We made over an empty nook in our living room into a reading nook with a wood plank wall.
When we moved into our house there was one thing about our living room that bugged me (besides the tile). It was the inset in the wall next to the fireplace. Our guess is the home builder intended the TV to go into this space because there is an outlet for the cable and a plug on the wall but for some reason I was just not feeling it.
I knew how I wanted the room to “flow” and I found it really awkward to have the TV off center and next to the fireplace. So we set up the living room how I wanted it with the TV on the long wall and left that space empty.
When Christmas came it became the perfect spot to put our Christmas tree but we were perplexed with what to do with the space the other eleven months of the year.
After a lot of brainstorming Brent and I came up with a great idea for the space. We decided to turn it into a reading nook! I love reading so I was super pumped about a cozy little spot to curl up and read. It also provides extra seating that we were lacking in the living room. We wanted to try and make a pallet wall somewhere and thought since this wall is fairly small it would be the perfect place to try it. It also adds a focal point to the large area.
We had some pallets left over from our sodding adventure in the spring but quickly learned pallets are gross. They have bugs, are dirty and fall apart easily. We didn’t really want to deal with having to clean them up. Brent suggested we use the same wood that pallets are made of but to cut, rough up and stain the wood ourselves so we could control exactly how they looked and we wouldn’t have to worry about sticking bugs to our wall. So we headed out to buy various sizes of wood to start our wood wall project.
How We Built Our Reading Nook
- Lighting: Allen + Roth Bristow 36-in W 3-Light Mission Bronze Light
- Pillows: Various from At Home
- Foam for Custom Sized Cushion
- Brown Fabric for Custom Sized Cushion
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1. First, we purchased all the wood we needed to create the weathered wood wall.
2. It took us two days but we got in a good rhythm of working on the wood wall. Brent would cut the wood, then I would hammer nails into it to make it look used and then he would rough it up and I would stain it.
We created a pattern varying the size of the boards and the color of the boards to make it look like organized randomness. It was fun but time consuming. The hardest part was definitely the top of the arch and cutting the boards to fit the shape.
3. After the wall was finished, we hung this really cool light fixture (see link above) since the space did not originally have lighting in that area.
Brent had to drill a hole to add the light switch, climb in the attic and connect the wires and all that other electrician type stuff installing a brand new light source includes.
4. The next step was to start building the custom bench. I’ll admit, I had nothing to do with this part. I just sat on the couch while Brent built it and said, “looks good!” Brent built it so the top opens up to a secret compartment in the back that is hidden behind the bookshelf.
5. Next, it was time to make it comfy and cozy! We had a hard time finding a cushion to fit the exact size of the bench since it was custom made to be the exact size of the inset.
So we went and bought brown fabric to match our furniture and foam (we learned from that trip that foam is expensive) and made a custom cushion.
Our last purchase was to buy the pillows. We got a variety of sizes in the same color family to keep it simple and cohesive. Finally, we added a few books and decorations to the shelf to complete the look of the reading nook.
So what do you think? Big improvement to the space? We both love it. I can’t wait to spend many of winter nights curled up with a cup of coffee reading in my little reading nook.
We still have a ways to go in the living room to get it to where we want it. I am hoping to tackle that fireplace soon. Tan tile and white mantel, yikes! But we think this helps get the room a step in the right direction.
You can download our free plans for our reading nook bench with a bookshelf if you are interested in building your own and check out our video tutorial for creating wood with a weathered look like we did for our nook wall.
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