Nooks and Niches: 8 Ways to Optimize Those Quirky Spaces

Make T. Swift proud and embrace that blank space.

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If you’ve got one, you probably know the head scratching question, “what in the world do I do with this space?” You’re not alone. Nooks, niches and alcoves are tricky areas to decorate, but there are great pros to having them. They add charm to your home while serving functional purposes when innovatively used. So let’s get down to business! Here are eight ways you can utilize those odd corners in your house.

1. Reading Nook

Transitional reading area

Closet Becomes Cozy Reading Nook

Just beneath the stairs, a renovated closet becomes the perfect place to read and relax. Plush pillows keep the space cozy and comfortable, while shelves below help the books stay organized and out of harm's way.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

It's the classic reading nook, and, if you have the space for one, it's definitely worth considering. They're perfect for anyone that enjoys curling up with a good book or, if you're like me, your laptop and Netflix (no shame.) All you need is a custom-sized cushion, a few pillows, lighting, and you're ready to go.

2. Bar Nook

Built-In Bar Recessed in Nook With Arched Ceiling

Arched Nook With a Built-In Bar

Tucked in a small nook between the living room and kitchen, this cute bar area pops with green accessories to help match the organic feel of the rest of the home.

Bar cart niche within doorway of a living room.

Functional Bar Niche Elevates Living Room

Why travel to the kitchen for a cocktail when this lovely, living room bar cart is within reach? Jackson Paige Interiors created this niche within a doorway of the living room that functions well for a quick pick-me-up after a long day at the office. The luminosity of the glassware, light fixtures and other amenities against the darker teal wall confer a sophisticated edge.

Photo by: Laura Hull

Laura Hull

Here's one for all you mixologists: Transform your empty nook into a bar station. You can go the bar cart route or add a thin sideboard for more storage. You'll have a well-stocked bar complete with blenders, cocktail mixers, bottle openers and all your bar essentials.

3. Office Nook

Contemporary Yellow Office

Contemporary Yellow Office

Jenna takes advantage of every nook in this apartment, turning this spot into a functional home office. A bright yellow wall helps to define the space, while a black-and-white striped rug adds a cool, graphic element to the area.

If you don't have the space to dedicate to an entire home office, a corner nook can be your best friend. Install a shelf and you'll have a space-friendly work station. For some extra charm, add a pop of color by painting the back wall and a couple decorative shelves.

4. Multi-Purpose Nook

Melissa and Mahdi removed the closet doors to create space for an office and entertainment area in the space. When work and play are done, the curtains can be closed to cover up clutter.

Closet, After

Melissa and Mahdi removed the closet doors to create space for an office and entertainment area in the space. When work and play are done, the curtains can be closed to cover up clutter.

Photo by: Meggan Haller/Getty Images

Meggan Haller/Getty Images

What I love about this hideaway nook is it serves more than one purpose. It has desk space and a small lounge area for entertainment. By hanging curtains, you can easily close the nook off for a cleaner look. You can also add shelves and drawers for extra storage.

5. Dresser Nook

Gold Bedroom With White Dresser, Light Pink Curtains & Sunburst Mirror

Bedroom Features Pretty Gold Wallpaper & White Dresser

Fabulously feminine, this bedroom boasts pretty gold wallpaper and a small white dresser that fits perfectly in one corner of the room. Soft pink curtains frame the nearby window, which casts light onto the sunburst mirror above the dresser.

Photo by: Wendy Labrum

Wendy Labrum

Dressers were made for nooks. They fit so perfectly in those tight spaces and provide additional storage for the things that don't quite have a specific home. By adding wall art, lamps, clocks and photos, you can add some character to your nook.

6. Makeup Nook

White Contemporary Make-Up Nook

White Contemporary Make-Up Nook With Fur Stool

How's this for a place to get ready for the day? Sit at this chic white floating vanity and accompanying fur stool to finish dressing and take in panoramic views.

Photo by: Tim Lee; Courtesy Ruby Media Group - Westchester Magazine

Tim Lee; Courtesy Ruby Media Group - Westchester Magazine

Think of all the possibilities there are with a makeup nook. With one desk, stool and mirror you have your own makeup vanity. Add some drawers and you'll have additional storage for your favorite beauty products. (You'll catch me at the makeup counter weekly, if I ever get one of these for myself.)

7. Attic Nook

White Contemporary Attic With Desk and Reading Nook

Attic Writer's Retreat

This attic space is converted into a sunny writer's retreat, complete with a spot to lie back and read or nap.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

Aside from storing holiday decorations, attics make great getaway spaces for both kids and adults. Transform your attic into an extra room for whatever you need: office, hangout area, bedroom or all three combined! For those nooks and crannies, add a floor bed with lots of throw pillows. It's low to the ground, so the angular ceilings feel taller, and it gives you extra space for entertaining.

8. Seating Nook

Neutral Seating Nook

Neutral Seating Nook With White Armchairs

A pair of white transitional chairs with button-tufted seat backs anchor one corner of this living room. Blue and white Suzani-print pillows bring patterned pop to the color scheme.

From: Georgette Westerman

Photo by: Georgette Westerman

Georgette Westerman

All it takes to transform an awkward corner into a conversation area is a set of chairs and a tiny table. Your guests will feel cozy, and you'll feel happy that you filled that odd space.

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