Friday, October 25, 2013

Reading Room Essentials

What does one need to successfully turn a sunroom into an office/reading room you say? Couple things: a desk, desk chair, reading chair and book storage to start out with. Me? I'm about halfway there. I made up this mood board about how I would LIKE the now reading room to look, plugging in some items that I already own or that are similar.

Office Moodboard by Living In Layers

DESK: I wanted a desk space so there was somewhere to store items and do projects so I wouldn't have to clear the dining table off every time I got it in my head to sew something. The placement is a bit more of a challenge since facing any of the walls would lead to bad glare on a computer screen as well as being disconnected from the rest of the room/house since your back would be to everything. Solution? Find a desk with a finished back and have it float in the room.

I don't work from home or anything so I didn't want to invest a lot of money into the novelty of a desk or else these were a couple options:

Langston Desk from World Market - $169.99
Liatorp Desk in white from Ikea - $299
Mid-Century Desk in Acorn from West Elm - $599
Hewn Wood Desk from West Elm - $1199

But since I'm cheap, I found the perfect desk last year at... Goodwill, being used as a Halloween display. I'm a sucker for vintage brass.


A vintage Drexel desk (part of their Heritage line). It was $19.99 and was perfect from my 80's lovin' heart. When I asked the sales clerk about it, she laughed. I guess the desk had been with all the furniture for a couple weeks with no takers and the second they used it in the display, 4 to 5 people a day were asking about it. They wouldn't let me buy it since it was being used as a display, nor would they let me pay for it and take it after Halloween, even when I offered them more money than it was being sold for. Jerks. So yes, I was there when the store opened on November 1st to claim my prize.

For now it's sitting in the Reading Room as is. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to keep it as is, paint the entire thing of do some sort of two tone treatment along these lines, but in desk form:

DIY Two Toned Nightstand via The Hunted Interior

DESK CHAIR: For a desk chair, my heart is pretty much set on either finding an armless chair and giving a go at reupholstering it or allowing myself to buy this beauty from West Elm, which you can see with the Hewn Wood desk above also, since I saved so much on a desk.

Saddle Office Chair in Painted Stripe from West Elm - $349

READING CHAIR: I already owned the exact leather chair in the mood board above thanks to my parents. It matches the sofa in the living room but I wanted to have them in different rooms to break them up so there wasn't as much brown in the living room and because it's simply too big of a chair for in there. It's prefect for a little reading corner (I may have taken many a nap in it at my parents). Here it's just hanging out in the reading room with a coral through from Cynthia Rowley that I picked up at Marshall's as well as a beetle pillow that I adore from Target.

Ignore the stack of boxes behind the chair, that's were the next and last essential comes in: 

BOOK STORAGE: One of the other reasons that I wanted a bold color on the wall was because I wanted it to show through the back for shelving that we are going to build on the two walls, forming an "L" shaped bookcase. I'm still trying to decide if I want some closed storage on the bottom so I can hide my crap behind doors or if baskets will work. For the upper part of the bookcases, I want to incorporate shelves that are painted like below, which I have been obsessed with ever since I first laid eyes on them:

DIY Painted Shelves from Design Love Fest

Rome wasn't built in a day, kids. For more of the ideas swirling in my brain, take a look at the Pinterest board I have dedicated to the Reading Room. And yes, I do have an OCD tendency to me. Thanks for asking.

- Lea

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