Wall Niches for Lighting & Decorating

Written by janece bass
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Wall Niches for Lighting & Decorating
Wall niches provide decorative architectural detail that can also prove functional, such as in a bathroom. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Wall niches can add interest to any room in your home, from a hallway to a bathroom to the dining room. Install or use your wall niches to enhance your decor by showing off your favourite treasures. Add special lighting to highlight the architectural detail as well as draw attention to the items you want to display.

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The best type of lighting for your wall niche will depend on where it is, the size, shape and how you plan to use it. Install spotlights or track lights on the ceiling to point down toward the niche if you want to highlight the architectural design of it. Install a recessed light in the top of the niche if you want the focus to remain on the decor, such as if you plan to hang an expensive piece of art in the space.

Large Niches

Large niches call for large pieces, or the decorative items will get lost in the open space. Niches that are open from the floor up can showcase an oversized or interesting chair, floor vase or pedestal. Large, shallow niches can showcase a large piece of artwork, a framed portrait or a wall sculpture, such as intricate wrought iron wall sconces. Deeper niches can hold large pottery, vases and sculptures. Update the decor in your wall niche during holidays or special occasions by placing a related item there, such as an oversized wreath or small Christmas tree during December.

Small Niches

Smaller niches are more common in bathrooms, kitchens or higher on the walls for the purpose of displaying smaller items. For example, your china collection or small figurines would be fitting in kitchen or dining room niches. Bath oils, salts or decorative soaps and sponges are useful and decorative in a bathroom. Use the niche to show off a series of smaller photographs, a candle grouping or your knick-knack collection. Some smaller wall niches can also work like a built-in shelf, providing a space to display your favourite books, music collection or other items you use often.


Draw attention to the wall niche with decorative details that draw the eye but don't detract from the decorative items you're displaying in the niche. Add decorative trim around the niche, or paint the inside of the niche a darker, deeper shade of paint than the rest of the wall. Alternatively, paint the niche a lighter colour than the rest of the wall. Either way, a different shade or colour will automatically draw the eye. A custom wall mural will add interest and can also serve as a backdrop to a decorative piece, such as decorative bowls or jars filled with seashells, marbles or colourful crystals.

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