We had an empty wall in our living room that was really bugging me. We used to have a china cabinet there that we had turned into a rabbit cage for our spunky little pal, Dex. When he passed away due to old age (8 and a half, pretty darn old in rabbit years), his empty cabinet sitting there made us so sad that we had to move it out of the house. But then we had a big empty white space that wasn’t attractive or functional. After a lot of sketching and designing and a little bit of elbow grease, that ugly white space turned into this little vintage-inspired reading nook.
For me, a new design always starts with function. We barely have a single empty wall in our house– I like to fill every space with some kind of storage solution. Our house isn’t tiny, but it also isn’t huge–1600 square feet–and we are putting so much work into our house and property that we don’t ever want to outgrow the space and have to move. Ergo my obsession with storage.
For this reading nook wall, I decided to hang storage cabinets on the wall (I’ll show you how I stained and stenciled the cabinets in my next post). For even more storage capacity, I used an upholstered storage ottoman for the seat. It adds extra seating for when we have company, which was another thing the room was lacking. Next to the bench is an end table that houses our cat’s litter box. It’s not the most beautiful thing, but it’s a practical location for us and it fits well in the space. We feed him on top of the table, and store his cat food and litter in the cabinet above. And he loves it, by the way. I think he believes that the whole little reading nook belongs solely to him.
After I painted the wall, stenciled the cabinets, and put the large pieces in place, it still looked like something was missing, so I fixed up this cool old window that I found at a salvage shop. I touched it up with chalk paint, screwed on basic metal clips, and added a light fixture (both the clips and light were from Amazon).
For now, I cut some herbs from our garden to hang on the window, but I like how versatile the clips allow this window project to be. I intend to switch things up seasonally… I’m already envisioning how paper or felt snowflakes would look for Christmas. The herbs do smell nice in the reading nook, though.
So far the cabinets are mostly empty. We have a lot of empty storage space in our house, but I’m not worried–I’m sure we’ll accumulate more than enough junk to fill it up eventually. We’re really enjoying the functionality of this design and the way the colors and textures contribute to the overall vibe of the room. We don’t have kids (yet), but I bet kids would love to hang out in a spot like this. I hope our our reading nook project has inspired you to create your own magical little reading space. Happy reading! ❤