Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alcoves add depth to design

Creating alcoves in different rooms extends the living spaces.

Every room in the house is generally complete in terms of functionality, decor and usage. However, any room will benefit with a small recess which can offer various uses. By and large, such alcoves are made to be complementary to the room. If it is an offshoot of the bedroom, the decor and usage is such that it adds functionality to the occupants of the bedroom. Sometimes, in a very large room, you may even create an alcove with some demarcations in place so as to give it a sense of privacy.

Creating an alcove

An alcove can be created in a large room with clever separations. This can be as simple as a curtain or a screen. Elaborate dividers may be columns or arches that will convey a sense of unity while creating an exclusive zone. You may also have a false ceiling or raised flooring exclusively for the alcove. Using area rugs or carpets is as effective as it is easy.

Alcoves in living spaces:

Living room

An alcove off the living room is a pleasant addition that may be used for entertaining guests or for a quiet repose. The space can be used to create exclusive seating, for a bar or for displaying souvenirs. It can also be used to house a grand piano or other musical instruments. Accordingly, the decor varies. A bar will require either customized or readymade bar unit with bar stools that should match the decor of the living room. Exclusive seating can be just one prized couch or a collection of armchairs or even relaxed floor seating with colourful cushions. The suggestion of dedicating the alcove for displaying souvenirs or artifacts will also work if there is at least one wall that can hold built-in cabinets. Use warm lighting that will cast a bright look to the area. Recessed lights are the best to give the alcove an air of exclusivity.

Dining room

An alcove off the dining can be a wonderful setting for a breakfast counter. It does make sense to have a no fuss eating area for those rushed meals. This will mean a small sturdy table and some stools or benches. However, with some easy changes, the place can also transform into a hobby corner or a games place. The first requirement will be a table with a broad tabletop. You may even have a stone table that can withstand such activities. Have a pendant light over the table for convenience. If it does not jar the aesthetic appeal, try having a small washbasin or a water dispenser to save you a few trips to the kitchen. And while at that, fit in a small television here for catching up with the news while you eat. For those who work from home, the space may also be used as an office where one can even have meetings with clients, if required. A home office has some requirements like a good writing desk, electrical points and shelving system. The last can also be an attractive bookcase which will hold files and other necessities.


An alcove off the bedroom is truly a delight. This place maybe used as a home office, study, children play area or a reading corner, depending on the requirement. A combination of library and study can be created by having at least one wall lined with bookshelves. An alcove off the bedroom can also be used for activities like meditation or exercising. This will require a soft flooring and space for exercise equipments like treadmill, gym ball and so on. The alcove can also be used for seating with proper armchairs or sofas. Having the television here will make it more convenient.

An alcove off the kitchen can house an extra sink, washing machine, dishwasher and other such gadgets so as to free the kitchen from clutter. This is a sound idea that can be made mandatory for all kitchens.

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