How to Decorate a Small Recessed Wall

Written by sarah schreiber
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How to Decorate a Small Recessed Wall
Small recessed walls come in a range of styles. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Small recessed walls are found in a variety of home layouts. In some cases, the niche may occur in one portion of the wall as a design element specifically for displaying items. In other cases, the recess may occur at the end of a dormer, which has a window. Other small recessed walls may simply be distinctive architectural features in a home. Regardless of how your small recessed wall came to be, take advantage of this interesting architectural feature by decorating it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Place a comfortable window seat at the bottom of a recessed dormer wall. Use a seat that's level with the window sill. Cover the window with sheer fabric that lets the light through, as thicker drapes can make the space seem even smaller and more enclosed.

  2. 2

    Paint the colour of the small recessed wall a lighter hue of the room's primary colour. For example, if the main walls in the room are beige, paint the recessed area a creamy eggshell or light tan. Lighter colours create the illusion of space, making the area seem bigger. This small colour contrast also draws attention to the wall.

  3. 3

    Use the small wall area to display a collection. Install a light at the top of the area and line the wall with several shelves. Place books, decorative accessories or other objects you enjoy on the shelves. In some wall designs, you could install the shelves to be flush with the regular wall around it, using the recess as built-in storage space.

  4. 4

    Use the niche as a backdrop for an art display. Hang a tall, narrow painting or place a suitably sized sculpture against the wall. Frame a series of pictures in matching frames and hang them one on top of the other in the recessed area.

  5. 5

    Paint a mural in the recessed area. The recess serves as a natural frame and a mural in a small area isn't as overwhelming in a room as one that takes up an entire standard wall.

Tips and warnings

  • You can decorate a small recessed wall to match any type of style from modern to country. Let your tastes determine how you decorate the space.

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