We maximized the smallest nook in our home so that it doubles as cozy seating and toy storage. Let’s show you around!
Snuggle Up + Stay Awhile
Months ago – before the holidays! – we began talking about our plans to freshen up this underutilized nook beneath the stairs. Located right off the living room, you can see it while sitting on the couch. One evening, in a very dramatic light bulb-esque moment, Scott and I looked at each other and said, ‘Built-ins? Built-ins!’ We wasted no time pulling out the tape measure, marking up the walls and diving into the various cabinet options from IKEA.
The more we shared, the more your excitement made us excited. And when one of our readers from England messaged us to say that this style of room – cozy, small, curl-uppable – would typically be called a snug, well, it stuck. This room is such a snug!
The Built-In Storage Bench
When planning this room, we had a list of things we wanted to achieve. It needed to be able to…
- … corral all the rogue toys.
- … provide seating for multiple people (our friends always gravitate towards this teeny room, and we never had enough seating!)
- … invite you in and make you smile.
The first two boxes were checked by building a storage bench from IKEA SEKTION cabinetry! Here’s that tutorial. In one fell swoop, we gave ourselves over 90″ of storage and seating for multiple people (or a resting spot for one person’s nap!).
Our Custom Bench Cushion
After building the bench, we’d need a long soft cushion. We’ve worked with Patio Lane in the past and have always been thrilled with the results. This time was no different!
The perk of going custom is being able to create extra long cushions to the 1/8″! We wanted the look of a continuous cushion on the long side, which we were able to achieve with Patio Lane. From the beginning, we were on the hunt for the perfect saddle color – aka ‘Catfish color,’ ha! Stout Textiles Velvety Toffee fit the bill. We gasped out loud when we opened the package! It’s stunning.
We added piping in the same velvet, as well as two 7″ diameter bolster cushions. The addition of bolsters feels so luxe! Bonus: It makes for the best place to rest your head while unwinding with a good book.
Styling the Shelves
Our IKEA VITTSJÖ bookcase has been a favorite of ours and yours for years. We recently lightened up the overall look by removing the plywood from the top two shelves to reveal the original glass shelving. Now, the globe lamp shines through the shelving, and it’s so pretty in the evenings!
We kept the shelves simple with a small fern, a stack of books, Lucy’s mini rock collection (seen below) and a bundle of sage. A tall wooden vase adds a splash of warmth, and no, your eyes are not deceiving you – we have wooden figurines everywhere. Lucy loves them, and they remind me of my art school days!
A Rug That’s Soft + Durable
The rug you see here landed in this room on accident. It was originally intended for a room in the Two Flat, but instead, it made its way to the snug. It was meant to be! It fills the space perfectly, creates a soft floor for Lucy and Catfish to play and snooze on, respectively, and it’s already proven to be very durable. The faded blue and taupe colors play so well with our cushion and dark grey walls.
A Mix of Personal + Quirky Artwork
The finishing touch in every room we design? Artwork! I couldn’t resist our composite photo of Lucy, and the framed vintage dog prints were a gift from our friend, Toby. (Does he know me, or does he know me?)
And of course, the large painting on the opposite wall is one of very, very favorites in our whole home! We love how it balances all the darker tones in the room, and the creamy white, texture and oak frame tie our moody snug into our lighter living room like a dream. A dream, I tell you!
Thank you for cheering us on throughout the process and giving us advice along the way! Without you, we might’ve never landed on the toy chest idea, which has been so wonderful for swallowing our board game collection.
PS: You can also see how we DIY-ed the built-in seating right here, and this is how we hacked our IKEA bookcase to double as record storage. You can also head to our room makeover page to see every post we’ve written about this sweet nook!
Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal (walls) | BEHR Ultra Pure White (trim) | built-in storage bench seating + brass knobs | custom bench cushion + bolsters in Stout Textiles Velvety Toffee | bookcase | rug | large painting | dip-leg stool | sconces | ceiling pendant light | Marshall bluetooth speaker | floral artwork | globe lamp | throw (similar) | black marble box | gold box | wooden figurines| grey velvet pillow | red velvet pillow | green lumbar pillow (similar) | cream pillow | octopus plush