by Janice Anderssen
If you have alcoves in your home, these can be used to create space-saving areas for bookcases, shelves, built-in seating, or even a small home office
Turn an alcove into a comfortable work and rest space by adding a worktop on one side and a padded seat on the other side. You don’t need a large alcove to make this work – just enough space to fit a chair for working. You can even add cupboards and shelves for even more function.
If you’re handy with power tools and like to get stuck into DIY projects, an alcove is the perfect place to install built-in cupboards for extra storage space. If you don’t need more storage, design built-in cupboards that add a decorative touch to alcoves, such as display cabinets with shelves and mirror backing.
Turn an alcove into a cosy reading nook by adding shelves. With all the materials you need readily available at your local hardware store or timber merchant, it’s a great way to turn that wasted space into a practical solution without taking up valuable floor space.
In a bedroom or dressing room, an alcove can provide the ideal solution for building shelves to store linen and textiles. Keep it neat and organised using storage boxes for smaller items. Or use an alcove to create a practical area to mount a countertop for a makeup station – or to style your hair.
While away the hours in a spot that catches the winter sunshine with a comfortable window seat. Build a box as the seat and buy a ready-made cushion (or make your own) to set up a reading nook to take time out from daily chores.
An alcove under the stairs can be used in so many ways. You can install built-in cupboards for much-needed storage, or spoil yourself with a reading nook. In a small home it’s even possible to fit a fold-out bed for when guests stay over.
Children always need more storage space, and and alcove doesn’t intrude on floor space so look at ways to incorporate storage and furniture into this area. Shelves are easy, and you can buy ready-made shelves or make your own shelves to fit the space.
Kitchens always need plenty of storage space and an alcove, small or large, is just the place to install extra shelving or a cabinet. You can use materials that complement an existing kitchen design using materials readily available, or have a professional fitter install for you.
Where fireplaces are installed, more often than not you have space on either side that can be put to use, either as decorative shelving, or to house media equipment. You can build simple SupaWood or MelaWood units to fit into the space and choose a finish that complements your existing decor.
And let’s not forget about bathrooms! Unless you have a large bathroom, storage is always going to be a concern. With an alcove you can install shelves or built-in cupboards or cabinets to house clutter and keep a bathroom looking tidy.