There was only a tiny reference to a reading nook on the playroom mood board, but it is actually a huge part of the loft space. The sofa in the loft is super cozy and the perfect place to curl up and share a book. We needed a great place to store the books, but also make them a centerpiece of the space.
I think one of the best ways to get kids interested in reading is to make it accessible and surround them with books. I love to let the kids pick out which books we read. They grab one to read and when we are done they exchange it for another. I have read that it is easier for kids to pick out books if they can see the covers, rather than just the spines like on a traditional book shelf. So I decided to make more of a book display than a book shelf for the loft.
We grabbed two Ribba picture ledges from Ikea for $14.99. They also come in a shorter length for $9.99. These ledges are great, because they attach securely to the wall and at about 3-4 inches deep they can actually hold quite a few books. We decided to “stack” the shelves as a great way to fill the space on the half wall in the loft. The lower shelf sits just about six inches above the baseboard and just a few inches under the outlet on that wall. I used one of the larger books as a guide to see how much space to leave in-between the shelves. The top shelf is about 12 inches higher. There are only a few books we have too large for the bottom shelf, so we simply put them on the top shelf.
To make the space more inviting when the boys want to read on their own, I added two big boxy floor cushions right below the shelves. We also snagged this cool black Kids Lou Lou Ghost Chair from the Room and Board outlet for $79 (regularly $133). The boys love having a piece of furniture just their size.
Adding to the literacy theme in this part of the playroom, is the framed alphabet poster. My sweet mother-in-law picked up a bunch of spanish school posters on a recent trip to Peru. The illustrations and colors on this Abecedario poster were my favorite. I found the large frame for $9.99 in the clearance section at Michaels. It was normally $49.99, but the glass was missing. Not a big deal for me, since I preferred a glass-less frame for kid safety plus the poster was already laminated. The poster was a bit odd-sized. The width was just right for the frame, but it was too short. I used coordinating ribbon to fill in the gaps. I ran the ribbon through my Xyron sticker machine. After adhering the poster to the frame back I added the adhesive ribbon to the top and bottom.
My hope for this space is that it remains a cozy and nurturing environment for the boys to slow down and take in a good book. Right now we read to them or they page through their favorites, but I know it won’t be long before they are reading on their own. I want them to have a space to explore reading. It is integrated into our play room, because I believe all play is educational. Interest in reading starts out as playing with books.
I had no idea there was a R&B Outlet in town. Awesome! And the space looks great!
Oh you must go Deb. It is so great if you like the Room & Board style. It is in Golden Valley, but is only open on the weekends.
Salt in Suburbia says
You are too amazing! And yes, that R &B outlet is awesome. Haven’t been there in a long time though. Do you still stand in lone to get in on Saturdays?
One other thing I have found useful in a reading area is a separate drawer or other designated area for library books — so they don’t get lost.
Yes Gretchen, there is still a line on Saturday mornings. We used to stake it out every Saturday while we were furnishing our house. Now we go more ad hoc in the afternoons when it is a little less crazy.
Great minds think alike! I am also totally working on a project for the library books. We usually keep those downstairs, but I definitely want to make a designated spot for them (I am daydreaming of a vintage soda crate style).
Nebraska Mom says
I love it! I have a den with a low wall like that and totally want to copy your idea! However, Nebraska does not have Ikea access nor do they ship here. What is the width on those picture ledges? Thanks! Great blog!
Bummer Nebraska does not have Ikea…yet! These ledges are 45 inches. I think if you search around a bit you can find a tutorial to make your own.