The Treehouse: Reading Loft

April 14, 2014

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Images and text by Gabrielle. A huge thank you to Serena & Lily for partnering with me on this space.

Oh man. I am so excited to share this photo tour with you! This was months and months in the making. When we first moved into The Treehouse, and explored the house for the first time, we imagined this space as a reading loft right away. In my head, it was going to be weekend project — throw down some flooring, paint it up, add comfy chair. Done and done. But as I actually started working on the space, I found that I wanted to take my time with decisions and really put thought into what would work best.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Back in September, I thought I wanted wall to wall carpet in the loft. Then, I decided to experiment with a concrete overlay on the floors (which has held up wonderfully by the way). Then, I spent weeks and weeks figuring out what I wanted to do for shelves, and eventually decided on a DIY approach (tutorial coming!). Then, I ordered a chair with custom upholstery — which is a 6 week wait. Then, the room was 95% finished, and I realized I wanted one wall to be blue.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

It’s a tiny space, only 7 x 9.5 feet, but I really wanted to make the most of it, and to make it completely inviting and appealing for all the kids, both little and big. It took me quite awhile to get it just right.

So let’s get to the tour!

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Let’s start with some wide angle shots from each corner of the room so you can get a sense for the loft overall. I know the wide angle lens makes it look deceptively big! But it’s actually only 7 x 9.5 feet — and has a low slanted ceiling over half of the space. Take a look:

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

So. That’s the loft overall. A really happy colorful space. Now let’s get into some details for a bit and discuss some of my decision making:

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

As I mentioned, the paint color came at the last minute. In fact, we painted it on Friday night! But I think it’s a great addition. The color peeks through the crate shelving (just like in the inspiration picture) and the shade of blue is wonderful. It’s called Undercool by Sherwin-Williams — it’s bright but not too bright, and has a touch of turquoise in certain lights. It’s cheerful and calming.

The globe lights are from Ikea (they were part of last year’s holiday collection), and the Man in the Moon Garland DIY is here.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

The chair is the Spruce Street chair from Serena & Lily. The size is ideal! It’s comfortable for a an adult, but it’s not oversized, so it has good proportions for kids as well. As I worked on the loft, I was going for a mostly yellow + blue palette, and this chair was one of the first decisive decisions I made.

The Fox Pillow and Pom Pom Blanket are also from Serena & Lily.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Speaking of color, check out this crazy easy DIY poster! I saw this in the office of my book editor, Lia Ronnen and instagrammed it that day. The poster is a piece of foamcore with postcards attached. The postcards are book covers from Penguin, and you can buy them as a set here.

In the main floor of the house, I’ve focused on neutrals and whites with touches of green and natural woods — which I’ve loved. But in the family room (where the reading loft is), I’ve been using the same white on the walls, but using it as a backdrop for lots of bright color. Which has been fun!

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

The rug is a cotton Rope Rug that I am completely in love with! It’s good looking, and also super thick and soft. So comfortable. It fits perfectly in the space and looks really handsome with the DIY concrete floor.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

As I mentioned, the shelves are DIY, made from very affordable sheets of plywood. I’ve got a tutorial coming soon! I love how they turned out. There are 3 different sizes and they can be combined in endless combinations and adjusted to make room for whatever you need — like the handsome Studio Task Lamp pictured.

I should note here that I’ve been coordinating my books by color since 2009. I don’t do it on every shelf in the house, just where it makes sense. I’ve written about it a few times and I know some people find it maddening. Hah! But if you’re a visual person (I am), it’s actually quite ideal. When I think of a title in our book collection, a picture of the cover is what comes to my mind. So finding my books by color works really well.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

We knew we wanted a footstool so our kids could really relax while they read, and this Moroccan Pouf is just right for the job.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

One of the wonderful things about the loft is that it has two windows that let in beautiful light. I didn’t want to block it out, but I wanted something to filter the light, and I happened to have just the thing in my linen closet.

The sheer mesh curtains have a bit of a story. I bought them for our very first nursery over 16 years ago! And they have moved with us from house to house. I remember buying them clearly, because I bought them from Kmart and it was the first time I’d been to Kmart in years. I went there because I wanted to check out the brand new Martha Stewart line (remember that?) and I went home with these mesh curtains from her collection.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Because some of the shelves are stacked quite high, I knew we would need a stool so that even little June could access every book. This 3-legged Dip Dyed option was pretty much irresistible, and worked with the blue and yellow palette I was putting together.

Behind the stool you might notice a green palm frond basket — and there’s a similar blue one across the loft. We use them to store stacks of paperbacks — like Magic Treehouse and Time Warp Trio and Roald Dahl books (though I wish those were hardbacks).

Read instead.Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

The Read Instead print is fantastic. It lives by the ladder to the loft and tempts readers up the stairs. : ) My friend here in Oakland, Erik Heywood, created the print. He owns a little store in Temescal Alley called Book/Shop. If you ever get a chance to visit, you will be glad you did.

The sewn paper garland DIY can be found here.

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

For extra seating, I think these oversize Floor Cushions in Aqua and Navy are ideal. They’re filled with bean-bag like material and you can squash them around as you like. I knew that sometimes the kids would want to retreat to the reading loft with a friend or two, and I wanted to make sure there was more than one comfy spot to hang out.

The small yellow throw pillow was already in The Treehouse when we moved in and belonged to the previous owners.

Here are a few more shots that I had a hard time editing out:

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

Lastly, here’s a peek at what the reading loft looks like at night — because everyone knows sometimes you must stay up past your bedtime to finish that last chapter:

Turn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design MomTurn a small, unused space into an inviting Reading Nook   |   Design Mom

I think that about covers it. I hope you enjoyed the tour, and I’d love to hear what you think of the space. Wishing you a cozy, happy reading spot at your own house!

P.S. — A reader commented on Instagram with a request for a post with similar, but more affordable furniture options. I love that idea! I’ll work on it straight away.

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{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Birdy& Bambi April 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

This is absolutely stunning! My literature-student heart is in love!!!

Here a peek into our latest France- vacation:

http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/04/precious-pau-i.html

Love from Germany,

Birdy and Bambi

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2 dorthe April 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Dear Bambi and Birdy, I would like to say something to you, without meaning it in a harsh way: I feel this is a place in which you are asked to add something to a conversation. It isn’t a place to promote your own blog. Sorry to criticize, but I find it not very polite and respectful to make use of other peoples blog in this manner…

So. Back to the topic of the Blairs new reading loft: I really like it and can imagine that it will become everyones favorite corner of the house.

May I ask you, Gabrielle: Does the leather pouf have a strong smell? We once considered buying a pink one just like that one in Morocco, but it had a very strong odor and we weren’t sure if it would disappear. We wanted to use it in our (then) baby girls room and feared the smell would overpower everything.
Since then I regret not having bought it…

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3 Bambi and Birdy April 15, 2014 at 2:46 am

Dear Dorthe,

Thank you for your critical comment. We appreciate your concerns and gave it a whole night of thoghts. We never wanted to be rude or disrespectful. We love to read posts and sometimes, as you do, we like to comment on other blogs. It is a community and we love to be a part of it.
We are so thankful for all the thoughts, Gabrielle here, and a lot of other bloggers world wide, give to the posts. And we know how hard it sometimes can be to write a good post. Especially, if you have an other life going on outside the internet. We put a link afterwards our comments to give something back. We got inspired by the post and love to give the blogger or the comminuty a new inspiration. This is how the internet works for us. We think of it as a colorful ocean, where you can indulge in a variation of ideas and have the change to soak in new inspiration… so that writing your next post gets much easier.

We are so sorry, that you had the need to write to us twice and felt that we don’t appreciate comments enough. We do think, that everyone is different, and everyone lives life and writes blogs and comments in a different way and that there exist multiple ways to comment.
We hope, that with all the respect we have for every blogger, reader and every comment, we get respect in return and did not want to offend you in any way.

We wish you all a wonderful day
B&B

and here is a more detailed report on our commenting issues:
http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/04/first-critical-comment.html

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4 Megan M. April 14, 2014 at 8:25 am

It’s beautiful! Can I live there??? :)

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5 rachael April 14, 2014 at 8:28 am

Beautiful!! I would make that my “Mom Cave”! :)

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6 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 9:58 am

Totally! It’s a wonderful hideout for me too. : )

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7 Nerissa April 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

Lovely. Just lovely. You and your family continue to be an inspiration.

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8 julia g blair April 14, 2014 at 8:40 am

I am speechless! Even color-coordinated books!!! Amazing, even stunning!!
And you’re a Blair!!!! So honored!!!

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9 Carmen April 14, 2014 at 8:46 am

A beautiful place to daydream. Looking forward to the crate tutorial.

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10 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

Coming soon! I would have included it with the post, but I had too many pictures going on here already.

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11 annie April 14, 2014 at 8:49 am

lovely! well done, for sure! thanks for the inspiration.

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12 Barchbo April 14, 2014 at 8:52 am

May I vacation in your reading nook? Total heaven!

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13 Amy April 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

I was so excited for this post and it did not disappoint! Love all the details! I bet your kids love it too. I want to copy the poster. Where did you get your piece of foamcore and does it need to be custom cut? If so, did you just have it cut the size of a basic poster board? Thanks for all the inspiration!

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14 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

The foamcore is standard posterboard size. I attached the postcards using double sided tape — though any glue or adhesive would work. They fit perfect top to bottom. When I was done, there was about 1 inch of foamcore left showing, so I trimmed it off with an exacto knife and a straight edge.

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15 Jenny April 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I wouldn’t use glue to do it. I did a similar project with printed book covers from books that were meaningful to our family and when I used glue on the foamcore it warped and wouldn’t lay flat anymore. Maybe hot glue? It looks fantastic by the way!

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16 Diane April 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Quite possibly a ridiculous question, but how did you stick the postcard poster to the wall? It looks like there are little clips? Thanks!

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17 Matilda April 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

What a gorgeous space! My boyfriend and I are planning on making a little corner of our bedroom into a reading corner, and have been on the hunt for the perfect chair (a very daunting task, as you know). I love the idea of using globe lights/garlands to delineate that corner from the rest of the room too.

Also, slightly off topic but June’s green gingham dress is SO adorable.

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18 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:03 am

Agreed. The dress is super cute. Fun fact: she wore this in the very first Olive Us episode, called Garden Day, back in the day! It’s from Kayce Hughes. They no longer carry the same dress, but they have lots of other cute options.

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19 Minerva April 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

This is super cool! I want one now :)

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20 Ann April 14, 2014 at 9:14 am

It looks so great & cozy!! I wanna read up there too!

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21 Hannah Carpenter April 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

Very inspiring!!! Makes me want to do things! Pretty things!

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22 Lana Cole April 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

When you’re thinking about cheaper options, we have a great one for floor pillows. We bought two of the canvas Ursula cushion covers from Ikea ($13 each) and stuffed them with one feather pillow and one synthetic. It makes them wonderfully squishy but with enough integrity to be comfortable to sit, lay or snuggle up on. I secretly want 10 more. Each pillow totals about $25.

links:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30281273/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60262188/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30267125/

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23 Ivonne April 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

¡Precioso! I bet the kids take turns to be in the reading loft. Lovely, Gabrielle. Congratulation.

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24 Louise April 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

Absolutely love it but I can’t help but wonder how you got the big chair up there?

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25 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:08 am

It was a 3 adult effort! It wouldn’t fit through the ladder entrance, so we had to go over the railing on the side where the ceiling slanted up. First we set up a big a-frame ladder, then Ben Blair climbed up and me + a friend worked together to lift it over our heads to him, and Ben rested it on top of the ladder.

Then, me and the friend went up in the loft and Ben lifted it to us and we rested the chair on the railing. Then Ben joined us in the loft and he and I lifted the chair in to the room.

It was a bit of a circus but actually only took a few minutes. (Thankfully!)

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26 Sally from Little Hiccups April 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm

You totally needed one of the kids snapping some Instagram shots of that!

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27 Kathleen April 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

That is fabulous! What a great use of the space, and so stylish (no surprise). I hope you’ve gotten a chance to use the spot too!

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28 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:08 am

It was fun to take a completely unused space and make it really functional. Because our kids have shared bedrooms, I also like that it’s another place to retreat to when they’re craving some alone time.

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29 mau April 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

It’s beautiful! I’d be up there every free second I got!

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30 Christie April 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

Wow! I’m surprised you went with such bright colours, but I LOVE it! My favorites are the floor cushions and that gorgeous rug.

Oh, and PLEASE tell me where that beautiful little green dress on your girl comes from! It is too cute. :)

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31 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

It kind of surprised me too! Especially when I look at the living room and hallway on the main floor — which are completely pale in comparison.

Speaking of the living room, I’ll be sharing a full tour later this month as part of a big Joss & Main sale I’m planning.

Also, June’s sweet dress came from Kayce Hughes, but alas, we ordered a couple of years ago.

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32 danielle @ this picture book life April 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

WOW!! That is all.

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33 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity April 14, 2014 at 10:22 am

I love it. Such pretty colours and a great combination of comfort, coziness, and pretty.

I’ve never organized my books by colour, but could see how it could work for someone visual like you. A funny story about organizing books by colour was told to me by my friend who taught in Nigeria in the early 1980s. When she went to the University book store to buy a book she couldn’t find it because the book store was organized by colour and she didn’t know what colour the book was. Doesn’t work so well there, but I bet the book store looked amazing.

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34 Rachel Kaylynn April 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

What a wonderful way to make reading inviting to your children. You did a fantastic job…I want curl up in there! I especially like the DIY poster; it’s something I think I may add to our home.

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35 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:34 am

Yes! So fast and easy. Not my original idea, but I was happy to copy it!

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36 Emma April 14, 2014 at 10:26 am

Love it. (Particularly the carefully staged children earnestly reading books!) Well done.

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37 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:34 am

Hah! So true. The kids were definitely staged for these shots, but I can confidently report they truly use the reading loft to disappear into books.

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38 Amy April 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

Oh my goodness! How lovely! We’re currently working on something similar in our son’s closest. A mini retreat if you will where he can hide and read. Question though…. Neurotic Mama here- what is the wright capacity of your loft?

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39 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

We don’t know an exact weight, but we did have a contractor look at it to make sure it would work for the purpose we had in mind and he said we were more than fine. And thank goodness! Because sometimes there are 4 or 5 kids up there.

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40 Amy April 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm

That is awesome! Good for you :)

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41 Sheila April 14, 2014 at 10:43 am

I was wondering how you fit the chair up into that tiny space? It is all so beautiful.

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42 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

It was a 3-person effort! I described it in comment to Louise above if you’re curious.

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43 Margie April 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

So jealous (in a good for you way)! Love everything you did. The colours, floor cushions, the lights. Did you just tape them to the wall?

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44 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:50 am

They’re so lightweight that I used simple pushpins, then draped the lights over the pins.

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45 Shannon April 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

Oh, Gabrielle, I love this!! We have a similar space (a loft that overlooks the front entrance) and I’ve dreamed of making it into a reading nook. I got as far as sorting the books by color in the built-in bookcase (an idea I got from you years ago!), but I psyched myself out thinking it would be expensive to complete and we’d better wait until later…. Thank you for the reminder that it’s the little touches (color and a meaningful print or two and some fun add-ons) that make a room special. (Having said that, I’m going to start saving up for those floor cushions…love them!)

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46 Jaimie April 14, 2014 at 11:06 am

I liked your point about this being a nice getaway when your kids share bedrooms with their siblings — that was what immediately struck me about it! The room looks great, but also it just looks FUN. I think any kid coming over for a visit would be drawn to go check it out.

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47 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm

That’s a nice thing about this house. Though it only has a few bedrooms, there are lots of places to find some alone time — lofts and nooks and balconies.

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48 Sara April 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

I absolutely adore the chair upholstery you chose. It’s all lovely and Serena & Lily have gorgeous products!

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49 Kelsey Nixon April 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

Oh it’s so wonderful! I’ve had my eye on the rope rug as well, but I’ve been concerned about putting a cream rug in a space designated for kids. Have you had light colored rugs in play spaces before?

Well done Gabby! It’s the perfect combination of splurging on the right pieces and saving on others.

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50 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm

I had the same concerns, but this space is so small, it really doesn’t function as a play space, so I ended up feeling good about it. The rug has been up there for about a month so far and no worries. We’ll see how it goes!

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51 Jess April 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

Oh WOW! Gabrielle, your spaces are always beautifully put together, but I love this above and beyond anything else you have shown on the blog! Bright colours are my weakness, and I love how this feels sunny and fun, but not cluttered (especially impressive in such a small space!). All the details come together so well, and to top it all off June’s dress is the cutest thing.

PS I organise my books by colour too :)

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52 Krystal April 14, 2014 at 11:31 am

So so very nice and bright! Love it! Question though……I love the garlands and lights and have been wanting to incorporate some in my house……how do you attach them to the wall?

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53 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm

The garlands I used are very lightweight, so all I needed was standard pushpins — the kind you use on a bulletin board. I push the pins into the sheetrock and then drape the garland over the pins.

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54 Jenny also April 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

I’m inspired by the thoughtfulness and care that went into this design. It’s a super special I’m guessing the whole family will love to use. Adorable children reading books in a lovely space, what could be better?

And thanks for the p.s. I’m looking forward to it =)

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55 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

I think it’s a great idea, Jenny! Glad you suggested it.

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56 Lisa April 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

LOVE IT!!! What an inspiring place, you pulled everything together so well. The color scheme is perfect.

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57 Tamara April 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

Beautiful. I love the night shots.
You’ve inspired me to buy prettier books.

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58 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

I like the night shots too! When I walk in the family room in the evening and see those glowing globe lights, it makes me grin.

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59 Felicia April 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Your oldest daughter (Maude, I think??) looks just like you! The room is beautiful by the way.

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60 Kbayers April 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

So so lovely! I want to escape there! (Or in one of the backyard trees!)

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61 Abby D April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Completely adorable! So inspiring and I can’t wait for the bookshelf tutorial!!

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62 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I’m hoping to share it next week. I hope it will be helpful!

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63 Becca April 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Beautiful job! I’m inspired!

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64 Jen April 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

This is absolutely lovely. I would move in there and never, ever leave. The colors are so bright and inviting!

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65 Danielle April 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Love it!

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66 Christina April 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

This song popped into my mind the second I saw the first picture of your reading loft:

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me…

Love it. Such a light and happy space. :)

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67 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm

I know that song! I first heard it on Barney when my teens were toddlers. : )

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68 Melissa April 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I think I would live up there–ALL THE TIME! So nice to have windows. And, the decor is DARLING!!!

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69 Tina Louise April 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm

I absolutely LOVE this!!! It’s the perfect little reading nook and you have completely inspired me!!! You are just so creative, i love it!

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70 Zoe - SlowMama April 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

This turned out so lovely! I really love that blue, among so many other elements in the room. I, too, am looking forward to the crate shelving tutorial as it may be the answer to a storage issue we have in part of our living room where the kids play.

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71 Robin April 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Lovely lovely lovely.

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72 Brooke April 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Love it! We put a reading loft in our home a few years ago and the kids are always disappearing into it. Now I want one for me!

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73 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm

I love hearing that, Brooke!

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74 Raquel April 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm

The reading loft turned out so great, congratulations! I have the same slanted ceiling in the second bedroom in our house, happy to see how someone as creative as you dealt with it. What a great room for all the family to enjoy.
On a side note, I can’t believe how big June is! My only daughter is three weeks older than her and sometimes I forget how big they are getting. This picture of June just made me realize that time does fly.

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75 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

She’s growing so fast! Sometimes I feel like I see the changes happening right before my eyes.

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76 Trilingual Mama (Maria) April 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm

This is absolutely gorgeous Gabrielle! I want to pin every single photo! I’m working on an article for creating a language corner in your home and this is perfect inspiration! Just beautiful!

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77 Labrando un HOGAR April 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Simplemente hermoso, acogedor y practico :) FELICITACIONES Gabriele!!

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78 Rosalynde April 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

What a charming space! (Minus the color-coded books — count me among the non-fans! But I can certainly agree to disagree.) The ladder access is so fun, and it will surely draw the kids up at first. I wonder whether the difficulty of access will ultimately get old for everybody — I know I am too lazy to climb a ladder every time I want to pick up a book (and especially to put one away!). I’d love an update in a few months to see how the family is using the space once the novelty is gone. Great design work — no surprise there!

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79 Nicole April 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

What a fantastic, cozy space! I love the idea of a little nook set aside just for reading – I’d never want to leave it!

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80 NOLALeBlanc April 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Oh my goodness I am in love with every square inch of it. It’s so cozy.

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81 Lesley April 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I want one for my house, but for me. I love it and especially colour coordinating your books. I had never thought about this but I do like the idea and I think I will play around with my son´s books tomorrow.

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82 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Let me know how you like it! I find grouping things by color quite addictive.

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83 emily April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

what a happy happy place. And i love that it’s right off the family room. My children seldom want to be far away from all the happenings and this gives them a bit of a secret place without being cut off. love it.

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84 Teresa April 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Adorable! I don’t know how you got that yellow chair up there!

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85 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:20 pm

It was quite the team effort! I explain it in a comment to Louise (above) if you’re curious. : )

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86 mom in mendon April 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

FUN!! Can’t wait to see it in person!

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87 becky April 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I love it and doubly – I really needed a good floor pillow recommendation! :) The chair and the pillow are so happy and perfect – thanks for sharing!

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88 amelia April 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I am so curious if you are scared one of your kids will drop right through that hole. I have 5 rough and tumble kids ages 8 to 1 so definitely one of my kids would fall through.

Also, every time I see books arranged by color, I think of a “Curious George” episode that he helps out in the library. At one point, he helps by arranging by color because someone could only remember the color of the book.

Looks wonderful and useful! My kids would never get tired of climbing up for a good book.

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89 Kirsty@Bonjour April 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I was thinking the same thing! Sometimes my kids rumble a bit and I have no doubt eventually one of mine would fall through the hole. Either that, or they’d just forget it’s there. I’d put a big pile of quilts at the bottom of the ladder to break the fall!
This is such an amazing space and I love what it’s been turned into.

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90 Heidi April 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm

We have an outside climbing toy that has a secret entrance (a hole in the floor with a ladder) and I was afraid of them falling, so we build a fence around it (kind of made a separate room) with an opening, so at least there was a warning that the hole in the floor was approaching. We have only had one child fall into the hole in the 10 years it has been there, and she wasn’t hurt. I think that if it is an active space (like a climbing toy) you need to be more careful. With the reading loft being a quiet space, then hopefully the opportunity to fall won’t present itself. You could also have a minimum age or size (we did this with the climbing toy by removing the bottom rung to the ladder, so the little ones couldn’t go up on their own) I love the loft. We have a loft in my girls’ bedroom, and now I am inspired to finish it off.

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91 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Good question! So far, we haven’t had any accidents in this loft (though we’ve had 2 falls from a different loft!).

Because it’s really small up there, the kids sense that they can’t be too rambunctious — if they do, they’ll smack their head on the ceiling pretty quickly. So I haven’t been too worried.

But every once in awhile I brainstorm an option that would make it safer. Maybe something like a netting-lined trap door that can be pulled down when someone is in the loft. Still thinking about it…

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92 Jenny Stockton April 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm

This. Is. Amazing. Also, my sister-in-law gave me those postcards for Christmas last year and I haven’t wanted to use a single one, but it seems like such a shame just to keep them in the box. I’m thinking I’ll copy you!

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93 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:15 pm

You totally should! It’s an easy project — like maybe an hour. Maybe less. And so satisfying!

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94 annie diamond April 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm

It’s beautiful….just as I knew it would be! It’s so fun to see photos of your kids using the space. Must be a dream come true!

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95 Carter Higgins April 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Whoa. This is divine!

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96 Design Mom April 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Thank, Carter! Now I just need you to keep me in the know about all the best new books that we should add to our collection. : )

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97 Brooke April 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

That is fantastic. Truly.

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98 Bek @ Just For Daisy April 15, 2014 at 12:20 am

Love love love this space!!! We’ve talked about converting some of our roof space into a little hideaway nook for the kids as they get older! This is wonderful inspiration and has got me thinking!! :) Thanks for sharing. I love colour coordinating books too – you have such a wonderful range of colours – even too! ;)

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99 Rea April 15, 2014 at 5:12 am

I love looveee your reading loft. It’s amazing how you can recreate a small space to make it functional and very wonderful too! I love reading so I imagine my kid also having his own reading nook. :)

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100 Azra April 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

Wonderful job Gabrielle. It looks pretty and cozy. I totally see myself snuggle with a book.

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101 Makayla Sampson April 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

I love it! I want this in my house! What a cozy place for everyone in the family to read their favorite books!

Thanks for the inspiration!

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102 Clara April 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

This space looks so inviting, the perfect place to escape with a good book. I’ve never arranged my books by color, it is beautiful. Usually I arrange my kids’ books by size, and mine chronologically! I have a lot of fiction mixed in with history books, so I guess I like having books about/set in the same time period together. :)

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103 Kelleyn April 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Love the chair!

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104 Sally from Little Hiccups April 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Such a wonderful little space! I love that you colour coordinate your books. I tend to sort my kids books by type or size but I’m thinking I might need to change it up a bit and sort by colour. But shhh… don’t tell my best friend I said that as I laughed at her on Skype a few weeks back when I noticed she’d sorted her recipe books by colour in her kitchen ;)

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105 Sarah W April 15, 2014 at 11:31 pm

This turned out so well! It’s making me think about where I could find some space for a reading nook in my house. :) The pictures at night are especially magical. As a kid, I was definitely guilty of staying up past my bedtime to finish one more chapter (or two). Such fond memories! Thanks for sharing this room, and I can’t wait to see the living room too!

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106 Chantalle B April 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

We just finished Blue Bay mystery with the kids last night! Fun cover. I love this inspiring space!

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107 Labrando un HOGAR April 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

OMG, the moon man, I love!

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108 KBA April 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Such a great space! I am getting ready to make a little reading loft of my own (for both my children and myself) and am getting so many great ideas from this post. Thank you!!

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109 Tabitha April 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

I love love love that you have created a reading loft! This would have absolutely been my dream space as a child- I’ve always loved a good book! I also love the way books look and feel in a home, so warm and cozy and inviting!

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110 Sarah April 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this post! and i want to retreat to that little nook right away. i hope your kids go on many great adventures there…

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111 Sirko April 29, 2014 at 10:50 am

Very nice post. I have seen so many similar things. Almost scary :-). First of all we also have our books sorted by color. Very nice thing to do. Second we had our kitchen cupboards pimped with those postcards from penguin books. Love it :-). And we also love and have cubes and modular shelves. Have a look at http://bsquary.com. To summarize I like the room you have created there !!!!

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112 samantha hahn April 30, 2014 at 7:46 am

gorgeous. I love your home. The reading space is amazing and the livingroom is swoon worthy!!!!

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