Help your Home Multitask by adding Nooks and Alcoves

4 min read Right now, our houses have to do double and triple duty. Help your home multitask by adding in alcoves, nooks, and creating space around your activities!

So … it looks like we may be social distancing for a lot longer than we initially signed up for while we wait for our public health apparatus to catch up with the virus. That means, its time to make sure we have some good systems in place.  Here’s how you can make your home multitask for you to fill the functions of office, school, play area, and its regular daily uses, as well!

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how we can make small space work overtime to serve many purposes. I’ve returned to the design classic A Pattern Language and today I pull from it to share some classic Christopher Alexander ideas on how to use Alcoves to make your home more pleasant to hang out in from day to day.

Learn some design tricks to make more different types of space in your next remodel including: oriel bay widows, lower ceiling heights over side alcoves, and how to plan “S” shaped walls to make a private niche for the room on each side.

But if you need some ideas you can put in place TOMORROW to make your home multitask for all the needs of your whole family then I’ve got some practical advice for that too!

flatlay of free pdf download: how to  help your home multitask with nooks and alcoves

Help your Home Multitask: Create Nooks

Here are the ingredients of a great DIY nook you can make out of things found around your house:

Find a comfortable seat

You want one that is either well upholstered or shaped to conform to your body. It should support both good posture, and comfy slouching.  This might be an easy chair or even a small sofa.  If you’re raiding the basement for beat up cast offs, you can do some temporary dressing up with a sheet or blanket and a colorful throw pillow. 

Grab a Small Table

If you are going to stick around for a while, you woant somewhere other than the floor to set down your mug, book, and/or device.  This will both be handy while you’re there and let you leave a few things in place to entice you back tomorrow.  This surface or another can also serve  aplace to prop up your feet. – Again for casual souching. 

Find a good source of light 

This not just the overhead light in the room. Bring a floor lamp, suspend a pendant from the ceiling, or clip a lamp to a nearby shelf … you want directional “task light” that you can point at your work or reading surface.  In the evening a single lit area becomes a space in itself. 

During day, a hangin pendant light (or potted plant) can substitue for a lowered ceilign to create a feeling of smaller space.  

You’ll want a Power Source

We live in a plugged in world. You want to set up near an outlet or frankly, just plan to run an extension cord. If you have to get up, and move to charge devices, your nook won’t last long. In an ideal world you’d have a spare USB cord to leave by every reading spot in your whole house. 

Don’t forget Storage

If you’re doing any work in your nook, designate a shelf, box or other spot to put all the necessarythings away when you pause for lunch of the end of the day.  Extra points if you can to easily transportthem elsewhere to move from one owrking spot to another.  At the very least, having a designated spot for paperwork or extra cords means you’ll know where to find them when you come back.

Surround yourself with something

All these things are items you collect from around the house.  The last ingredient is where you set up.  Try to set your nook into a corner or tuck it under an overhang or low ceiling.  You might cozy up to a window –  even a shaft of light in a dim room helps.   If you have a folding screen or vertical space divider that can also help pout.  Create a safe feeling of being enclosed!

Grab the free handy pdf guide right here for more sketches and ideas.

In today’s episode you’ll hear …

  • That the Ready To Remodel course is coming back, again! Sign up on the waitlist to make sure you get first notice when I open enrollment! [1:25]
  • A preview of what’s coming up on the podcast in the next few weeks [2:25]
  • A run down of Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein’s A Pattern Language and how it can guide us to create human centered spaces [5:15]
  • What you need to really make your home multitask for you by creating nooks and alcoves with things you already have around the house [9:25]
  • How to create an creative evening cuddle-up space out of light [10:56]
  • What to consider when planning a remodel or addition to make sure that you have a variety of spaces to make the most of your square footage [13:17]

Listen now on

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Resources to help your Home Multitask Mentioned in this Episode