June 29, 2020
There are a few things I have always wanted in our home, one is a piano. I am still waiting for that to happen! The second thing I have always wanted is a reading room. The idea of a designated space to house books with a cute little reading nook has always been so appealing to me. When we purchased this house it was clear that a reading room was not apart of the original design of the home. Thankfully, my imagination is not limited to what I see! So a budget-friendly update was on the way!
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This space has gone through several iterations over the past four years. Based on the original floor plan, it was built to be the formal dining room. When we moved in, I knew that we had very little use for a formal dining room and immediately made it a playroom. It was orange and bright, fairly cluttered, but perfect for our kids at that time. The kids and their toys quickly outgrew that space so we transitioned the playroom out and created an office instead.
We painted the room green, added a gallery wall, and did a DIY Ikea desk hack. I loved the gallery wall but it was so hard to work at the desk with my back to the kids and the door. This space also turned into a dumping ground for mail, random papers, and electronic devices.
Then we decided to DIY Builtins using another Ikea hack. Finally, I felt like we landed on a set-up for this room that could last years and not just months. I painted it white because I was afraid to go darker, but recently that all changed and I could not be more pleased!
It is so amazing how much you can change over the course of a year. Suddenly, those white shelves needed to be dark. The pandemic hit and I went online and quickly picked a paint color and had my husband pick it up one day on the way home for work. You guys… I picked a paint color, sight unseen! I just decided that it would have to work and that I would have to trust my gut. That is not something that I recommend always but sometimes you just know.
I decided to go with Charcoal Blue by Sherwin Williams and I really feel like it is just the perfect shade of blue for this room. I love it so much that I am already planning to use it in a few other projects! Now painting this behemoth was a challenge in and of itself. I will put up a blog post soon on that process and the things I recommend if you are also painting Ikea furniture, specifically Billy bookcases from Ikea.
I absolutely love the color of the builtins, but I wanted something more for the ceiling. We decided to do a planked ceiling and then paint them white. After seeing the natural wood planks on the ceiling it was really difficult to make the decision to paint them white. Although I loved how they looked natural it was a bit too dark for the space.
When we first finished building the bookcase I knew that I wanted sconces to light up each section. I was afraid that the sconces would not work with the new paint color, but I was so wrong! I love how the black and brass sconces look with the paint color and the new light fixture! This light fixture was an Amazon find and it was pretty inexpensive for how cute it is! I knew that I wanted a modern light fixture, but that it would also need to be a flush mount. This light was super easy to install and completely changed the look of this space. As soon as it was installed I fell in love!
The leaning wall desk was already in the room, but I feel like it looks better now that everything in the room is no longer white. I purchased the desk from Wayfair and snagged the chair from my local Homegoods. This desk serves as our charging station for electronic devices from laptops to tablets. It has helped so much to have one central location for this and for it to be organized and easy to access.
I also purchased the bamboo blinds from Amazon and I was very impressed with how accurate my sizing was! Well, my husband took the measurements but I made the adjustments when choosing which set of blinds to purchase. We have bamboo blinds elsewhere in the house but they have cords and they are super annoying! I love these cordless blinds so much! It is so crazy how easy they are to use!
I also wanted to add a really fun element to the room, so I ordered a hanging chair. This chair was super inexpensive and easy enough to hang (of course I didn’t hang it but it was easy to watch it be hung!). The chair did not come with the components to attach it so I ordered a ceiling mount and chain from Amazon and we were good to go! We instantly had a cute little feature in the room that did not break the bank!
I will say that this chair has caused a bit of ruckus with these boys. I’ve had to put certain rules in place to make sure that the chair does not get destroyed and that no one gets injured. The primary rule is that in order to sit in the chair, you must be actually reading. If you are not reading and there is no book in your hand you should not be in the chair! It is amazing to see how how fast these boys will sprint over to the bookshelf to grab a book and climb into this chair!
Wood Planks: est. $30
- Sconces (we purchased prior to this update): $32 for 2
So that’s it! Our little reading room update is done and we are enjoying every minute of it!