There are a few things most avid readers have in common: we love the smell of books, we could talk for hours about (or to) our favorite characters, and we fare best with a cozy spot to curl up and devour our latest literary find. Whether you reside in a studio rental or a heritage home, you won’t regret sectioning off a story sanctuary for those lazy rainy days. Get inspired and design the reading nook of your dreams.
Often, we need all the closet space we can get, but if you’re one of those lucky folks who has an excess of storage space, why not turn one of them into a little tucked-away reading nook? A shallow closet is probably the perfect depth for a bench seat, which can be a surprisingly simple piece of furniture to build. Either that or hunt down a chair or bench that’s a perfect fit.
A couple of corner shelves three or four feet above the seat can hold nick nacks or favorite books, and a folding table is the perfect teacup spot when the nook is in use. Leave the doors on so you can hide your special spot away, hang a curtain, or leave it out in the open!
This outdoor reading nook is positively dreamy, but you don’t have to suspend a swing from a century-old tree to create the perfect backyard hideaway. A space hollowed out from the bushes against the fence, made cozy with an Adirondack chair, or a corner of dappled shade with a nylon cushion and a cozy blanket is all it takes to transform a spot in the smallest yard into your very own place to escape to the Shire.
Not every home has space for a dedicated book nook, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to curl up in comfort when the urge to escape to Narnia overtakes you. You really only need a few special items to make any couch cushion or armchair a suitable reading nook.
Invest in a rolling cart (Ikea has a popular one) that you can tuck in a corner and wheel out to beside your choice seat whenever you want. Set up the top level with your favorite coaster and a scented candle. The lower shelves can hold literary options, a fuzzy blanket, and maybe a lumbar pillow.
Whether your book nook is a deck chair, a tucked-away padded bench, or a multipurpose armchair, it has to be snuggly. Pick up a couple of throw cushions that are both pretty and comfortable (steer clear of prickly sequins and rough canvas) and drape a chunky knit or fluffy blanket or two over the back and arm. Next time you want to get your read on, all you need to do is bundle up into a ball and open the cover.
If you’ve ever tried to read by the light of a streetlamp outside so as not to wake your partner, you know that a badly lit reading space just doesn’t cut it. If your reading nook is tucked away in a corner or closet, install some lighting so you can read in comfort. Clip-on booklights are all well and good, but a dedicated spot deserves dedicated illumination. Secure a simple reading lamp above your head, or introduce a bit of whimsy with fairy lights or paper lanterns.
Ok, so we can’t all float above the ground while rereading Around the World in 80 Days. But if you do have the option, why wouldn’t you suspend a wicker birdcage chair or hammock from the ceiling and drift off in a hot air balloon in your mind?
Readers tend to beget readers. If your offspring or partner is as much of a bookworm as you are, why not do away with scheduled reading nook times and create a space big enough for the both of you. A slightly deeper bench with cushions on both ends is really all you need to make reading time family time.
Lots of stair landings have a slightly recessed wall around the window. Even if yours is only six inches, if the landing itself is wide enough, this is a great spot to pop a bench seat and some cushions. While a busy staircase isn’t necessarily the most soothing spot to read, who doesn’t want one more naturally lit place to flip some pages?
More and more people are looking for homes with smaller footprints that function just as brilliantly as full-size homes. A reading nook is a great opportunity to add extra storage to a multi-purpose space. Because you’ll always be sitting there, you can put an extra shelf below the one overhead, and adding a hinge to your bench seat gives you instant, super-easy hidden storage!
When you’re planning your perfect reading nook, you’re carving out a space for deep breaths and real relaxation. In addition to cozy textiles, a bit of greenery is exactly what your book corner calls for. Install a tiny corner shelf and let a string of pearls or ivy dangle down, or just add a little pot to your side table. If you really want to embrace that jungle feel, a huge fern that partially obscures the chair will impart instant fantastical vibes.