This raised day bed sits off the Master Bedroom, and features a large window and raised platform to provide a promontory view out over the bedroom. It's a quiet, private place to relax without having to be in bed.
As an architect, I enjoy the challenge of delving into different styles, materials and techniques for various projects. Each home I do is individualized, based on the client's vision and my creative input. Though I believe in complete customization, I very often like to integrate some sort of alcove or nook into each plan. While it may not seem like an obviously important design component of a home, it is a special, private space that I think everyone should have the joy of experiencing.
I first became enamored with the idea of the romanticized inlet while living in Spain. The Europeans love these whimsical design elements that provide solace and contemplation. There is something so appealing about a small, cozy alcove that invites one in to retreat. Whether that means relaxing with a book, taking a nap, writing in a journal, enjoying a view, or sharing a cup of tea and a good conversation with a close friend, it is a small scaled, personal place for comfort and reflection.
While a nook is its own entity, with an independent host of walls, flooring and ceiling, it isn't intended to isolate, like a room might. It traditionally has no doors and is tangential to the rest of the home, allowing one to stay connected to the core and heartbeat of the house. My nooks often reside just off of a main room, like a living room or master bedroom, and are typically set higher than the rest of the room it is in to permit an overview while in a reclining position.
There are a few elements I often try to incorporate when designing an alcove:
- Great location for a view and/or connection to the rest of the house
- Raised platform with steps leading up to the space in order to look out and over
- Windows for viewing out and natural light
- Day bed for comfort
- Book shelves for easy reading access and photos of loved ones
- Framed opening, either cased or arched to create a sense of intimacy
- Lower ceilings to bring the scale down
These alcoves, just off the living rooms, are designed for ultimate views. In the nooks, a window looks out to the front yard, while a view through the living room window leads to the vistas beyond.
This large nook is built around the main window in the room, which looks out to a yard. A daybed sits in the corner, welcoming an after-meal snooze.
This outdoor nook is the on the deck of a home in Southern Spain. It is the ideal spot on a quiet sunny or shady day (depending on the time of day) for retreating and sipping coffee while enjoying a good read.