Your home is hiding hundreds of square feet of potential storage space. Utilizing this organizational bonanza is as simple as removing a modest-size rectangle of drywall to reveal the hollow space between wall studs, and adding a shelving niche.
Although the available space is shallow, a between-the-studs shelving niche 14 inches tall offers almost one-third cubic foot of storage—enough for decorative display items or more than 50 CDs. A between-the-studs shelving and storage niche also preserves valuable floor space, since it eliminates the need for freestanding storage.
You’ll need moderate DIY skills and a basic knowledge of framing to build your own recessed wall niche. Once you’ve located studs with a stud finder and made sure the wall cavity is void of wires, plumbing, or air ducts, frame the opening and finish it with drywall or other materials, such as beaded board, then add shelving. Cost: $17 to $35, for a 14x36-inch niche.
Various sizes of prebuilt recessed wall niches are available in wood as well as less expensive polyurethane units. These units are customized to perform a range of storage tasks, including serve as a medicine cabinet, a home bar and as a shower niche. Cost: $90 to $500.
With four home renovations to her credit, Jan Soults Walker is a devotee of improvements, products, and trends for the home and garden. For 25 years she’s written for a number of national home shelter publications, and has authored 18 books on home improvement and decorating.