Creating a Quiet Reading Nook in Master Bedroom on my $0 Budget

I have always struggled to get my Master bedroom to be the room I dream about. I like everything but I don't love how it works together. I can't really explain it.

We are lucky our bedroom is quite large but it has a really awkward bay area that you see when you walk up the stairs. Until now it has housed laundry baskets, our dog's beaten up bed and many other things that just have no home.
(sorry for the dot in my photos. There is something in my camera causing this and I can't find it!)
Now that we have our beautifully framed flat screen mounted, I knew I wanted to make this area into a reading nook/TV watching area. Since I am working on a $0 budget, I had to repurpose what I have in storage in the basement (aka the dumping ground for all homeless items kicking around my house).

I had a small leather arm chair that has been kicking around my house for a couple of years without a perfect spot. So I brought it up and it seemed to be the right size. I knew I wanted a place to put my feet up so I went hunting. I found two old stools (both bought for next to nothing at a thrift store) that I use to have in our bathroom for when we would spend countless hours a week watching the kids play in the tub. Well, now that the kids are bigger and I don't have to watch them as closely, I had put them in the basement.
The one stool was not the color I wanted, so I got out my handy black satin spray paint and gave it a nice coat of paint. I have to say this was my first spray painting gone wrong experience! Me being the patient person I am and not wanting this to be done the second I got the idea, I did not prime this piece first. So the spray paint just seemed to roll off the 'wood.' I grabbed some paper towels and quickly wiped off the dripping paint and stood back to figure out what to do. I decided to put on a few thin layers of spray primer and they seemed to stick well. After it dried (well not really) I tried the black paint again and this time it worked! Says a lot for priming. One step I won't skip again. My wonderful husband covered the seat with faux black leather that I had on hand.

The other stool, with the large cushion, looked like a tray style side table when the cushion was removed. So I tucked it in the corner with a basket underneath (to hide my never used exercise videos :) ).
I did the Pottery Barn knock off that is going around the blog world by ripping the covers off a few old books, darkened the sides with tea bags and securing them with twine. I added an extra special daughter made me a paper flower years ago so I thought this is a perfect spot to showcase it. I would love one of those little silver clocks with the feet to put beside the books but that will have to wait. 
 I can't say I am 100% happy with it but I do love being able to sit and read quietly.
 On a side note...does anyone have a suggestion on what I can do for curtains? Should I do one rod across the entire wall and put panels between the windows and on either side of the bay (so 4 panels). I am struggling with this...hence no curtains almost two years after moving in.


  1. Stephanie, this is great. Now, do you have any suggestions on how to get the kids to leave me alone so I can USE a reading nook? :)

    Looks so inviting...

  2. Love it! My hubs and I lived in a one bedroom townhome before we had kids and the room had a bay window that we made our little sitting area. I loved having it. I hope we get to have it again some time soon.

  3. I have bay windows in my living room that I struggled to figure out how to dress, without spending much money. I finally went with tension rods and curtains I had on hand. I have a few pictures on my blog that show the windows.

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  4. How nice to have a relaxing reading/t.v. watching nook in your bedroom. :)
    About the curtains, I think if you used one rod across the wall you would make the room look smaller. I can see small (in circumference) light weight rods. I think heavy curtains would make the room look well to heavy as you have some quite strong features with your dark furniture. So perhaps you could use a lightweight fabric, filmy or slightly see through and keep the blinds in the window for privacy. I think the curtains would look best if they were floor length.
    Sorry, I got a bit carried away here didn't I?
    Have fun!
    Anne xx

  5. I think Roman Shades would be an amazing addition that wouldn't take too much away from your amazingly decorated room. I saw really neat ones at JCP, and I saw really cool bamboo/woody type ones at a lowes recently. (here's a link (I don't mean to be stalker like...I just immediately thought they would look cool the first pic I saw of your awesome reading nook):

    Jos @ Organized Chaos

  6. Curtains transform a room! has very cheap fabric and unique patterns. If you know how to sew I would create separate panels for each side window, but the 3 windows where the reading nook are is going to be difficult. It would be cool if a rod could zigzag against the wall across all 3. Maybe just do a 3 sided valance for the nook?
    Good luck!

  7. Instead of curtains, why don't you put a cornice above the windows similar to the crown you used for your bathroom mirror? It will create a sleek look

  8. I love your idea on the curtains- I was going to say the same thing- hang 4 long ones. it goes with your clean line style. I just redid our living room curtains and found great prices at they even will take back any fabric you dont like and they pay the return shipping! If you have a walmart near you that sells fabric they always have a $1 a yard sale table! Ours no longer has fabric and boy I miss that. I did almost all the windows before they stopped selling the fabric. But I hear some far away stores still sell it, so try there! A nice black iron rod would be so pretty across the top with long drapes in between the windows- it will give the illusion as one solid window! Good luck- oh and I just discovered your site and LOVE it!!!!! You are so talented!!

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