An alcove offers plenty of potential for a wardrobe fitment. This is especially so when you are doing the work and making the design decisions yourself. You can opt for a very simple, utilitarian design offering the basic elements of a rail and a door of some kind. Alternatively, you could go to town with special features and lavish decorative effects.
An alcove is an ideal space to hang a rail, as it can be made to fit between -- and be supported by -- the two sides. You can choose a rail made of wood, metal or plastic. Metal rails are usually the strongest and will not bend unless heavily overloaded. Measure the alcove gap carefully. Cut the rail to length, a few millimetres narrower than the gap. Fit it between circular sockets screwed into the sides of the alcove, or similar. TV’s Tommy Walsh suggests fitting a second lower rail to double the hanging space.
A shelf above the rail is common and very practical. You can use it to store items you don’t need all year round. You can also build a shelf at skirting board height for shoes and other things. You can put up a shelf quickly with grab adhesive. Stick wooden battens onto the three sides of the alcove at the same height and level. Cut out a shelf to fit and sit it on the battens. If you don’t want the support mechanism to be visible, you can fit an invisible shelf, or floating shelf.
The simplest “door” is just a curtain hanging from a track or rail. A roller blind, similarly, is fairly straightforward. To fit a more substantial door, you will probably need to fit a door frame around the alcove opening. You will then be able to hang one or two hinged doors from it. Sliding doors might be possible in some situations. Bi-fold doors are more practical in smaller alcove spaces. A door is not strictly necessary. You can use a movable screen to cover the alcove if you prefer.
Robuild London Painters and Decorators are keen to emphasise the decorative potential of alcoves. You could decorate your alcove wardrobe in speciality wallpaper, such as silk, grasscloth or metallic. Alternatively, you could paint it slightly darker than the rest of the room or use special paint effects. You might want to add automatic lights to your alcove wardrobe, the useful type that come on when you open the door. You might also want to consider adding mirrors to the doors.