How To Decorate A Reading Nook

A busy life means your obligations at home and work are never-ending. If you desperately crave tranquility, carve out a space in your home for relaxing. For book lovers, the ideal way to de-stress after a long day is by sinking into a cozy armchair with a good book. The feeling of turning the pages and becoming immersed in unknown worlds provides instant relaxation and joy. Magazine lovers who want to keep up with the latest ideas and trends will also appreciate having a dedicated reading spot.

According to American Express Essentials, creating a book nook from scratch is a demanding project. Expect to plan the layout carefully before starting. The initial phase includes weighing the options, finding solutions, and expressing your creativity. The ideal nook should be comfortable, soothing, and filled with personality. To this end, you must combine furniture, color, texture, and art. If you lack inspiration, here's an extensive list of tips for designing the perfect reading nook.

Select a practical corner

Finding the right spot for your reading hideaway can be a challenge. Start the pursuit by scanning every room in your house. Don't forget to peek in hallways, under staircases, and in the attic. What corner appeals to your senses and aligns with your taste? Reading nooks require little space. For instance, an empty spot in your living room can often be enough. Even if your flat is cramped, you still have options to consider. Remove an extra dresser or use the balcony instead.

Before making the final pick, ensure the spot naturally matches the existing style and floor plan. Avoid making it look like an addition. Also, assess the privacy and the noise level in the room. Forget about a nook in the living room if you have small kids running around and wreaking havoc every evening. Alternatively, Apartment Therapy suggests placing an entire library under the staircase. Incorporating a comfy sitting area provides an excellent corner for napping, too. Just remember to add a few pillows on each side.

Finally, why not transform the attic? There's no point in letting this space sit around collecting dust. Be savvy and install bookshelves to create a cozy reading nook. Alternatively, turn a spare closet into a reading haven instead of stashing junk inside. Use the closet cleverly and fit a bench with extra storage (via Country Living).

Less is more

Design your reading nook to inspire creativity and focus. It's best to take a minimalistic approach from the onset. To do so, focus on using less decorative and attention-grabbing accents. The "less is more" mindset involves selecting what inspires you the most in this small space.

According to SFGate, choosing the proper color can set the mood for laidback reading sessions. One idea is to go with neutral tones complemented by accents and furniture that give the space some life. Think about colorful pillows, rugs, or even brightly-colored chairs. Another hack is to paint walls and shelves white but add books for a pop of color. As for shades, color schemes can affect your mood (via True Value). Using soft blue-gray or mint green will set a relaxing atmosphere. Conversely, yellow tones will instill optimism and inspiration. Pink can also have a tranquilizing effect, while nautical themes can make you feel the serenity of the ocean.

Build bookshelves

No reading nook is complete without shelving and bookcases. Consider how much space you'll need to store your books. Address this vital question before sketching the layout. Naturally, the type of bookshelf you choose will depend on your collection, the available room, and the aesthetics. Since you're a book lover, you probably have tons of volumes. You'll need someplace safe to accommodate your beloved collection. Floating shelves will be the perfect addition if the room is on the smaller side and you want to utilize the upper section of the area. Traditional built-in libraries and shelving units are ideal for large study rooms.

According to Iekel Road Home, the key to adding shelves to a reading nook is to avoid clutter. Choosing the wrong wood color can also overwhelm the place. Reading nooks should be airy, light, and bursting with a comfortable atmosphere. However, you don't want a library empty of life either. In modern design, standalone shelving units are a preferred choice. Even if you're intimidated by power tools, you can still make a DIY bookshelf (via The Gathered Home). Remember to opt for storage solutions that will accommodate your growing book collection in the future.

Go for comfy materials

Your reading oasis should be a place where you can relax and recharge. This spot should abound with comfort. Go for an oversized armchair, a few fluffy cushions, a blanket, and a shaggy rug to start. Select velvet-like materials that allow you to curl up and sink into coziness. Whether you pick a smaller sofa or a charming armchair, the fabric will make a huge difference. According to Architectural Digest, silk velvet is a poor choice if you have kids or pets.

Ideally, the upholstery should be durable, resistant to fading, and easy to maintain. Be particularly careful if it gets a lot of traffic (via Better Homes & Gardens). Or go for slipcovered upholstery if you don't want to whine about occasional coffee stains or scratches. For drapes, use cotton or cheesecloth as these materials are organic and let light inside. Rugs should be soft and soothing for the feet. Don't be afraid to get creative with furnishings by choosing different textures, styles, and colors.

Mind the sitting spots

Don't bother investing time and money in a reading nook without comfortable sitting. Whether you select a vintage armchair, an ottoman, or a hanging chair, coziness should be your priority. For a large-sized area, pick an overstuffed chair with an ottoman. A hanging chair is also an excellent choice from a practical and aesthetic point of view. Swings are stylish, especially when piled with comfortable pillows.

Those who prefer something that doesn't take up much space or money can opt for a bean bag or fold-up beach chair. Similarly, consider upcycling a vintage chair. If sitting in the chair becomes uncomfortable, you can move to the pillowed corner.

According to Iekel Road Home, you can find a bench that fits the nook. Furnish a timeless space by assembling pallets, plywood, paint, and a few elementary tools. Remember that the angle at which you position the seat plays a vital role in the comfort. Finally, you can DIY a hammock seat or purchase a new one. Stretch the hammock from one beam to another or hang it from the ceiling, depending on the room's layout. Besides being a unique solution for your seating concern, hammocks are mobile, washable, and multi-purposeful. Floating swing chairs are supportive, safe, and affordable (via Hanging Chairs).

Squeeze in by the window

Worried your flat is too small for a reading nook? We have some good news. Your favorite book-filled spot only needs limited space by a window. What sets reading corners apart is the ability to fit them into a tiny area. Another benefit of reading by the window is the magnificent view. According to Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design, peaceful blue reading corners are the perfect spot to get work done. She suggests making the most out of architectural quirks. To do so, find a less busy room with massive windows and build a custom bench. Add a soft, long cushion with pillows for support.

Even a bay window that stretches from floor to ceiling can provide the perfect reading sanctuary. A well-sized window should fit twin armchairs and create a cocooning space for two (via Lucas-Eilers Design Associates). Though natural light is essential, the view doesn't have to be picture-perfect. Not everybody lives by the sea or in the countryside. If all you see from your flat are other apartments or busy streets, you can decorate your window with scenic wall stickers. Or go for equally soothing landscape paintings.

Allow for proper lighting

Position your book hideaway in a spot with maximum daylight and consider artificial lighting for rainy days and late-night readings. Arranging the nook near a window will provide the right amount of light during the day. However, for a comfortable read in the evening, you must layer in task lighting. Hang up pendant lights to achieve illumination and save space. A dimmer switch is also a convenient add-on for adjusting the level of brightness.

According to Pooky, the correct lighting can help separate different zones in an open-plan living area. To create a welcoming reading nook, position a floor lamp next to the spot. When dusk falls, the space will stay perfectly illuminated. Floor lamps are ideal for task lighting, and you can easily replace them or move them around. Still, you must choose carefully, as each product has a specific purpose (via Lumens). Think about accent lighting to create an atmosphere and highlight particular features. Avoid creating unnecessary or excessive lighting, as this might hurt your eyes.

Let greenery do its charm

When in doubt about how to decorate your reading spot, choose organic statements. According to Country Living, a houseplant can purify the air and remove chemicals. Plants are an attractive and practical addition to any space.

Undoubtedly, plants will invigorate your home and breathe fresh life into it. Start by filling the nook with natural decors, like a rubber tree, succulents, or vertical displays. Hanging plants and cacti are a solid choice, too. You can curate a wall display or take advantage of corners by placing handy brackets (via Ideal Home). Hanging planters can even replace blinds and thus provide privacy without sacrificing natural light. Keep sun-loving plants thriving by positioning them in front of windows (via Food52). If the level of daylight in the room is minimal, opt for faux plants or arrange vases with fresh blooms. Whatever you choose, a book-and plant-filled room is a perfect place to let your imagination roam.

Don't forget throws and pillows

No nook is 100% complete without a few soft blankets. Depending on the season, you can wrap yourself in a cozy blanket while reading your favorite book. Or buy an oversized fleece blanket to snuggle under with a thick book on snowy days. According to The New York Times, wool blankets are ideal for cold days. In summer, choose a lightweight, breathable coverlet or a quilt piece. Cotton blankets are the best year-round alternative if you want to avoid layering.

Throw pillows serve multiple purposes, so pick wisely. In addition to being decorative and adding a fun pop of color, lumbar pillows provide back support that can improve posture and alleviate pain (via Everlasting Comfort). With so many shapes and sizes available, it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. If you choose patterned or dotted pillows, blankets should be in solid colors.

Display eye-catching items

Considering how much time you'll spend here, your reading nook needs a personal touch. One idea is to frame your favorite photos and arrange them in a specific pattern. Pick calming art or inspirational quotes from the books you love. Visual art gives life to the room in a subtle way. If you are keen on artwork, a lovely scenic or abstract painting is all you need. Similarly, design a family tree for the wall and hang a gallery of your family photos.

Another suggestion is to place a vintage clock over the chair to keep track of time. Like it or not, wall clocks are indispensable items for a book-friendly space. According to Art of Manliness, you can transform a book into a DIY clock if you can't find an ancient replica. You only need an old hard-cover book and a few supplies that won't cost you more than $10. The final hack is to display your collectibles from the attic. Avid travelers can stack their vintage suitcase collection and use it as storage space for the books. Bulky collectibles such as typewriters or antique cameras make beautiful bookends (via Better Homes & Gardens).

Get bold with unique details

If you don't have much space to design a dedicated reading nook, go ahead and let your creativity run wild. Carve out a corner from the rest of the living area or make a window seat in the hallway. You can add specific details that require little space but enhance functionality. According to DecorPad, a quality idea is to use appealing wallpaper in calming colors for an accent wall. Choosing visually appealing patterns and tones will please your senses and stimulate positive thinking. And if the room allows an open fireplace, you're a lucky dog.

Another tip to heighten a large-sized library is to place a ladder next to it (via Dornob). If the bookcase is tall, choose a wheeled vintage ladder for flexibility. Even if your nook features a low-line bookcase, you don't have to remove this charming accent. Lean it against the opposite wall to create the ultimate literary heaven.

Section off the space

A secluded reading corner is an ideal place to lose yourself in books. You can hang up some sheer or opaque curtains to define the nook and get more privacy. If your house design doesn't allow for partition walls, use shelving or a dresser to create a temporary divider on one side. According to Wanna Be Clutter Free, you can design an inviting DIY reading hideaway involving a canopy. You only need sheer window curtains and a few other supplies available at local stores.

Don't like curtains? Place a bookcase in a strategic position (via Seattle Times). By doing so, you ensure functionality, use space wisely, and get more privacy. Alternatively, define the reading corner by painting it in a different color. Adding a decorative screen or a strategically placed bookcase will make your reading nook feel like a personalized retreat. Plus, it prevents the area from looking cluttered or confused.

Make some room for your kids

Families with small kids should consider creating a reading spot for the little ones. This space will help them develop a love for reading from an early age. To design a kid-friendly nook, you could merge the children's nook with yours or even create a separate one in their room. Above all, a kid's nook should be inviting, comfy, and mind-stimulating. According to Mom Trends, cozy seating and a book display are essential features of every children's room. A more unusual idea is a circular design nook with extra storage and child-sized furniture.

You can also upholster the reading corner to evoke a feeling of coziness (via Ideal Home). Display your kids' art and paint the walls in soft colors to make the nook tempting to occupy. Finally, use vertical space for wall-mounted bookshelves and throw a beanbag on the ground next to a floor lamp.

Move your nook outdoors

Why stay inside when you can build an enchanting reading sanctuary outdoors? Though not suitable for all seasons, a tiny spot outside is an ideal place for reading your favorite novels. Whether you place a dreamy tent under a bountiful tree or build a wooden house in the yard, you can't go wrong. Setting an alcove on your porch for reading is another extraordinary idea. According to The Wall Street Journal, a backyard patio can also do the job. Add a few waterproof outdoor cushions and natural materials to make it outdoor-friendly, and you're ready to rock.

If you have a garden full of blooms, there are several ways to create a reading paradise (via Martha Stewart). Consider setting up a wall with a shade structure for maximum comfort. Place a swing underneath with a unique bench cushion and a matching throw. Finish the reading nest with a few accents like water features and mood-boosting lanterns.