Nooks and niches can be puzzling when trying to incorporate interior design. It doesn’t matter if you are building new or renovating your current home, oddly shaped spaces or strange locations can simply leave you stumped. Whether you have a small space you want to open up, a dull wall you want to liven up, or an awkward space you want to wall up, consider these interior design ideas for niches and nooks.
Nook or Niche?
A nook is an area large enough to occupy, such as a window seat, reading area, or the classic Dutch Colonial breakfast nook. A niche, (rhymes with leash or twitch, depending on your preference), is a recess in a wall for decoration or storage. In homes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, niches were good interior design ideas at the top of stair flights to provide a little extra room for moving large objects.
Deal With It, Build It, or Maximize It
Some homes come equipped with challenging nooks and niches waiting for interior design ideas. Homes built in the last 35 years or so, with smooth drywall and efficient floor plans, may need ‘do-it-yourself‘ work to get the perfect niche or nook. And some spaces—under stairs or attic rafters—may cry out for brilliant interior design ideas to come along.
Breakfast nooks make great use of tight spaces. Try squeezing two benches and a trestle table into a corner of the kitchen for a cozy spot for breakfast, snacking, or late-night dessert.
Avoid flat-surface syndrome by banning school books, check registers, and mail from the table to keep it inviting. Wainscoting panels and enamel paint give it country farm-fresh brightness. Consider rotating the throw pillows and bench cushions to change the look for each season.
An unneeded closet is an ideal spot for a child’s reading nook. Children love child-sized spaces, and parents love knowing their children are safe in their little library. Put in a good reading light, preferably with a cool-to-the-touch, energy-efficient LED lamp. Have your children participate in generating interior design ideas for the space and celebrate their creativity, even if it doesn’t match the rest of the house!
A more elaborate nook with a daybed, built-in shelves, and a casement window offering a tranquil view provides the perfect spot to relax and reflect. If your home did not come equipped with a nook like this, consider adding one to a longer room where you will not miss the space when your nook is built.
The bathroom is prime real estate and ripe for interior design ideas. Consider opening up a storage niche between two studs to create extra shelves. Only do this on an interior wall (no insulation) free of wires and pipes. Make the most of the remodel by putting an electrical outlet in the niche to charge razors and electric toothbrushes.
A blank wall or a spot near an entry door is another great spot for a tall, narrow set of shelves. Standard stud walls with drywall will give just about four inches of usable depth, enough for paperbacks, keys, mail, and décor.
A Tight Fit
Stuck with stairs? One of many innovative interior design ideas is to convert the space beneath stairs to an office nook and a closet niche. This family used their space as a music nook to showcase their grand piano.