Alcove Dilemma
wdesigner
October 7, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We have two 6 foot tal alcoves. I'm trying to figure out what would look good in them. I'm really at a loss. I'd like something that takes advantage of the height. I prefer contemporary but please feel free to provide what works best. Thank you!!
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AMN
Sculptures that fit the space. Get two of them from the same series so they're complementary but not exactly the same. Like these (not sure what size these are) (just an example): http://www.archithings.com/contemporary-sculptures-by-murillo/2011/10/23

Go to some local art shows or galleries. See if anything catches your eye.
October 7, 2012 at 11:37am     
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Dytecture
I agree with some art pieces in the niches.


October 7, 2012 at 11:41am     
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AMN
You could also go on a scavenger hunt if you're near the ocean and find some interesting drift wood or other interesting, appropriately-sized oceanside artifacts. Don't know what your style is.

OR

A vase with twigs https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Vase-of-Twigs-02-Builders-Kit-Set/2389901?id=2389901&slug=Vase-of-Twigs-02-Builders-Kit-Set
(this is just a rendering of one)
October 7, 2012 at 11:44am     
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anitajoyce
As mentioned earlier, two pieces of artwork that ate similar or sculptures.
October 7, 2012 at 11:47am   
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Amanda Shea
In addition to putting something on display in them, I would also paint the inside of each alcove an accent color (same color for each)
October 7, 2012 at 12:04pm     
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pnkantique
You could create the illusion of having a air suspended picture that would have almost the same concept as a flat screen tv wall mount. I agree with "amandashea" but I would have it painted a a very high lacquer so as to have it glow against whatever art you so chose! Good Luck and send pixs.
October 7, 2012 at 12:11pm     
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olgahoney
sculpture
October 7, 2012 at 12:22pm   
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carrollsenior
I had the exact dilema when I moved into my house. I was hesitant to spend $$ on large sculptures or artwork since I was unsure what direction I was going with the rest of the decor. While in a discount garden store (Garden Ridge), I found two 4-foot tall flamengos with a rod iron look. Priced at $39 apiece, I thought they would make a good short-term solution until I decided on something more permanent. 6 years later, they still work and I get comments on them all of the time. They are unique. At Christmas, they each get a festive wreath around their neck. One of my all-time favorite cheap fixes.
October 7, 2012 at 12:30pm     
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
The Flamingo's are a great idea and wallet friendly too .
October 7, 2012 at 12:38pm   
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cookevillehouse
add glass shelves so you can put smaller things there
October 7, 2012 at 12:55pm     
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judianna20
Getting old (er), and sometimes I have to consider how I am going to be able to clean something before I install it. In this case, I see two hard to dust areas. So, I am going with Anita's suggestion of compatible art work, attached securely to the wall, so you can use a long handle duster and not have to disturb the arrangement.

October 7, 2012 at 1:05pm     
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sratigan
If you don't like them, you might want to consider covering them up with a painting or a framed poster that you like and you could even do three across the wall, two over the alcoves and one or two in the middle.
October 7, 2012 at 1:30pm     
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Island Girl
I love the alcoves. I like the sculpture Idea. Remember you don't have to use the full 6 feet. consider using a pedestal on one or both. I would keep them in the same look and not too bright of colors. Large antique wooden items would look really good,
October 7, 2012 at 2:05pm   
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dcer
I would hang two tall skinny art pieces in the back of the alcove, and put a smaller sculpture in front to add interest.
October 7, 2012 at 2:15pm     
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rawketgrl
I had a similar problem, but my alcove was wider than tall. I fitted the alcove with a piece of plexiglass, near the front of the alcove, held in place by clear push pins. This created a light box effect when the down light was turned on. I covered the plexiglass in a decorative film of multicolored faux stain glass...the effect when the light was on behind it was stunning!

If I had tall skinny alcoves like yours I would probably go for a silk topiary of some sort. I found these that look pretty neat...

have fun! :D
October 7, 2012 at 4:11pm     
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pcmom1
If you live in earthquake area, don't put anything that might topple on someone's head!

I see long antique asian screens, or scrolls with writing. Something light, doesn't require dusting, and, being somewhat opaque, the light behind would look striking.
October 7, 2012 at 4:31pm     
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ebova
Make something- what a great opportunity to get creative!
October 7, 2012 at 4:44pm     
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qbndds
Eurofase Cameo Pendant #20408
I would either mirror the back or hang 2 large framed mirrors then remove the can light and hang a large pendant (like the Eurofase one referenced above) from the can light fixture so it reflects the light off the mirror or do away with them altogether by filling them in and then hang a large painting in the center wall space
October 7, 2012 at 4:55pm   
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anitajoyce
Good advice pcmom1 , about earthquakes!
October 7, 2012 at 5:14pm   
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qbndds
If you do full glass mirror in the back the black mirror mastic will prevent them falling as for framed mirrors there are plenty of earthquake kits on the market to keep you safe in that event!
October 7, 2012 at 7:54pm   
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Alicia
A mosaic would be amazing in that space.. any image can be redesigned .. or a tile mural
http://www.AliciatappDesigns.com
October 7, 2012 at 8:20pm     
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hockey456
That's a big empty wall between them. Find a great piece of art you love then fill the alcoves with coordinating planters with tall thin logs (3) in each. Paint the logs a fun color.
October 7, 2012 at 10:50pm   
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bprince300
If I had those I would suspend something light and ethereal looking from the 'ceiling' of each box, like a mobile, letting the light shine down through it - clear filament or fine wire with glass beads, iridescent, gauzy fabric, thin sea shells, feathers, whatever things you love or something dynamic by a local artist. Cleaning might be just a matter of getting a good blow-dryer out and 'dusting' regularly by moving it around a bit ....
October 8, 2012 at 1:14am     
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
If you want to fill them, I think it helps to use something you really love. If you embrace alcoves in a transitional space like this, you sort of have to "go big or go home" when it comes to "quirkyness" as they are such a focal point. Throwing a non-descript vase up there with plants will not likely produce a great result. If you like nautical you could go with old rowboats in distressed wood with striped boeys, for example... or if you're modern, a mobile with lit glass spheres or maybe hanging northstars in gold tone (which may actually blend in with your paint color and therefore visually receed/getting the job of filling the space done so that the emptyness doesn't stand out but acting as a less harsh focal point. I would recommend checking out architectural salvage to see if you find an element you like also. Historically, large foyers from the architural periods your home seems somewhat inspired by were often decorated by a muralist. It may make sense then to do a modern take on that by adding coordinated abstract but soft art across the entire wall... a grouping of three for example. If you post more pictures of more of your space (the adjoining rooms etc.) it might help to inspire everyone even more. :)
October 8, 2012 at 3:02am   
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Alicia
I added a mosaic to your alcove so you can see how it would look.. a coordinating one would also be made for your other alcove

http;//www.AliciaTappdesigns.com
October 8, 2012 at 3:42am     
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Gabberts Design Studio
I would look for complimentary metal scuptures that would add interest but not take away from the gorgeous height of the room. I think it has to be simple and clean, with not a lot of color or drama.
October 8, 2012 at 5:49am   
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trc59
I think metal statue or art that would not require alot of cleaning on a weekly basis and would blend with the chandiler. If color is needed a large colorful picture between the alcoves that is square.
October 8, 2012 at 6:21am     
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Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Hi! Think the vases or art pieces good ideas. Personally - I'd start shopping - once you see it - try it - you'll know in a flash. Like carollsenior did with the flamingos - Also, you need to consider the furnishings and decor pieces you plan to use in the room below the stairway - there might be a way to have the choices blend beautifully and achieve a perfect point of interest -
October 8, 2012 at 9:26am     
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Room Resolutions
Hi! These alcoves have great potential for some stand out pieces that you love and want to showcase. As a contemporary option we would like to suggest these elegant white giraffes that have a glossy quilted pattern. They are definitely stand out pieces! And depending on how deep these alcoves are you could possibly put both of them in one of the alcoves!
October 8, 2012 at 10:13am     
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Kaufman Homes Inc.
I love the idea of adding something light and hanging it from the ceiling. If you found some artistic, modern pendant lights you could replace the can lights with these. They can be very artistic and make quite a statement in shape, line and color. If you get the right ones it will fill the space appropriately.
October 8, 2012 at 11:00am   
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Samarotto Design Group
I would opt for something structural that would cast shadow an create dimension. Perhaps an interesting pair of driftwood branches, as was mentioned in an earlier comment. I would also give the niches a slightly darker interior finish than the wall to create an increased sense of depth and drama
October 8, 2012 at 11:12am   
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Kaufman Homes Inc.
You could do that and creat a cool lighting effect with pendants to create more dimension. I like the idea of painting the interior a slightly darker color.
October 8, 2012 at 11:49am     
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Laurie
Stained glass windows hung so the light would illuminate them would be pretty. The design of the glass can complement your home decor. Easy to clean then too. You could make your own using Artscapes window clings. http://www.artscape-inc.com/
October 8, 2012 at 11:53am     
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Antonucci Home Design
Tapestries or birch branches
October 8, 2012 at 11:55am   
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croyvincent
Yes Art but art glass by covering the 2 alcoves with stained glass! These 'faux windows' would be beautiful adding color and still letting the light through!
October 8, 2012 at 3:36pm   
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Denise Cashin
October 8, 2012 at 3:37pm   
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Jill J. Wallace, Color Redesign
Add a darker color to the back panels only; something like Ben Moore's Jamesboro gold. Warm, rich golden/bronze. Will work with the light fixture too. Fill the space with tall vase, urn or statues that fit the design style of the homeowner. Like the advise on easy to dust area. Items need to fit the scale of the niche too. Good luck!!
October 8, 2012 at 3:37pm   
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Susan E. Brown Interior Design
Paint insides a wonderful accent color -- bright and lively -- like red, orange, etc. Then the need to showcase something in there will not be as dramatic, and whatever you choose to put in there will not be as difficult to find. A simple large turquoise ceramic vase or urn with a cover would be enough.
October 8, 2012 at 3:42pm     
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patpalumbo
Short droopy plant with square picture right above in one alcove and tall, fat vase in the other. Leave space between the ceiling and the picture/ vase.
October 8, 2012 at 3:43pm   
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Sarah
Tall colorful vases that are interesting and scultural in design would be great. Also, you could hang photos from eye hooks in the ceiling at the front or towards the front and put a soft light behind to add dimension. You could even hang 3 pics vertically by connecting them with hooks or string, but still leaving them hang from the top rather than the back...this way the art doesn't get lost in the back of the alcove.
October 8, 2012 at 3:51pm     
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vsegura
Great opportunity to make your style statement here! Think of elements you want to bring into the space, such as iron to compliment the fixtures... maybe? or larger, statement pieces, stone elements, even glass tiles to reflect the light. I hope you find what you love, something that speaks to who you are, and the ambiance you want to evoke within your home, good luck!
October 8, 2012 at 4:18pm     
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Mary Ann Westendorf
I agree with Kaufman Homes Inc.! Find some artsy modern pendant lights that will replace the can lights. They will fill the space and afford additonal lighting for the stairway!
October 8, 2012 at 4:25pm     
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beth92058
A client of mine had 7 of these in her Great Room. She and her family had spent a lot of time in Central America doing mission work. She loved the art and lifestyle there, and LOVED bright colors, so she wanted her alcoves to reflect that. She also loved stained glass. Here is what we came up with for one side of the room. The other side had 4 additional alcoves and were done similarly.
October 8, 2012 at 4:55pm   
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
I like the Mosaic option Alicia posted. You could hang rug in between possibly.
October 8, 2012 at 5:00pm     
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tersteve
Very economical glass vases with curly willow. Got my vases from Home Goods and the willow from Pier 1. I like the subtle colors but you might need more contrast. You could use a large colored vase and darker willow.
October 8, 2012 at 5:04pm   
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finish consultant
- aviary diorama(s)
October 8, 2012 at 5:09pm     
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theresab55
Colorful murano glass scupture.
October 8, 2012 at 5:10pm   
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Interior Expressions/ Nardelli Home Decor
The glass sculptures would look nice.. something that would reflect & represent light/ good feng shui.
contrast paint colors give it a more contemporary feel.. however your light fixture and banister colors look very traditional. It needs to be colors that reflect your furnishings below to pull it off.


October 8, 2012 at 5:42pm     
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rawketgrl
Hi finish consultant, I love the idea of an aviary diorama! How original, would you happen to have any pictures of anything like that you could post?
October 8, 2012 at 5:45pm   
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semsavblanc
I think Japanese scrolls with ikebana or interesting japanese artifact, perhaps with tatami style mat. Something like this.
October 8, 2012 at 5:52pm   
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grammiex6
I would paint the alcove a deep color (ie: red, deep blue)....and put tall vases inside.............or, I would install black wrought-iron scrow-work to add interest.
October 8, 2012 at 6:25pm   
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Elise
You have light, so take advantage of it and hang some modern light sculpture/fixtures in there.
October 8, 2012 at 6:25pm   
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Elise
You have light, so take advantage of it and hang some modern light sculpture/fixtures in there.
October 8, 2012 at 6:25pm   
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Amanda
Either a tall vase with twigs, Sculptures, or stained glass.
October 8, 2012 at 6:56pm   
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Anne Tuckley
I would paint the insides and place a birch tree structure like I did on each side of this fireplace. It is nondescript, inexpensive, and stunning! Check out more on my Anne Tuckley HOME fan page.
October 8, 2012 at 6:59pm   
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Gia Lane
I would put either huge flora like large ferns, or other complimentary greenery. Or pottery, and other art but pull it forward so it's back lit and it's out of childrens reach!
October 8, 2012 at 8:31pm   
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finish consultant
-thinking of, allowing the outside in, effect. -branches would be nice, with at least one space (branches mitred) to simulate actual growth (en-captured by openings/alcoves)
and background(s) painted sky/blue, taxidermy bird(s), one in each, one in flight would be nice.
You could add (suggestion: typical) window frame (with muntins, non reflective glass) at inside drywall plane for lower maintenance, dust-free, and further suggest the outside / in, effect. Change out light switch to dimmer (rheostat), use frosted glass / acetate for 'diffuser' (set in suspended ceiling J channel painted, same blue).
October 9, 2012 at 12:03am   
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MEXICAN DESIGN ARCHITECTURE
FIRST I WOULD ADD A TEXTURE INSIDE THE BACK OF THE NICH...ALL WALLS
LOOK SO FLAT...
GRASS, FIBER. STONE...SOME NATURAL MATERIAL THEN IN CONTRAST I WOUL PUT LIKE SOME ONE SAID.... GREAT PIECE OF WOOD ( FOUND WOOD ) HILY POLISHED OR IN A CORAL RED COLOR...
AND PLEASE INSTALL INDIRECT LIGHT BEHIND THE PIECE YOU INSTALL...THEN U HAVE A COOL LOOK.....
October 9, 2012 at 12:29am     
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Paintings by Kirsten Elizabeth Gilmore
As a painter, I'm biased towards adding original paintings that are made to fit the space. Here, though, you have a unique opportunity to commission art that has a continuous image that is separated into separate parts, one part in each alcove.

The recessed lighting you have would be excellent to illuminate such artwork. You could even commission art that hangs slightly in front of the lighting so that the light shines through a painting designed with translucent colors. That would be a bit trickier to hang and you might lose the current recessed effect, though. Hanging art on the wall of the recess would be the easiest option.

The custom paintings could be made in whatever colors and style fit with your overall decorating scheme or just your taste in art. I'm including a photo of one of my own paintings below just to show you what I meant by a continuous image, separated into parts with each part as a new canvas.
October 9, 2012 at 8:51am   
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Corinne Madias
I Like mural idea but not ceramic tiles so much. More like greek stone mosaics with some reflective quality or crazy expensive wallpaper (england) since such small square footage. Gild the interior and hang crystal pendant lights.
October 9, 2012 at 9:16am   
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eureka79
Ditch the can lights and go for some unique crystal chandeliers!
October 9, 2012 at 3:33pm   
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cristihernandez
At the art fairs here in Florida you can find these beautiful glass blown balls.... These come in many different colors. Use fishing line(clear) and hang different sized balls at several heights inside the niche.. It would be a real conversation piece and will not be able to topple over.
October 9, 2012 at 3:40pm     
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pcmom1
Take inspiration from: the area you live in: beach or forest or field? Or from what you love: travel? A special place to inspire an art piece?
October 12, 2012 at 10:07am   
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olgahoney
October 12, 2012 at 2:46pm     
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