Living Room Technology Nook Makeover

Tackle The Technology Nook

In my “Tackle The Crap” series, I have set out on a mission to simplify my home, and make commonly used areas more functional and beautiful. To catch up, read here (where it started), and here (Tackle The Paperwork: My Kitchen Command Center), here (Toy Storage Solutions),  here (updated #1 on my window wall), my finished living room bathroom wall here

I am so excited about this particular living room project because of the sheer hate I had brewing in regards to the “before” of this nook. Nooks are magical little spaces full of potential, so it only brought joy to my heart to be able to give it the special attention it deserved.

There are millions of beautiful shelf nooks floating around the internet, many don’t actually use things like DVD players and cable boxes. I love them. BUT the sole purpose of our nook was for technology stuff. So, I worked around that functional goal and made it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. But like the real life people we are, we still needed to keep big black DVD players and cable boxes exposed.

technology nook

I could go on for days about why I hated it, but I’ll try to keep my hate down to a few sentences. The black storage shelf was one of those “first year of marriage living in an apartment” purchases. It was cheap, and did the job four years ago. Now, it just annoys me.

It’s a dark black hole filled with junk. Books, cords, jars of buttons, DVD’s, gloves, etc. We kind of just put a bunch of random stuff in those six compartments and have remained way too lazy (until now), to change things up. At minimum, we could have added a bright fresh coat of paint to the black shelf, and purchased matching baskets for each compartment to store sorted items in. We then could have added a large painting above the bookshelf and I do believe it would have felt cozy and nice.

But no.

I really needed something else happening there.

full view

I originally thought built in cabinets at the base would be ideal. I still think they would have been a great option. BUT, as I began cleaning out my home office to transform into a nursery, I had a grand idea that my office desk could fit into that nook. Turns out, my desk is too large.

It was too late though, I couldn’t get the whole desk idea out of my mind. I became fixated on the idea, and it just had to happen.

looking down

A writing desk in the living room may bring different reactions from you based on what you think is practical or not practical.

For our family, it felt practical.

I could use the desk from time to time when I needed to do a little painting or crafting while also hanging out with Ari. I also have a vision that Ari and Max will use this as a spot to play with detailed toys like puzzles, train tracks, or play-do.  Or in the far future, it’s where they can work on math homework as they yell and scream because homework is stupid and hard. Or was that just me as a child with all of my anger, authority, and math aggression issues? Sorry mom and dad.

upper shelf

Ultimately, we couldn’t hide or disguise all technology related items. Most cords are hidden with cable concealers, but not all of them. As you can see in the photos, the shelf holding the receiver, the DVD player, and whatever else those black boxes are are right there in our faces. You may also notice that behind them, the cords are very present like crazy hair day. I would say that aspect is still a work in progress. The router and cable modem had to sit on the desk itself, and it just all had to happen, and I had to be okay with it and plan accordingly. My goal in this particular nook was to use the color black strategically, so that the black technology items didn’t stand out like a sore thumb. I used black books and art frames on all eye levels to add balance.

desk stuff

I wanted to paint the desk portion of this nook the exact same color as the fireplace and living room doors.

lower desk and fireplace

I’m forever obsessed with hardware, and often find it to be my splurge item in any space. I’ve used the brass streamline knob from Anthropologie in a past master bedroom project (you can find that project here), but this time I wanted to use them in a different way. I doubled them up, and turned them sideways for a new look, which I’m really happy with. I also paired them with a singular top knob with brass and leather details. Fun fact, the top drawer is totally fake. I’ll be showing more on that tomorrow.


The chair was an old find from a few years ago at a Louisville Peddler’s Mall. I had always planned on giving it a makeover, but didn’t really know when. Using it here in this desk nook saved money, and also feels quite perfect. I originally painted it purple, ended up hating it, started sanding it back off, and fell in love with the distressed look. It was kind of unlike me to keep something so distressed, but I really do love it.

side view desk

chair and rug

There are many tweaks we will be making in the coming weeks to this nook, but for the most part it’s finished. We still need to add an underbelly to the middle shelf, and we still need to find even better ways to conceal those cables all haywire behind the black technology boxes. We also need to better conceal some of the cables located closer to the carpet, which I tried to avoid photographing for uglyness reasons. This entire project took about eight days, and we are pretty exhausted and frankly quite tired of living in a messy house because of it. Working on any project somehow causes a huge mess, especially when were working with a toddler in the room. So, after a break and at least a week or two of a clean house, we may decide to break out the tools and finish this completely.

desk and shelves

Tomorrow I’ll be posting all about the “behind the scenes” of this nook project. I documented progress and details from each day since the starting day. Also I was totally lying about being able to have a clean house for “a week or two”. That would never happen, oh my gosh. BUT maybe like a day or two would be nice. Get these tools out of my face. Stay tuned for tomorrows post!




2 Comments on “Living Room Technology Nook Makeover

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