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Making Rearrangements - My Reading Nook

Updated on November 23, 2014

Carving Out Space to Read

Where do you do the majority of your reading? Do you have a special place you like to go to relax and read?

When we renovated our small cottage last summer I knew I would need a little bit of space inside where I could lose myself for a few hours enjoying one of my favorite pastimes...reading. This page shows how I created this area merely by rearranging a few integral pieces in our living room.

Everything in my new reading nook I already owned. I just had to reevaluate the living spaces in our cottage and move a few things. Want to see how I did it?

Living Room Facing East
Living Room Facing East | Source

Finding Space - One Foot at at Time

Our cottage living room measures 17 feet long x 11 1/2 feet wide. Sliding the sectional couch forward by a few feet gave me additional room to work with. By moving this seating, between the back of the couch and the wall I was able to create a cozy space five feet deep.

Because the sectional curves, there was additional bonus space in that curved section to tuck the smaller section of the wooden tansu flat against the North wall. This working space of five feet depth was more than adequate to accommodate the small portion I intended for my reading area.

But I had to move something else before I could even think of moving the tansu behind the couch......

Hanging Flat Screen on Wall
Hanging Flat Screen on Wall | Source

Hanging the TV Meant I Could Move the Tansu

During the rough-in part of our remodel, my husband ran new wiring behind the walls and hung the electrical outlet at a convenient height in the living room and both bedrooms. Now when a flat screen is hung on the wall, the wires will not show. This is something I really like!

Hanging the television on the West wall of the living area meant the antique Japanese tansu which formerly served to hold the flat screen on top could be placed behind the newly positioned sectional couch.

Mount a Flat Screen Securely

I ordered two of these mounting brackets for the flat screens in the bedrooms. Both televisions are smaller and different models, but this bracket fit both perfectly. The price was fantastic and very easy to install.

Move One Thing
Move One Thing | Source

Reposition the Tansu

The tansu now fits comfortably behind the sectional couch and it's aligned against the North wall of the living area. On top I arranged five pieces (I always try to decorate in odd numbers as it's more pleasing to the eye) that I felt complimented one another.

Everything gives off a restful warmth and I think blends very well with the latex paint color of the room which is called Barley. The reading lamp was another DIY project. Do you like it? :)

Where Do You Keep the Books in Your Reading Nook?

I LOVE my Amazon Kindle reader, but I still enjoy the beauty of reading the old fashioned way. There is nothing quite like feeling the weight of a good book in your hands. If you're like me and you enjoy both, finding good book storage that saves space is very important.

You'll find options for book storage and display below and further down the page.

Umbra Conceal Floating Bookshelf, Large, Silver
Umbra Conceal Floating Bookshelf, Large, Silver

I have one of these hanging on the wall in our guest room next to the bed. It's perfect for holding a few good books for guests to enjoy.


Add a Rocking Chair and a Side Table

My Reading Nook
My Reading Nook | Source

This rocking chair is so very comfortable and it's just made for reading and relaxing. It was also a DIY project of mine which I wrote about here.

The stump end table was another redo. You'll find a mention of it on my Trash to Treasure lens.

Working With a Raw Wood Stump

You'll need a belt sander for this project.

Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

We used a belt sander to smooth the top and bottom of the stump to ensure there were no wobbles.


Pause for a Poll - Decisions, Decisions, Decisions....

Photo credit: Pam Irie
Photo credit: Pam Irie

Where do you enjoy most reading?

See results
Southern Enterprises, Inc. Spine Book Tower
Southern Enterprises, Inc. Spine Book Tower

You can't beat this cleverly designed book tower for storage and style PLUS free shipping!

Living Room View From Kitchen
Living Room View From Kitchen | Source

Completing the Look of My Reading Nook

My 5 Ft x 6 Ft Area is Now Ample and Awesome!

This view shows the completed reading nook if you were standing in the cottage kitchen looking towards the living area. I added the pot of bamboo lights (I'm writing a tutorial on those lights and will include a link to it as soon as I can) and the old leather round suitcase to round out the reading area. It neatly stores several of my current crochet and hand sewing projects and signifies the end of my allotted space.

The remaining sliver of space to the right of the suitcase is designated for my writing. On our building list is a "lean-to" small writing desk just big enough for a laptop and a work lamp. Of course, when it's done I plan another tutorial to share. So please visit back if you may be interested.

You'll note the second vintage suitcase on a luggage rack in the living room? It's also wonderful storage. :)

I couldn't be more pleased with the newly rearranged space if I'd hired a professional designer to do it. And just look at all the money I've saved by doing it myself. You can do it too!

Looking around your own home what would you move to change things up?

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    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like to read in bed or at the table. I don't think I could get comfortable in a chair without a table to prop up my elbows. I especially like reading in coffee shops.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I like your new space very much! The tansu is beautiful. I also like the peaceful blues on your walls and curtains. Good job!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      I love a cozy reading corner. Nicely done.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My husband and I each have a leather recliner to read it. They sit on either side of our wood stove. Very cozy.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I so want a special reading chair with the perfect lamp beside it. I tired of the sofa and the bed as my only reading spots indoors.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Very clever arrangement. I find it amazing what can be done with small spaces with a bit of work and a creative imagination.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Nicely done as well. I think I need to rethink some of my spaces........I know there is lots there that needs a rethink, time to get cracking!

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @smine27: Thanks so much! It was a fun redo.

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @Diana Wenzel: We ARE kindred spirits! :) I just saw the Squidoo HQ list on this Quest and ran over to see your lens. It's a wonderful space you've made! We both got the results we wanted with different looks. YAY! :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      I am amazed that we both chose to feature a reading nook make-over. We are definitely kindred spirits. Love your make-over. I've always wanted Tansu storage. Your antique Tansu is beautiful.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Wow, I really love what you did with that little space of yours.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Great lens! You fit a lot in the space too. A rocker sounds ideal for a nice, relaxing read. Also love the suitcase for a surface and storage. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      you really mastered the space well - like the way you made room behind the couch - I've actually done this myself! In one of my sons rooms I creatively utilized space in a similar way - maybe one day I'll do a page on that - I like how the hardwood makes it look open as well (versus carpeting creating a more closed in affect) nice! I like it!


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