Nook Under The Stairs REVEAL

This post has been over 2 years in the making.

Sometimes you watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition and wonder how the crap they build a house in a week, when it takes over two years to finish taking out a wall.

When we moved into our house, this is what the basement family room looked like.  It was so kind of the Salvation Army to leave their furniture.  (We literally bought our house from The Salvation Army.)

Basement Design

This was our first DIY project in our whole house, ripping down this wall.  I had lofty dreams of exposed stairs and a cozy reading nook under them.

The Nook will go here

The wall was load-bearing, so we put a beam into place to allow for the nook.  During framing we planned out storage for Christmas decorations, storage for blankets and movies, a built-in for the media, wiring for sconces, surround sound, and a projector.

Build A Nook Under Load Bearing Wall Stairs

This was the first time I learned to drywall, mud and tape.  And now I know what is the WORST DIY.

We finished the 2×4’s into wood pillars, where I then had a major staining incident with wood putty.

Carpentry Detail on the Stairs

Exposed Stairs

I built barn doors out of our old fence, and learned how to hang them the hard way.

I made a no-sew cushion.

But I’m excited to tell you, over 2 years later, it’s finally finished.  We finally finished the bead board, trim, paint.

Pictures don’t do the nook justice.  It’s HUGE.  Bigger than a twin sized mattress.

Nook Under The Stairs


I sanded the pillars down and re-stained them.  It wasn’t worth its own post, but just know I did 🙂

I love this room as a whole.  This one wall has gone through a complete transformation.  It’s the most lounge-y family room you have been in.  With the couch and the nook, SO many people can fit in there.  It’s perfect for all sorts of movie parties.

Nook Under The Stairs


Even though this project was full of more frustration and re-do’s than I care to admit, I’m really grateful for the lessons learned along the way.  It just goes to show that a person with no real DIY experience CAN have a vision and end up with a beautiful result as long as giving up is not an option.

Nook Under The Stairs


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  • Rita

    I love the shot with the dabs of test paint on the wall! 🙂 I know how much work this kind of DIY is–props to you for sticking with it and getting it done, so small feat considering that you did it while renovating a kitchen and making a baby!

  • i love it! How can you bare to leave behind all your hard work and move out?!

  • Cassie Bustamante

    HOLY CRUD! that is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I don’t have enough words to express how great this room is! You guys are really talented!!! You have created a very personalized room for yourselves. I love it. BTW…one of the other commenters mentioned “move out”. Are you all moving?

  • Bravo!!!! Love the nook. I have been watching American Dream Builders (helloo Nate Berkus) and one of the contestants did a little nook like this. Nooks are the wave of the future! It looks so great Kenz!

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    You are pretty incredible Kenz! When is the next movie party? 🙂

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    such an awesome transformation!

  • I bet it is nice to have that space to relax with the fam 🙂

  • Whoo hoo–what a great space!! And you should probably teach a class on thrifting: “How to buy everything, including your house, from the Salvation Army!”

  • Wow Kenz. It turned out fantastic!! What a great space! I would love a hang-out like that!

  • This looks so good! Like it was meant to be there all along!

  • Julia @cuckoo4design

    Love the nook and I have always wanted one too. I agree, it was meant to be.

  • balegeinteriors

    It looks fab – definitely worth the time you spent on it.

  • Tara @ Surburble

    Um… wow! That’s incredible! I want that!

    And I also want to drywall with you. I’m total crap at drywall… so you probably just want me to watch and maybe yell out helpful suggestions…but I still think it would be fun 🙂

  • Brittany
    • Kenz

      Thanks for the tip, but they’re not sagging 🙂 The cushions of the couch are filled with down, so they are just extra fluffy and extra squish.

  • anne @ wit wisdom and food

    I want a nook too!!! That looks great. Love your wall color and how much more inviting it looks without a full wall there!

  • I love this space so so much. The barn doors are totally my jam. I mean, I want them in my life. And the lighting and dark wall and … well, everything. It’s just such a great space. You did an amazing job.

    In other news – mudding, drywall and taping truly is the worst DIY ever. That’s why I refuse to ever do it.

    Mostly, i just refuse to learn any DIY that looks horrible. I’m such an awesome wife.

    I actually snorted at Extreme Makeover Home Edition remark, too. That show actually just bugs me. Like, SEND THOSE PEOPLE OVER HERE. I can get a flippin’ megaphone.