One of the true glories of reading is that you can do it anytime, anywhere, but there’s something special about having a cozy spot to curl up with your favorite novel. Whether it’s an unused corner of your living room, a window seat, or even a repurposed closet, a reading nook is a designated place where you can burrow away for the day and get lost in great literature. Reading nooks don’t take up too much space, and just like meditation corners, they offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Below, we dive into the key essentials for creating the perfect reading nook and some delightful real-life examples that would make any book-loving heart skip a beat. Check our gallery of 31 dreamy reading nook ideas and get inspired!
The Anatomy of a Reading Nook
The good news is you don’t need a velvet-draped library or a sumptuous reading room to unwind with a good book (although we wouldn’t say no to either). You can create a reading corner anywhere in your home that can fit a lamp, a comfy chair, and a side table. It’s just that simple! However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of your space.
- Pick the right spot
Yes, we’ve just said you can make a reading nook anywhere in the home, but some spots are better suited than others. Look for a low-traffic place that’s relatively quiet and free from distractions. A vacant corner in your bedroom, a built-in closet, or the area under the stairs can serve as an ideal space to hunker down for a whole day of serial reading. If you can’t find a good place inside, consider taking your reading nook outside. Just make sure you have a blanket on hand if it gets chilly!
- Choose your seating
Once you find the perfect reading spot in your home, it’s time to get your seating right. If you’re short on space, an armchair or slipper chair are both good choices. For something cozier, try a daybed or a lounge chair with a footrest, and if you want to share your nook with someone special, consider a built-in bench with ample throw pillows. Then toss a blanket or two over your seat (or pile them in a basket nearby for easy reach), and you’re all set!
- Throw in a side table
No reading nook is complete without some surface space for your book, a cup of tea, or a snack. A small coffee table, an end table, or even a DIY crate will do the trick. Just make sure it’s the right height for your chair or seating of choice so you don’t have to hunch over when reading. And if you don’t have room for a side table, try using a makeshift one like a sturdy stack of books or a lap desk. Alternatively, you can mount a floating shelf next to your chair for easy access to your reading essentials.
- Set the lighting
You need good lighting for diving into your favorite book, and while the image of reading by candlelight is all Dickensian and charming, a space next to a bright window is probably your best bet. If you don’t have a spot near a window, task lighting is key. You’ll want to be able to see the print without straining your eyes, so make sure there’s a lamp with a good shade placed nearby. And if you really want to get cozy, we suggest adding some mood lighting for extra ambiance.
- Shut out tech
One of the best things about reading is that it allows you to unplug from technology and clear your mind. However, you can’t truly enjoy daydream escapades to your favorite fictional land if you’re attached to your phone or iPad. So, do yourself a favor and make sure your nook is away from any screens or devices that will tempt you to check social media notifications or answer emails. Instead, use this space as an opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with yourself.
- Add personal touches
Sometimes, the best part of reading is wandering off mid-sentence to stare into space, so fill your corner with things you love! For starters, add some artwork, plants, and objects that are meaningful to you, such as family photos or treasured knick-knacks. You could also theme your space around literature with library-scented candles, a “just one more chapter” poster, and a mug that celebrates your love of books — anything that makes your reading nook really feel like your own.
Reading Nook Ideas to Get You Inspired
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of creating a snuggly reading nook, it’s time to get inspired by some of our favorite designs. Whether you want to transform your attic space or simply add an armchair to an unloved corner, bookmark these reading nook ideas for your next home project!
Get Cozy with a Fireplace
There’s something so right about snuggling with a book by the fire. If your living room or bedroom has a working fireplace, put it to work as part of your reading corner. Set up a rocking chair or an armchair, add a few throw pillows and a rug, and get cracking on that TBR pile.
Stock Up on Textiles
If the word ‘cozy’ had a picture in the dictionary, it would certainly be a picture of this outdoor book nook from @marzena.marideko. Take your cue from her and fill your reading space with a variety of textiles. From squashy cushions to chunky knit blankets and rugs, the more, the better!
Surround It with Plants
Plants and books go together like peanut butter and jam, and this cozy little space from @wingardium.levanessa is the perfect example. For the jungle look, place an assortment of plants in different sizes around a comfy chair or a daybed and keep a stack of your favorite reads nearby.
Fill That Empty Corner
Make the most of an unused corner with a padded accent chair and a small side table. Flank your nook with a leafy plant, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself glued to the seat, glass of wine in hand, gobbling up book after book like there’s no tomorrow.
Section Off the Playroom
Encourage the kids to take a break from games and screen time by setting up a reading nook in their playroom. Pop a soft rug or mat on the floor, add a child-sized chair or a bean bag and position a forward-facing shelf nearby with their favorite stories.
Put It Under the Staircase
The perfect hideout for adults, the odd-shaped cavity under the stairs can prove ideal for catching up on your reading list. @thecrazydaisycottage styled hers with velvet cushions and a fur throw and even sneaked in some storage space by opting for a bench with drawers underneath. Bliss!
Opt for a Daybed
If you have the space, you should definitely go all in. Get a daybed or a chaise lounge and place it in a corner with plenty of natural light. Define this area by adding a fuzzy rug and a stool or a small table. This will no doubt become your favorite spot to doze off after a long reading session.
Go with Floor Seating
With floor seating, you can have a no-fuss reading nook in a few minutes flat. Think soft floor pillows, ottomans, or bean bag chairs, which are easy to stack and move out of the way after you use them. If you have hardwood floors, consider adding a large plush rug to make your nook extra cozy.
Zone off Your Space
If your home has a large open-plan kitchen/diner and living space, it’s important that you clearly designate your reading corner. If you have limited space to work with, simply add an area rug or place an ottoman in front of your reading chair for peak cozy vibes.
Blend It In
Whether it’s a formal living room or a cozy family room, you want your reading area to flow with the rest of your space. Instagrammer @agi_at_59 outfitted her room with an accent lounge chair that doubles as her own personal reading nook when she’s not relaxing with family or guests.
Arrange a Balcony Setup
The balcony is often an underutilized space in many homes, but with a little bit of creativity, it can be easily transformed into an ideal reading nook, like the one from @potejstronielustra. Between the plants, soft pillows, and wood accents, we could cozy up here with a good book any day.
Style It with Wall Art
This reading nook may be basic, but the framed art prints work the magic! If you feel your reading space is too simple and understated, you can liven it up with wall decor. The best place to start is with Displate — prints for book lovers, library posters, dictionary art, we have them all!
Create a Library Wall
A wall crammed full of books is any reader’s dream, so why not create a cozy reading nook right next to a bookcase or set of shelves? This way, you can keep your favorite reading material within your arm’s reach. Plus, you can use the shelves to display some knick-knacks and decor items.
Color Code Your Bookshelf
Unless you think it’s gimmicky, a color-organized bookshelf can be a perfect backdrop for your reading area. If you have white walls, it can really help your home library stand out and is a great way to inject some color into a living room or study, just as in the image above.
Flip Books Backwards
If bold hues aren’t your cup of tea, fret not: try flipping your tomes backward instead. While some book lovers consider this a big no-no, shelving your books with the spines turned in creates a monochrome effect that won’t clash with other colors in your reading space.
Make It Portable
If you want to create a reading nook that can be easily moved from room to room or even outdoors, consider making it portable. This can be as simple as using a rolling book cart to push wherever you sit or investing in a throw bed that can be rolled up and stored away when not in use.
Put a Nook in Your Hallway
Your hallway is a great place to squeeze in a little reading nook. Just add a comfortable chair, some shelving for your books, and voila! You’ve got yourself the perfect spot to hunker down with a giant pile of books. This cozy space from @jandjdesignteam is nailing the look.
Use a Closet
Turn your built-in closet into a cozy little reading nook. Add a bench with throw pillows and blankets to give yourself the perfect spot to sit before cracking open a book. Install wall sconces to provide the space with some extra light, and don’t forget to add some shelving for your books!
Bring It Outside
If you’re lucky enough to have a porch or patio, consider turning it into a reading nook. Outdoor furniture is designed to be comfortable, so you can settle straight down and immerse yourself in the latest page-turner. Stack a few books on the table to choose from while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.
Add a Statement Plant
Whether flanking your reading nook or creeping up the walls like this glorious diva of a fiddle leaf fig, a statement plant can make all the difference. Not only will it bring a touch of drama to the space, but it’ll also help delineate the area and make it feel more intimate.
Put Your Feet Up
Every reading nook needs a place to put your feet up, and this one from @kamislibrary is no exception. A simple yet relaxing space, it features an extra-large armchair paired with a matching footrest that’s perfect for kicking back and unwinding with your favorite book in hand.
Read in the Tub
A bathtub reading nook? Yes, please! Lifelong readers and bubble bathers will love this makeshift reading nook design from @astoldbymichelle. A nifty tray keeps things within reach, while colorful flowers and a flickering candle set the perfect mood.
Take It to the Top
Why have a reading nook when you can have an entire reading room? Attics are the perfect spot to get away from it all and snuggle up with a book. To make yours extra inviting, add some comfortable furniture and ample lighting. Then, sit back and relax in your very own literary oasis.
Restyle the Sunroom
A sunroom with a reading area? Sign us up! Since sunrooms are typically filled with natural light, they are ideal for curling up with a good read and enjoying the outdoors without having to deal with the elements — just look at this sun-drenched retreat from @zulmiv_home!
Set the Mood with Lighting
Just the mere sight of this dreamy space from @marzena.marideko is enough to kindle the reader in us. You can easily copy this look by creating cozy little pockets of light around your nook. String up fairy lights, light some candles, or turn on a dimmed floor lamp to see it cozy up in an instant.
Keep It Classic with Leather
Part gentlemen’s smoking room, part library, this is one classic book nook we can’t get enough of. And the star of the show? The buttery-soft mid-century armchair and Moroccan pouf in deep cognac leather. Not only do they look amazing, but they will also age beautifully over time.
Cozy up in an Egg Chair
Few seating options say ‘reading nook’ quite like an egg chair. With their cocooning design and relaxed boho aesthetic, these chairs are the epitome of cozy chic. And since they usually double up for both indoor and outdoor use, you can move them around as you wish to suit your reading needs.
Make It Pop!
When a reading nook calls for a bit of energy, consider adding a pop of color to liven things up. Whether it’s a bold throw, an armchair upholstered in an eye-catching fabric, or even a cushion that draws attention, a colorful element can give your reading space that much-needed jolt.
Work a Window Seat
This window reading nook from @bibliophile.belle makes us dream of settling in with a steaming cup of coffee and a toasty blanket for some quality me-time. If you, too, want to snuggle up in a bright spot, look for a large window in your home and start planning your reading space around it.
Decorate with Throw Pillows
Whether patterned or solid, velvet or faux-fur, a few strategically placed pillows can transform even the most basic of spaces into a reading haven. You can opt for pillows in coordinating colors like @our.victorian.space did here or mix and match for a more eclectic look.
Don’t Dismiss the Bedroom
If you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to reading, make use of the quintessential nook territory — your bedroom. Not only is this a secluded spot that will help you relax, but it’s also a stone’s throw away from the bed, should you care to drift off while rereading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time.
Over to You!
With that, we have ended our list, but we hope you are only getting started! Go on and find that unused corner or make your own cozy cubbyhole by carving the space out for it. Your reading nook should be an oasis where you can escape the daily grind, one page at a time. So take your time to design it with purpose. Happy reading!
Now that you know how to create the perfect reading space, browse through Displate metal posters and dress up your walls with some literary wall art!
Are there any reading nook ideas we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.