Nooks for Life – Tips From a Fort Freak

Guest Post from Jonathon Ensor, freelance blogger for Empire Today


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Jonathon Ensor, freelance blogger for Empire Today, did it all for the nook. When he isn’t knee-deep in a good historical novel or making bad puns about terrible bands, he and his wife slowly work on remodeling their home.

Alright, confession time: I used to be the kid who sat in the corner of their closet pretending it was a “fort”. I would bring in a book, a flashlight, maybe a snack or a couple of toys and nestle in like a baby bird. Strangely, I suffer from a touch of claustrophobia in other aspects of life, but certain types of small spaces have always brought me comfort. I’ve lived in some of the most cramped studio apartments imaginable (including one so compact you couldn’t even open the oven door without it hitting a wall).

Whether you have a home-imposed confinement issue or just want to build yourself a cozy office nook, I’ve learned a few tricks to open up close quarters or simply make your “fort” more intimate and snug.

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Obviously, if you’re hoping to enlarge your tiny hide-out, few things work as fast as good ol’ reflection. Antique (or antique-looking) mirrors with artsy frames are always nice, but flat mirror paneling works so well it might actually confuse you. “Where did this luxurious room come from?!” If getting down with your reflection all day isn’t for you, place the mirrors higher than your seated eye-level.

Speaking of higher-ups – to make the room seem taller, hang pictures, posters and such on the top half of your wall. Anything lower is going to get cluttered together. Aim for the top!

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My personal style has always been something of a color explosion, but sticking to one palate blows borders away. A similar color scheme for your floors, walls, window treatments – even the ceiling and trim – can do absolute wonders. It sounds severe, but really isn’t unless you pick like, fire engine red. Think neutrals, lights, wood-finishes – even dark navy and brown work. You can find laminate flooring or carpet in every color/texture imaginable, and consider making your own curtains or trim to match.

If it’s at all possible to focus on natural light, embrace it. Sunlight splashing around the room is Mother Nature’s interior decorator trying to help out. Little lamps and low-light can be inviting for plush, embellished little nooks, but if you’re trying to maximize space, don’t rule out knocking down that wall to get some sun rays.

You’re going to want to be a leg man. As in, furniture that lifts itself off the ground. It opens up the space, and if what you really need is a spare corner to stuff your craft baskets – it’s an excellent hiding place. This is one of those immediate relief tricks. You won’t believe how much it changes a room. Look for other types of dual-purpose compartment furniture (a storage ottoman, multi-purpose book shelves, etc.).

There’s plenty more interior inspiration out there. Books and blogs abound with pictures of fancy little corners and tiny offices. Find one that looks roughly the same shape as whatever space you’re working with and let the light bulbs (over your head, that is!) start shining. Good luck!

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