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The Nooks Just Keep On Coming

by Brittany on February 10, 2012

You know nooks can talk, right?  They whisper things like “built-ins would be lovely here” every time you walk by.  Or they get nasty when left empty and you may hear “good luck finding the perfect piece of furniture.  Not gonna happen.  Build something or give me a built-in STAT!”

The nooks in my laundry room covered every wall and after just months I felt like they were yelling at me.  Yes, I have an active imagination.  Whatever, I’m the girl who talks to houses.  That’s not the worst thing in the world, right?

I showed you how I added a laundry room to one wall and a home office under the staircase wall.  That’s two strange walls.  The third wall is a door and the last, well, it is all nooks.  Now that I am counting all the nooks for you, it might be time to simply show you the floor plan before. See the wall with two nooks around the back of the living room fireplace? Those nooks cried out for carpentry!

Laundry Room Floor Plan

Two New Love (Stuff) Filled Nooks

These days, I would totally do this myself, as the carpentry skills are fairly straight forward with patience and a few tools.  Most built-ins are a box or combination of boxes with trim.  For this project, I had the small nook built in put in at the same time as my kitchen banquette and I built the larger nook built in with my handyman / carpenter Bruce.

So, we went over how we needed a place to do laundry and a home office.  We also needed a mudroom and a place for larger books.  Well, we had the nooks for those!

I love how they turned out and filled the space.  Yes, the fireplace still makes for a funny wall bump, but we’ll just call that character and move on, okay?  It is darn near impossible to get a picture of any one wall in this room given how small it is, so bear with me.  I’ll give a few angles.

Nooks with Built-Ins

The Mudroom

One nook had something built in already.  Something lavender with no trim. Something that the nook and I hated.  It had to go.  For so many reasons.  Most importantly, to be my mud room!

We gutted the old shelves and boy was I glad I had help.  These were all solid sheets of plywood attached to a solid back of plywood with screws everywhere and glue everywhere.  It took a lot of muscle and a little sawzall to get through it all.  {A sawzall is basically a demo saw that rips through wood and nails and stuff.  They totally rock.} I will give you a blow by blow of how to transform a nook into something like this soon.  I just wanted to show you what a little elbow grease can bring you.

I am determined to show you how things actually look.  You know, with all the stuff that FILLS it to the brim.  It would probably be prettier almost empty, but that is not how we roll with 3 kids 5 and under. There are upper and lower hooks and baskets for shoes and hats and mittens on the bottom.  The uppers are filled with beach stuff and car stuff and stuff we just need to have near the car.  In a sense, this is just one part of our WE HAVE NO GARAGE plan.  We make up little pieces of garage here and there. We totally planned to make a box cushion for the seat but who are we kidding?  There may never be room to sit there.  It is pretty and functional and that is what matters!

Nook to Mudroom before and After

The Library

The other tiny nook was by the door to the hallway.  We moved that door and the one in the kitchen so they would be directly across from each other and stuck a little mini library in the corner look left behind.  What I love about this is that it is 18 inches deep with adjustable shelves so it can hold any size book.  Huge cookbooks, giant construction how-to’s, photo albums, sheet music…it all fits!  I still need to do a little cleaning out because I would love to make room for the kids’ coloring books.  Still, for now it totally works and it is ideally placed right across from the desk.

Bookcase Nook

The Catch All

Where there is a nook there is an outer wall, right?  Here I just needed more storage so I hit Ikea for the ever popular Expedit shelving.  It is always cheap at $69.99 but we got it on special for $49.99 I believe.  Incredible, right?  It was easy to screw on some Capita legs (also from Ikea) and then we chose to add 2 sets of drawer inserts from Ikea a few months later for all those car cords and kids gaming stuff. The baskets are the Nasum, also from Ikea, and they hold all of Ross’ work papers that are ugly sitting on top of counters and all of the photography stuff that I want to grab as I run out the door.  So yeah, the accessories cost WAY more than the dresser, but this little work horse was certainly worth the $167 to add all that storage.

Ikea Expedit with Legs

I totally know it looks like it overhangs.  It doesn’t.  It is just flipping impossible to get a photo of anything as a whole unit in this darn room. Also, your eyes are not deceiving you.  On the bottom shelf you are totally looking at cereal boxes.  I make them into awesome magazine / file storage boxes with a little paper and a little Mod Podge.   Those babies are just waiting to be made beautiful!

I said it before…I really want to lighten up the colors in this room and display family photos and kids art.  While I like the Peter Max print, I don’t love primary colors and would have gotten rid of it had he not signed it for my husband and was it not my graduation present to him.  Maybe it will look okay with a bunch of kid art around it?  Who knows.  What do you think? Maybe I could re frame and somehow tone it down?

Signed Peter Max PrintThe Everything Room

This is the final chapter (for now) on how this little room off our driveway and under the stairs became the laundry room, the office, the library, the mudroom and part of the garage.  I think we have stretched the square feet in here about as far as we can.  We still have a lot of decorating and painting to do to brighten things up, but for now, it works.  From one tiny and awkward space we made a multipurpose room for our family.  We had no mudroom or laundry room or office and now we have all three!

Do you have things you wish you had in your home?  Maybe you have a room that doesn’t work well now and could be transformed using small projects into a room that does double or triple duty!  You don’t always need a bigger house, you might just need a little creativity.  Multipurpose spaces are great for apartment / loft dwellers as well.  It’s all about making the most with what you have.  If you have a space you want to transform, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!  I am happy to help you brainstorm ideas!  And of course, I would love to see your pics!  Post them to the Tip Top Nest Facebook page so we can all enjoy your transformations!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison@Mama Wants This February 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I like how you did this! You would have a field day at my house – we moved in 3.5 months ago and have plans for many nooks around the house but haven’t got round to doing them yet, ahem.
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Amy February 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Looks SO great! Such amazing ideas, as always! And I totally need to try out that cereal box/mod podge storage solution~ that might be the answer to our coloring books EVERYWHERE situation. :)
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