Welcome to Week 4 of the Fall (or beautiful spring here in Perth, Australia) 2017 One Room Challenge. If you are not aware, for the first time ever the One Room Challenge has been extended to 7 weeks instead of the usual 6 weeks. So the final room reveals will not happen until Week 7. Can’t wait! For this my first One Room Challenge, I am tackling our family living room. OMG week 4 already and so much to still do! This past week I focused on creating a DIY reading nook in the living room.
How To Create A Special DIY Reading Nook
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles William Eliot
We are avid readers in our family! While we will have a large sofa that all of us can pile onto at once, we all know that it is not fun being disturbed by the person next to you when you are engrossed in a really intriguing book. Certain family members have been known to get quite grumpy when that happens! So I was wanting to create a DIY reading nook as part of the living room makeover.
What Are The Contents Of A Great Reading Nook?
- a comfy chair you can curl up in – DONE
- a reading light – DONE
- a cushion and/ or throw rug – DONE
- and a footstool for those who like to spread out – DONE
The Reading Chair
Initially, I was keen on tackling DIY project Option 1 for this DIY reading nook. I mean, check out that solid Jarrah wood frame. (I should mention that all 3 chairs were freebies.) But the amount of work involved really was a deterrent. Yes, all those pieces do fit together to make a chair! And I’m not the most experienced at re-upholstering chairs.
Next in line was Option 2 which has been a temporary solution in our current living room set up. However I had an epiphany one morning when I was struggling AGAIN to read my bible and drink a cup of tea at the same time. No that wasn’t the tricky part! Having two growing (and boy, are they getting heavy) boys balancing on my lap together was the challenge! Really Option 2 chair is too small for more than one of us to sit on it at a time, especially for morning cuddles!
Hello Option 3! This was a chair (also a freebie), I had half painted a few years ago and had been sitting unfinished on the back verandah ever since. Occasionally it would get used for seating around the outdoor fire in the winter months.
Now here was my reading chair!
First, I gave it several more coats of paint, including primer, in semi-gloss Dulux Antique White USA. It’s the same colour we are using for the all the doors and trim in the house.
Then I sewed removable covers for the existing cushions (see above) in a light weight cotton denim (below). The foam is in good condition and didn’t need to be replaced.
I got the denim material from Spotlight for a bargain $6 a metre on sale (or $2 per foot). Two visits in two days because I changed my mind about using the first lot of fabric I bought. A strong cream colour! Does that ever happen to anyone else?
This was my first time sewing a fitted cushion like this, and with a zip. Despite being a slow sewer, I managed to do it!
A Source Of Light
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss
OMG the lamp I chose for this DIY reading nook was a gamble as I couldn’t see what it looked like in store. Just the picture on the box! It was the Daniel Danish floor lamp, $20 on clearance at Target. The price appealed to me and it had hubby’s name on it! How could I resist!
However would it look super cheap and tacky?
Well, unfortunately it kind of did… half of the floor lamp was a fake looking, bright gold colour.
So I decided to get the GLOSS WHITE spray paint out. You know, because it’s a good idea to paint brand new items and void the warranty on them. Was it a good idea or not? The gold cover for the bulb got a paint, as well as the end of the rod. Gosh it made a big difference! The little bit of gold I left is just enough with the rest of the floor lamp all white. I’m glad now that I gave the cheapie floor lamp a chance!
A Side Table
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
Of course, a DIY reading nook needs a place for putting your tea or coffee down, or notebook/ journal etc. As I shared in Week 1, I planned to use a wood stump as a small side table. Now I know wood stump tables can retail for quite a bit. I was lucky enough to pick mine up from a pile of wood on the verge, after someone had cut a tree down in their backyard. Seriously, if you are after a stump table, look out for neighbours who might be chopping down a tree or even pruning one.
Can you believe, that I had this stump sitting outside for ages before it occurred to me that I could use it indoors in our living room?
Hubby still needs to level off the top of it before we use it properly. I will probably just cover it with a coat of Hemp oil to bring out the grain and protect it a bit.
“There is no enjoyment like reading.”
A DIY reading nook needs to be very comfortable, I reckon. That includes cushions and a soft throw rug! I plan to use a throw rug I already have. Still deciding on cushions!
A Special Place To Read
UPDATE – Related Post: Week 7 – Living Room Reveal
Now, let’s all hop over to Calling it Home to check out how the rooms of the 20 featured bloggers and other guest participants are progressing. Only a few more weeks for all of us to get our rooms completed!
You can follow the progress of our living room makeover, by connecting with me on Facebook or by receiving weekly updates by email.