Sunday, March 6, 2011

Children's Reading Area

old family room and toy closet/play area
Prior to the spring of 2009, I had a very teeny tiny family room to go along with the teeny tiny bedrooms for my children. At a loss for what to do for extra space for my children's toys, I ended up turning a little used closet under the stairs into a toy closet for them.
old family room and toy closet/play area
They loved the space and it was a wonderful way to expand their play area without the expense of building onto our home. Fortunately in the spring of 2009 we were able to bump out the back wall of our family room and kitchen area. We added approximately 270 square feet to our house. Not only did this give us a larger family room, but it also enabled us to seat our entire family of four (plus a couple of guests!) at our kitchen table. This gave me the chance to move all of the toys OUT of the family room and into the room that had been the dining room. Moving the toys in addition to building the addition really made the first floor of our house feel bigger! (We're still stuck with teeny tiny bedrooms though...but at least they don't have many toys in them!)

After moving all of the toys, the toy closet ended up unused for over a year. Actually, it ended up being the place where I shoved all the stuff I needed to donate to charity. Finally I decided to reclaim it as a reading area for my children.
The little pink chair in the doorway is one I found in my old room at my mom's house. I think she bought it at Ikea fifteen years ago! I tossed a pillow on the floor as well as my children's Pillow Pets. (As an aside, I love having a "home" for these Pillow Pets! I'm big on toys having homes.)
I put Golden Books in a basket on the floor and put picture books in the book sling shelf along the back of the closet. The only item I bought for this reading area is the book sling I purchased from Amazon (it is by KidKraft and I paid around $50) but there are different versions at multiple retailers. Just like the rain gutter book shelves I put up in my son's room, I think it is great to have bookshelves that allow children to see book covers.
My children were so excited when I showed them their new reading area! They call it "The Book Nook" and love reading in there. It is a cozy space that they can make as snug as they wish. I love providing different areas for my children to read and this one definitely is proving to be a favorite of theirs.

Linking to Sanctuary Arts at Home's Refresh Your Room


Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I would have loved to have had a reading corner like this when I was a girl! A little secret hideaway where there imaginations can soar. Very cool!

Karri said...

I totally agree about the books facing outward! I am constantly trying to rearrange the books so that they all get reading time. If they can't see the spine, they ignore the book. :(
And I love reading nooks!! The kids love to cozy up in a spot to read. I would love a spot like that to create a little nook. So cozy!

Sugar_Tart said...

Hello, Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog the other day!

I love your little reading nook and the gutter bookshelves you made! My daughter is not even 2 but I hope we are able to do projects like these to keep her interested in reading in the years to come.

Connie said...

This is just so fabulous! What the perfect use for this space!

I wish I had a sweet spot like this....for me!

Jennifer Rizzo said...

I love this idea! What a great use of space and it's perfect for them!

Wendy @ Ramblings from the Sunshine State said...

That is so neat! My kids would totally love that.

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

What a nice space. My kids love climbing into cozy little places like that...I wish we had one for our books!