Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blessing #223 - The Reading Nook Bench

Friday, I shared how we are making over the boys rooms for the Christmas present.

What?

It's January and we are still working on their Christmas present?

I know. I know.

Anyway, we live in a house that is about 150 years old.  It's beautiful.  It's quaint, and sometimes it's a little crazy.

The boys rooms are side by side.  You have to walk through Collin's room to get to Brandon's room.  There's no actual door between their rooms, but a little landing.

This picture isn't really a before pic.  This picture was after I had cleaned out the area and painted it.


Originally, we had a cheap book shelf on that tall wall, but that didn't work at all so I boxed up the important books and gave the shelf to Goodwill.

Parenting Lesson Learned: Never put a bookshelf with precious keepsake memory books in a room alone with two little wild men.

The landing is kind of awkward.  Let me show you the other wall you can't see in the previous picture.


Yep, two doors on the same wall. Nope, they don't match. Yes, the one door is so high off the ground my entire dust pan can fit under it.  Like I said, 150 year old houses can be crazy, but isn't that one latchy door nob on the right just gorgeous!?!

Because the space was so awkward, I really didn't know if I was even going to do anything with it, but one day, B was talking to Shad about his hopes for the new room and said, "Dad, I would really like a place to read."

When Shad told me that, I said, "Wait! That's all I need to know!"

See, I am not only a math nerd, but I am also a book nerd.  I love, looooove, LoOoOoOoVe books, and I always have.

When I was in the sixth grade, I had a notebook where I kept record of all the books I read and I wrote little reviews of each book.  I still remember that I read 65 books that year.

What?

No, I was not very popular in middle school. Why do you ask?

Yes, I love books.  If Brandon showed the slightest interest in reading, I was going to run with that.

I asked my friend if she saw any ideas of book nooks on Pinterest to send them my way.  She then suggested me, "What about a crib mattress?"

I really didn't think it would fit, but the crib mattress was in the attic so I had to try.


Do you see it? No, not the dirt on the mattress. It fits. The mattress fits perfectly!!! I couldn't believe it! My friend that suggested it was my new hero!!!

I knew I would like to get the mattress off the ground, but I really didn't want to spend much money for a base.  Also, I needed a base that was movable if I needed to get into that door. When I told Shad about it, he suggested I use some plastic crates he had saved for me at his work.


I laid the crates out and realized it would take two rows of three crates, but fortunately, we had enough!

The crates were nice, but I really wanted them to be the same color so my good friend spray paint saved the day!

A while ago, my mother-in-law gave me a few cans of orange spray paint when it didn't work for a project.  Orange was a perfect splash of color for the book nook...especially free orange!


YaY! I found an awesome gray chevron crib sheet from Target for $15, and the pillow is from our living room that graduated to this space.

The blanket is a teal blanket from TJ Maxx for $15.

The crates are attached to each other with zip ties.  The crate base probably isn't strong enough to support two adults, but for two little boys, the crates work.


B was so thrilled with the bench! When we loaded the books into the crates, B said, "I am putting my fiction books in this crate, and my non-fiction books in the other crate."

I don't think I've even been prouder.  I almost said, "Yeah! Great idea! Do you want to use the dewey decimal system or the library of congress system?" I reigned in my nerdiness though and just gave him a big kiss.

As thrilled as I was with the crates, I knew it needed one more step.


A pop of polka dot fabric! I wanted a pin dot, but Hobby Lobby didn't have it. This big dot works though.

The fabric was about $4.  The orange pillow is a pillow cover from Hobby Lobby that I used a 40% off coupon to make it about $4 or $5. Again, I used another pillow from our living room that was getting a little old to fill the pillow cover.

Suddenly, what was an awkward, wasted space, is now my new favorite space in the whole house!


The view out the window is gorgeous! I really wanted to space to feel magical like a special little hang out just for the boys.

I am just loving this bench and reading nook!


And so are the boys!

All the pictures of the bench perfectly styled are pretty, but I love this picture most of all.


This is how, I've been finding the bench every morning piled with B's sleeping bag, stuffed animals, dinosaur book, and a flash light. B has been falling asleep there every night, and I couldn't be happier.

If you are keeping track, the total spent on this bench was...

crib sheet $15
blanket $15
fabric $4
foam core board (to put fabric on) $3
pillow cover $5
TOTAL $42

The Reading Nook is not done yet.  I still have to dress the walls, and I might do something fun with the ceiling.

I just love that a wasted, awkward space is being filled with many supplies I already had to make something magical!


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