There are so many elements that I love in my new reading nook that I had to write a separate post where I can share all of the details.
At the core of the nook is obviously my much-loved Strandmon from Ikea. This is a seriously comfy chair. However, I like to lounge with my feet up, so I needed a footstool. Strandmon is not a tiny chair, so I wanted something that was a decent size and perhaps even could double as additional seating if we have people over. The bird ottoman fit the bill. It’s a complete DIY that ended up being super easy. You won’t believe what’s underneath that pretty fabric that so many of you liked. Stay tuned for a how-to post coming up next.
The stump side table is my rustic touch for the nook. It’s another DIY, this time completed with the help of my father-in-law. Most of the stump tables I’ve seen tend to be pretty short–and super expensive. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t prepared to spend $200+ on a log when I have hunks of wood just lying around outside.
The nice thing about DIYing the table is that I could make it exactly the height I wanted. I don’t like to have to work too hard to pick up my drink–reaching kind of defeats the purpose of relaxing. So we cut the log so that the top of the table matches up with the top of Strandmon’s arm.
I’ve actually been saving this particular log just for this project for a little while now. I intentionally chose a log that had lots of knots and bumps and personality. After lots and lots of sanding, I coated it with three coats of varathane to seal it and glued a piece of cork to the bottom just to protect the carpet.
When it came to choosing art for the nook, the decision was easy. This monkey print hung in Matt’s grandpa’s house (not painter grandpa, other grandpa), and when his grandpa passed away Matt asked for the picture. Its bright colours and fun theme fit in perfectly with the feel I’m going for in the basement.
While Matt loves the picture more for its connection to his grandfather than for the subject matter itself, this picture has led to a bit of a monkey collection for Matt. He has a see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil figure on the windowsill and another trio of monkeys stuck into the ivy.
Speaking of the ivy, you saw my yellow pot awhile ago. Somehow I’ve managed not to kill the ivy, and it’s actually thriving. The oversize games piece was made by my dad who is a wood turner and happily takes commissions from his oldest daughter.
I’m not quite satisfied with my windowsill vignette, but I’m not sure how to fix it. I think I might need something that’s a little more horizontal? Or something that sits on top of the books? In the comments on Monday, Margaret suggested lowering the monkey picture might help to bring everything together. Any other input would be most appreciated.
While the window gives us great natural light–a huge benefit considering we’re in a basement–during the reno we added an overhead light in the centre of the nook. I liked the idea of a pendant rather than a flush mount or a lamp. However, it had to be mostly glass so that it didn’t obstruct the view out the window, and we had to hang it pretty high so that I don’t konk my head when I stand up. After weeks of searching, this simple pendant ended up being just what I wanted and just $50. Score!
The newest addition to the nook is our fleece Hudson’s Bay point blanket that Matt’s aunt gave us for Christmas. I love the point blanket pattern, and the pop of white plus the brightly coloured stripes work really, really well with everything else that’s going on in this nook.
It’s so nice to have a quiet corner to curl up. Matt can be playing a game or watching a movie over on the sectional, and I can be in the same room, but doing my own thing. All of the little details come together to make it a very special, cozy space.
I’d love to hear what is your favourite part of the nook?
Wall paint: A custom grey somewhere around Bunny Gray from Benjamin Moore
Trim paint: Cloud White from Benjamin Moore
Wing chair: Strandmon from Ikea
Stump side table: Made by me with an assist from my FIL
Bird ottoman: Made by me (how-to is coming), fabric is Crazy Ol Bird Midnight by Swavelle/Mill Creek
Light fixture: Catalina Bella 1-light pendant from Rona
Yellow plant pot: Rona
Monkey statues: Gifts
Oversize games piece: Made by my dad, painted Seaport Blue from Benjamin Moore
Monkey print: Family heirloom
Hudson’s Bay fleece point blanket: Gift (from The Bay… I mean, it’s from Matt’s aunt, but you can buy your own at The Bay)
It looks like a giant piece from ‘Sorry’. Yes?
How about something wiry propped up again the right side of the window well for the ivy to grow up or another plant?
‘Sorry’ was exactly my inspiration. My Dad used to play it with my sisters and me every Saturday afternoon.
Thanks for the suggestion to balance out the window sill.
We really like it all. Nice pendant lamp. Thanks for the details on the stump side table and the lovely ottoman fabric.
The ivy has grown a lot so I like the idea of something wiry on the right side of the window for the plant to wrap around. That way it won’t be trailing down the wall and would give balance to your display.
Good point, Audrey. Thanks.
It’s nice to be admired by professional wood artists!
I love this! But you already knew that from the last post 🙂
I agree that lowering the picture might help, as well as including some balance in the window sill – the larger monkey statue might be cool if propped up on some books to match the height of the ivy on the other side of the sill with the blue sculpture beside it and something flatter in the middle? Another thought is to hang the ivy from the ceiling on one side of the window. 🙂
Thanks for the suggestions. I hadn’t thought of hanging the ivy.
Would love to hear about how you made the footstool. The space looks great! What about a simple short (single panel) curtain pulled to the right side to balance off and fill in that corner of space? Good luck! P.s. I too found your blog while searching up the Ikea Strandmon chair!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Sheri. I really appreciate the suggestion too. I hadn’t thought of a curtain (living where we are, we don’t need curtains for privacy, so I often forget that they can also be for decoration).
The very next post is a complete tutorial for the ottoman. Here’s the direct link: https://homeon129acres.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/how-to-make-a-diy-ottoman/.
Such a pretty little nook, and wonderful to have the natural light for reading! I would sit there a lot if I had such a lovely nook.
Thanks, Jan. It’s turned out to be a great use of that little corner.
hi! can you say something how has the Strandmon been so far after a year of use?
Hello. The Strandmon is still going strong. We’ve had no issues with anything–the upholstery, foam, frame. Everything is still strong and pretty much like new.
We’re not rough on the chair and we don’t sit in it 24/7, but we do use it regularly.
I’d highly recommend it.