Friday, July 16, 2010

Home Dilemma: What to Do With a Recessed Niche?

Today we're going to do something a bit different here on Lemon Tree Creations and temporarily suspend our tutorial format. I have a real home dilemma and I'm appealing to you, dear readers, for advice.

I have been stumped as to what to do with this recessed niche since we bought the home over 2 years ago.


Some people have really amazing ideas, such as Tiffany's reformed nook, which you can see here.

Picture 17.png

However, my nook presents a different problem because it starts 8 feet in the air, above the fireplace.

IMG_4837 2.jpg

It is 6 feet tall at it's highest point and 3.5 feet wide, so pretty substantial in size. However, it's only 6 inches deep, so there isn't a lot of room to work with.


I realize that this is a cool and unique architectural feature, but what in the world should I do with it?! I found some accessories that fill the space a bit, and that helps, but I feel like this wall was obviously meant to be a focal point and I'm blowing it in a major way!! I have heard that I could paint the back wall to give it a bit more depth, which I agree with, but I think more needs to be changed than just that.

Okay, enough of me painting a sad picture for you, what are your thoughts? (I'm embarrassed by the lack of color in my decor here too, but that is another story. :) Does anyone else have a recess that they have put to good use? What items are you accessorizing with? Anything you love? Any suggestions to doll this up or make it work are more than welcome! And I will certainly give you a shout out and post some after pictures if I take on your suggestions.

Hmm, is this sounding a bit desperate? I wasn't meaning for it to, but help!! :)

Thanks, and I'll see you Monday with my favorite project ever!



~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ July 16, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

I am certainly not a pro and really whatever you do if you like it than great but I do have an ideal. Not too expensive either. Purchase a picture that you love that will fit the space. I would attempt to fill most of the space. If you go to one of those framing shops like Deck the Walls many of their prints come in assorted sizes. Choose two colors you love from the print and paint the whole wall protruding around the fireplace one color and the nook another and hang the print. Kill 2 birds with one stone, fill the nook and add color to the room. I must say I can see the wall a rich shade of your fav color. Neutral rooms bore me, but that is a personal thing. Have fun with it. I'm anxious to see what other ideas come forth.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Rachel Schumacher July 16, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

I can see why you're struggling - it's in a very unique spot. You don't want to distract or compete with your decor on your mantle. One thought is to paint that area a different color and then either hand-paint or use those vinyl words to put a quote in there. Of course I'm a big fan of quotes, but maybe a nice quote about family would look nice.

Anonymous July 16, 2010 at 9:26 AM  

It would be so pretty filled with faux wrought iron...there would have to be a way to knock off that would fill up the space and add some your blog by the way xoxo

Anonymous July 16, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

I like the idea of the wrought iron but my first thought was a little different... it seems like there's a lot of space above the niche as well so, if it were me,I would actually cover it up with a massive mirror or painting to be hung vertically and that would cover the niche plus some. I would do this because filling it with objects would seem really busy to me since you'll also want to have acessories on your mantel. Anyway, that's my humble opinion :)

Amy C July 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM  

I think using some kind of framed art is a good idea, but it looks like it would be a bit high for that. I also like the idea of wrought iron. I would have a really hard time with that spot as well. Good Luck!

hzgrace July 16, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

here is another idea. I would by a large wreath hang it in the recess You could even use a ribbon as you have done with the one on the mantle. Then I would change the sconces. Something narrow and more elongated. Here are a couple just to give you an Idea: or maybe something like this: i fell in love with the look of this one and may try to make my own out of tin,but in a more rectangular shape: you could then use tall candles or topiaries on the mantle to make it all come together.

Megan July 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

I dont know if this would work up there- but I saw a room recently where they put old shutters up kind of resting on the mantle (maybe old doors since your space is so big?) it covered the weird space and added a dimension and interest.

Sam @ The Ellison Family Expansion Plan July 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

I have a recess in the dining room that is probably 3.5 feet wide by 4 feet tall or so. The bottom of it is just about at thigh level to me, and the previous renters painted it one shade darker than the rest of the room.

We found a canvas print to hang in the center of it that takes of most of the space, and then have a few smaller things sitting on the ledge part.

It certainly isn't as fabulous as that coat rack and bench example, but it works for us.

pocahontas July 16, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

My first thought was that you could make a template the size of the recess, and cover it with a lovely colorful fabric. Then tack it up and find a plain wreath over top. You could change the color of the fabric with the seasons, and it would highlight the recess. Good luck!

Patrice July 16, 2010 at 12:45 PM  

I kind of like the idea of hanging grass cloth wallpaper and then hanging something over top of it as a focal point, like some of the great ideas of a wreath or rod iron work.

Tiffany July 16, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

Wow, this is a tricky one, Erin! I have to think on this one for a minute. Wow. Very interesting when it is high on the wall. I do love rod iron stuff if you could find the right shape to go in the space. I don't know? Hmmm...

Ali @ Honey and Maple Syrup July 16, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

I like the idea of hanging a door to cover the space. If you do art, I would suggest doing something with just a single, large subject since it will hang so high up. I would say keep it simple so that what you have on the mantle doesn't compete with it.

Heather July 16, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

If it was me, I'd figure out a way to draw my eyes up to the vaulted ceiling. Have you ever been in a Crate and Barrel? You know how the store has amazing vaulted ceilings and they hang fabric from them to draw your eyes up? I'd do the same thing. I'd suspend a plywood crossbar/dowel from the ceiling and literally hang a huge piece of fabric until it hits just below the niche. I'd completely cover it. I'd make sure it was narrow enough to fit between your two sconces though. Fabric is cheap, you can easily change it out and it's totally customizable to your decor. Just a thought.

Diane at Perfectly Imperfect Life July 17, 2010 at 12:07 AM  

Probably not what you were looking for, but I think I'd drywall right over it so you'd have a flat wall to work with.

Then, you could find a huge piece of art - or maybe frame a big piece of a fabric you really love - and have a really dramatic wall.

liniecat July 17, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

Well its a huge space and would probably take you forever and may well be too heavy for the wall anyway.......but I could imagine a subtley shaded, amonite shape pattern, that centres about one third up from the bottom and then radiates out from there, so it would be almost fractured, not in complete circles? But use(in my case pieces of driftwood lol) mosaic pieces? Not the perfect squares of tesserai, maybe broken china? It might have to be a wall mounted artwork hung in there, so if you ever sell the house itsa removeable design feature lol
However, youd end up like Michaelangelo no doubt with a crick in the neck and afraid of heights if you worked on it in situ!

Amy July 18, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

this may seem boring, but my parents have a recessed niche in their entryway. it isn't as deep as yours, mind you. my mom put up a big letter of our last name and found a great framed quote about families and then surrounded it with pictures of our family that were touched up... we love it, but i don't know how it would work for your space :)

Bobbie - Clumsy Crafter July 18, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

If it was me I would paint the niche a really dark color that would compliment the decor in your room. Then have a fav. quote, scripture, etc... made in vinyl that would fit that space perfectly.

Sarah Jones July 26, 2010 at 8:09 AM  

this might be up your alley:

the door would take up a lot of the space and become a frame within a frame for seasonal wreaths or other decorations

Amy July 27, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

I love the shutters idea or you could build shelves in there to display book, pottery, etc.

KimberlyJ September 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

I recently saw a post (wish I could remember who) that had a wall hanging done with only painted numbers. Each number was a reference to a birthday, anniversary, etc. You could scatter different size numbers in the area to add interest. It's a space we'd probably all love to have until we had to decorate it!

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