How to decorate wall alcoves

Updated February 21, 2017

Wall alcoves provide built-in spaces in your home to highlight your decorating style and showcase some of your favourite things. Draw attention to your alcove by making it stand out, while decorating it to complement the rest of the room as well. Determine how you plan to use the alcove if it's large enough, such as creating a reading nook, or what sort of decor you'd like to highlight if it's a small alcove or in a formal room, such as a foyer or formal dining room.

Paint the alcove a shade or two darker or lighter than the wall to draw attention to it. Opt for a darker shade if there's a window in the alcove or a lot of light for contrast.

Furnish the alcove if it's large enough. For example, a comfortable reading chair and slim bookshelves could turn the alcove into a reading nook, while a custom-fitted china cabinet or buffet can add to a formal dining room. A decorative pillar, coat rack, umbrella stand or table can fit in a smaller alcove and provide space for other decorative objects.

Hang a mirror, gallery of photographs or artwork in the alcove. Use the space to showcase your favourite family photos or your nicest artwork. A mirror is useful to reflect other attractive decor or natural sunlight.

Accessorise any furniture or wall hangings with attractive objects, such as candles, large vases, statues, sculptures, houseplants or trees.

Install lighting by using spotlights above artwork, lamps on a side table or shelf or wall sconces in a formal room.


Use casual decor in an alcove in a casual room. For example, an expensive piece of art would be misplaced in a bathroom alcove. Alternatively, children's artwork might look out of place in a formal foyer alcove.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Wall decor
  • Accessories
  • Lighting
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About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.