Art & Design

Book Smart: 4 reading nook ideas that will transform your literary leisure time

4 reading nook ideas

If you’re an avid reader, there is probably an area for your home that you’ve daydreamed about: a reading nook. Whether you have a nook specially designed for reading or you dedicate space to a reading zone within another area — for example, tucked under the stairs or in the corner of the living room or a bedroom — carving out space for you to do what you love will make you enjoy your home even more.

When you’re designing your reading nook, think beyond just the basics. While a chair or sofa is a must-have so you can comfortably lounge, there are a few other elements that can make or break your reading area. Use these insider reading-nook ideas and tips to transform your space from something basic to something beyond expectations. 

1. Add all the cozy comforts

When you want to sit down with a page-turner, there is one thing that takes priority above all else: comfort. Your reading nook should be outfitted with details that make it a luxurious and comfortable place where you can spend hours with your nose in a book. Opt for an oversized armchair that gives you enough room to curl up in. Add a cozy rug, a plush throw blanket for those cold-weather days, a few accent pillows and a side table where you can set your coffee, tea or other beverage of choice. That way, as soon as you settle down in your nook, you have everything you could possibly need right at your fingertips. 

cozy reading nook

2. Think creatively about storage

What’s a reading nook without proper book storage? Think through how you can maximize the storage in your space to make it as practical as possible. If you have vertical space, consider adding a few rows of shelves that make the perfect storage place for your queue of books waiting to be read. It’s also an ideal way to display keepsakes and trinkets that give the space a personal feel and make it an area where you can’t wait to spend more time. 

If you don’t have room for shelves, it’s just a matter of thinking more creatively about your storage solutions. Consider a storage ottoman that gives you hidden space to stash books, blankets and anything else you want to keep handy. You could even add a custom built-in that doubles as a bench, bookshelf and storage ottoman all in one. 

3. Bring the outdoors in

Liven up your reading nook with a bit of greenery. From potted plants to fresh-cut flowers, adding plants and flowers is an easy way to infuse the space with a bit of life. If you don’t have a green thumb, plants such as aloe, succulents and cacti are low-maintenance options that don’t require a lot of attention. Or, if you’re looking to make a bolder statement, consider larger floor plants such as a bird of paradise or monstera, or the trendy potted plant Geogenanthus ciliatus (“geo” for short). These leafy plants are the perfect pop of color and shape and will lend your space some graphic punch.

reading nook lighting

4. Let there be (proper) light

Natural and artificial light are both vital components in your reading nook. Ideally, create your space in an area with a window, to ensure that you have natural light during the day. The purpose is twofold: The light will give the space a beautiful glow while also making it easy to read without any issues. For the evening and for the winter months, think strategically about lamps you can use in the space to create an inviting glow. A table lamp or task lamp placed beside your reading chair is an ideal way to create the perfect situation for evening reading. Think of adding a floor lamp, too, where the shade can be positioned right over the book for optimal illumination. But don’t stop at just lamps: Candles are a way to cast some soft light around the rest of the space, while also offering wonderful scents to accompany you during your reading time.

Get reading

Creating a cozy, calming, well-lit reading nook is an enriching way to build a space around a passion. By thinking strategically about the space’s design, you can transform it from an empty corner into an area where you will spend hours and hours. 

For more home design inspiration, check out our blog.

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