50 Alcove Cupboard and Shelving Ideas

When it comes to optimising space and adding a touch of elegance to your home, built in alcove cupboards and shelving are the perfect solution. These recessed spaces found in many homes, often go underutilised or become a challenge to decorate. Below are 50 alcove cupboard and shelving ideas for your living room inspired by our homeowners in London.

Before and Afters

50 Alcove Ideas

Beautiful blue built-in alcove cupboards with alcove floating shelves next to fireplace.

In this cosy living room of an Edwardian house, the focal point is a traditional fireplace, surrounded by newly fitted floating shelves and built-in alcove cabinets. 

Built in alcove bookshelf next to fireplace with shelving for books

In this lovely lounge, fitted bookshelves occupy the entire alcoves from floor to ceiling, providing ample storage space for their book collection. 

Built-in alcove cupboards and shelving in living room designed to store a drinks section and place vinyl's.

In this picture, the dining room is transformed into a stylish and functional entertainment space with two bespoke alcove units. 

Built-in alcove shelving with many books

Stylish alcove cupboards with shelving units.

Fitted alcove cabinets and shelving, made with MDF.

Blue alcove cupboards with 2 different colours

Built-in alcove cupboard with shelving unit

Built-in alcove cupboards and alcove shelving

Fitted alcove cupboard and TV unit

Custom-made alcove unit to store TV

Set of green alcove cabinets next to chimney.

In this family living room, a charming woodland feel pervades the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Built-in cabinets and floating shelves adorn the alcoves, serving as both storage solutions and decorative displays.

White alcove cupboards next to chimney breast with floating shelves

Mixing the old features with the new furniture = Harmony.

White built-in shelving unit in alcove unit in living room

In this room, a captivating blend of traditional charm and modern design elements creates a unique and visually striking ambiance. The historical Victorian-style room sets the stage with its timeless elegance and classic features.

2 white built in alcove cupboards beside chimney.

Tailor-made cabinets installed within the alcoves serve a practical purpose, neatly storing unsightly yet essential items out of sight. 

Pink alcove cupboards with floating shelves either side of fireplace

In many traditional houses, modern homeowners prefer the open plan rooms, so by removing a wall between two rooms you can still utilise the empty space in the alcoves. Take this client’s room, adjacent to the kids play room you can mirror the theme of alcove furniture and build display and storage options.

Fitted alcove cupboards with floating shelves on either side of chimney

Modern built in alcove cupboards with floating shelves next to fireplace.

Built in alcove shelving cabinet

Fitted shelving unit to store records and books.

White built in alcove cupboard with floating shelves with books

Whatever unique under-utilised space you have in a room – style it with fitted shelves and a cabinet for a more useful and helpful space for you. In this room, bespoke shelves and cabinets were fitted in this empty area next to the protruding chimney to fully utilise it fully.

Custom made cabinets and shelves for children's bedroom

In this children’s play room, there are fitted shelving units for books and storage cabinets for toys. By painting the bespoke furniture in the alcoves the same colour you get a uniform and clutter-free feel.


Utilising both alcoves with floating shelves gives you ample displaying options for books, plants, treasures and memories.

Fitted alcove blue cabinets on either side of chimney, made with MDF

Fitted bespoke shelving and cabinet units in the alcoves. Painting the furniture in the same colour as the walls means they naturally blend into the room.

Fitted left alcove cupboard and shelving alcove wardrobe on the right.

No matter your alcove space you can make it work! Take this bedroom for instance, a wardrobe on one side and a shelving unit and cabinet on the other side.

6 Alcove floating shelves and storage unit at the bottom

Create a modern yet artistic space for you to relax or create in. With these minimalistic style cabinets, they store all your needed items that need to be kept hidden whilst looking neat and orderly. Fitting LED lights in the alcove shelves helps brighten this feature wall.

Built-in alcove cupboard with 3 floating shelves to store books, plants and personal belongings next to fireplace. Built by Bespoke Carpentry London

Whether you have a traditional or more modern home, bespoke made-to-measure furniture built-in the empty alcoves allows you as a homeowner to invest in your home and help maximise your storage and display options.

Built-in alcove cupboards and shelving in living room, next to fire place

In this room, a transformation has occurred as a dividing wall has been removed, creating an open-plan living space. Bespoke made fitted shelves and cabinets now snugly fill the alcoves, maximising storage and display opportunities. The adjacent room also features matching fitted cabinets across the wall, mirroring the design of those in the main space.

Built in alcove cupboards with radiator covers

This welcoming living room exudes warmth and comfort. The hand-crafted floating shelves provide both functionality and charm. Just below the shelves are fitted cabinets featuring intricate wood lattice doors, adding texture to the room’s decor. 

Blue alcove cupboards next to fireplace. Built by carpenters at Bespoke Carpentry London

In this room, meticulous attention to detail is evident as every inch of space is utilised in the alcoves. On one side, two sets of cabinets, one below and one above, provide ample storage while accommodating a TV neatly placed atop the built-in cabinets. On the opposite side, four floating shelves are ingeniously fitted beneath a charming reading nook, maximising storage while maintaining a cosy atmosphere.

Fitted alcove shelving and dresser table

Here a sleek and functional storage unit doubles as a makeup dresser, offering both style and practicality. The bespoke unit features cabinets above and below, providing ample storage space for makeup and other essentials. Shelves in between offer additional organisation options, perfect for displaying beauty products or art pieces.

Built in alcove cupboard with 6 floating shelves next to chimney

In this living room, bespoke alcove shelving and cabinet units are seamlessly integrated, snugly fitting into the alcoves. The space is brought to life with the presence of vibrant plants, striking abstract art pieces, elegant vases, and a curated selection of books. These elements come together cohesively, adding depth and charisma to the room’s decor. The overall effect is stunning, evoking a sense of awe and admiration that makes anyone entering the room say “WOW!”

White alcove cupboard in alcove space to store vinyl records and TV

In this snug living room, floating shelves have been built into the alcoves flanking what was once a chimney breast, now serving as a mounting point for a large flat-screen TV. On one side of the alcove, the shelves seamlessly extend into the room, accompanied by cabinets below. A record player sits atop one of these cabinets, surrounded by a diverse collection of vinyl records displayed on the shelves. The room exudes a blend of modern entertainment technology with classic analog charm, creating an inviting and stylish space for relaxation and enjoyment.

Blue cupboard next to fireplace in living room with shelving

Two beautiful built in alcove cupboards and shelving unit in living room.

2 built in white alcove cupboards in living room

In this lounge/entertainment room, two newly designed and fitted cabinets are integrated into the alcoves, creating a sleek and cohesive look.The room emanates a sense of freshness and vibrancy, with its white walls providing a clean backdrop for the furnishings.

Built-in alcove cupboard with place to put TV unit

A hand-crafted small cabinet fitted securely in this alcove in the living room, provides a stylish storage solution. The cabinet is designed to keep the space clutter-free, with a TV situated at an angle on top, blending beautifully into the room. This bespoke feature creates a clean and organised environment, allowing for both practical functionality and style.

After installation picture of a built-in alcove cupboard

Are you utilising every space? Every nook and cranny? Consider fitting bespoke cabinets or bookshelves in the natural alcoves of a room as this can capitalise on more floor space and less clunky furniture. If you don’t want to make a big feature out of the newly fitted furniture, a top tip is to paint it the same colour as the walls for a more cohesive theme.

Built in alcove cupboard with 3 floating shelves next to piano.

In this room, alcoves have been cleverly utilised with custom-designed and fitted furniture. On one side, a cabinet with three fitted shelves serves as a showcase for trinkets, awards, and artwork, adding a personalised touch to the space.

Built in alcove cabinets

It’s all about symmetry. This clever usage of cabinets and a shelf helps this family to store all the children’s toys and display their books for a sleek and tidy lounge.

Built in alcove cupboard in the corner of the living room

In this picture, a small built-in cabinet nestled within an alcove catches the eye. Painted in a crisp white hue to blend with the skirting board, it adds a touch of brightness to the room. On top of the cabinet, an arrangement of picture frames adds a personal and decorative touch, showcasing cherished memories or artistic expressions.

Built-in alcove cupboards either side of fireplace with a shelving unit.

The living room is a hub of activity and often there is a question as to where to put the TV for best viewing. Here these clients used one alcove to secure the flatscreen TV and display their loved DVDs and cherished instruments on the opposite side.

Built-in corner alcove shelving unit. Designed by Bespoke Carpentry London

Calling all bookworms this is a reading corner to just fall in love with. By utilising the alcove and corner of this room with a bespoke bookshelf naturally draws you to this space to read and relax.

Bookcase alcove cabinets either side of fireplace

Painting the chimney breast a bold colour offsets the built in white furniture and makes it more into a feature wall. If your alcoves are not that deep then you can build the cabinets to maximise on storage space.

Two Alcove Cabinets either side of fireplace to store books and TV unit

Utilising the whole alcove space floor to ceiling and fitting shelves in them up to the coving offers you plenty of display room. Time to dust off those picture frames!

Fitted green alcove cabinets with floating shelves in living room

Fitted shelving and cabinets are a popular choice of furniture in the alcoves as they compliment each other and give you the best of both worlds – storage and display functions.

Made to measure blue alcove cupboard next to fireplace

If you have a living room with not a lot of floor space you can get creative like this and have one alcove for the settee and one for the storage unit to hide away any loose wires, DVDs and game consoles.

Green fitted alcove units in living room, made with MDF

Creating a feature wall with furniture is one way to do it. By having the rest of the room in a neutral colour, you can bring attention to the feature wall with books and plants.

2 blue fitted alcove cupboards with floating shelves

If you have limited rooms in your home and need to combine two room functions together, take advantage of the empty alcoves and install storage to save on floor space.

Built-in wardrobe and bookshelf in kids bedroom in alcove units.

In many traditional homes, the alcoves are a natural feature in bedrooms. Making use of these alcoves in this child’s bedroom with a wardrobe one side for storing clothing, shoes and bed linen and the other a bookcase full of their favourite books is a fantastic balance. Leaving the rest of the floor space for playing.

2 built in alcove cupboards

2 built in alcove cupboards 

White built-in alcove cupboards, next to chimney

Alcove cupboard and shelving unit in bedroom

Alcove cabinets either side of fireplace in living room

Here is an effortless way to create chic and sophisticated style with a pair of glass door cabinets, with shelves to store and display loved items or adult refreshments. Team that with wooden cabinets below to store the necessary but more unsightly objects. Affix candle holders with elegant candles on and et voilà a beautiful styled room.

Alcove Cupboards for Small Apartments:

  • In compact apartments, space optimisation is key. Alcove units can be customised to fit perfectly into small alcoves, providing valuable storage and display space. From fitted shelves to built-in desks with hidden compartments, alcove units can maximise storage while maintaining a minimalistic and uncluttered feel.

Alcove Cupboards for Victorian Homes:

  • Victorian homes often feature beautiful architectural details, including traditional fireplaces. Incorporating furniture alcove units into the open spaces beside the fireplace can complement the aesthetic while adding a contemporary twist. Consider installing a stunning bookcase or a display cabinet that seamlessly integrates with the period features, creating a harmonious blend of old and new.

Alcove Cupboards for Modern Interiors:

  • In modern homes, clean lines and simplicity are key design elements. Alcove units can be designed with sleek finishes and minimalist designs to complement the overall contemporary aesthetic. Consider installing floating shelves or a media unit with hidden wiring, providing a seamless and clutter-free look that enhances the modern appeal of your space.

Alcove Cupboards for Eclectic Homes:

  • If your home showcases an eclectic mix of styles and influences, alcove units can be a versatile addition. Use open shelves in your alcoves to display a collection of vibrant artwork, decorative objects, or plants. Mix and match different textures and materials to create a visually appealing and unique alcove unit that reflects your personal style.

Alcove Units for Home Offices:

  • As remote work continues to gain popularity, having a dedicated home office is becoming increasingly essential. Alcove units can be transformed into efficient and stylish workspaces by installing a built-in desk with ample storage options such as drawers, compartments, and cable management systems. This setup will help you create a functional and organised workspace within the confines of your alcove.

Alcove Units for  TV  Areas:

  • Alcoves adjacent to living rooms or entertainment areas can be utilised to create custom entertainment units. Consider installing a media centre with open shelves for displaying books or decorative pieces, along with concealed compartments for storing electronic devices and cables. This will keep your entertainment area organised while adding a touch of elegance to the room.

Furniture alcove units are a versatile and practical solution for all types of homes. Whether you live in a small apartment, a Victorian home, a modern space, or an eclectic abode, alcove units can be tailored to suit your style and functional needs. By transforming these often-neglected spaces into focal points, you can enhance the beauty and functionality of your home. So, explore the possibilities and unlock the potential of your alcoves with fitted alcove cupboards and shelving.