Reading Room Redo

Remember when this odd little 6′ x 6′ space…

…became our reading room?

Well, it needs to act as our guest room now, so a couple weeks back, we started clearing it out…

…and patching the walls…

…and talking about how to build a bed with a little more storage, and create walls with a little more character, and a little less stuff on ’em. I started having crazy visions of a sunburst mirrors landing on my Mom’s head in the middle of the night, so it was time for them (and the shelves) to say buh-bye!

After the room was completely clear, we loaded the car up with a bunch of wood from the home improvement store…

…and (spontaneously) decided to take a 2-hour road trip to Cullman, Alabama for some old gymnasium flooring from this place…


It’s called Southern Accents and they carry all kinds of awesome architectural salvage.

What a fun day that turned out to be!

Back at home, and after some hardcore rub-a-dub scrubbin’ with mineral spirits and soap & water, we started attaching the old floor boards to the back wall in the room…

Here’s what we eventually came up with…

(Note: We’ve still gotta add some trim molding below the baseboards.)

Simple, Moonlight White-painted board and batten on the side walls, a rustic gym floor back wall, a Moonlight White-painted plywood floor, and little cheery pops of color and texture here, there and everywhere!

The daybed we built was inspired by Pottery Barn’s $749 Stratton Daybed…

I think we spent around $75 to build, caulk and paint ours. If you’d like info on how to build one too, click HERE to visit

(Note: Because Kev and I each have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to directions, we didn’t actually use any plans to build our bed- but if you’re lookin’ for some rock solid instructions, and wanna cut out all the guesswork, definitely check out Ana’s plan!)

On the left side of the room, we used our leaning ladder / magazine & book rack. We haven’t secured it to the wall yet, but we do plan to do that in the near future…

For the board and batten on the side walls, we just used pre-primed MDF 1×2’s from Home Depot. They were super simple to put up with our nail gun, and because our baseboard and crown molding are flat, everything finished out nice and neat. (After a couple of tubes of caulk!)

I got the little green and yellow bucket from Ashley and Myra during our trip to Nashville this past January…

I’m such a sucker for brightly-colored vintage metal! I got the red, white and blue Bingo tin on Etsy a while back…

I’m SO gonna hide surprises in that sucker every time my Mom comes up for a visit!

We got the Pottery Barn Stratford wall sconce on eBay…

I camouflaged part of the cord by hanging one of our framed quotes on top of it…

The light has a dimmer switch- which I love. It looks so warm and cozy in there at night!

The rest of the frames hanging on that wall were also swiped from our old guest bedroom…

(My Mom’s birthday is June 13th!)

We decided to go with a more random arrangement than usual this time, and we’re really diggin’ the way they play with the board and batten.

It was such a fun little redo to work on together!

Just gotta add that trim below the baseboards, and attach a curtain rod and some curtains on the inside of the doorway for privacy, and we’ll be done!

I think.

Source List:
Paint on ceiling: Sea Salt – Sherwin Williams
Paint on side walls: Moonlight White – Benjamin Moore
Paint on floor: Moonlight White – Behr Premium Plus Porch & Floor Paint (Home Depot)
Pottery Barn Stratford Wall Sconce: eBay
Rug: TJ Maxx
White Pick-Stitch Quilt and Euro Shams: Pottery Barn
Floral Pillow: Ikea
Red Stripe Euro Pillow Cover: Ikea
Natural and Red Stripe Lumbar Pillow Cover: eBay
Ceiling Light: Ikea
White “Ribba” Picture Frames: Ikea
Wood Picture Frames: Walmart
Large Seagrass Baskets: HomeGoods
Blue Step Stool: J&G Flea Market, Prattville, AL
Ivory Throw Blanket: gift from our realtor
White Storage Containers: Ikea
Side Table: HomeGoods
Ladder: Nashville Flea Market
Green & Yellow Bucket: The Rare Bird Antiques, Goodlettsville, TN
Red Bingo Tin:
Blue Button Tin Photo:
Red Door Photo:

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  1. angela says

    I loved the way it looke before with all the mirrors ………………….but its stunning now too , with more storage space :).love it xx

  2. says

    This little room is adorable. We recently switched living spaces with my parents & I’m living with traditional decor/paint & am trying, one room at a time, to lighten things up & achieve a cottage look. Any tips on how to do the board & patten look with traditional baseboard? It’s 5 in base but not flat :( I have a large wall in my dining room that is so bare, I thought board & batten would look good? :)

  3. Judy C says

    Have a small room that we assume used to be a powder room off the foyer that the previous owner turned into just a small room with shelves–had talked myself into closing it off and turning it into a pantry for the small galley kitchen, then saw your reading room and now your guest room and now I can’t decide what I want to do with it. What a great room you’ve made. Live in Cullman, Southern Accents is just a great place which I have to stay out of as much as possible to keep from getting in trouble :-)

  4. Stephanie says

    You do such wonderful work! I wish I was that good at decorating. Such a neat idea with gym flooring on the wall. That’s something that I’ve never seen done. Here while back I went into a Mennonite home and the whole house was done with old gym flooring. There was about 3 stories done with the flooring. The top floor was the attic/game room or something and in it was all the flooring with the lines. It was in no order and so cool!

  5. says

    The flooring on the wall is gorgeous. I think people take it overboard sometimes. One wall with a window in it is always the perfect place to do such an accent. Plus the time and thought that it takes… good for you! Love love love the look and feel of it.

  6. says

    so inspirational, a real wow of a room, and so cleverly done in such quick time and not expensive.. all perfect for us bloggers, and so pretty to boot too!!

  7. Danielle Baker says

    When choosing from salvaged furniture, how can you be sure not to buy a door/window with lead paint?

    • Layla says

      Hmmm…I’m not sure, Danielle! :-O We haven’t bought any painted, salvaged doors or windows for this house. (yet!) 😉

  8. RaeLee says

    LOOOVE the new design! What colors did you use for the stripes on the wall prior to the change? Love the faint contrast!

  9. Kathy Dittmer says

    Cannot believe this space is 6’x6′!!! Incredible. The wood on the walls…..pure genius!!! Thanks for sharing these brilliant ideas!!

  10. sherry cropski-bruno says

    Absolutley love! Such a great use of space. You make it look so easy! I am inspired. Thank you.

  11. says

    Hi Layla! Maybe I didn’t search hard enough, but I was wondering if you would please share what colors you used for the stripes before the redo (if you happen to remember them).
    I would love to recreate this look in our master bathroom! Thanks!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Stephanie!

      They were painted with Behr’s “Fencepost” (no long available) and Sherwin Williams’ “Natural Choice”. :-)

  12. says

    I love, love, LOVE this makeover! You guys are very talented!! I can’t wait to see a tour of your “cat room”. :) Seriously.

  13. Lenka says

    This is adorable!!! I love this room :). If you’ll go to Europe (close to Prague), you could help me with my room, which is as big as this one :D.

  14. Kelly Gray says

    I must say I “LOVE” your blog and I was BLOWN AWAY when I saw that you were in Cullman, AL. I am not sure where you guys live, but I live only 1 hour away from Cullman.
    I love the bed idea!!! We are planning a BIG remodel, if something happens and we do not buy a house in the next town over. Even then, there are things I want to change aout that house. You have some great ideas and have inspired me to want to redo things in our house (if we stay!!).
    I have not been to that place in Cullman, so will have to make a trip and check it out.

    • Layla says

      Hey Kelly!
      We’re in Pike Road, Alabama- down by Montgomery. Have fun shopping at Southern Accents- it’s AWESOME! 😀

  15. says

    I love that you have a reading room and especially adore what you’ve done with the wall using wood as a focal point versus paint! Sigh. Really pretty.

  16. Nyree says

    Absolutely adorable, unbelievable how you’ve created such charm and bright clean feeling to this room. Well done!

  17. Pam says

    I am having a bed made in our bonus room under a window – similar to what you did. I was wondering on your bedding…you said you got a quilt from pottery barn. Did you just fold it under the mattress – did you maybe get a larger size like a queen? I am trying to figure out how to do that with a twin size mattress as well. Also, on that Ikea light hanging down – did you have to wire for that or was there already a light there to replace it with? I love your whole look!!

  18. Shannon says

    Love this room! We recently moved into a new house and have gone from a 18 x 16 bedroom to a 9 x 9 box (we gave the two larger rooms to the kiddos so they would have room for toys and friends :) ). I have been searching the internet and pinning endless bedrooms trying to find one that fit for us and I think I just have. Your room is our new inspiration. I absolutely love Southern Accents and have spent my fair share of time going through their treasures! Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. says

    I love the contrast of dark wood with light decor. Also the fact that you use old recycled things is great. I know this is an older post but it is stunning!

  20. Laura says

    The before was nice, but the second one knocked my socks of. Y’all are incredible! My daughter moved out and I”m redoing her bedroom as an office/guest room. Just love the floorboard on the wall! Everything was great, even the light placed over the daybed, and the way you did your home office/guestroom in the other post. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!

  21. says

    Hi, I heard about your blog through “American Blogger.” I LOVE this reading room and can’t wait to own a house so I can do one very similarly. I especially like the ladder with magazines :) Thanks for the great ideas! Glad I found your site.

  22. mbeth says

    I have used Behr’s Moonlight white on all the ceilings of my ’52 bungalow…. such a soft, beautiful color :-) Very nice job on your reading room!