It’s funny that the very features that often attract people to Victorian-style homes are the ones they find most difficult to use. In a home, for instance, with lots of traditional fireplaces, it means you are left with various alcoves of differing sizes.

Before you start paying for that expensive bespoke joinery or try to find the furniture pieces that fit specifically in those awkward gaps, check out some of our tips for making use of these difficult areas in unique and interesting ways.

Create a Bar Area

Use a built-in shelving unit to create your own bar area in the alcove, where you can display your luxury drinks, decanters and glassware. This will be a great talking point for guests when you have dinner parties and other social gatherings.

Play Around With Size And Scale

The temptation with those big high-reaching walls can be to find the tallest furniture and fit it into the alcoves to make as much use of the available space as possible. However, it can be a good idea to think about the size and scale of the room’s fireplace and the room in general. For example, in a kid’s room, you don’t need to have imposingly large pieces and instead should have smaller, kid-friendly furniture along with a more simplistic mantelpiece compared to the one you might have in a dining room or family room.

Shelves Can Be Utilised to Link Different Spaces

If there have been walls removed in your home between two different rooms, such as the dining room and living room, you could use the alcove left behind that sits between the two chimney breasts to link the rooms. Install floating shelves as a bridge between the different rooms, which can also serve as a great way to display ornaments, family photographs or your favourite paintings.

Make A Cosy and Comfortable Reading/Relaxing Corner

If you have an alcove in a study or living room that you don’t know what to do with, you could try transforming it into a cost and comfortable little reading or relaxing corner. Having an area of chaos that follows some kind of order, can give a room a certain charm and warmth. Make good use of flowers, pictures, mementos of travels abroad and family occasions, along with magazines and books can help to create a special little corner just for you to enjoy.

Throw Caution To The Wind…Or Space And Leave Them Clear

Often, the best thing to do with alcoves is absolutely nothing at all. If your home already has enough storage in other places, you could give some rooms a more luxurious and spacious feel by leaving the alcoves clear. Not only that, but it turns that magnificently decorated fireplace that you have or the mirror on the wall of the chimney breast sing out more.

Alcoves needn’t be as tricky or awkward as you think they are. Sometimes, all it takes is thinking outside the box, or alcove, to find a great way to make use of these stunning architectural features.