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Architectural Detail: Alcoves
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Architectural Detail: Alcoves

What is an alcove?

I googled it (as any knowledge seeker in the 21st century would) and it is basically defined as a recessed area of a room. Wikipedia says that it customarily has pillars, curtains, or something that defines the space as being recessed from the rest of the room. After pictures and personal research I have found that there is a lot more to it from a design perspective.

An alcove can be functional, convenient, or just cozy. In terms of functionality most of us can think of an alcove as a booth in the interior design of a restaurant. Sometimes they are recessed and contain a table and the seating for that booth. It allows for a secluded space within an otherwise public restaurant. Also it can allow for more space in the restaurant and more efficient serving.

As far as convenience goes an alcove can store an ottoman, tv stand, bookshelves or a bench which would otherwise take up more space in a room. In this case we can free up floor space. especially if we have precious little space to begin with. It can also just contain a wall where we hang our favorite piece of art or an area for that awesome sculpture we purchased. In interior design alcoves are often used for this reason. Especially if they are preexisting and not something you added later on as part of a new residential architecture design. In some instances alcoves are added to the renovation of a room for convenience reasons. Normally as an area to store books or a telephone and message center. Sometimes even a small office space can fit into the residential architecture design plan.

My favorite use of alcoves is when they are used to add a cozy space to a room. In this case I have seen some alcoves that go all out. I have seen them as recessed window seats, areas for a couch to sit, reading nooks and even loft areas which require a ladder to access. These alcoves are like little getaways in the interior design of a house and since they are recessed in the room they add a degree of privacy. When considering all the different residential interior design ideas this would definitely be a favorite of mine.

So there you have it. You learned a new word and feature today. The alcove is definitely some thing to consider the next time you remodel your home. You may even already have some in the residential architecture design of you home now. You can now throw the word around in conversation since you know what it means. (Not that it would've stopped you from using it before!)

The attached image is an example of an alcove.


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