: 25 ways to style an awkwardly shaped space

From home offices to cozy reading nooks, copy these alcove ideas to create an inspiring space – with shelving or not…

Sometimes an alcove has an obvious use. It could be the only place to house the TV or, to squeeze in shelving for an ever-expanding book collection that you promise to read but never do… But that’s not to say that you can’t get a little more creative with your alcove ideas to design a modern nook that serves great purpose all while looking beautiful.

Forego the idea that an alcove is a burden space and one that you’ll never fill – nicely – as you have options. From bespoke shelving to multi-functioning WFH spots and house plant hubs, whether your alcoves feature in the living room, your entryway or in the bedroom, you’ll be sure to make the most of it.

MODERN ALCOVE IDEAS FOR STYLE AND FUNCTION

‘Alcoves can initially be perceived as an undesired design feature, but there are creative ways to turn alcoves into some of the best-designed spaces in a home. In bedrooms and living spaces, alcoves built around windows are the perfect location to add storage and create a cozy seating area,’ say Oshri Adri & Jillian Dahlman Bhatia of Adri Dahlman Interiors.

1. BUILD ALCOVE SHELVING TO CREATE A SMALL HOME OFFICE

Home office built into an alcove

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Living room with grey sofa, a gallery wall and built-in dresser

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly version that still looks really bespoke, take a look at DIY alcove cabinets. You don’t have to be a DIY expert to install them either, you get sent a flat pack ‘alcove cabinet kit’ that includes everything you need with easy-to-read, step-by-step instructions.

3. MAKE SHELVING SEAMLESS

grey painted bookcase in living room alcove

(Image credit: Sharps)

4. FAKE A BUILT-IN LOOK WITH FREESTANDING ALCOVE CUPBOARDS

arts and crafts house with fireplace and bookshelf

(Image credit: Little Greene)

5. CREATE A HOME BAR IN AN ALCOVE

blue living room with wooden bar cart, paintings and wooden sideboard

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

6. ADD A POP OF COLOR BY PAINTING AN ALCOVE

Alcove painted yellow

(Image credit: Alun Callunder)

7. CREATE A LIBRARY IN YOUR ALCOVE

black sofa and checked sofa in living room in front of bookshelf with lots of books

(Image credit: Bruce Hemming)

8. USE AN ALCOVE TO MAKE A FEATURE WITH LOGS

Alcove ideas

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

9. BUILD A WARDROBE INTO A BEDROOM ALCOVE

Alcove ideas: A grey bedroom with panelled wardrobes, two-toned walls, original Victorian floorboards and a Victorian-style fireplace

10. CREATE A COZY SPARE BEDROOM

Scandinavian style bedroom by Soak & Sleep

(Image credit: Soak & Sleep)

11. MAKE THE MOST OF AWKWARD ALCOVE SPACES IN LOFTS

The best cheap grey paint used in a loft bedroom

(Image credit: B&Q)

12. ADD FLOATING SHELVES TO A SMALL BEDROOM ALCOVE

Stag toile wallpaper in moss is by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

13. CREATE A CONTRAST IN AN ALCOVE WITH WALLPAPER

Alcove idea: wallpaper around it

(Image credit: John Lewis)

14. ADD KITCHEN CABINETS TO FILL AN ALCOVE

Pink walls in a green kitchen with green tiles by deVOL

(Image credit: deVOL)

15. OR GO FOR FREESTANDING KITCHEN STORAGE IN AN ALCOVE

Blue and yellow kitchen

(Image credit: Conran)

16. PUT UP FLOATING SHELVES FOR EXTRA KITCHEN STORAGE

kitchen with blue freestanding island with marble worktops, white kitchen cabinetry with bulter's sink and black stove

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

17. YOU CAN ALSO USE AN ALCOVE AS A MINI MUDROOM

small mudroom/coat rack with wooden slat design and seat

(Image credit: Naturewall)

18. GIVE A BEDROOM ALCOVE SOME COLOR LOVE

grey bedroom with yellow accent wall, upholstered headboard, ladder, side table, lamp

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

19. A SLIMLINE ALCOVE CALLS FOR A SLIMLINE APPROACH

white living room with wooden floorboards, gold tallboy, pouffe, patterned rug, artwork on mantle

(Image credit: Graham & Green)

20. CREATE A COZY READING NOOK

bedroom with green armchair in reading nook, shelving, wall light, plant, mirror, pink bed

(Image credit: Industville/Chris Snook Photography/@lunaslittlehouse)

21. USE THE BOTTOM OF YOUR ALCOVE AS A PET FEEDING STATION

kitchen with open shelving, countertop, dog feeding station

(Image credit: JL Design)

22. HIGHLIGHT ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING AND USE SYMMETRY AS A FEATURE

dining room with yellow painted alcove, dining table, wall lights, mirror, pendant, wooden flooring

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

23. LOW AND WIDE ALCOVES SUIT LOW AND WIDE FURNITURE

white living space with dining room, alcoves, rustic table, wooden floorboards

(Image credit: Industville)

Keep it proportionate width-wise so you fill the space and remember that you can treat it like any other wall and hang artwork too.

24. ALCOVES WORK WELL IN BATHROOMS TOO

blue bathroom with basin in alcove, metro tiles, mirror, wall light, black and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

A small ledge or shelf will give you much-needed storage and is always worth doing – how cute do these little plant pots look?

25. GO RUSTIC WITH RECLAIMED WOOD IN YOUR ALCOVE

rustic dining room with reclaimed wood cupboard and shelving

(Image credit: Industville)

HOW CAN YOU DECORATE AN ALCOVE?

‘An alcove looks best when it’s decorated as though it is a built-in architectural feature of the home. You can add rustic shelving and then a cabinet base at the bottom, or if that isn’t in your budget, you can look for a piece of furniture that fills up the space,’ advises Anna Versaci, owner of Anna Versaci Design

WHAT ARE THE BEST STORAGE IDEAS FOR ALCOVES?

‘Choose a piece of furniture as close to the alcove’s size as you can get, so it looks like it was a planned architectural feature rather than an after-thought space filler. For instance, an antique cabinet or chest with art hung above it, with an art light to showcase it, really fills up the entire alcove and looks great,’ says Versaci.

WHAT IS THE BEST HEIGHT FOR AN ALCOVE IF YOU’RE ADDING ONE?

‘I think alcoves look best when they are almost the height of the crown molding unless you are doing a small niche storage space with shelving. Alcoves are also a great place to add arches for more architectural interest,’ continues Versaci.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: