DIY Reading Nook with Planked Walls

Today I’m so excited to be sharing how our DIY reading nook with planked walls came to life. What I love most about our little nest is that it’s unique. Coming from a cookie-cutter home in the suburbs, we are soooo thankful for a bit of character and charm. One of its coolest features is lots of alcoves–we have one on the main level and another in our basement (we turned that one into an indoor playhouse for our kiddos). And while they can be a bit of a challenge, I see so much potential in these empty spots. For this one I brainstormed on a few things and eventually came up with the idea of transforming it into a cozy reading nook. I’ve always dreamed of having a reading nook, but never even imagined that I might actually have one.  So when it finally seemed within reach, I couldn’t wait to start. We had been in the house all of two weeks when I wanted to tackle this project. Yes, I’m not the most patient person. Since we were still knee-deep in moving boxes, I recruited the help of my father-in-law. He is amazing when it comes to stuff like this and was eager to help. All the credit goes to him!

Empty Closet Transformed into Cozy Reading Nook in Farmhouse Style Living Room. Brilliant DIY project! This is the best before shot I could find. Like I said, we had only been in the house a couple weeks and I wasn’t taking many photos. BUT you get the idea. It was basically an empty alcove about the size of a coat closet.

Readin Nook before

The first step is building a basic frame for the bench. Use a second layer of 2x4s to make a recessed area for the bench lid to sit on, then it’s nice and level on top. If you want storage for all the things (like we did) make sure to leave it open on the inside.

Reading Nook and Planked Walls

Reading Nook and Planked Walls

We went with simple beadboard on the front and wide trim on the top and edges.

Reading Nook and Planked Walls

Here’s the finished product (along with a planked wall!) I also added in little corbels and an antique lantern just to spruce it up a bit.

Reading Nook and Planked Walls

I absolutely love it. We get so many comments and questions on it when people come into our home.

Reading Nook Planked Walls

I had no idea how hard it would be to find a cushion for this spot. I wanted it to be a perfect fit, so I ended up enlisting the help of a wonderful seamstress who was kind enough to make this cushion for us. It’s stain resistant and very durable. Perfect for all the little people around here and all the things we will surely spill on this baby.

Reading Nook and Planked Walls

I think it definitely completes our living room and adds such a cozy feel to the entire room.

Reading Nook and Planked Walls in Living Room

Reading Nook Planked Walls Farmhouse Living Room

So there you have it! Who knew an empty little space like this could be so easily transformed into such a cozy spot. Let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by! xoxo


Leave a Comment


  1. Kellie wrote:

    Such a clever idea, I love it! You did such a great job. It adds such character.

    Posted 1.11.16 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks so much Kellie!

      Posted 1.12.16 Reply
  2. Donna Ramirez wrote:

    That is absolutely fabulous! I just love cozy reading nooks!

    Posted 1.11.16 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Donna, I really appreciate that!

      Posted 1.12.16 Reply
  3. It was SUCH a great idea and those yellow pillows are so beautiful, just the right touch. Well done!!

    Posted 1.14.16 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks sweet Sarah!

      Posted 1.14.16 Reply
  4. Heather wrote:

    Love this project – you did a lovely job.

    Posted 1.14.16 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Heather!

      Posted 1.14.16 Reply
  5. MyraMBrowy wrote:

    Awesome post.

    Posted 6.5.16 Reply
  6. Katy wrote:

    So creative I love it especially the wall color. Would you please share what color you used.

    Posted 9.3.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Katy, the wall color is Autumn Blonde by Sherwin Williams.

      Posted 9.3.17 Reply
      • Katy wrote:

        Thank you so very much!!! When my project is all done I’ll share my pictures.

        Posted 9.5.17 Reply

Follow on Instagram

  • It’s been a day of running & doing & trying to keep up with all the things 😳😳 so tonight I was in cozy clothes + slippers by 5:30. My husband snapped this grainy photo of me + the tiny one while I was cooking dinner & I love it. It’s a good reminder that even though this season of life is pretty crazy sometimes, I wouldn’t change it for anything 😍😍
  • My stay at home game is pretty strong, but I finally made it out of the house for date night + dinner with friends 👏🏻👏🏻 And you guys, I even wore shoes with a heel. It wasn’t much, but it still counts, right?! #fancyschmancy 🤣 Hope you all had a great Saturday!! #liketkit
  • Morning sunshine & happy Friday!! I’m up & at ‘em early & ready to get this day rolling ☀️☀️ Over on the blog I’m sharing my favorite protein shake recipe. It’s chocolate almond butter & it’s seriously SO good. Check it out if you have a minute!
Also here’s a closer look at these gorgeous botanical prints. These are in my @clothandcabin collection & I’m obsessed with them. 😍😍 They already sold out once, but they’ve been restocked!! Use coupon JOY10 for 10% off. 🌿🌿
  • Coziest spot in the house right here 🙌🏻🙌🏻 You guys probably get really tired of seeing my recliners, but I seriously love them so much. Comfy + affordable + cute. That’s a winning combo! 💯 And I’m even giving one away this month—watch my April giveaway highlight for more info! Happy Friday Eve buddies 😘😘 #liketkit
  • You guys! My collection with @clothandcabin officially launched TODAY. Eeek!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 I can’t believe the day is finally here. I shared all about it (and this amazing maxi dress!) in stories & on the blog today if you want to check it out. It’s only available for 2 weeks, so hustle your bustle if you want to snag anything.💨 .
🎉🎉🎉 Now how about a fun GIVEAWAY to celebrate the launch?! One lucky winner will receive one of each item in my collection. That’s 10 gorgeous items for your home & wardrobe. Whoot whoot!! Here’s how to enter:  1. Like this photo. 
2. Like each @sarahjoyblog post & each @clothandcabin post for the duration of the collection starting today. 
3. That’s it! Easy peasy. The winner will be announced on Thursday 5/2/19. **Not affiliated with Instagram. Only open to US residents. (Account should be public.)
  • BOOM. New chairs done ✅ I conquered a zillion little screws today & inadequate instructions to put these beauties together. What do you think?! I’m loving them already & wondering why I waited so long to upgrade from the free Craigslist chairs we’ve had in our dining room for 3 years now 🤷‍♀️Oh well, I guess it was worth the wait. And even better bc I snagged them on mega sale! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 #liketkit

Follow Me!