Creating a Reading Nook


One thing I really desire in a home is lots of windows and lots of light! Thankfully we had that to work with when we moved into our home. In many ways though the house was like a blank canvas of empty space. It was hard to plan just how to best utilize the space and light properly. This empty corner however – it just begged to become something I’ve always wanted – a reading nook!

The Blank Canvas:

Here’s how the project started – a blank corner staring at me with two wonderful natural light resources. I painted the walls with a Merlot above the chair rail and a Vintage Green under. Then I began brainstorming on the best possible way to add more seating for when we had guests, as well as a cozy place to curl up with a good book.

The Solution:

This breakfast nook was the yard sale find of the century! The bench came with these two pieces as well as the corner piece, and was in exceptional shape. I knew right away that it was my reading nook at last.


The first thing that had to be done was something that almost every piece of furniture that enters our house must undergo – white chalk paint and antiquing. It’s just classy, clean, and fits with any decor or wall color.


Mind you, this all happened while my husband was at work for the day, so there I was assembling the two benches and corner piece in exactly the way I wanted, with sawdust and paint chips flying everywhere! In the end it fit perfectly!

Adding Comfort:

I found two comfortable bench cushions that I could use for upholstery by sewing removable covers (preferably dark colors) that could easily be removed and washed.

Minor Setback:

It was impossible to find an exact fit lengthwise for the smaller bench and corner bench…so, I had to get creative.


I simply measured the cushion and cut it to fit the small bench. The smaller part of the cushion on the right (above) will be sewn in a triangle to fit the corner seat.

I removed some of the stuffing that was spilling out when I cut the cushion open and sewed the edge of the small cushion back together.

Here is what the triangle cushion turned out to look like for the corner seat.


This is just about as good as it’s going to get as far as finding the perfect cushions for these odd sized benches.

Cushion Covers:

Finding the perfect fabric was not easy – and I actually ended up using old curtains that I loved, after going through many fabric options. I sewed these to fit the cushions like a simple pillowcase.

Adding Buttons:

I decided to give the cover a fancy duvet finish by adding these large attractive buttons, easy for removing when needing a wash.

A Perfect Fit:

Here is a close-up of the covered cushion on the bench (which, might I add lifts up for storage!)

Finishing Touch:

There is nothing to finish a project off like beautiful accent pillows and flowers! These pillows could not have matched more perfectly with our Merlot and Vintage green color scheme. Also, the corner ledge is the perfect place to set a cold drink or hot cup of coffee while you dig into a good book!

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  1. Tierney says


    You are so talented!
    Great job.
    I love the idea and seeing all your hard work come to life.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Kristi @ Hail Marry says

    I love this! Totally a dream house goal. I don’t know who would use it more! Beautiful. <

  3. Sara says

    I love that this was an affordable, use-what-you-find DIY project. I hate when I see something awesome, then read through and it’s like “first, spend an arm and a leg on materials. Second…” I’m so inspired that you did this with yard sale finds and old curtains! And it looks AWESOME!!! Gives me hope 🙂

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