Looking for alcove ideas? Sometimes an alcove has an obvious use. It needs to house the TV, squeeze in a wardrobe or be used to store your ever-expanding collection of books you promise to read but never will. But sometimes an alcove is just an awkward nook in your room that you have no idea what to do with. Well, lucky for you we have a load of alcove ideas to get you inspired, from tiny offices to spare bedrooms (kind of); here are our handy tips for making the most of that small space...
1. Build alcove shelving to create a small home office
Think you don't have room for even the smallest of home offices? Think again. This gem of a DIY project can help you create a home office pretty much out of nowhere. All you need is an alcove, some shelving, and the tiniest bit of DIY knowledge. This one even has a door to hide away the clutter (or keep everyone else out). Love it. To create this look, head over to our guide to how to create an alcove office.
2. Build in alcove cupboards to display and disguise
If you know you need to use your alcove for storage, then the best way to make the most of the space is to get something built in. Ask your carpenter to install a bespoke unit. You can design the the unit based on your needs – obviously it depends on what you want to store but we reckon a mix of shelves and cupboards as seen below in Insta influencer Lisa Dawson's living room is your best bet.
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 a flat pack ‘alcove cabinet kit’ that includes everything you need with easy to read, step by step instructions.
3. Fake a built-in look with freestanding alcove cupboards
If you are renting you can't go for a built in option, or perhaps you would just rather spend your budget elsewhere? In either case, you can create a built-in look simply by choosing the right sized cabinet to fit into your alcove.
Top tip: A nifty trick for this it to paint the walls of your alcove the same colour as your cabinet to help it blend even more seamlessly into the room.
4. Create a home bar in an alcove
Now this is an alcove idea we can get on board with. Transform that awkward space into an at-home bar. You could go all out like this home bar below and create an actual bar or you could just pop a jazzy bar cart in your alcove a decorate the wall above it with some cool prints and some fairy lights. If you want any ideas on how to style you bar cart, we obviously have a feature on that too.
5. Add a pop of colour by painting an alcove
If you are looking for a really quick and easy way to make more of a feature of your alcove, paint is your best bet. We love how in this living room, a sunny, bright yellow has been used in the alcove – even adding a pop of colour to this tiny nook, lifts the room and adds a bit of interest. Love this? Find more ways to add yellow to your rooms in our design guide.
6. Create a library in your alcove
Need somewhere to house your ever expanding collection of books? Well, you know that book shelves just make sense as an alcove idea. You could have them built in, making the most of your space, as you can go floor to ceiling, or you could just find a book shelf that fits perfectly into the alcove. Maybe have a think about how you can arrange your books so they actually become a feature of the room, use the colours of the spines for a rainbow effect or store them vertically and horizontally to create some interesting shapes. Find more book storage ideas in our guide, and don't miss these cute reading spots for book lovers for more style inspiration.
7. Use an alcove to make a feature with logs
Another super easy alcove idea is to use them to store logs. You know what, we don't reckon you even need a log burner to get this rustic Scandi look. There's nothing wrong with having pile of chopped up tree in your living room just for decoration. Errr... but if you do, we've got a buyer's guide of the best stoves and tons more cosy Scandi room design ideas, too.
8. Build a wardrobe into a bedroom alcove
Just as with the living room alcove storage, you could choose to use the alcoves in your bedroom as storage. Wardrobes are cumbersome things that take up a ton of room so it makes sense that if you have an alcove going unused to put it to use. Again, you can get a carpenter to build a wardrobe into your alcove and you can completely customise the interior, based on what you need. We've got a load more bedroom storage ideas, over in our dedicated feature so make sure you check that out too.
9. Create a cosy spare bedroom
Can we call this an alcove? Yes, we can. Or at least we will. Alcoves mixed with slanting roofs are a tricky combo to over come, but rather than hate on this small awkward space, why not accentuate the cosiness and create a cosy small bedroom if your alcove is deep enough. If you can't quite cram a bed in then settle for just a comfy armchair and make it a nice reading corner instead.
10. Make the most of awkward alcove spaces in lofts
Another example of how an awkward slanting alcove can work. Pinch this idea and build shelves into the slanting wall – practical and pretty. If you need any tips on how to put up a bracket shelf, just follow our guide.
11. Add floating shelves to a small bedroom alcove
Floating shelves were literally made for alcoves, they just create a lovely seamless look, plus they are great for some extra storage, brilliant in a small bedroom with little room for bedside tables. This idea's cute too, paint the shelves in different colours to make your alcove a bit more of a feature. Conveniently, we also have a guide to how to put up floating shelves, too.
12. Create a contrast in an alcove with wallpaper
Just like paint, wallpaper is an easy way to make your alcoves more of a feature in your home. You could do the obvious and wallpaper your alcoves – this works well if you have symmetrical ones on the either side of a chimney breast, or, if you have an alcove that's more of a decorative feature like the one below, you could wallpaper the rest of the room, and leave the alcove blank. We also like this idea of filling and alcove with a gallery wall – use our guide to find how to create and display yours.
13. Add kitchen cabinets to fill an alcove
Designing a kitchen around an alcove can be tricky. You could go down the made to measure, bespoke route we have talked about previously, and have a dresser built into the space, but we thought this alcove idea was pretty handy too! Use your alcove basically as a pre-made cabinet. In this deVOL kitchen, floating shelves have been added into the alcove and then glass cabinet doors have been installed in front, meaning you can see those gorgeous green tiles through the cabinet doors.
14. Or go for freestanding kitchen storage in an alcove
You could of course always just pop a dresser in your kitchen alcove instead. You might get lucky and find the perfect sized one in an antique shop or on eBay, but if you're not up for trawling or competitive bidding, Esty have some lovely ones too. For loads more kitchen storage ideas, make sure you check out our feature.
15. Put up floating shelves for extra kitchen storage
Ah floating shelves again. But this time you can see how they work in kitchen alcoves. Rather than having wall-mounted kitchen cabinets, which tend to look bulky, especially in small or low-ceilinged rooms, fill your alcoves with open shelves that you can use to store your prettiest kitchen items, we're talking house plants, your best mugs, cute vases, those trendy, healthy cook books you never use...