Refurbished Bombay chair and reading nook

Over the summer, my husband I decided to convert our spare bedroom into an office where I could work, read and study. I wanted the space to be calm and uncluttered. I wanted it to feel light. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.

Ironically when I was visiting my aunts, they had a rug rolled up in the corner of their dining room. I took a peek because it was just the color I had in mind for a rug in the office. I took a look and it had a beautiful design and was just what I was looking for. My aunt had ordered it from an online home decor site but it wasn’t the right color and she couldn’t return it. She told me I could have it! It was an incredible gift and set the tone for the room.

I added some other items to the room but wanted to add a comfy chair and reading nook where I could read. I didn’t want something too bulky or expensive. I started scouting Craigslist for a candidate.

That’s when I found this guy.

An interior architect was selling this Bombay chair for $40! It was a steal because it was in great shape and everything that I had been looking at even at discount stores was well over $120. I sat in it and it was comfortable. I wasn’t sure about the color because it looked more gray in the picture in the ad, but it was just too good to pass up. So into my vehicle, it went.

When I got home, my husband took it upstairs and I immediately knew that it was too dark and heavy for the room. Man. This wasn’t something I could exactly return. I just planned on reselling it on Craigslist.

And then I had an idea. I could use white chalk paint to paint the dark wood. This chair has beautiful woodwork detail.

It was beautiful the way it was and I was a little worried about ruining it. But it didn’t work in my space the way that it was, so I decided to go for it!

I placed a trash bag under the chair to keep paint off the carpet. Then I used painter’s tape to tape off the fabric to keep the paint from getting on the fabric of the chair.

For the Chalk Paint Nightstand post, I mixed up my own chalk paint. This time I went with a pre-made brand. I picked it up at the paint counter at Home Depot. It is Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint. It worked great for this project, but I prefer the homemade version for furniture. This was a little glossier and took longer to dry.

I applied three coats of the paint. When I was done, the paint seemed too bright, so I distressed the woodwork using sandpaper. To do this, once the paint is completely dry, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly go over the edges and details. This will reveal a little bit of the darker finish underneath. After I had the distressing the way I wanted it, I used Americana Decor Creme Wax to seal the paint.

After doing that and adding a white pillow, it was just right for my office!

I added a small table that I picked up on clearance for $10 at back to school time. The top was a bright teal color, so I spray painted that white. Then I added a lamp that is tall enough to cast light down onto my reading material.

And now I have a cozy reading nook area in my office to read and have coffee.

Our Boston Terrier Roxanne likes it, too!

Do you have an item that you almost gave up on, but modified to make it fit your needs or decor like this Craigslist chair update & reading nook? I’d love to hear about it!

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