So…. it’s finished… *takes a deep breath of satisfaction*
It has taken so much longer than I expected and originally planned for, but yes, the Reading Nook is finally finished. The ceiling has been freshened, the walls have been painted with 3 coats of Tuxedo Blue and the seat in the Nook has been built and furnished.
I have had some amazing help along the way from the Mister, who has provided muscle and some extra brains. Most importantly, he has helped keep me motivated when I was struggling to keep the momentum going due to unforeseen setbacks.
You remember the original state of the Nook, right?
It had a mix of white and cool grey walls, the North facing room looking dingy and depressing and cold. The Nook was empty, with holes in the walls from shelves that had previously been up, courtesy of the previous tenants. The mid grey tones highlighted the fireplace and not in a good way! And sadly, the white did nothing to brighten the space, because sometimes not even white can argue against the depths of ‘dinge’ caused by the lack of any sunlight.
If you have read the Reading Nook series of posts, then you will know that instead of trying to combat the dark and depressing, I decided that we were going to embrace it instead! And the result is amazing!!
I’ve got pics to prove it…
Doesn’t the corner look so much better? It looks warmer with the navy toned blue in it. Adding a mirror to the wall helps bounce the light from the window, adding to the illusion of more space.
The mirror is the Bordeaux Black Mirror from William Wood Mirrors and I am completely in love with it!
Rather serendipitously, the electrics stopped working during the decorating process, meaning that our landlord had to send out an electrician to change all of the spotlights in the house. (I say serendipitous, but it was very inconvenient at first as we had no light for a week!) The new spotlights are MUCH brighter than the old ones, and have made a whole world of difference to the overall feel of our home.
Anyway, after prepping and painting the ceiling and walls, opting to have all of the walls in the living room the same deep dark blue (see planning posts), the Mister and I set about building the Reading Nook seating area.
We used 3×2” CLS timber to build the basic box frame and then fixed two sheets of MDF to create the front and top of the seat.
It took quite a bit of trial and error because of how wonky our walls are, but with plenty of measuring and planning we got there in the end. We then used a piece of moulding to create the detailing on the front and fixed a piece of skirting board to the front also, to carry the line through from the original walls.
The shelves are made from scaffold boards. They are battered, rough and covered in saw marks, boot prints and a good dusting of mud. I love them. At first I was worried they were a little too rustic, but I trusted the Mister who said they were perfect, and I have to admit he was totally right! They look ace with their industrial shelf bracket friends.
The mini gallery wall took a good while to choose. I spent several hours clicking back and forth on Desenio to find the perfect prints and frames. I haven’t quite finished the wall, there is definitely something missing, but I love the collection of prints I have so far. I was also super impressed by the delivery service.
It took quite a while to get the right fabric… I originally planned to buy the fabric from The Yorkshire Fabric Shop and they very kindly sent me a collection of samples that would suit the Reading Nook. However the price of the one I wanted just was not going to fit my budget so I set about looking for fabric from somewhere else.
Eventually I managed to find a fabric that would go with the rest of the decor, from Dunelm. (Unfortunately, they don’t have my fabric online…)
It took a few weeks to arrive, so that added a little frustration as that became the only thing I was waiting on. But, as soon as it arrived, the Mister set about getting the top of the Reading Nook seat upholstered, with his trusty staple gun and me overseeing. (I was recovering from a nasty migraine at the time, so he very sweetly took over so that the Reading Nook project would be finished without any more delay!)
As part of the Living Room/Reading Nook project, we also picked up a shelving unit for the nook on the opposite side of the mantel wall, along with some bits and pieces for dressing the space. We’ve got plans to add in some other pieces of furniture over the next few months, along with a rug… which is a very. big. deal.
Make sure you’re following my Instagram account for all the upcoming images of the makeover results along with information about where I got all of the items!