budget redo before and after of kids reading nook
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A Reading Nook for $539

Graphic stripes and a cushy window seat turn an odd space into a cozy retreat

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In a blank space, there's a lot of room for improvement. Just ask Vel Baricuatro-Criste and her husband, Gerson Criste. After having a contractor add a windowed egress dormer in an over-the-garage room for their teenage son, they were left with an odd, unfinished nook. Vel saw it as an opportunity to create a quiet reading alcove as part of an overall update of the bedroom.

In a blank space, there's a lot of room for improvement. Just ask Vel Baricuatro-Criste and her husband, Gerson Criste. After having a contractor add a windowed egress dormer in an over-the-garage room for their teenage son, they were left with an odd, unfinished nook. Vel saw it as an opportunity to create a quiet reading alcove as part of an overall update of the bedroom.

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What They Did

 

What They Did

before remodel of kids reading nook, budget redo
Before: Adding a dormer for egress left an awkward, unfinished space.

She painted both spaces white with an accent rail of bold navy stripes to create a cohesive look. To keep things cozy underfoot, Gerson installed striped carpet tiles over the nook's plywood subfloor. Then he built a storage bench from prepainted cabinets, using stock lumber to fill in gaps at the back and sides and painting the exposed sides white so that they blend in. Vel made a seat for the bench by stapling fabric-topped foam to sheet pine that her husband had cut to size. Gerson installed floating shelves to display some of their son's books; the rest tuck neatly away in the storage bench. Sconces flank the window seat, and a flush-mount fixture hangs overhead, providing plenty of light for nighttime reading. Now the nook is her 13-year-old's favorite place to unwind. "He has a whole room to hang out in, but whenever he has friends over, they're always in that space," says Vel. "They love it!"

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The Project Tally

 

The Project Tally

shelves detail in remodel of kids reading nook, budget redo
Only $6 each for floating shelves.

• Painted the room white with navy stripes $109

• Finished the floor with carpet tiles found at a big-box store $98

• Created a bench from laundry cabinets and stock lumber $110

• Topped the bench with pine covered with discounted foam and on-sale fabric $68

• Had the contractor who installed the dormer also wire two new sconces and an overhead fixture at no extra cost $130

• Mounted four floating display shelves $24

Total: $539

 
 

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