Recessed wall niches are a versatile way to add depth and gallery-level flair to any space. Traditionally mounted in tall, slender curves, they're now available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any design scheme.
They're also a safe and convenient place to display fragile objets d'art, and are an excellent accent along a staircase or hallway.
You can make a recessed niche yourself with wood lath and plaster, or use preformed molds for the perfect classical or historical style. Regardless of the material, though, you'll need to create a hole in the wall for the recess.
To ensure that your recessed niche
doesn't swallow the entire wall, use a cardboard template to create a cutout with only the recessed portion. This way, you'll be able to remove the lath and plaster without damaging the walls around it.
If you prefer a more permanent and waterproof solution, you can use a sheet membrane for the niche, but it should be cut a little larger than needed to allow for the thickness of the thinset that you'll apply. Liquid waterproofing is another option, but you will need to apply a thick coat of it over the entire niche before installing.
A contrasting paint color is a great way to elevate a recessed niche. You can go for a bright solid color, or an accent color that will make the decorative parts pop.