(Re)Warm the House: Reading Nook

For the past year we have had a rickety old bookshelf in the nook next to our fireplace because:

A) I already owned it

B) The awkward space needed something in it

C) Our books needed homes


Not really fabulous reasons to keep it but practical reasons.  Early on I had a vision of what I wanted to do with the nook but it took us a long time to get there.  Months ago (more like over half a year) we purchased five IKEA LACK floating shelves.  The shelves were almost the perfect length to fill the nook completely, creating the illusion of built in shelves.

One of the reasons that we didn’t dive right into this project was that the shelves were 1/2 inch too long for our space.  I was nervous about cutting the shelves but finally got off my but and tackled this one.  Now I am kicking myself for not doing it earlier.


To start I borrowed this great folding work table from a co-worker, I need me one of these!  The table has adjustable clamps to hold everything in place.


I was a bit worried about cracking the veneer so I googled “Cutting LACK Shelves”. Apparently the key is to wrap the cutting surface with electrician’s tape.  Who knew?


I estimated that I needed to trim 3/4 of an inch off each side to allow the shelf to slidei easily into place.  Using a silver sharpie (it shows up on the black electricians tape well) I marked 3/4 of an inch and drew a cutline.


My fancy new jig saw (ummm power tools, I LOVE power tools!) has a laser which is super helpful. Just line the laser up with the cutline and go!  Repeat on the other end.


While I cut the shelves all by myself (quite proud of that, thankyoumuch) I needed my partner in crime to hang these bad boys.  Ensuring that we screwed into studs was a challenge with our funky common wall construction but we were able to find 2 solid studs to screw into.   We bought and cut 5 shelves but as you can see we only hung 4.  We decided that it looked better with more space between the shelves.


Welcome to my reading/knitting nook!  I am head over heels in love with the red wall and the shelves. The chair is a mid century modern piece from my Grandmother. It is hands down my favorite piece of furniture that we own.


We purposefully hung the first shelf at a height where you can set a glass on the shelf when reading. This also allows for use of the floor space below.  I really wanted space to store my knitting, as this chair is the most likely spot for me to curl up with my needles.  Tucked just out of view is a container of cat food for feeding the kitties.

How about a little tour of the shelves?


The first shelf houses my children’s book collection including a nice stack of Nancy Drew books.  Initials from our wedding, our wedding album and silk flowers in a honey hive milk glass vase are cozy in the corner.


The second shelf is devoted to knitting books and knitting patterns while the third shelf has a mishmash of non-fiction books (hiking guides, travel books, financial books, etc)  Matt’s architectural series legos sets have also found spots on the shelves.


The top shelf has spiritual books along beautiful framed art of our wedding invitations by friends and family.


I swear that this makeover has made the space look bigger.  Just look at the side by side comparison.

Well, that completes all of our projects in preparation for our house (re)warming.  Last weekend was the 2 yr anniversary of our house purchase and it is hard to believe that we have yet to throw a party.  Looking forward to taking care of that this weekend.



Filed under Our Haus

13 responses to “(Re)Warm the House: Reading Nook

  1. i love your house, it’s got great angles, and your accent walls are just so alive and happy! love what you did with your little alcove, very good use of space!

  2. Alice Fournier

    love, love, love the red wall, and the bookshelves are awesome! My mom had a chair just like that one when I was a kid – it’s perfect in that space. I’m loving your blog!

  3. Lauren

    I LOVE the new look with the red wall and the shelves! I agree that it looks bigger now

  4. what a beautiful nook! awesome job on the shelves, and i love the little details!

  5. It looks fantastic!! I love the red wall, and the shelves look like they were meant to be there!

  6. The space looks awesome! Love it!

  7. I can’t believe how much of a visual difference it makes! It looks like it is twice the size with the floating shelves! Awesome reno.

  8. I love it, the red really makes them pop too!

  9. I absolutely love this! It is so cosy! Makes me want to do the same thing!!!

  10. I LOVE the shelves! They really make that space look fantastic! Can’t wait to see it in person!!

  11. Pingback: Reading nooks «

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