Elements for a Cozy Reading Nook

Reading nooks don't need to be limited to the bedroom.  Grab a corner of your living room and set up a little vignette for perusing magazines or books!  I'll show you what elements I like to include for creating a cozy and functional reading nook.

CAD INTERIORS design tips interior decorating design


It is much more comfy to curl up with a book or magazine if you are sitting on a well-cushioned upholstered chair that has solid back support.  Good quality ergonomic club chairs, lounge chairs, or recliners are worthy investment considerations.  If you have the space, a chaise is also a good option.

Proper lighting is essential in all spaces.  In reading nooks, it is especially important to add a task lighting source that directly illuminates the immediate area.  Why unnecessarily strain your eyes while reading?!  I particularly like to use directional floor lamps since they don't take up any table surface space.


Add a sturdy surface next to your chair to lay a book, magazine, or drink.  I like nesting tables for their compact multi-surface flexibility.

A side table or ottoman with storage is always a practical option.

Safavieh end table, walnut

"C-shaped" tables are a space-saving solution in really tight spaces.


Who wouldn't love a warm blanket and soft toss pillow to cuddle with when reading?!

Natural greenery (like a plant), flowers, and/or a candle can go a very long way in creating a cozy nook!

CAD INTERIORS family room world market striped area rug woven storage ottoman table target brass globe floor lamp

I moved some furniture around in our family room to create this work-in-process reading nook.  It is close to the "family action", but separated enough so I can flip through magazines hopefully uninterrupted!!

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Design Roundup: Top 3 Favorite Things

It's been a very long while since I've shared some of my favorite things!  Oh how time has gotten the best of me... But today, I'm back to sharing three design-related trends that I'm really loving at the moment...

Mid-century Scandinavian design:  Mid-century modern design continues to be popular; however, I have seen a trend towards mid-century modern interiors with more of a Scandinavian influence.  Scandinavian design is all about clean lines and simple silhouettes, but with "rustic" elements and the plentiful use of white that gives a space a streamlined inherent warmth.  I see "mid-century modern Scandinavian design" being a huge interior trend for years to come.

mid century modern mcm interior design
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mid century modern mcm living room design
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Get the look:  Chandelier // Sofa // Slat-back accent chairs // Side chair

Artisanal goods:  I feel that the art of producing "one-of-a-kind" home goods is getting lost among the mass merchants.  But with online retailers like One Kings Lane offering a selection of unique home decor, I have seen artisanal goods getting its spotlight in interiors.  Etsy is also a great resource for wonderful artisanal finds!

This shop offers some beautiful handmade pottery...

artisanal goods etsy

This shop offers cute handwoven decorative storage baskets...

handmade artisan baskets weave etsy

There is just something special and traditional about the technique and process of making home goods by hand.  The craftsmanship is often meticulous, and the results are unique!

(Please note that I have not purchased from these shops, nor is the content sponsored or affiliated.)

Picture ledges:  Move over traditional gallery walls!  I love a good gallery wall, but I don't like the multiple holes they leave behind - especially since I like to change things up so much.  Instead, I prefer the "don't hang it, shelve it" concept!

You can achieve a "gallery wall" effect by using shelves.  Picture ledges, more specifically, are a great solution to displaying and rotating a "collage" of photos or artwork without having to worry about placement (or a gazillion holes on the wall).  I like the "lip" they have to prevent frames from "slipping".

photo artwork display gallery wall ideas design decorating
photo ledge artwork gallery wall display ideas design decorating

Picture ledges also work well to corral books or to display decorative items.

display ideas gallery walls photo ledges design decorating storage solutions
Smart Playrooms

gallery wall display book wall storage solutions design decorating
House of Jade Interiors

We installed picture ledges in our boys' bedroom awhile ago as a way to rotate and display their artwork...

gallery wall children artwork display solution design decorating photos

There are several more design trends that I'm loving and will be sharing in future installments of my "Top 3 Favorite Things"!

Sharing with: Inspire Me Monday

Around the Web

marble shower tile gold silver copper bath hardware

1. I hadn't heard the term "gilver" used until I read this.  I'm very drawn to that metallic finish.

2. I agree with these designers' sentiments about home decor mistakes that people typically make.  Can you relate?!

3. This new-to-me blog is filled with home renovation projects and inspiration.  I am anxious to see the outcome of this DIY duo's latest project.

4. This is a terrific resource list for finding unique pre-owned or vintage furniture, sans Craigslist.

wallpaper sophisticated bedroom kelly cuoco guest room

5. This celebrity's guest bedroom stopped me in my tracks.  Whoa, stunning wallpaper!


Pantone's 2016 colors of the year seem to have been received with a "love 'em or hate 'em" mindset.  Totally understandable since the hues can seem "juvenile" in a "straightforward" sense.

Rather than focusing on rose quartz and serenity blue, i.e. the official colors of the year, why not declare your own?!  The hashtag #colorsofmyyear2016 is floating around social media inviting anyone to share their colors for 2016.  Deciding on my personal colors for the year was simple enough, but coming up with "clever" names for each was another story. :) #triedmybestanyway

 CAD INTERIORS #colorsofmyyear2016

So, what are MY colors for 2016?!  Well, I am loving some classics - BLACK beauty, indigo denim BLUE, cashmere CREAM - plus a dash of WINE-not!

Last year, I actually painted a wall in our home office/guest bedroom "black" (deep charcoal) as the first step to start pulling the room together.  Sadly, that's where I left off!  Anyway, I am envisioning the #colorsofmyyear2016 playing a role in the room's design.  This room is another "smaller" project that I hope to tackle this year, along with the dining room.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram and play along to declare YOUR colors for 2016 by using the hashtag #colorsofmyyear2016.  You can also click here for more details.

Plans for a Dining Room Makeover {& Before Photos}

Along with our 2016 home renovation goals, there are some "smaller" house projects that I would like to tackle this year.  One such project is our dining room.  The room is so lackluster, and in need of some design pizzazz.

interior decorating design home improvement DIY

The present state of our dining room can be described as boring and uninspiring... to me at least.  My hubby probably thinks the room is fine. :)  I have not given this space any design attention at all, which is evident.  The holiday decor did liven up the room temporarily, but now that it is all put away, the dining area is back to blah.

interior design decorating diy home improvement makeover

Okay, so the "bones" of the room are nice now that the great room has been renovated - hardwood floors, neutral canvas, and lots of natural light.  However, the room needs some decorating love.  Since the kitchen, dining area, and family room all open to each other, I want the dining room decor to compliment (not compete with) the adjacent spaces yet have its own special "identity".

Our home is not overflowing with space (code for smaller), but the floor plan is set-up where the common areas are "visually" connected.  As such, the dining room is also visible from the living room and partially from the front entry.  This makes me want to make this room even more special.

interior design decorating makeover diy home improvement
View from living room towards dining room

Here's a view of the dining room from the living room.  This passageway was originally much narrower and arched (before-before photos below).  During the initial pre-move renovation, we widened it a couple feet, and "squared" it off for a more modern less Mediterranean/Spanish feel.  The opening still needs to be cased out it's on the "to do "list...

Here's a view from the other direction (dining room towards living room):

interior design decorating makeover diy home improvement
The sliding doors will hopefully be replaced this year.

We initially considered removing that wall between the kitchen and living room for a wide open layout, but I was concerned about sight lines.  I'm glad we didn't remove the wall.  We can conceal our kitchen messes better!

interior design decorating makeover diy home improvement

Right now, the space does have all the elements necessary to make it a dining room.  You know, a table and chairs.  We also put a sideboard in there, as well as our gold tryptic mirror set to fill out that wall.

Although I haven't set a budget, this makeover will definitely be budget-friendly and far from extravagant.  I will work with the existing furniture to save money upfront.  The room isn't large, but it has a good starting point.  My main objective in this room makeover is to add some character and design interest, while maintaining consistency with the adjacent spaces.

Dining Room Makeover Wishlist:

  • CHANDELIER:  Install a fixture above the table that complements the one in the family room.  The chandelier will be a focal point.
  • "HOST" CHAIRS:  Add a set of "host" or "captain" chairs, preferably with arms, to bookend the table.
  • ACCESSORIES/DECOR:  Style the space with fun decor and accessories!
  • AREA RUG??:  I go back and forth with this.  I like how a rug (one that is appropriate for messes) would ground the dining area, but I'm not sure our particular space can accommodate the size I would prefer.  CAD design tip: In dining rooms, the rug size should accommodate the table and all the chairs, including when the chairs are pulled out.

I'm also thinking about doing a possible ceiling treatment in the dining room and kitchen, but that may be for another time?!

Follow me on Pinterest if you want to see the conceptual ideas I will be pinning for the room!

To appreciate how far this room has already come, here are a few BEFORE-BEFORE shots of the dining area when we closed escrow.  Yikes.  Can't believe we didn't run from this house?! :)

You can see the archway and old ceiling "tiles" in these photos.  The initial renovation we did in just the dining area (pre move-in) included sheetrocking the ceiling, re-doing the archway, and adding recessed lighting.  I guess you could say that we are now in round two of the dining room makeover!

Sharing with: Inspire Me Tuesday, Inspire Me Monday, Home Stories A to Z

Digging into the Design Details {HGTV Dream Home Mudroom}

I finally sat down to view this year's HGTV dream home.  What a renovation!  As usual, the dream home did not disappoint.  The interior design (by the talented Brian Patrick Flynn) was as breathtaking and spectacular as the Florida coastal setting in which the home is located.

Today, I am highlighting one of the most functional spaces in the house - THE MUDROOM - and digging into some of the design details to help you create a "mudroom" space in your own home.

mudroom design details

mudroom drop zone entry design details

One thing I immediately noticed is that the mudroom was more of a transitional space rather than an actual room.  I appreciated this fact since most of us (myself included) do not have entire rooms dedicated to a "mudroom".  To get the function, all you really need is a "drop zone" area filled with organization.

HGTV dream home 2016 mudroom design details

HGTV dream home 2016 design details

design details

Durable flooring, like the engineered wood used throughout the dream home, is a good choice in this waterfront home setting, as well as in high-traffic spaces like a mudroom.  Another design detail worth noting is the bold wall color.  Smaller spaces like this are perfect for instilling some major design impact!  I like how the aqua/teal color was also used in the adjacent guest bathroom for continuity.  Visit HGTV to see more of the 2016 dream home!

(All photo images from HGTV)

2016 Colors of the Year - Thumbs up or down?!

When the 2016 colors of the year were announced, they were not a complete surprise.  While Benjamin Moore named Simply White as the color of the year, Pantone named two colors - Rose Quartz and Serenity - as their shades of choice.

rose quartz simply white serenity benjamin moore pantone

Simply White speaks for itself.  Simple and a warm shade of white...  I love the "color"!  Its neutrality is so versatile, and the perfect foundation for layering on accent colors and patterns.  It is quite a trendy paint selection for interiors at the moment.  Clean and calm...

studio mc gee interior design bm color of the year
Studio McGee
BM Simply White is used throughout the room in the image above - beautiful trimwork included!

2016 color of the year rose quartz pantone

So, how do you feel about Rose Quartz?!  Generally speaking, I think "pink" is one of those divisive colors.  You either gravitate towards it, or you don't regardless of gender.

2016 pantone color of the year rose quartz
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2016 pantone color of the year rose quartz
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I wrote about "pink" as a design trend awhile ago.  It continues to be hugely popular in design.  Rose Quartz exemplifies that shade of "blush" that I hinted at.  It is a soft, warm, light pink hue that provides a sense of soothing calm and "playfulness" - at the same time.

2016 color of the year serenity pantone

In contrast to the underlying warmth of Rose Quartz, the complimentary shade of Serenity blue incorporates cooler undertones.  The soft blue hue also provides a sense of calmness and soothing comfort - as the name suggests.

I think blue is one of those timeless colors that will always be popular in interiors and fashion.  I especially like to use soft blues in bedroom designs to promote rest and relaxation.

2016 pantone color of the year serenity
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Personally, I would use Rose Quartz as more of an accent color.  Serenity or Simply White would work well for the foundation of a room.  The colors also work well in combination with each other.

rose quartz serenity

What do you think of the 2016 colors of the year?  Yay or nay?!  I'd give them "two thumbs up".  Pink, blue, stay neutral white... It's a safe bet that one or all of the colors will appeal to everyone!