Many of us long for a quiet spot in the house where we can sit and read uninterrupted, so here are 4 simple, brilliant ways to create a reading nook in your home. Whether for adults or children, or both, these ideas focus on making an inviting, cosy space that feels like a retreat from the world, so you can dive into the other world of whatever you are reading. If you want to tempt your kids away from screens, or just can’t find a good place to read in peace, these reading nooks will be the ideal solution.
Things to think about
The key aspects of a reading nook are comfort, light and seclusion.
Start by thinking about seating: do you want a comfy chair, or beanbags, or a lounger? Is the space going to be used by more than one person at a time, in which case you will need a longer seating area?
Once you’ve worked out your seating, you need to get the lighting right. A floor lamp is ideal as it can be moved to just the right position and will give a nice, focussed light to read by. If the space is smaller a pendant light might work well. You want ambient lighting and nothing too glaring. Fairy lights always make a space feel cosy and magical, so string some of these around the opening of the nook or from a wall if you like a more whimsical feel.
Finally, you will need some kind of table or surface to put down drinks or other things on whilst you relax. A small, round table is ideal but if you are short on space you could always fix a shelf to the wall next to the chair. Stacks of vintage suitcases add a quirky look, and you can also use them to store things in (a secret biscuit stash to accompany your reading, perhaps?!).
Here are 4 different types of reading nook to inspire you:
Window seat reading nook
This lovely, simple and unobtrusive nook was designed by Heather at Growingspaces.net. She had made a comfortable window seat by building drawers under a window and upholstering the top with a co-ordinating fabric, to make the nook feel like a continuation of the room. She has added a throw and cushion for extra cosiness. Our super soft merino wool throws would be a great addition to a window seat, giving you something to snuggle up with whilst you read, or gaze out of the window in contemplation.
Reading loft or platform
If you have a funny raised space that’s not quite big enough for a bed, why not turn it into a reading nook? Gabrielle Blair of designmom.com created this gorgeous space in her San Fransisco home, where her six kids can hang out quietly reading away from the hubbub of family life. She has built her own shelves and used colour to make the space feel vibrant and fresh, yet calm enough to read in. An ottoman and lots of cushions add to the comfy feel. We love the blues and yellows – click here for cushions in similar colours and here for our fab yellow linen throw.
Teepee reading nook
Young children will be enchanted by a teepee reading nook. Perfect for hiding away with teddies and a pile of picture books, teepees have an enduring appeal. They are flexible too – you can easily dismantle one and move it elsewhere – outside even, for a summer hidey-hole. A simple teepee (like this one found on Swedish interiors website Tredenser) looks classy and minimalist, yet still comfy and inviting. Lay a rug or sheepskin on the floor inside and scatter lots of cushions so your little ones can bundle up. Our pure linen cushion covers in silver and grey will give you a similar monochrome look. Fairy lights around the edge of a teepee add to the magic.
Under stairs reading nook
We would all love to make like Harry Potter and tuck ourselves away under the stairs sometimes. Make the area a beautiful place to be by opening up one side, adding a platform seat and foam cushion, covered in a soft-to-touch fabric and plenty of cushions and throws. Get creative with this little space and make it a secretly special part of your home.
So now you can make use of any awkward or underused areas of your home by designing and creating a cosy reading nook for all of your family to enjoy and escape to. For more ideas on decorating with linen go here. Happy reading!