Do you have an empty closet and want to do something fun with it? Create a cozy closet reading nook by transforming an empty closet!
Our DIY reading nook was built before we started blogging, but we wanted to update it and add some bookshelves.
So we peeled everything back to the beginning and started over. Now we can share our steps with you!
How do I make a reading nook?
The only process you won't be able to see is how we built this back wall. These wood pieces are palettes that we sanded down, stained and screwed right to the studs.
Because the palettes already had nails in them we were not worried about the screw heads showing. We went with the fully rustic look.
Building a Bookcase for the Reading Nook
I knew that I only wanted to be able to store chapter books on this bookshelf. So I measured our chapter books and came up with these dimensions.
We used 1" plywood to build our bookcase.
The shelf sits 21 ¼ " tall.
A second shelf, added in the middle, creating two even shelves at 9 ⅛" heigh.
We started with the bottom and sides of the shelf, attaching them with wood glue as well as wood screws. We were not really worried about what it looked like at this point as we knew we were adding trim pieces.
Next, we added the middle shelf and attached ¼" mahogany to the back.
How do you make a reading nook bench?
A closet reading nook bench can be built with just a simple frame made out of 2x4 and plywood.
Given that our end height was going to be 21 ¼" high, I started building the frame at 20 ¼" high.
Making sure to level at every step, I continued to build a box around the inside of the closet, using 2x4 boards.
Before attaching the front 2x4 I made sure to bring up my bookcase and put it in place. Once the bookcase was in place, I attached the 2x4 securely behind.
I added one extra 2x4 down the middle of my box for added bench support.
The final steps are adding 1" plywood to the top, creating a seat. And adding finishing trim pieces to the front of the shelf to hide the plywood.
Prime and paint, chaulk all the seams and you are ready for books!
How do you decorate a reading nook?
Now that you have turned a closet into a reading nook it's time to decorate it! You want the closet nook to be an inviting and cozy place to sit and curl up in.
Try adding some soft, warm lighting. Enough that light that you can read with but soft enough to add that cozy feel.
Next, add in some fuzzy pillow, and a comfy cushion and a blanket! Don't forget the books! If you build in a bookshelf as we did you can add the books on the shelf, if not try adding in some additional shelving inside the nook.
Finish off the closet reading nook with a plant or two, a little stool for little ones, or a side table for a warm cup of tea.
What can you do with an empty nook?
Maybe you don't have an empty closet, instead, you have an empty space or an awkward area in your home you are looking to transform into a cozy nook of some sort.
You know the homes that are added to three or four separate times causing you to think into the past and imagine what all the different spaces were once used for, we that is our home.
I want to encourage you to create a home that is right for your family’s ‘right now’. So get creative and turn those empty spaces into cozy nooks for your family to enjoy!
Cozy Reading Chair
Using a corner reading chair can be a great way to make a cozy corner in a bedroom.
The master bedroom in our home used to be two separate, smaller bedrooms. At one point a wall was removed making one large rectangular bedroom.
We decided not to centre the bed in the middle of the room. Instead put it off to one side, creating a cozy corner reading nook.
Honestly, I use this space for my own little time out! If I am in need of a little quiet to sit and think, this is where I retreat to.
BOOK SHELVES TO FILL EMPTY SPACE
Across from the reading chair is a bit of an awkward space. This space was the original doorway into one of the two smaller bedrooms that now make up the master.
We capitalized on this space and created a book nook! Custom shelving is a great way to make an awkward space look a lot less awkward and more intentional.
Now we have a little book nook across from out reading chair, it's perfect!
COZY KITCHEN BENCH
I believe this bench was originally built by the former owners for their grandchildren to sit while grandma cooks!
I always thought that it was such a good idea. They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
If you can’t have an open concept kitchen then why not create an extra spot for others to join you while you cook.
We also added the bonus of a chalkboard. This creates a place for our weekly menu, grocery lists and some doodle room for the girls.
BUILT-IN COMPUTER DESK
I love the idea of having a computer in an open space instead of tucked away in an office or basement.
As the girls get older I know they will start to need a place to do homework. And what a great way to provide safe internet boundaries than a computer nook.
Until that day comes this is where we blast our music from, you know, for the family dance parties!
We would love to see if you create a reading nook of your own in your home. Be sure to send us all your pictures over on our Instagram page!