Alcove cabinets offer practical storage and greatly improve the somewhat lumpy traditional Victorian chimney breast. In many cases there will have been fitted cupboards and shelves in the past but they have been taken out. Adding alcove cabinets will usually be less expensive and far less problematic than taking out a chimney breast.
This array of alcove cabinets is in a big high ceiling drawing room with gorgeous plasterwork. This is a setting where understatement just doesn’t cut it. So the alcove cabinets are big with bold detailing. However, we don’t want to lessen the impact of the coving so we leave a clear space above the bookcase and cap it with a fairly simple moulding.
The homeowners have made an excellent choice of colour here. The dark blue of the cabinets and walls highlights the beautiful original plasterwork and skirtings.
Alcove cabinets: storage
All the technology apart from the TV is hidden behind the far left drawerfront which flaps down to allow access. We made the drawers the right depth to take DVDs. In the future people may not use that form of media so much – with all data and entertainment stored on a server. But they’ll still be useful drawers.
This room (with work in progress) in a 1930s house is smaller with a lower ceiling. The homeowners had decided to replace the coving throughout the room. This gave us the opportunity to bring the cabinetry right up to ceiling level and have the new coving fitted across the front of the cabinets. Result: it looks as though the cabinets are original features – they’ve always been there.
Notice also the freize panel which shows off the simple but elegant coving and gives a suitable mounting for the light fitting. The random shelves can be reconfigured to accommodate any size of display piece.