Before and After: An Unused Closet Becomes a Cozy Reading Nook for Less Than $100

updated Oct 7, 2019
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Closets & Storage
Office & Dens
Organic Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image
Credit: Lindsay Cisewski

Book nooks are, arguably, the best nooks.

Lindsay Cisewski of Style and Dwell, her husband, and her 4-year-old would agree. “We wanted a space to organize all of our books, and have an out-of-the way and cozy space to read them,” Lindsay writes.

The target? An unused basement closet. “Due to its location and layout, it really wasn’t functional, and it definitely wasn’t pretty!” Lindsay says.

Lindsay and her family had never done a DIY build before, but they decided to go for it, spending one weekend and just $95 on the project. Using leftover paint (a mix of Cast Iron and Pewter Green, both by Sherwin-Williams), they gave the walls of the nook a deep, dramatic green color; to build the seat, they used a combination of new and leftover lumber. The cushion is a re-covered floor mattress Lindsay had at home “that just happened to fit pretty perfectly.”

For decor, they purchased new covers for pillows they already had on hand, used baskets they already owned, and installed attention-grabbing lighting. The Hudson Valley Lighting fixture retails for $250, but Lindsay got it for free in exchange for photos and coverage on her blog, which definitely kept the price down on the redo.

“We were overwhelmed by the thought of this project, as we had never built anything—let alone a platform bench,” Lindsay says. But in the end, she says she loves the new book storage and how the green color sets the space apart from the rest of the room.

“The biggest surprise was how much my 4-year-old loved helping with the project—and he’s so proud of ‘his’ book nook!” says Lindsay. That’s a future bookworm if we’ve ever seen one!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.