Nooks and niches

Architekten Innauer Matt - Haus für Julia und Björn

We seem to be obsessed with niches. We can’t talk about a bathroom remodel, shower design or even colors in the interior, without mentioning those practical little pieces of space. What’s so special about them?

To tell you the truth, niches helped us every time we designed an apartment in an old building. In the past, buildings needed thick walls for structural reasons. To leave a niche in the wall was a great way to save on building material, and to build a lighter structure. Also, it was a great way to help out future architects and interior designers!

You see, we often had to deal with rooms that are too small, and we were not able to fit a closet, or a desk, or a night stand. We once designed a bathroom so small, even water heater couldn’t fit. And almost every time there was a niche – just hanging around, with nothing to do. Those niches carved into old walls are so chic. Hop over to our Pinterest board if you don’t believe us.

But often, they are just lucky coincidences. Even though seizing the opportunities is a good idea, lucky coincidences are not really what interior design is about.

Interior design is about creating charming spaces. Creating warm, inviting ambiance inside of an apartment (also outside of the apartment). And yes, creating cozy nooks that welcome you to sit and stay for a while.

We love the fact that such a tiny space can have a relevant function.

Home inspiration | home office nook | workspace niche by the window
Maayan Zusman & Amir Navon – Bauhaus apartment, Tel Aviv // photo: © 181 Architecture photography

How amazing is this? A window sill is a standard element, and yet, it’s usually half-utilitarian, half-decorative. We love this creative way to also make it functional. It is easy to imagine someone working on their laptop as well as simply relaxing in this nook.

When you think about it, one square meter is very valuable. Just remember how much it cost you when you were buying your place. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have unused areas in your apartment? But please, don’t confuse unused with intentionally empty, free space.

Nooks and niches: Architekten Innauer Matt - House Feurstein
Architekten Innauer MattHouse Feurstein // photo: © Adolf Bereuter

It is always a good idea to add an additional function to something. Like when you were a kid – if you had a pot, sometimes it was also your hat. Kids are smart. Our favorite little girl, who lives in this room, has a cardboard rocket ship that’s sometimes her house. Don’t you see how practical that is? She can go into space – you know, if she has to. But if she feels like chilling, that’s ok too. She’ll just stay at home. She doesn’t need a rocket ship AND a house because she knows she can’t be in two places at the same time.

Window sill turned home office is just one out of many, many possibilities.

Home inspiration | nook by the window | a cozy living room idea
Studio RazaviHouse for Photographer // photo: © Olivier Martin Gambier
Nooks and niches: Maayan Zusman & Amir Navon + mentored design graduate Eilat Dar - Airy and Open apartment, Tel Aviv
Maayan Zusman & Amir Navon + mentored design graduate Eilat Dar – Airy and Open apartment, Tel Aviv // photo: © 181 Architecture photography
Nooks and niches: Terry and Terry architecture - Bal House
Terry and Terry architectureBal House // photo: © Bruce Damonte

You have to admit there is something magical about these window frames. But also notice how amazing are these windows. Everything here is a result of great concepts and creative ideas that became reality through carefully designed details.

However, it’s almost impossible to do something like that during apartment remodel, but maybe you could think about creating one in a big built-in storage unit.
Aren’t these nooks just as great?

Architekten Innauer Matt - Haus für Julia und Björn
Architekten Innauer MattHaus für Julia und Björn // photo: © Adolf Bereuter *featured photo
Home inspiration | window nook | cozy living room idea
Bower architecture – Kate’s house // photo: © Shannon McGrath

Inviting and cozy. Also practical and space-saving. How could we not be obsessed with niches?

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