stephmodo: Budget Bedroom Makeover: the Reading Nook

Budget Bedroom Makeover: the Reading Nook

• 23 June 2008

I love reading the blog Sugar City Journal. I wish they could sew faster so I could look at more pretty things, more often :)

On a particular day, the art-history-major in me was incredibly inspired by a post about a van Gogh painting depicting pretty Japanese branches and a stunning orange stripe. Lynne translated the painting into an adorable dress. Immediately my mind began spinning. How could I incorporate this look into my own home? (a dress being totally out of the question given my complete lack of skill in this category) It didn't take long to figure out the perfect spot... new oasis--part of the budget bedroom makeover I spoke of several months ago (these things take time). It's simple, small, but possesses all the necessary details of a proper reading nook.

1. a comfortable chair (perfect for slinging legs over)
2. inspiring art
3. ample light
4. a good-sized collection of reading material

Okay, so maybe it doesn't possess all the necessary details--I do realize now that I haven't procured a soft throw. Any suggestions?

My favorite part of this area is the pillow. Really. I asked Amy to sew a custom pillow cover out of the packaging from my bedding because I simply could not get over how cool it was. Why is everything from Anthropologie--from the store displays to the packaging--so unique, so special? Love it. Anyway, she created a cute little number from the sham envelope and added a few buttons for added visual interest. On its backside is the orange stripe a la van Gogh a la Sugar City Journal. I like that I can look at one side one day, and then switch it up another. Perhaps all pillows should have two personalities!


Chair- IKEA "As Is" section (not sure just why)
Art- Ink Drawing by local artist Dan Richards
Frame- Sample frame at Reuels
Vintage Lamp- free at a church home decor swap; cha-ching
Stool- IKEA; painted a complimentary color by moi
Rug- a gift from my Dad and Aussi stepmom...straight from Australia
Pillow- sewn by the talented Ms. Redden


  1. I love this - I wish my bedroom even had the room for a reading nook I would so do this. It came out wonderful!

  2. This looks so pretty! I love that as-is section at IKEA, great deals there.

  3. I can't wait to see it in person next week! It looks so peaceful and lovely, as every mom's room should be! Great interpretation of the painting, what a great idea!

  4. What a beautiful reading nook. I wouldn't want to actually read there for fear of disturbing it. I love the pillow too. Such a cool idea.

  5. your blog is always filled with the most beautiful things. thank you for always sharing.

  6. Wow, your bedroom looks so different since the last time I saw it. (Two years ago, sadly.) It looks so warm and inviting.

  7. I saw that post on SCJ, too, and was likewise inspired. Have done little to manifest it, though. But I have a similar chair and love it!

  8. Oh sublime: the paint, the soft white chair, the pillow with a horizontal stripe! I love it!

  9. Wow! This is beautiful and so inspiring. It really reflects your commitment to beauty, knowledge, art, comfort, self-care. I love this about your blog. It renews my own commitment to my makeover plans. Thanks!!

  10. gasp. this is gorgeous!! i love how you interpreted everything. i wish i could hire you to help me with my family room!

  11. this room is so peaceful and pretty and my fave colors - light!

    but that pillow is the best thing i've seen in a while - LOVE LOVE LOVE that you saved the labels with an eye to what they could be - so pretty!

  12. Wow, it's awesome. I wish you could come to my house and work your magic.

  13. That's exactly how I pictured my "chillout corner" in the bedroom, albeit in different colors. Love the budget finds for it, thanks!

  14. what is this grey paint? i love it!

  15. I think it's Restoration Hardware's Bay Laurel.

  16. Love it! Where can I find more art by Dan Richards?

  17. Hi Anon:

    Here is Dan's information. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.

  18. Your reading book looks so calm and peaceful -- I love it! It's inspiration for the reading nook I'm hoping to put in our bedroom sometime soon, one of my 2011 home goals. I hope you don't mind, I used your photo as my inspiration and linked up to your post; you can check it out here:


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