The Property Brothers Shed Light On A Dated Home Feature That's A Dust Magnet

If you have an old house, you might have a recessed shelf in the wall in the kitchen or another room that you're not quite sure what to do with. The recessed shelf, called a pot shelf, or more broadly, a wall niche, is an old feature designed to hold pots and pans but it can also serve as an additional storage space. It is typically high up and hard to reach, however, which is why the Property Brothers call it a dust collector.

Wall niches have always been around but they've changed over time. Nowadays, they come in the form of small recessed spaces in the shower to hold bath products or in the living room wall to display decor pieces. The pot shelf specifically is a more dated feature that doesn't really fit into modern designs. It is often very large, deep, and awkwardly placed near the ceiling, making it impractical to use on a regular basis. Coupled with the fact that it is very susceptible to dust accumulation, it is usually better to fill it in and adopt better storage solutions.

Alternatives to this feature

For pot storage, there are many modern storage solutions. You can attach a pot rack to the ceiling that's open, lean, and easy to access from the ground. Of course, this depends on the ceiling height. There are also pot racks that can be mounted to the wall or installed in the drawer. A wall-mounted rack will be much more accessible than a ceiling rack, while a pull-out drawer rack will help save space and keep the pots out of sight. Pottery Barn sells a sleek, modern, wall-mounted pot rack for $199. It comes in black or white. Home Depot sells a maple wood pull-out organizer for $93.

If you love the look of wall niches in general, consider installing smaller, lower ones because they will be easier to access and maintain. Recessed shelves and cabinets give a much better look in a modern kitchen and you can fit them around the wall studs. Beyond the kitchen, like the living room or dining room, you can spice up your wall decor by adding a few of those arched niches that went viral on TikTok.

Fill it or clean it

The most helpful route for dealing with this dated home feature will be to fill it in with drywall. To DIY, you'll have to remove any wooden box installed in the nook and measure for the vertical studs that will be going in there. Install the beams, attach the drywall panel, and cover the edges with a mud compound and tape. Cover the whole patch with the compound, sand it, and prime and paint over it. 

You might also be able to reduce the size of the pot shelf to get a smaller, more manageable wall niche. To do this, cover up only a portion of the hole so you're left with a smaller surface area. In the case that you might not be able to fill in your wall niche at all, it's important to know how to clean and maintain it. One trick that you can use to dust this hard-to-reach spot is to tie a microfiber cloth to the end of a broom so you can reach it properly.