How to decorate an alcove off of a small living room

Updated November 21, 2016

Alcoves come in many shapes and sizes and they present challenging but unique decorating opportunities. Some alcoves exist around architectural elements in the home, like a staircase, while others are areas for showcasing treasured items. An alcove situated off of a small living room will no doubt attract attention. The trick to decorating your alcove is using the right colours and objects to make a creative impact.

Paint the walls in the alcove to make it a focal point in the room. You don't have to use a contrasting colour; a coordinating colour can make this space pop from the rest of your decor Think of what you plan to display in the alcove when selecting paint colours, as you don't want the wall colour to clash with what's inside the alcove.

Cover the alcove walls with fabric or wallpaper. If you have a larger alcove or if your alcove is not domed, wallpaper or fabric can add a dramatic element to your decor Consider what you plan to use the alcove for when deciding on what kind of pattern to attach to walls. To avoid awkward-looking spaces, remember to keep patterns and styles in harmony with the decor used throughout the rest of your home.

Position a desk in the alcove. This can create a work space in a tiny living area. Be sure to use a chair that slides under the desk to maximise the limited space. Another option is to place a daybed or window seat in the alcove. You can even create a small reading nook by placing a chair and floor lamp in the alcove.

Decorate the alcove for storage. A small buffet or bench with a cushioned seat becomes the perfect hideaway for many items you don't have room to store in a small living room. From board games to extra bedding for guests, you can keep items you might need in your living room close by in the alcove.

Display antiques or artwork in the wall space above the desk, sofa or buffet.

Install a shelving unit within the alcove and use it to store DVDs, books or CDs.


If your alcove is in a darkened area of your home, you might consider installing lighting to brighten your display. Recessed lighting is a good idea for alcoves of all sizes.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Furniture
  • Decorative items
  • Storage unit
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