Before and After - the Reading Nook

I posted a while back about our reading nook here. I thought that I should show you the before as well and talk a bit more about the changes that I made to the space.

Here is the before when we bought the house. This is how the previous owners used the space. And I see the ever popular Alex from IKEA on the right hand side. I have never had the room for this piece but it certainly is useful! 

And here it is now.

Much of the cottage was painted in a pale yellow. It's a nice colour and I have used it before but I had the entire cottage repainted in Benjamin Moore Cloud White. I find that I prefer more of a warm blank palette for the walls and then use colour and texture in the decor and furnishings. Especially in a small space like our home.

I didn't want to use this nook as an office. It's at the top of the stairs, next to the linen closet and directly opposite my daughter's bedroom. I knew that I would NEVER be able to stop the piles from growing - I always have a lot of projects on the go and putting them away each day is impossible. And I needed some privacy, the ability to close the door at the end of the day.

We have a lot of books and a large bookshelf in the living room houses most of them. Here in the reading nook I have my books on decor, creativity and crafting plus all of my daughter's books. I find that although I am fairly frugal when it comes to toys, I can't ever deny her books!

I'd love to say that the chairs are originals but they are knock-offs. I had them recovered in a grey suit-like material. The reupholsterer was a little horrified that I went to fabric from leather but I thought it was worth it to play with the iconic style a bit. If you are thinking of having some Eames chairs recovered, make sure that your reupholsterer is experienced - there are a lot of tucks and tufts to deal with!

I love turquoise and aqua blue right now. The floors are a little too warm reddish for my taste (and I am not investing in replacing them - they are in perfect condition) so the blue cuts the red a bit and is a nice contrast. I would prefer a matte white oak (think more Scandinavian).

The shelves are built in and the low shelf is topped with some leftover caesarstone from the kitchen countertops. They are painted as well in Cloud White and I had them faced with wider strips to give them a bit more heft.

The wall art is from an Italian designer and comes in hundreds of small branches. You can put them together in any way your want - either for a wall or even for a floor to ceiling screen in a space.

The two paintings are of Toronto and were purchased at an outdoor art show a few years ago. The artwork on the shelves is my daughter's - she loves to create!

So there you go - it wasn't an instant transformation but it didn't take that long. Besides the built-in shelves, everything else I already owned.

Until we redid the space, no one used it - now that it has been redone, we use it every day.