Monday, April 29, 2013

Playroom Reading Nook

We are lucky to have an awesome room on the back of our house that we use as a playroom for the kids.  It's a long room with a tile floor, and windows all along the back wall facing the backyard.  I have organized it, decorated it, arranged it, and rearranged it numerous times in the two years we've lived here, but I have just never been satisfied with the way it looked.
We, like most families with small children, I would imagine, have a large collection of children's books.  I'm so thankful that I have children that LOVE to read and listen to stories, and make up their own, and I knew I wanted to create a cozy space for them in the playroom where they could get out books and look through them independently, and where we could all sit and I could read to them as well. 
So one day when the girls were playing and Ben was napping, I started moving the furniture, without a really clear plan of what I was going to do (which is really the only way I rearrange rooms, just when the mood strikes me!).  I had the reading nook in mind, and since the pink tent was already hanging in the corner (and I had NO plans of moving that), I thought I'd try to work around it and create my nook based on that corner.  So I then moved the bookcase, and it all started to fall into place.  Once the furniture and rugs set, I worked for the next couple of weeks on the decor, what I wanted on the walls, and with a smidge of inspiration from one particular website (I'll give you one guess what it is, and I bet you'll be right :)), we had our playroom reading nook!  And the girls love it, I'm very pleased with it, and I think Ben likes it too. :)

I didn't buy any new furniture specifically for the reading nook, it was all things that th kids had gotten for Christmas, birthdays, etc.  Brantley got the pink hanging tent for Christmas two years ago, and it has been such a wonderful hiding place for her and her babies.  It has a nice big cushion underneath it (a necessity since we have tile floors in the playroom!), and is a great place to snuggle up and read stories (or pretend we're the three little pigs and Daddy is the Big Bad Wolf, as is more often the case :)).  It's from Land of Nod, and they have several more styles and colors available since we ordered this one.  And a must-have for a reading nook, a bookcase of course!  I got the 6-cube storage shelf from Lowe's and I love it because I can stand books up in it just fine, or I can use the canvas bins (from Target) that fit perfectly for smaller baby books, small toys, and soft books that wouldn't look as nice on the shelf.  The bins also gave me the opportunity to incorporate some "boy colors" into our predominately pink playroom!  Working on that, Ben... :)
Inside the tent- multicoloed medallion pillow from Wal Mart, green, pink, and blue heart pillows from Target, rainbow alphabet pillow from Goat & Lulu, pink and brown piped Brantley pillow from RH Baby and Child, and green round fleece pillow made by me.
Then I got the urge one night to make the lime green circle garland, just for fun.  I cut out green circles out of felt, stitched them together, and made this super simple garland that I hung flush against the wall.  I already had the pink, yellow, and white pom pom garlands that I had made for Brantley's birthday pary last year, and instead of them laying in a box in our basement, I thought they would add some more flair to the nook.  I just love how it turned out.  It makes it feel like a circus (like it doesn't around here already!)!
Brantley, Grayson and Bennett each got an Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn for their first Christmases, and they are perfect for sitting in and looking at books.  They all circle the pink shag rug that used to be in Brantley's room (from JC Penney). And then, of course, there just can't be a room in my house with at least one gallery wall, right?
I wanted the gallery wall to be very colorful, like the rest of our playroom, and have lots of personal touches.
I created the "Dream Big" print a few weeks ago (find it here and download it for free!), and I found the chevron initial prints on Pinterest.  You personalize them yourself and add your child's name and birthdate, and print them off all for free!  Find them here.  We have beagle (Monkey :)), so I had to have the Beagle sign from Gatewood Hall-Gracious Home in Blue Ridge, GA.  To the left of the Beagle, I framed a scrap of this digitally created lego fabric with a green embroidery hoop.  I actually ordered the fabric for a custom order for a customer of mine, and thought it added another boy touch.  I did the melted crayon art about a year and a half ago (one of my first Pinterest projects!), and inside the silver frame, I appliqued a heart to a scrap of rainbow chevron fabric.
Straght down the middle, starting from the top, I found this "PLAY" flag print on one of my favorite blogs, Jones Design Company, in Emily's shop.  I ordered it about the same time I made the crayon art; it was one of the first decorative things I had up in the playroom.  I found the green mirror at Target on clearance for $3 about a year ago, and had just not figured out what I was going to do with it yet!  But I knew te price was too good to pass up (I actually got 2!) and now I love it as the center of the wall.  I through a little bunting on it and it's perfect.  And the rectangular canvas is a piece of "art" finger-painted by Brantley!  I think the colors are perfect, and she just loves that her "art" is on display on the wall. :)
More chevron prints (I did one for each of the kids).  The pink scroll frame was in Brantley's nursery.  Instead of a picture, I wrote "Be Sweet" in it, as kind of our playroom motto.  I also wanted to do some kind of handprint art, to memorialize the sweet handprints of my babies at these ages.  I traced their hands, and copied them onto heat n bond paper.  I ironed each print to a different colored fabric, then appliqued them onto the aqua chevron with a red heart in the palm of each hand.  I was going to put each handprint on their own canvas, but I like them all on one!  I was so happy with it. :)And then I had a set of 12 manners cards that used to be hanging all over the playroom.  I taped one up with striped washi tape to complete the gallery wall.  I thought "Pick up your toys" was appropriate.  And kind of ironic, since they never pick up thei toys!  Ha!  And as a "Keeping it Real" sidenote, yes, that is crayon all over that wall.  I have tried magic eraser and every other wall cleaner, and that stupid crayon will not come off!  I plan on painting the whole room, but it just hasn't happened yet.
More of the cute manners cards, and my Target lamp.
Over the bookshelf, I wanted a cute way to display the word READ.  I thought of hanging the letters, but I wasn't using this white shelf, so I hung it up and sat the letters on it, and I love it!
The letters are just cardboard, and I mod podged fabric over them.  Easy and cute, but it took more time than I was anticipating.
And under the shelf is this adorable ABC print that you can download here for free!
I am just so happy with how our little reading nook turned out.  The kids ad I have really enjoyed it, and am so happy that I have good little readers on my hands. :)
Now that I finally have it arranged in a way I'm really happy with, I have a few other projects planned for the rest of the playroom, so stay tuned! 
Linking up to:
Sundae Scoop Link Party @ I Heart Naptime
Craftastic Link Party at Sew Can Do
That DIY Party at DIY Show Off 
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  1. love this reading nook, i really hope i can source kiddie armchairs in the uk!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Check Pottery Barn and Land of Nod. I'm not sure f they ship to the UK, but it's worth a shot! :)

  2. Cute! Where did you get the tent?


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