Bespoke Alcove Units

Either full height or base units with floating shelves. Built on site to the clients specific requirements.

Traditional or modern, full height or divided, alcove units are extraordinarily adaptable.

"Alcove units are versatile, elegant and serve a multi-functional purpose. To achieve this I build on site to your specific requirements. Above all, alcove units enhance a 'feature wall’ and provides valuable storage space in a base unit. Should your preference be to just have base units, do consider having floating shelves above."

NickThe Ealing Carpenter

Floating shelves versus full height unit

Firstly, a full height alcove unit has the shelves built in, which affords you space for your photos, books and ornaments. Secondly, when taking a little time with the design you will make the very most of your space. Thirdly, a full height unit will hide flaws in your wall. On the other hand, floating shelves does leave the wall exposed. You can negate uneven or cracked plaster by having the wall skimmed before you start the build. It will enhance the overall effect as properly scribed in shelves become part of the wall. Are you considering exposing the brickwork for that rustic look? If so skimming is unnecessary. If not, look at your walls first and decide if you can live with them.

Alcove Units on Pinterest

Pinterest is a great online catalogue of ideas. If you spend a little time exploring the site and look at other projects, you will certainly find examples of what you like and what will work for your individual needs. Ultimately, it also helps me as the styles, angles, beading, colours etc., can be incorporated in your design. Remember, I can adapt and adopt all of your ideas to create your furniture.

  • They can be finished in a neutral colour.
  • Painted to blend with your feature wall.
  • Finished in natural wood to match other furniture in your room.
  • Or even a combination of painted and natural wood.

Just for your living room…?

If you don’t have an existing alcove, I can create free standing units to be used in other rooms. In your child’s bedroom it provides storage for games and shelves for their books. Further, the unit will evolve as the child grows. When the child is young I can finish the unit with fun and bright colours. These can be ‘toned down’ as tastes change. Are you working from home? A unit can be made to fit a space and is ideal to store files, documents and a laptop. Ultimately, when the working day concludes you can store away the paraphernalia and have your home back again.

For some examples of home office storage cabinet, click here.

Whatever your ideas, I am happy to discuss your requirements and quote a sensible price to design and build the perfect alcove unit/s for your living room, bedroom or your home office.

“A quintessential alcove unit evokes the spirit of bygone periods or delivers a modern feel to your living space.”

Indigo wall and matching base units with solid wood top and 6 floating shelves. Image acts as a link to more information and images.

Base Unit

With natural wood floating shelves.

"A contemporary living room build blending the dominant wall colour with the natural wood furniture. I created solid pine floating shelves - which is replicated as the top surface of the base units - by staining and varnishing the wood. The successful effect was to match other furniture in the room. The clients requested that the colour of the feature wall was replicated on the base units. To hide unsightly leads to the television, I chased out channel in the wall. In order to harmonise the build the skirting board was surface mounted across both base units and in front of the fire place. As a result, this helped give the build a feeling it was already part of the home."
White media base unit with pronounced skirting board trim. Doors mounted on cabinet hinges. Image acts as a button to another example of the image.

Media Base Unit

Traditional doors with beading and skirting board set forward.

"A media base unit provides two main functions; gives you the storage you need whilst allowing you remote control access to your independent television consoles. The space is dictated by the the largest device. In this build the doors are surface mounted and vertically inline with the skirting board. As a result it gives the unit the impression of being sturdy and accentuates the rooms natural lines. For a touch of elegance, the doors are mounted on hidden cabinet hinges and door handles are being sought to match the existing sideboard. The overall effect is traditional with a modern feel."
Contemporary media base unit with landscape shaker doors all in white. Image acts as a button to further images of the same project.

Contemporary Media Base Unit

Surface mounted shaker style doors with rebated skirting board.

"With no natural lines to dictate the height of your base unit, the next question I ask is "for what purpose does the unit serve?" With this build the media unit was solely a glorified television table. The clients have a very deep luxurious sofa. The unit needed to be low for a more comfortable eye-line to the screen experience. With wide alcoves the doors retained a landscape profile and were made as clean surface mounted 'shaker style' with hidden cabinet hinges and 'push to open' catches. The top of the units were substantial to match the floating shelves above."

Full Length Alcove Units

To be painted white.

"If your room contains many of the original features - high ceilings, ornamental cornice and an open fire place, then the full length alcove units will stand proud 'like sentries' to the hearth. With the television to be remounted on the wall above the fire surround there was no need to include a media unit to the side. As the alcoves were similar in height, width and depth, this guaranteed a symmetry with the units. The fire place opening was absent of a mantel, so I designed the units and the mantel to match both in height and detail. The skirting board was a newer addition to the room and I chose to set it back under the base units, which are inline with the wooden surround. This subtly helped to make the full height seem proportional. I combined beading with routered lines to further define the classical look. A couple of additional features included 2 drawers above the cupboards and lighting in the form of LED down spots via a power lead concealed behind the units and fed from the sockets inside the base units."

Full Length Alcove Units

Cornice to be cut in.

"When your home has wide alcoves it can disrupt a naturally pleasing door ratio size. Doors tend to be portrait or landscape (3:4 or 4:3). With this build having two doors per unit would have resulted in square doors (4:4), which - when sketching to proportions - seemed plain-featured to both the client and myself. The sensible compromise for aesthetics was simply to add an additional door and create 3 portrait style doors with close to a 3:4 ratio. Although the client requested 'shaker style' they also were keen to incorporate additional beading. The effect resulted in a pleasing extra detail - maintained the depth of middle plate, raised beading inside the external standard frame. Without a conventional fireplace, the chimney breast wall housed a radiator. Initially, the client had ordered a radiator cover and I was to build two standalone units. As there would not have been a practical space between the side of the cover and the base units, I suggested we continue the lines by merging the units with the radiator cover and have a continuous practical surface across the rooms width."

Stand Alone Storage Units

Alcove units without an alcove...?!

"Stand-alone units are built to make the most of your space. Therefore, when alcoves don't exist other factors of the room can determine size. This build was for a clients' home-office in their loft conversion. The annexe was just about head height (I'm only 5'10") with steep gables. It is too small for any real practical use other than storage. As a consequence, I took the natural crease - where the gable meets the vertical wall - giving me approximately 800mm in which to fit the top of the units. As the modules were primarily to store box folders and ring binders, I was able to make the carcasses with shelves thus doubling the potential storage. However, having doors on the last opening would have been compromised owing to the placement of the radiator. As a result, I used adjustable book brackets for shelves and left the last cabinets without doors. It created a adaptable space for the clients' to store their professional reference books. By giving the units a large top surface, it helps keep the room light whilst supplying additional space for photos, ornaments and awards."

If you have a bay window, why not make the most from this space with a seat…?

To book a free consultation and to discuss your ideas.