Thursday, March 5, 2015

Micro Design: Wall Niches

Until I got into the business of renovating, I used to associate niches with stately homes, in pre-Edison times, where Florence Nightingalesque women in diaphanous nightgowns would set their candelabra while looking out over their moonlit estate. Granted, they all wouldn't be in diaphanous robes, but sometimes my mind is dirtier than a basement in progress. 

These days builders give you very little architectural details while taking all of your money. When building spaces, I like to create architectural features when the opportunity arises. 

RoseHurst Home>>

Here, in cladding a pillar, I added a pass through niche, in which I elevated a single branch of a birch tree. The branch was from the tree in my yard. The base was cut from a 2 x 8, relieved with a 15 degree angle and the upright is a nine inch nail recovered from an eaves through job.

East Mall Home>>

In this case, a solid cinder block pillar necessitated building a dummy wall. This allowed us to recess a small display niche for some of the homeowners curios.

Fenwick Home>>

Here, an opportunity arose to have three niches built. Look at this post for the science behind the numbers.

Beckwith Home>>

In this case, the location and proximity to the TV, inspired me to recess the homeowner's A/V equipment into the wall itself. Though not technically a niche, and more of a cabinet with a door, this employs the same thinking as the above niches.

As always, I add lighting to these niches. This allows the objects d'art or common crap to be elevated into the design firmament.

Let's not forget the more functional washroom niches that I insist on building in every shower cubicle. In the past I've seen shampoo bottles (I live with three women) line the tub, line the floor, set on a rusted corner stand and hung on a caddy from the shower head. Let's not fool ourselves. They are all crappy options. The most elegant solution, is the wall niche.
I usually build mine out of the direct line of fire i.e. away from the water spray and on the same wall of the shower controls. The niches all slope down one degree and mitigate the destructive effect of standing water. Your shampoo looks nice all lined up, no rust stains from some piece of junk, no strained back from bending down to pick up that bottle.

East Mall Home>>

RoseHurst Home>>

Beckwith Home

Cloverdale Home>>

And don't forget, I can build them as big as you want......


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