Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Writing Nook Among Bookcases

I'm about to share with you a part of our house that I'm head over heels for, a dreamy little spot carved out in a corner of our living room for a girl who loves reading and writing and cozy, miniature spaces. Meet my sweet little writing nook!

It was a multi-step process for how this area was dreamed up and how it came together. We have a good amount of books so I knew I would need to store them somehow, preferably in a pretty way. When my parents were here my Dad helped us choose this corner (I initially thought I wanted wall-mounted shelves but my Dad rightly convinced me that traditional standing bookcases were the way to go) and we decided on two tallish bookcases in a V shape. This configuration fit the room well and provided a lot of storage and some visual interest.

We didn't want to spend a lot of money on the bookcases--we were after basic white modern shelves with a streamlined design, nothing fancy, so we ordered two of these from Home Depot. They're certainly basic and won't last forever but for price and functionality and simplicity they're just what we were looking for. 

One thing I didn't love was the backing. While the shelves and tops and sides are pretty sturdy the backing is a flimsy piece of white cardboard, essentially, and it came folded in thirds so that it fit in the box. When we held up the backing it looked really cheap, the lines were obvious, and it was just utterly boring. 

I mulled over different options--going to Lowe's and having a piece of plywood or beadboard cut to fit, leaving the shelves backless (you can see that in one of the photos below), or painting the flimsy cardboard. 

You can see which option we picked! After trying several colors we chose this gorgeous deep green/blue. I think the dark paint gives the bookcases depth and sophistication, it mostly hides the folded lines, and it provides a bit of a custom touch to our pre-fab bookshelves. I'm so happy I put in this extra bit of work and energy.

Once the bookshelves were finished I moved this antique square table into place. This is something I already had (from my parents) and I love how the shape mirrors the angular configuration of the bookshelves.

While there's plenty of room to sit here and it doesn't feel cramped it was a bit tricky finding a chair that worked. Traditional chairs looked bulky and out of place and took up too much space. This chair looked cute here but it isn't super comfortable and I wanted this spot to be a functional place for me to sit at my computer.

We made a stop at Ikea in Pittsburgh last weekend and on my way out I saw this folding chair in the "As Is" section and I just had a feeling it would be perfect. It's narrow and petite but still very cozy to sit in, and the criss-cross metal legs make it look delicate and light. The opposite of bulky. And it was only $15!

With this chair it all came together and I couldn't be happier. There is a window on either side of each bookcase and the afternoon light that streams in is glorious. I can look out the window at the trees and foliage on the side of our house, and I love that I no longer have to blog from the couch. It's also so fun to look up and see all of our books. Such an inspiring environment for a writer!


  1. LOVE this space you have created! Painting the back of the bookshelf was brilliant, and made it so unique! I'm honestly a little jealous of it ha ha! Now I want to find a way to create a writing corner in my place:)

  2. Such a cozy corner. I LOVE that table--such a unique piece and perfect for that little spot!

  3. Thanks Rachel :) And don't be jealous! I really think this project is simple enough that you could recreate in just about any corner. I hope you can come up with your own cozy nook to write in :)

  4. Thanks Stacey, I love it too. I think my mom bought it in Baltimore a few years ago. It's just so unique and the twisted legs are unexpected and fun!

  5. Thanks Katie! I'm pretty pleased with it :)

  6. This is such a beautiful little space. Your extra touches really make it a peaceful, lovely nook. The lighting is perfect, too!

  7. Thanks Sarah! You're right, the lighting is so lovely--we're blessed to have great natural light in this new home of ours!

  8. Yay! I especially love positive feedback from you because I know design is your field! Thanks so much. :)

  9. love how that looks!

  10. I love how you painted the inside of the back! honestly, I didn't notice at first - that's how RIGHT it looks.


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