How to Get the Reading Nook You Always Dreamed About


Does your idea of heaven on earth involve curling up with a good book? With a little ingenuity, you can transform a space in your home into the reading nook you’ve always wanted. Here are the 5 essentials for creating your ideal spot to read on a rainy afternoon or cozy winter night.


You’ll want to choose a space outside of the high-traffic areas of your home. After all, a reading nook should be a place of refuge from the world where you won’t be disturbed. An unused corner of your bedroom will do. Plenty of ambitious DIY-ers have had great success building window seat nooks or transforming a closet into a mini-retreat. You don’t have to wall the space off, but there should be some sense of delineation—consider using a rug or paint colors to mark the spot as special.


Now that you’ve chosen your space, you’ll need a comfy spot to curl up. A favorite chair—or, even better, a loveseat or lounge where you can sprawl. Stock the reading nook with pillows, a decadently soft blanket, and other cozy furnishings. Although be warned: you may make it so comfortable that you never want to leave!


Soft lighting is key. You’ll want enough illumination to read by, of course, but harsh light is not your friend here. A small lamp on a side table should do it, but don’t limit yourself to traditional lighting. If you have a flair for the dramatic, consider a vintage chandelier. String lights add whimsy—although beware of making your reading nook look like a dorm room. If space is tight, a wall sconce takes up hardly any room. Whatever lighting you choose, pick something with a dimmer switch so you can control the ambience.


You need somewhere nearby to keep your books, obviously. We love the idea of using a small open bookcase to both provide storage and give a sense of boundary to a reading nook. If you can swing it, built-in bookcases are the ultimate shelving solution—especially if you’re already planning to build a window seat.


Neutrals are often the best pick for small spaces such as a reading nook. Soft cream or gray are better choices than a stark white. But a neutral palette can be a bit boring, so liven the space up with a pop of your favorite color. Picture an emerald green velvet chair, a deep amethyst throw, or a lively orange and yellow art print.

On the other end of the spectrum, so to speak, you could go all-in on a dark and lavish color scheme. Since the space is likely to be tiny, you can get away with luxe textures, intense colors, and over-the-top décor. Dark wallpaper is having a moment, and luckily you can find styles that peel off with ease so it isn’t quite such a big commitment.