Using Your Home’s Original Features The Smart Way

by Editor on April 29, 2013

California Casual Home Theater

Although homes with character are preferred by many, it also tends to be a drawback since this means that the house have original features. While original features enhance the place’s personality and makes it unique, it’s not always ideal if you want to add more space and make your interior more functional.

It sometimes takes a creative approach to deal with irregular features that make your home unique and to make them work for you from a convenience perspective as well as from a visual perspective.

Consider some of the following features that cause people problems from time to time:

Chimney breasts and recesses

Newly built homes don’t always have chimney breasts and the recesses that come with them because they are designed to rely exclusively on central heating. However, you don’t have to go far back in the history of housebuilding to find examples of houses that have fireplaces and chimney breasts as prominent features. When they’re designed well, they look great, but the recesses pose an issue.
How can you use the recesses to your advantage? The best way of using recesses is to have shelves fitted into them, perhaps to even out the wall along the chimney breast itself. However, it’s hard to find readymade furniture to fit, in which case it’s worth getting professional fitters in.


Alcoves present exactly the same problem in the sense that they are portions of space that have loads of potential for storage but whose dimensions often work against you. Professional fitters usually have the answer because they can obviously design cabinets and shelving according to your specs. Otherwise, alcoves and recesses are good places for freestanding features like mirrors, musical instruments, house plants and so on. You can even lean framed art prints in the space for an informal but stylish look.

Bay windows

Bay windows are lovely because of the way they permit extra light and break up the uniformity of squared-off interiors. The only trouble with bay windows is that they are not always rectangular and even corner units are difficult to fit up against them. Fitted furniture is again an option and many people choose to square off the wall below the bay and perhaps create a cushioned platform in front of the window hiding some extra storage.

Sloping ceilings

Sloping ceilings are a common issue in loft conversions and extensions, but they do crop up from time to time in other spaces. Again, they’re fantastic at bringing character to spaces, but just try fitting a readymade window neatly into a loft conversion! It’s not an easy task. Building wardrobes in place generally solves the issue. The only alternative is to use any vertical walls to place furniture against but these are the only options for mirrors and wall art, so you run the risk of wasting their potential to add more character.

About the Author

Developer Jim Jackson often uses bespoke couture furniture to make original features more functional without losing their character.

photo by: PascalSijen

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