We’ve already talked about creating the bathroom of my dreams – the green and pink tile are truly iconic. But just as important as the tile to cultivating my European spa vibes is the niche wall. It’s elegant but not fussy, stylish but not too modern, and with the ability to swap out decorations as I please, it can grow with my taste and any way I choose to redecorate.

But a niche wall doesn’t just have to be in a bathroom. It can work anywhere you want to liven up a blank wall with some dimension and decor. Wall niches not only serve as eye-catching decorative elements, but also offer practical storage solutions. Whether you’re aiming to enhance your bathroom’s ambiance or elevate your living room’s aesthetics, I’m here to help you get started building and decorating the niche wall of your dreams. 

Let’s get to the inspo. 

How to Build a Wall Niche

Before diving into the construction and decoration phases, think long and hard about where you want your niche wall. There are a lot of elements to consider, including how you want to use the niches, what you want to put in them, and whether you want to use the niches often or if you want the wall to just serve as a spot for some static decoration. 

The location should complement the room’s layout and aesthetics while considering its functional purpose. For instance, a bathroom wall niche can be a convenient spot for toiletries, while a living room wall niche can display art or collectibles. All of these elements will influence the shape, size, and height of your niches, as well as how many your wall contains.

Once you’ve chosen the location, meticulous planning and precise measurements are crucial…if you want to be really perfect. I actually tend to measure with my heart instead. For this, I drew out the niches on the wall with a permanent marker. But if you want to be precise, measure the area you intend to recess carefully, considering the shape and size of the wall niche. Take into account any structural elements, like plumbing or electrical wires, that may be behind the wall to avoid any surprises during construction.

If you’re building multiple niches at once like I did, make sure you consider the way the shapes all work together as a whole. It helps to draw them out on paper beforehand. Better yet, print out a picture of the wall, including its surroundings, and draw out the shapes on the photo to see how they fit with the rest of the room. For shapes, pull inspiration from the decor you want to use, art you have in the room, or inspiration pics you find online. 

Making the Cut

The process of building a niche wall takes several steps. As with all my blogs, this is more of an inspiration guide than anything else. Please do further research for step by step instructions. Either way, the first step is cutting the opening. Using a drywall saw, carefully cut out the opening for your wall niche. Be sure to follow your measurements (or marker lines) and take it slow to avoid damaging the surrounding wall.

Next, you’ll frame out the shape of your niche using plywood or MDF boards. You can also use a premade insert for difficult shapes like arches. Then, cover the interior of the niche with drywall and seal the seams with joint compound. 

If you’d like to enhance the aesthetics of your wall niche, consider adding decorative molding around the opening. This will give it a polished and elegant look. For my niche wall, I chose to add texture to give it that European feel. 

How to Decorate a Wall Niche

Now that your wall niche is built and ready, it’s time to decorate.

 In a living room or hallway, your wall niches can showcase art pieces, sculptures, or decorative items that reflect your personality and taste. In the bathroom, your niche wall can serve as a stylish and functional storage space for toiletries, candles, a sculpture, or even a small vase of flowers. In a home office or library, use your niche wall to anchor a cozy reading nook with your favorite titles and a comfortable chair.

If you want to add a light element, consider adding LED strip lighting inside the niche to set the mood. Warm lighting creates an inviting ambiance, and works beautifully to highlight art or collectibles.

If you aren’t sure where to start, check out the highlight on my Instagram to see how I decorated mine, then head to Pinterest for some more inspo. Think about colors, art, photos and shapes that will help bring together the vibe you want for the room. 

Whether you opt for a bathroom wall niche, a living room focal point, or a cozy reading nook, your niche wall is sure to add a unique flair to any space. Measure with your heart (or don’t) consider shapes, size and utility, and decorate with the vibe in mind. You’ll have a beautiful (and functional) niche wall in no time.