Creating a cozy bed nook!

April 13, 2018

Happy Friday my friends! First of all, thanks so much for your kind comments on the fireplace makeover! We had someone come out the other day to touch it up and it looks even better now! 

I'm back with a quick update in our son's room. I'm really happy with how it's progressing -- it's going to look so good when I'm done! And it's super functional too, which is important to a young man who loves to collect stuff. :) 

Here's what we started with a few months ago:
Blue and red boy room

We added built in bookcases in his old room and I LOVED them (I built them with my Dad when I was pregnant) but I didn't want to do something permanent in here, at least not yet. Instead I got Billy bookcases from IKEA and had a plan to make them look a little more custom. I'm about halfway there!

I recently built his headboard and you can see the DIY tufted headboard tutorial here. I've made many of these over the years -- it's an easy project and you can customize it just how you want:
DIY tufted headboard tutorial

I'll share more details about the bedding at the end of the post if you're interested! 

My original plan was always to install a long shelf over the two bookcases and the bed so we'd have a shelf to display his basketballs. I measured and had an inexpensive pine board cut to size (around ten feet!) and when I took it up to install it, it was a good six inches too short. Not sure where that went wrong, but it turned out to be a happy accident. 

I decided to cut it down so it would span the two bookcases instead, and I think it looks so much better than the long one would have! I also used my extra wood panels from the basement stair project I showed you last week to fill in the area behind his bed:
Creating a bed nook with bookcases

It's important to note that before I did any of this, I secured the two bookcases to the wall with brackets IKEA provides. This is a must! Then I screwed the top shelf into the sides of each bookcase. I also installed a small piece of wood along the top under the shelf to support the length of it. (All screws going into studs.) It's super secure now -- nothing moves!

I added the strips of wood down the wall and then small cuts of it down the sides behind the headboard and bookcases:
Nook for bed with hanging lights

If you take the headboard down the wall is empty behind -- the side pieces are an illusion and just look like full pieces. ;) Just a reminder that it doesn't need to be perfect if you'll never see it!

I plan to stain the boards behind the bed, but I haven't decided yet if I'll stain the shelf above or paint it white to match the bookcases: 

Red and blue boy room with storage

What do you think? I was planning on painting it white but now I'm leaning towards stain. 
I still have a plan for the bookcases and hope to display his items a little better. Boys love STUFF!! Goodness. It's his room so I want to decorate it the way that HE likes, but I do want to declutter just a bit so his prized possessions shine. 

It's coming together so well! We love that it feels like a little nook for his bed. What you can't see here is that I added some LED lights from IKEA to the top as well. I plugged them into an outlet that works from a switch, so he leaves those on at night. The boy is in heaven. :) It's becoming a pretty cool space!:
Shiplap wall behind headboard

More projects to come, but I always like to share the process with you! Rooms do NOT happen overnight around here. :) 

Here are some sources and links for some items from this room! Affiliate links are included for your convenience:

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  1. You could go with a whitewash stain... but I am leaning towards white paint so it looks like a custom built-in ....The only concern is the lights might blend in where as they pop with the Raw wood...! Can’t wait to see what works...well done!

  2. Stain the planks, paint the upper shelf white, then your lights will pop like Ann noted. Love it, Sarah!

  3. It looks fantastic. Always love a happy accident.

  4. Looks great -- except for the UK and Duke basketballs! ;-)

    1. Haha! Hubby would agree about UK but they went to a father son b-ball camp there and he was actually quite impressed. So he’s torn. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    2. Oh need to get rid of that Duke/Puke ball! UK all the way! lol Love your blog. Go CATS!! Kentucky Girl

  5. I also was thinking of a white stain to tie it all together and look great with the navy headboard. I love it!

  6. I have to be honest, the fact that the shelf isn't level with the top of the bookcases is making me twitchy. Those lips on either side would bother me. That being said, I'd stain the planks and paint the shelf white to help it blend a little better with the bookcases.

    1. Actually it looks better — that’s why I’m happy it was too short. The bookcases have a space at the top that looked odd under the shelf. THAT would’ve made me twitchy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    2. I'm guessing it would have created a little gap since those side pieces normally are just a wee bit longer than the top (if my wording there makes sense?)? I'm thinking I would have cut the board down so it would be flush between the shelves, but if the thickness is not the same as the shelves, I guess that would have looked off as well.

    3. Oh got it now — yes I considered that but I knew I’d have to add brackets to the side of the bookcases to hold it up. I wouldn’t trust screws when it’s something so heavy over his head.

  7. So happy to see the comment above mine about the shelf not being level with the tops of the bookcases. So glad to know it's not bothering just me. I'm afraid I'd have had to save that piece of wood for something else and have a new shelf cut. I agree also with the suggestion that the shelf be painted white and the planks stained so as not to lose the lamps and the propeller.

    1. I’ve always planned to stain the planks, just not sure about the shelf yet. I disagree — the wood looked awkward with the spacing at the top of the bookcases. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    2. You always do an amazing job. Re: the top, maybe add a trim piece to make it all cohesive, paint white. I'd white wash the slat area or paint to match the shelves. Or stain, and if you don't like can always be painted.

  8. I'm in the paint the board white camp. What a terrific boys' room!

    I was thinking that it would kill me to not have the lower boards go all the way across. I can't stand to leave a wall unpainted behind an object. Weird, because I'm usually pretty laid back, but.... Lol

  9. I definitely vote paint the top shelf white and stain the boards on the wall.

    And I agree with the above comments about the length of the top shelf. The fact that it's not even with the tops of the bookcases is giving me anxiety!

  10. I'm thinking staining the top shelf would make the shelf and wood planking appear to be a separate unit from the white shelves, so it kind of depends on what you are wanting it to look like. I don't think either option is going to be "wrong!" You have such wonderful your gut!

  11. Well I'm pinning this for my own son's room! You could stain it all first, see what you think after living with it a bit, and then paint the shelf if you decide differently. Easier to paint over stain :)

    One question - and maybe I missed where you say it? - but how did you attach the 2 lamps to the sides of the shelves? Did you just screw them in like normal or does it require something special with IKEA shelves? We have something similar in our office and I want to use lights like that. Thanks! Can't wait to see it all done to see how it looks!

    1. Thank you! I just screwed them in. ๐Ÿ˜Š Hopefully we won’t ever have to move them! (Make sure to use short screws so it doesn’t go through the other side.)

  12. I would definitely go with painting that top board white! It's also bringing out my OCD that it's not flush with the tops of the bookcases! ;) But since it's your house, you know what looks best for your family!

    I'm glad to hear my son isn't the only little man obsessed with collecting THINGS! I tried to purge his room the other night and we had to go through each little item and he told me why each one was special and he just could NOT get rid of it--ha!

    It all looks great!


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