wall niche in foyer
Photo: Laura Moss


In the good old days of ancient Rome, shallow wall recesses with scalloped arches were used to display classical urns or statues. Pleasing and practical, these architectural accents have been around ever since, from the reliquaries of Europe's grand Gothic churches to the wood-framed walls of America's Victorian houses. Today you can capture the same timeless charm by buying a preformed niche of dense foam from an online retailer and building it into a barren wall. To see how, follow along as senior technical editor Mark Powers creates a hole for the insert and mounts it in place using adhesive caulk. Then all you have to do is salvage a nice urn.

Shown: Nashville wall niche, about $191; invitinghome.com
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    Tools List

    • utility scissors
      Utility scissors
    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge, to mark cut lines between the lath pieces
    • utility knife
      Utility knife, to score the drywall
    • flat prybar
      Small pry bar
    • reciprocating saw
      Reciprocating saw, to cut any lath and plaster and to remove any obtrusive studs
    • circular saw
      Circular saw, to cut the 2x4 blocking
    • drill
      Drill/driver, fitted with a 1⁄8-inch drill bit
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. Niche
    Choose a dense polyurethane niche in a design that mimics surrounding moldings.

    2. Cardboard
    to create a template.

    3. Pole system
    (or painter's tape) to hold the plastic sheeting in place.4. Plastic sheeting

    5. Painter's tape
    to secure plastic around work window.

    6. Adhesive caulk

    7. Paint