When I moved into my house in Los Angeles after growing up in New York, one of the things that most excited me were the built in storage cubbies in older homes. Shelves tucked into walls, cubbies that housed ironing boards. Here's a look at some homes that have turned these oddities into useful spaces.

  • Laure's Constant Change: A nook that probably once served to hold a telephone and its accoutrements (do you still keep a telephone book or does it go right into the recycling bin?) was turned into a desk in Laure's old home.
  • Heather's Bungalow: LA isn't the only city that sports built-in ironing board cupboards in older homes. Heather, over in Chicago, turned hers into a spice cupboard with the addition of narrow glass shelves and some pretty awesome jars.
  • Rene's Bright & Sunny Artistic Home: Even if you use it in the most obvious way, for storing a collection, take a cue from Rene and think of the nook as a built in frame. Here, the asymmetrical arrangement of her pottery stands in for the expected piece of art.