The alcoves in your house can be eyesores that are frustrating to arrange furniture around. These irregular recesses and awkward corners may be tempting to hide, however with our alcove decorating ideas you'll soon be embracing the nooks and crannies in your home!
Alcoves are a feature, not a flaw of the home, opening up possibilities for decorating and convenience. You might be apprehensive at first, but with effort, you’ll be endeared to your gaping crannies. Be smart with space to make structural quirks work in your favor and get the house all souped up.
Here are 20 alcove decorating ideas that will make your home the best it can be.
Alcove Decorating Ideas – 20 Ways To Utilize An Alcove!
To start our list of the best alcove decorating ideas, we'll start with working from home! Working from home is very relevant these days, so take advantage of an alcove to remain productive. Put in a large shelf, or a small desk, for ample working surface.
A lantern table lamp or a gooseneck lamp, which contorts as need be, can be clipped to the desk so you’re prepared for differing amounts of sunlight. Research how to install an electric outlet so you can charge your laptop and phone.
You can relax in a swivel chair and rest your limbs on a soft footrest that fits neatly beneath your workspace.
2. Green House
An alcove near a window can let you flex your green thumb, a place for a miniature garden that guests can admire. Fasten corner shelves to display small potted plants like cacti or bonsai trees, and nail down some pegs and hooks for hanging plants.
There are very elegant multi-tiered plant stands that will work, fitting assorted items and appealingly filling the view. With the top removed, a two-row bookshelf could be repurposed for this, a creative statement to tightly garnish the alcove.
3. Vanity Set
Turn an alcove into a vanity area to get you and your home dolled up. Pull up a white laminate desk or dresser, and a metal and velvet vanity stool, for a casual but refined feel. Hang a square or round mirror depending on the alcove’s shape, with a simple frame that won’t overwhelm the wall.
Even with natural light from an adjacent window, attach an LED light to catch all the details. A large art print on the wall behind the desk will aesthetically complete the alcove.
4. Art Station
Whether it’s for a professional or kids having fun, use an alcove as an art area. Set a small art desk with adjustable height against the wall and clamp on a lamp with a swinging arm.
Use small tins as a mild decoration that can contain supplies like pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and markers. Place a small bin so the artist can sweep pencil and eraser shavings into it.
5. Kitchen Supplies
One of the most efficient alcoves decorating ideas is to use it as extra space for kitchen supplies. If there’s an alcove in or near the kitchen, fill it with a cupboard to hold supplies, enhancing the area’s looks and function. Stash quick and easy food in there like beans, soup, cereal, and granola bars.
You might also keep larger utensils like pans, panini presses, and electric griddles. To tie appearances together, place supplies on top of the cupboard like go-to ingredient pots, kitchen timers, and napkins.
If you’re feeling decorative, rest a fruit bowl or placemats on it.
6. Office and Craft Supplies
Especially if you have kids, an alcove is invaluable for office and craft supplies. Assemble a shelf here the same color as the wall, and put storage containers on it of a somewhat lighter or darker color.
Fill them with tape, glue, rulers, scissors, staplers, sharpeners, pencil crayons, binder clips, pipe cleaners, and more. A small enough drawer can fit on a shelf to supply lined paper and construction paper.
Or, just stack two identical drawers on top of each other for a bold look.
Do you ever want to plop down and do nothing? Since not much tends to fit in an alcove, make it into a sitting area. It’ll make a small, comfy shelter for you to kick back and recline.
Put a large upholstered bench against the wall and litter it with throw pillows. A beach seat of glazed wood, paired with a large lumbar pillow, will add the right rustic effect.
For modern sensibilities, try a highback alcove seat.
8. Entertainment Unit
Own a bunch of home media and need to keep it all organized somewhere? Make the most of a deep enough alcove by housing your TV, Blu-ray player, video games, and more.
Set up a bottom shelf with enough height and width to accommodate screen and space concerns. Slide in a small, square milk crate to handily store games, DVDs, or CDs.
Have a decently sized ottoman in front of the shelf for relevant items.
9. Reading Nook
If you love reading, this is one of the best alcove decorating ideas! Are you sure your bed or living room is the right spot for reading? You might turn an alcove into a nook where you can cozy up and while away the time with a book.
Put a loveseat so you can stretch your legs, and include a soft pouf for head resting and decorative value. If there’s enough room, fit in a small shelf or stand so you can have access to a few books or display a potted plant.
10. Coat Rack
Coat racks can seem ungainly, and an alcove is just the right vacant aperture to accommodate that. Turn the wall relief into a coat hanging hub, a useful bower that keeps what you need out of the way.
A simple coat rack with a four-leg base will do, and you can line the wall with plastic hooks and pegs. Some hybrid shelves are a suitable place for hats and shoes too so that you can have frequently used assets in the open.
A minibar adds the right dose of pep and edge to your home while being convenient and inconspicuous to maintain. A large alcove, preferably near the kitchen, should be the main spot for your bar cart, something that can be wheeled around as needed.
Or, the alcove can host a cabinet with windowed doors, containing all manner of beverages and glasses. Top the cart or cabinet with a tray for ice, shakers, straws, and palette-cleansing snacks.
Just because kids are mostly not at school these days doesn’t mean they can’t sharpen their wits at home. An alcove can become a miniature classroom, with a mounted magnetic whiteboard next to a hanging cup of markers.
Or hang up a wood-framed chalkboard that will undoubtedly look cool from afar. Your kids could work at a low-thin rectangular reference table with a laminate top and sit on funky beanbags with an adjacent Sterilite crate for holding paper.
13. Book Repository
People keep bookshelves in their bedrooms, but what if there’s a better way? Use an alcove to provide quick access to whatever family members want to read, like novels, magazines, encyclopedias, and comics.
An unintrusive bookcase, box shelving, or floating shelves are plain but effective choices. For more decorum, try classic built-in cabinetry that can fit other appropriate items like statuettes or albums.
You might fill a living room or hallway alcove with books, and include a downlight or LED strips.
14. Log Feature
A log storage feature will work well for narrow or slim alcoves, a pastoral decoration adding flavor to any room. This bold ornamental focal point manages a careful balancing act between old-fashioned and chic.
It’s a very Scandinavian design choice, becoming increasingly popular in both family and single homes, regardless of whether there is a fireplace to go with it. Be picky with the color and size of the logs, and always use dried logs to prevent mold build-up or an insect invasion.
You don’t have to keep all your clothes in a stuffy old closet. An alcove in the bedroom is extra storage space you can’t pass up. A freestanding wardrobe is often too bulky to fit well into an alcove, so a professional built-in is the neater and more reliable option.
A fitted alcove wardrobe, with cabinetry that blends into the existing wall color, will have quite an elegant effect. Particularly in the absence of a good centerpiece, an alcove wardrobe will spruce things up with the right amount of personality.
16. Play Place
One of my favorite alcove decorating ideas is play space! Every kid needs a place to play at home, notably now when going outside is a no-no. Use an alcove as a depository for your kids’ things, with a toy box or cubby shelf keeping it all organized.
Get a moderately-sized playmat of color not too different from your floor, so that the kids can tumble about safely. To make things appropriately festive, hang a friendly tapestry or poster on the wall, as long as your little ones can’t reach it.
You don’t have to store your clothes in a traditional way, and keeping them in the open can make for an interesting look. Get the clothes you wear most often and place them in an alcove for ease of use.
Floating shelves and box shelving are quite handy, displaying folded clothes in a pleasing way. Or you might take the doors off a small cabinet to place a wicker basket of clothes within it or on top of it.
A cabinet could helpfully store other assorted objects too.
Live long enough and you’ll accumulate mementos to show off. A display area taking you down memory lane is the perfect heartwarming centerpiece for any home.
Install cast and polished concrete shelves above a low mantelpiece alcove cabinet that can double as extra storage space. Here you can arrange souvenirs, figurines, family photos, trading cards, trophies and medals, and more.
Within the cabinet, you might keep old drawings or photo albums, while a cheery flower pot might rest on the mantelpiece.
19. Little Eatery
Especially if you have a large family or lots of guests, having another eating area is convenient and decoratively helpful. Set a small leather divan against an alcove wall and pair it with a small round table.
You can gather around and socialize while snacking, or hurriedly study in the morning before school. Maybe this is more of a drinking circle, where a stylish ottoman might flip open to store booze.
Where else are you going to hang art but in an alcove? Display framed photos and paintings along all three walls of the niche, and make sure the ceiling is well-lit with a fixture that does a miniature gallery justice.
For more old-fashioned art, vintage wall sconces are a treat to look at. The floor here could use a rubber-backed rug of subdued color to complete the gallery’s aesthetic appeal.