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Friday, February 22, 2013

Decorating Around Awkward Niches

Most of us have at least one design challenge in our homes that leaves us scratching our heads. I've had my fair share in this house. Remember the weird tv cutout next to our fireplace?

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We ended up turning it into a bookcase.

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Since I stalk the real estate listings for fun (who doesn't?), I am pleased and horrified at the same time to know I'm not the only one with weird cutouts in the wall.



This almost works. If the side bookcases came up just a tad higher and the corners of the drywall were trimmed out you wouldn't be able to tell this built-in wasn't original. Unfortunately, it looks as if an entertainment center was shoved in a hole.


I think this is a common problem. A lot of homes have art niches, but people aren't quite sure how to decorate them.




Instead of using a few small things, one piece of art or a sculpture that fits the scale of the niche would work better.




But, one large piece of artwork can be expensive and some niches are very large. This trio of mirrors works perfectly.




Another option for a particularly large and deep art niche is to install shelves.




I'm crying inside for these people. How do you decorate around seven holes in the only usable wall, not to mention the awkward window over the fireplace?



Hiring a contractor to cover the shelves with drywall would probably be the best option since there is not another place the tv can go. Using drywall isn't as expensive as you think, especially if you are willing to paint the wall yourself when it's done.


I see this one a lot!




I like the idea of extending the mantel upwards to make it more cohesive like in this living room.




Now, they just have the three niches at the top to fill. Oy!


10 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, some of those are quite challenging, especially that one with the 7 open shelves in the wall. Yikes! I love how you turned your cutout into built in shelving - it looks so much better, like that's how it should have been in the first place! One of my favorite weekend hobbies used to be going to open houses just for the heck of it, we weren't planning on moving. I haven't done that for a few years though because like you, I just go online and look! LOL!

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    1. Thanks! We had tried to take down the entire mantel and start from scratch, but it would not budge so we ended up just putting mouldings all around it. That was our first woodbuilding project and we weren't quite sure what to do. Now, we've got saws that would have taken care of that! House stalking online is the best!

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  2. Your bookcase is perfect there. And I totally agree - those poor people with the weird 7 niches. I would drywall over them, too. And the white one - they should have trimmed it and filled the space and then it would be perfect!
    Stacy

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  3. I LOVE what you did with yours! I totally love your style (hmmm I think I already told you so!). Lots of decorating challenges in the other rooms, it makes me ask....what were they thinking when they built that?!

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    1. Thanks! I wonder the same thing about homebuilders...

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  4. Yes I know that stuff is so ugly: built in art pieces and all those weird angles and uber high ceiling, so popular with homes built in the 80s and 90s. Not a fan. Give me a traditional box, I'll take it! I prefer older homes. Prewar. My favorite style is craftsmen. They are very popular on the west coast and less so on the east. But I am def more of a traditionalist.

    Ali of

    www.dressingken.com

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    1. Me, too. Actually, I think the home with the weird seven holes in the wall could be so cute with some changes. I would love to add tons of woodwork (of course) and a transom to separate the kitchen from the family room. If the window over the fireplace and the holes were covered up it could be very traditional. Oh, and the floors all hardwood.

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  5. It seems like builders put in niches because they think it will add character, but they're usually so awkward and ugly. I like how you turned yours into a functioning space, and it looks proper now. A client of mine did something similar to you and it was such an improvement. We have a niche above our fireplace that I really want to cover up. I've hated it since day one and that was almost 9 years ago!

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    1. I have friends with the same niche and they complain it's too narrow to put anything in there that would fill the space properly. I understand!

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