My Nook: A Place To Dream And Hideout

High within the trees, escaping from the surrounding world, dripping with mother earth’s beauty, sits my nook.

When I was a little girl, I created a fort in my backyard inside a row of the tallest trees I think I had ever seen. It was always my place to escape; I’d read, write, dream, play, and even nap. It was my place to just be me, whoever that was, and just relax.


I now find myself at 23, living in the city, creating a space to escape in my “backyard” (a 2 by 4 foot fire escape space) on the second story of what was once advertised to me as the “garden apartment”. It began one morning when I was having total porch envy, (yes this is a thing), and I begin eyeballing which neighbors have decks or porches in which they can sit on whenever and chill out. By that afternoon, I had myself a little nook, and I mean little, and by nook, I mean fort (ugh, maturity), in the trees.

It was like second nature to me, considering I was basically a professional fort builder as a child. I knew I needed to be surrounded by as much nature as possible, so I began with potting some new plants, and gathering some I already had. I then made a list of necessities:

Seating: This was important to me. I’m always reading, listening to music, and writing. I’d rather do that outside then in, and a nook wouldn’t be a nook without it. I took a vintage trunk from inside my apartment and created a bench. It’s snug, yet efficient, with room for storage inside.

Herbs: The smell of fresh rosemary simply relaxes me. I created a herb box with an old wine crate and filled it with some summer cooking essentials (basil, mint, cilantro, etc.).

Music: The wind can carry a beautiful tune. I took an old birch branch I had laying around in my art studio and attached some old bells to it by natural twine to mimic a wind chime. I tied the branch to the corner of my fire escape, above my sitting area. Every time the wind blows, it’s music to my ears.

 Counter space: I got creative here, and made a little trough to put stuff in or set things on. Right now I have a little cactus succulent sitting there (thanks Jana!), but a cup of tea or some sprinkles of birdseed are some of the endless options it provides.

Décor: I’m all about the little details. Because nature is so beautiful, the décor of my nook could be minimal. I just added a few things to add some good energy. I love old seltzer bottles, and pulled one with an earth tone out of my collection to sit on my bench. I placed an old frame on the ground, letting it frame three plants, showcasing mother nature’s art. I threw an old burlap pillow on top of the bench for some comfort, keeping the natural theme going. I’m planning on adding one final touch: some stringed outdoor lights, for those hot summer nights under the stars.










Needless to say, I’m hooked. I don’t ever want to leave my little hideout in the trees. I’m an early bird, and my mornings are now always spent in my nook. I watch the sunrise with my puppy, sip tea, and smell the blueberry muffins coming from my kitchen mixed with fresh spring air. It’s a lovely way to wake, and a simple project, with a little bit of dreaming and a little more effort. I end my days here as well, and completely unwind and relax. I grab a book to read, listen to some tunes, or chat and sip some red wine with company. I’m happier now that I have my nook. It’s my new place, and each new moment I spend there the more I appreciate that inner youth I will always hold. It’s nostalgic, and a place where I can always go to dream.

+Where do you go to escape? If you could build a sanctuary, fort, nook, hideout, etc., where would it be? What would be on your list for necessities? Let me know in the comments!

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8 years ago

So… where do you find old crates? I’ve been wanting one for my porch for two years and I just have no idea where to look! After seeing this post though, I am super motivated to spruce my balcony up.

8 years ago

be careful of blocking your fire escape too much, especially that trunk at the bottom of the stairs. blocking the way of egress is a crime in many places.

8 years ago

LOVE this! Super cute nook created there. Maybe you could add these nice wooden “floor mat” thingies. might be nicer to stand on than on the metal. Just a thought :)

8 years ago

gorgeous! love this idea and the colors you chose for your decor. i can relate to building forts as a kid and i have a feeling i’ll mimic this idea and build another. thanks for sharing with us.

8 years ago

Such a wonderful idea for a post! I think most of us can relate to this, forts were literally my favourite things as a child :) xx

8 years ago

Exactly why I was so excited when I saw you were a part of the Free People team….I’ve been a Instafan of yours for a long time and I’m incredibly happy you get to share your beauty and creativity to lots more…keep it up Madisyn

8 years ago

We are slowly transforming our backyard into a little oasis and I love it. When I drew up the plans for our little space, everyone thought it may wind up looking too cramped (but no one said anything!). Now, as it comes to fruition, everyone is loving how cozy is is turning out. I am just happy to have a place where flowers will eventually bloom, fires burn at night, and string lights twinkle overhead.

8 years ago

Love how you can transform even the tiniest of spaces and make it your own.My escape would definitely be anywhere peaceful outdoors.

8 years ago

So incredibly m a g i c a l ………………my fiance and I are creating a new backyard and we plan to build a garden “shed” to write, sit in the outdoors and dream. Thank you for your gorgeous inspiration-I wouldn’t want to leave it either!!!!!!

The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

8 years ago

This is magnificent. I love how the shadows and sunlight complement each other!

8 years ago

beautiful! I want my own nook. I live with my family at the moment, so I just hideout in my room or go in the garden when I want to read and relax :)
Mara // marashares

8 years ago

I love the way you have styled your nook. I have a balcony on my house, where I try to do something similar and I love hanging out there. Especially when the sun is shining and I get a good clear view of the mountains. With no garden, this is our outdoor space.

8 years ago

Your photography is so gorgeous i don’t know if i should be jealous or amazed!x

8 years ago

This is the best thing ever! You really made the most out of that tiny space, I love it so much!


8 years ago

What a slice of heaven! Everyone needs their own little outdoor nook <3

8 years ago

love everything about this! too bad I can’t seem to keep plants alive for more than a week..

8 years ago

This is so amazing, seeing this gives me an idea for my dreadful back yard. Thanks