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Reading in Peace: Tips to Set Up a Reading Nook at Home

Reading in Peace: Tips to Set Up a Reading Nook at Home

Design and home decorReading in Peace: Tips to Set Up a Reading Nook at Home

Are you dreaming of a spot in your home away from everything and everyone where you can immerse yourself in your favourite hobby? We highly recommend a reading nook. Whether you have an entire room or limited space for it, with some of our tips, you can make the most out of the space to ensure your newfound nook holds its own within the rest of your décor. 

4 Basic Tips to Set Up a Reading Nook at Home

For the longest time, a reading corner was limited to a comfortable armchair, flanked with a reading light, in the recesses of your living room. Luckily for us, it has taken on a whole new priority, and little by little, said space has transformed into a cozy little nest that we simply don’t ever want to leave.

It's even better: reading nooks aren't limited to being cozy and comfortable. They have a theme—one that beautifully blends in with the rest of the house. 

Allow us to inspire you…

1. Pick a quiet area 

If all you want is a peaceful reading nook, carefully choose your spot. It’s not a matter of space here. The area you choose has to be a spot in your house that exudes a certain serenity. Opt for a wall-adjacent setup, away from hallways, screens, the kids’ hubbub, your spouse’s enthusiasm over the hockey game, and your teenager’s playing online video games. 

Bedroom or Living Room Reading Corner

Should you not have a space available dedicated entirely to your reading nook, you can always set up a cozy spot in your living room, one that’s slightly off to the side.

Opt for a window-adjacent spot where you can benefit from nice lighting, get a comfortable armchair, and indulge at will. You can also get a hanging lounge chair, a soft and plush furry blanket, and a small end table with storage on which you can set your coffee cup or wine glass, and there you have it! 

Are you having a hard time focusing on your novel when sharing the living room with other family members? Rest assured, you’re not alone. 

Your bedroom could be a preferred spot if, when you’re reading in the living room, you constantly find yourself rereading the same passages over again. A screenless room might help you concentrate and, that way, you won’t lose track of what you’re reading. 

Mezzanine Reading Nook

A mezzanine reading corner is tailor-made for relaxation. Far from a reclusive corner, you benefit from an open space, often adorned with great lighting and an impressive view. Albeit tucked away from the comings and goings around the house, you have a bird’s eye view of all your family members.

A Dedicated Library Corner

Is there a room in your house that’s rarely used? Perfect! Set up a makeshift library. It’s the perfect room in which to read and unwind. Whether that be a small living room, a guest bedroom, the sunroom… Keep an open mind!

Bear in mind, should you not have the space to spare, your so-called library doesn’t have to be cornered by four walls. Adhering to the open-living concept, a nice-looking shelf and a comfortable armchair can easily be turned into a makeshift reading nook in the middle of a trendy and modern setting.  

2. Think comfort

Invest in comfort… A reading nook should embody the idea of cozy comfort. A plush seating area, large throw pillows, DIY lounge bench, chaise lounge… Options aren’t lacking. Consider adding a heated or plush blanket if you aren’t relying on a wood- or gas-burning stove.

Best lounge spot: armchair, lounger, or floor pillow?

It’s hard to say which setup is best for reading. Standard armchairs are highly recommended if you want to boost concentration. They’re space-efficient and encourage good posture. That way, your eyes and back won’t tire as quickly whilst reading. 

For added comfort, consider getting an ottoman. Some have removal tops with available storage for a blanket or a few throw pillows. It’s especially practical when you’re sharing the space and don’t wish to leave items scattered about. 

If you want to switch from a seated position to lying down, a mid-century bench seat, couch, loveseat, chaise lounge, recliner, or lounger will all work great. 

No matter what you choose, make sure it has armrests. 

What’s the best book storage option: bookcase or shelves?

First and foremost, this is a matter of space. However, for practicality’s sake, make sure either the bookcase or shelves are an integral part of your reading nook. That way, not only will your favourite books line the shelves, but doing so will also affirm your whole makeshift reading corner.  

Should you have room to spare, opt for wall-lined bookcases that’ll both dress up your walls and provide additional storage. Got even more space? Consider built-in, custom-made furniture! There’s nothing like it to optimize space and match the décor.

Don’t forget an end table!

An evening glass of wine, a morning cup of coffee, or a deliciously soothing cup of hot chocolate after strolling under the first flakes of the season… Your reading nook will never be perfectly cozy without a little end table, console table, or small sideboard. 

For a super cozy vibe, add a houseplant, flower vase, or scented candle. Keep a thick blanket on hand and enjoy the moment at hand!

3. Optimized lighting

Stylish floor lamp, retro-looking lamp, modern recessed lights… Your choice of light fixtures should really be based on your décor style. 

While a reading light and a tablet are great for reading in dimmed areas, a good old paperback is best paired with decent lighting. To preserve the Zen-like vibe, avoid lighting up the entire space. Instead, opt for a table lamp or a floor lamp that’s easy to move from one spot to another.

Natural Lighting

When possible, set up your reading corner next to a window, which will give you plenty of natural light. Near enough to benefit from both the view of the sky and plenty of daylight. It’s good for the soul and a must-have for morale!

For a good ol' hardback, position your chair in such a way that the light hits your book, meaning with your back to the window or angled three-quarters of the way. If you prefer ebooks, set up facing the window. That way, the light won’t reflect into your screen. 

Artificial Lighting: Reading and Table Lamps

Even if you’re reading next to a window, artificial lighting is essential on a foggy fall morning or during long winter evenings. Before choosing your lights, familiarize yourself with your reading nook’s lighting, during daytime and nighttime, since your needs will differ accordingly. 

Whether you choose a floor or end table lamp, the lighting should be both soft and functional. Make sure the lamp has an adjustable arm and lighting. Your lighting needs will differ depending on whether you’re reading on a tablet or have an actual book in hand. A good light fixture allows for enjoyable reading, no matter the means. 

When reading a paper book, the light source should be bright enough yet still warm in colour. Preferably, it should be positioned high up to spot the pages of your open book.

When reading on a tablet or other digital device, go to the settings and adjust the brightness to have a light source that’s suited to your reading nook.

4. Opt for soothing colours

Beige, brown, Anthracite grey, teal blue… There are so many different colours that are conducive to calming settings. For a serene atmosphere, opt for neutral shades, such as white, beige, grey, and ecru. For a cozy-like vibe, go for a powder or beige pink. For a bolder look, consider navy blue. 

Is your reading nook set up within another living space? Divide the space by painting the walls nearest your nook in a different shade. If there’s a south-facing window in its vicinity, steer clear of intense warm colours. Instead, opt for fresh hues. In a north-facing corner, warm shades will make the area appear warmer, turning it into an inviting, cozy winter spot.   

Cozy Reading Nook Décor Ideas

Here are 7 ways to decorate your space.

  1. Add some houseplants to purify the air and a Zen-like touch.

  2. Consider having soft background music. Let your inspiration draw the way…whether it's classical, jazz, nature sounds, etc. 

  3. An ottoman adds comfort, no matter your seating situation, dashing your décor with a cozy hint.

  4. Opt for soft and warm materials like wool, fur, velour, and bouclé (teddy bear fabric) for your armchair, ottoman, floor pillows, and blankets.

  5. Steer clear of plastic furniture. Opt for natural materials: wood, rattan, cork. 

  6. Running out of space? Opt for a corner chair.

  7. To avoid cluttering the space, carefully select appropriately sized furnishings.

Specific Situations

How to Set Up a Kids’ Reading Corner

To encourage your kids to pick up a book and spark their love of reading, there’s truly nothing like a reading nook. You can set it up in a corner in their playroom or merge their favourite books into the family’s book collection. 

Here are 5 ideas that’ll grab your kids’ attention long enough to get them to step away from their screens and discover the true magic of reading!

  1. Get some fun seating: cute ottoman, round chair, egg-shaped armchair, hammock-like contraption, mountain of oversized pillows, lounge bench, mattress on the floor, etc.

  2. Do your kids like to swing? Great! Get some hammock chairs. Swings win every time. 

  3. Make sure to divide the reading corner within the playroom, especially if you have more than one kiddo. You’ll thank us later!

  4. Build a playhouse, a bunk bed with a ladder, or a teepee-like tent.

  5. Choose colours that are awe-inspiring, illustrated wallpaper, or motivating murals. Their space could resemble that of a stylish alcove where imagination, culture, and creativity mesh. 

  6. Don’t forget about a makeshift desk! Your kid might want to spill their dreams onto paper.

How to Set Up a Small Book Corner

The plus side of a small reading nook is that it's especially snug and cozy. Get a bench seat to nestle right beneath your window or between two bookcases—doing so is always a good idea. Get yourself a plush blanket and add a few throw pillows to the mix, and voilà!

For a minimalist-inspired reading nook, a corner bench seat with concealed storage can really dress up an unused corner in just about any room. Add a few items to a decorative basket, and there you have it!

To highlight your reading nook, simply define it as best as possible. Use a fluffy carpet, a partition, or a pretty mural. You don’t need much to add some flair.

Set Up a Summertime Outdoor Reading Corner

Finally, here are some ideas to set up a reading corner outside, whether on a balcony, deck, or backyard.

  1. Plan for comfortable chairs like couches, lounge chairs, hanging chairs, porch swings, etc. 

  2. Plan for a big storage container to store all pillows nearby.

  3. A hammock—no matter the type—is a crowd favourite!

  4. Choose a slightly shaded area or set up a parasol, awning, gazebo, or pergola. That way, reading outside will be easier and away from the beaming sun.

  5. Opt for an area that’s off to the side, without it being too far out either.

  6. Build a shed, gazebo, or greenhouse.

  7. To bask in the comfort of your outdoor reading nook for longer periods throughout the year, plan for good lighting and a few warm blankets.

  8. Get an end table near your reading chair to put down your book, reading glasses, coffee cup, etc.

  9. Get some citronella candles to fend off mosquitos. 

  10. Create a sensory garden by planting flowers with an enchanting smell and colourful shrubs with berries, aromatic herbs, and fresh veggies… Invite birds into your backyard to relish in their singing no matter the time of day.

Design a Unique and Inviting Literary Haven

Setting up a reading nook at home is so much more than just configuring a layout with various furniture pieces. Our tips, such as the most comfortable furniture options, using optimized lighting, and adding warm textiles to personalize your space, are just as essential to creating a literary haven deemed of your name. Feel free to experiment with textures, colours, and accessories to make the space as unique and inviting as possible.  

For more ideas, check out this article (English version to come).

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Last modified 2023-12-08

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