Thursday, March 21, 2019

DIY Pallet Book Nook - Part One

Pallet Wood Feature Wall and Window Seat
When I purchased my current country home, many of the features that most appealed to me were the quirky, whimsical touches that made it so unlike all of the other cookie-cutter properties.  After moving in, though, I discovered a few things that were just a little too different for my taste.  Still, in renovating those oddities, I wanted to remain true to what had drawn me to this house in the first place: the use of character wood (weathered wood that captures your imagination).

In today's post, I am sharing part one of a two-part series focused on creating a DIY pallet book nook from a previously unused space in my upstairs bedroom.  We will start with the woodworking elements of the project and then finish with handcrafted decorating touches (a homemade cushion, pillows, rug, and other decor to cozy up the space).

Because I have poured so much of myself into my master bedroom renovations, it has become my favorite room in the entire house.  One last improvement remained to make this space visually and functionally cohesive.  There was a funky "hallway" in the room that housed my exercise bike (because it didn't lend itself to much else).  The thing that really bugged me about that long, narrow space was a weird, uneven application of drywall.  I couldn't knock that wall down because it housed my closet and was most likely structural (helping support the roof).  And, hanging, mudding, texturizing, and painting new sheetrock just wasn't on my bucket list.  Been there, done that.  Not my idea of a good time.  So, what to do?

Funky Drywall Before Renovation
Recycled pallets are the answer to most of the truly pressing needs in my world.  Seriously.  Pallet wood can right most wrongs.  It just requires a little—well, okay, a lot—of elbow grease.  I'm good with that.  The finished product has always proven worth it.  We'll just skip over the less than scintillating details of finding, hauling, deconstructing (pulling a massive number of ornery nails), and refinishing (cutting, sizing, planing, and sanding) a tall pile of pallets.  On to step eight.

Tape Marks Studs Where Planks Will Be Nailed
With the feature wall pallet planks ready for installation, I prepped the wall by finding and marking the studs.

Leveling Wall Sections With Lath
Next, I applied thin strips of wood lath to level the two sections of drywall, which will provide a more solid backing when nailing in the pallet planks.  The wainscoting pictured above consists of three framed pieces of corrugated metal topped by a chair rail.  It provides a nice contrasting texture, as well as adding a reflective surface to lighten up the space.

Oh the Tales This Wall Could Tell
When I nailed in the rows of pallet wood, I decided to alternate different widths and colors.  I left all of the wood in its natural state, as the original saw blade marks, nail holes, knots, and checking is what adds personality.  As I started working on this step, I got the inspiration to separate rows of planks with horizontally placed strips of recycled lath removed from inside the plaster walls of an old ranch house.  The definition of the chiseled edges of lath created an effect similar to the chinking seen between bricks.  Really, though, it is the history of that lath, and the story it tells, that adds so much value and interest to the feature wall.

Rustic Pallet Window Seat 
No book nook would be complete without a window seat.  Again, I used rustic pallet parts, purposely choosing planks with nail streaks, and then trimming the bench with pallet skids.  Where there was fresh wood from making the cuts, I applied chalkboard spray paint, and then sanded off most of it to blend the color with that of the naturally weathered surfaces.

Books Feed and Seed the Mind
Above the window, I created a decorative king post truss trim that matches the actual support truss on the front of my house.  I like the way it ties everything together.  While working on this truss, I happened to find the metal  Feed & Seed sign at Tractor Supply Co.  It seemed like the perfect message for my new space, as books certainly do feed and seed our minds.  When I got home with the sign, I was amazed that it fit exactly in place between the truss and the window.  That never happens.  I knew then that it was meant to be.

My Nook is Ready for Accessorizing
With the construction work done, I am now in the process of accessorizing my new nook.  I have selected fabrics and will soon start sewing the window seat cushion and pillows.  Stay tuned for part two of this DIY series when I post the final reveal.  So, what do you think?  Could you see yourself curled up with a book in this sunny space?













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8 comments:

  1. What a fantastic 'book nook', Diana. Love your idea of the use of rustic looking pallets. It does seem to fit well into your 'decor'. And the Feed & Seed sign is perfect. Can't wait to see the finished area!

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    1. Thanks, Elf. Rustication... that's my style. It fits the whole living off the grid motif. Nothing too fancy. Just use what is around you so it doesn't go to waste. Will have everything finished for my next post.

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  2. Wow! What a beautiful book nook and such a wonderful way to reclaim an area and actually use it. The original funky drywall would have driven me crazy, but I never would have been as creative as you with finding a decorative solution. Really beautiful, Diana! The wood from the pallets is fabulous.

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    1. Thank you, Mouse. I am so visual. When something is off, I can't stop looking at it. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with that space, but once I did, each step of the project sort of took on a life of its own (inspiring some improvisation). I love how every DIY project takes me on an adventurous journey.

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  3. Wow!! What a great idea Diana that looks fantastic. I know how hard you had to work on this, there is so much prep work with wood pallets. I helped my son build two benches for his outdoor deck, both from wood pallets. After that my son went on to build a shed next to his garage all from wood pallets. You are so very talented and innovative when it come to DIY. Thanks

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  4. Many people would probably think we are nuts to work so hard to reclaim and repurpose pallet wood. But, there is just nothing like it in terms of personality (woodsonality?). It is easy to see why pallet projects are so popular (on Pinterest, etc.). There is a real satisfaction that comes with honest labor and the application of one's creative urges. I already have another idea for creating a herringbone pallet floor in my loft. That will be another big project. Let the fun begin! Thank you for your kind comments. Always appreciated.

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  5. Oh I am waiting for an invitation to sit there with one of my favorite books or a suggestion from you. What a great job you have done. I'm suitably impressed with your carpentry skills and eye for functionality and beauty! Can't wait for Part 2!

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  6. What a joy that would be... to share some book nook time together. I better get busy finishing the pillows and cushions. Thanks for your kind comments.

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