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


Welcome!! I’m Sarah-- mama to three kiddos + wife to my high school sweetheart. I'm usually over-caffeinated, browsing Amazon + running on lots of grace. Grab a snack + get comfy!

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  1. 1.11.16
    Kellie said:

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

    • 1.12.16
      Sarah said:

      Thanks so much Kellie!

  2. 1.11.16
    Donna Ramirez said:

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

    • 1.12.16
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Donna, I really appreciate that!

  3. 1.14.16

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

    • 1.14.16
      Sarah said:

      Thanks sweet Sarah!

  4. 1.14.16
    Heather said:

    Love this project – you did a lovely job.

    • 1.14.16
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Heather!

  5. 6.5.16
    MyraMBrowy said:

    Awesome post.

  6. 9.3.17
    Katy said:

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

    • 9.3.17
      Sarah said:

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

      • 9.5.17
        Katy said:

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

  7. 1.30.21
    Carrie Harp said:

    Love it so much I am redoing my old wet bar area the same!!! Where did u get the light we raised our ceiling up so looking for one similar