A Formula for Creating the Perfect Reading Nook



Cooler weather means more time spent indoors but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the arrival of winter, we start to crave spaces that envelope you and call for a good book and steaming cup of tea or a velvety glass of full-bodied red. The reading nook is a particularly fun design challenge as it very rarely takes up an entire room but rather it’s more of a matter of carving out an inviting little corner within a room. Reading nooks truly are at their best during the winter months so the name of the game here is cozy and inviting. Even if your home is sparse and minimal, the key to success is to find a way to bring in warmth and a sense of ease. Not sure where to start? Try our reading nook formula that we like to use as a guide…

Photo Courtesy of HomeYohmy

Step 1 – Find Seating that is Made for Lounging

When designing a reading nook, we naturally want to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible but that said, comfort is paramount. Ideally, the reading nook will be comfortable enough to pass an entire lazy Sunday and therefore, the seating must be chosen with care. In formal living rooms, you can get away with stunning sculptural slipper chairs that are only good for a quick, stiff drink and some polite conversation because, let’s face it, formal living rooms are rarely used these days. In the reading nook however, you need an armchair or sofa that you can sink into for the day, possibly snooze in and share with family, friends and pets. In addition to the seat itself, we also recommend an ottoman or  tufted coffee table, at the very least, to prop up one’s (slippered) feet.

Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest

Step 2 – Add in Lighting that is Soft but Sufficient

When it comes to a reading nook, lighting is an essential element. That said, although having enough light to read is the first priority, we still like to select pieces that are eye-catching and have a dimmer so you can make adjustments according to the time of day or the vibe you wish to create. If your nook consists of a single armchair, we suggest a floor lamp that can not only be dimmed but also adjusted to shine light where you want it. Alternatively, a table lamp or two can do the job but whatever you do, don’t rely on pot lights alone. Pot lights tend to lack the right ambience plus, it’s nice to have something you can adjust without getting up!

Photo Courtesy of House & Garden

Step 3 – Select a Side Table & Some Shelving

The idea of the reading nook is to create a self-sufficient “island,” if you will. Once you’re on it, the goal is to get cozy and park yourself there for the day. In order to do that, you need surfaces to place all the essentials and have them close enough so that you can minimize your movement for maximum comfort. A side table is essential for your current read and a beverage and shelving is a nice way to define the space, store future and past reads but also add some personality and character by displaying objects, art and photos of things that bring you comfort.

Photo Courtesy of House Beautiful

Step 4 – Accessorize Accordingly

The way and the amount of  accessorizing you do will be a matter of personal preference but for us, three things are essential; pillows, throws and an area rug. Pillows provide comfort but can also be swapped out and rearranged as the seasons change so that your reading nook can still be cozy but without screaming “HOLIDAY!” in August. The same goes for throws plus if you do happen to nod off, it’s nice to have. As for area rugs, big or small, they help to define the space but also create a soft landing and a gentle transition back into real life when you do decide to leave the nook!