When most people think of niche in straw bale walls, they picture the flat bottom, arched top nook with a statue or flower pot in it. I love that look myself and have made many of them. Recently, I had a workshop host who wanted something sweeter in their bedroom: a niche of a different shape. The heart niche was the result of that idea. Made in the same steps as a typical niche, there’s nothing terribly different about it other than the shape.
What I want you to gather from this blog entry is that the only limitation to the niche you install in your project is your imagination. If you can think about it, you can most likely create it. That’s a great advantage of working with straw and plaster. So have it! Have fun and create beautiful things!
One thing that I have done in the past which can be fun is to combine a truth window with the niche. As an example, the heart niche here would have a glass back to it which would reveal the magic of the bale construction. It’s a cool way to bring some depth to any niche. Throw a couple built in shelves into the assembly and now you’ve got a useful and beautiful addition to the home.
Another niche of a different shape that I loved was a workshop participant who added a custom niche to his wall that perfectly held a baling needles. He had build a wood shop, and the needle was an important part of that build. He gave it a place of honoring in the wall and it looked really neat. Again, it’s all about imagination. In fact, I just finished another workshop where the host asked for a niche to be cut into the wall to allow her to recess her toilet paper holder in the bathroom. That was a first for me and although not a niche of a different shape (it was a simple rectangle), it was a different use for a niche!
Remember: Have Fun With It! You can learn even more about creating a niche of a different shape in our comprehensive How-To Instruction Video Series. It contains over 10.5 hours of top-notch, professional quality instruction on everything from foundations, to framing, to baling (post and beam and load bearing), to plaster. You even get a FREE set of the Mountain View Cabin construction plans with your purchase. All for only $40 and it’s delivered instantly to your inbox.