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45 Reading Nook Ideas for the Stylish Book Lover

Bibliophiles, rejoice! Here are 45 simple ways to create a reading nook that’s charming, practical and a little bit quirky – just like the bookworm in all of us!


1. Start With a Reading Chair

Give your nook an irresistible charm by contrasting familiar pieces with unexpected designs; a couple classic reading chairs paired in an inviting arrangement next to an airy, modern-style bookcase brings a literary twist on cultivated elegance. For even more ambiance, mix toasty warm neutrals for coziness, plush textures for comfort and a splash of color for inspiration.

2. Store With Books

Not all books have to be for reading – some can serve as clever storage! Whether you want to tidy up clutter or conceal valuables, a book box is an inconspicuous storage with a flair; with such crafty artwork – including vintage-inspired book covers – your guests won’t be able to tell the difference between tricky containers and leather-bound classics!

3. Get With Industrial-Chic Details

There is no rule that says reading nooks have to be soft and cozy, which is good news for those who are limited on space or prefer an industrial-chic look. Whether you’re looking for more efficiency or simply have run out of corners, repurposing an office workspace into a chic multi-functional reading room can help you stay focused on the task in front of you – whether it’s an engrossing novel or a midterm study guide.

4. Transport With a Nautical Lamp

What’s a reading nook without a good book, and what’s a good book without light to see? A dark room doesn’t just dampen a lighthearted ambiance – it can also create undue strain on your eyes. Luckily, with a wide, affordable selection of designs to choose from, great lamps can also mean great style. To bring out your reading nook’s quirky side, choose a desk or floor lamp with nautical charm; one with a twisted rope, for example, such as abaca, offers a subtle nod to heroic tales of the high seas.

5. Heighten With a Bookcase Ladder

Apart from the books themselves, perhaps a bookworm’s favorite things are an old-fashioned wall-to-wall bookcase and accompanying ladder. Unfortunately, wall-to-wall bookcases in the home may not always be your most feasible (or practical) option – but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the ‘literary heaven’ that is a bookcase ladder! While it’s best to style a vintage ladder when a tall bookcase is present, you can also lean it against the wall opposite a shorter bookshelf as a unique accent just as charming.

6. Embolden With Bookends

Set apart a collection of your favorite tales, and incorporate your love for storybook adventure, with whimsical bookends. Sleek metal designs and eccentric details bring a little bit of character and a whole lot of charm – and make literary bookends a reading nook must-have.

7. Cozy Up With Ottomans

You can’t be carried off into distant lands and wild adventures if you’re not comfortable in your chair, which is why every proper reading nook should come with the coziest seating possible. Fortunately, dreamy pieces like velvety-soft accent chairs and ottomans make it effortless to experience total comfort in your reading corner – and courageous journeys in unknown frontiers.

8. Time Out With Clocks

Once you’ve settled into a cozy corner with a good book, it can be easy to lose all track of time, which is good for your inner bookworm but bad for your scheduled to-dos. Every so often, in the reality-escape that is your reading nook, a little check-in with the outside world can be good for the soul, which is where a wall clock comes in.  A vintage-inspired clock placed over your chair will fine-tune your reading nook’s shabby chic inspired décor – whether you check in with it is up to you!

9. Organize With an Etagere

Smaller than a bookcase and bigger than a nightstand, etageres are made for the literary lover’s reading nook. Use it to place your favorite books and books you’ve yet to read.

10. Opt for Multi-Tier

The more shelves, the better. Opt for wood and metal or other forms of mixed materials to add style to the space, and make sure the spaces between shelves are large enough for your largest tomes!

11. Accent With an Armchair

A proper armchair, rather than a labeled accent chair or stool, acts as a buffer between your mind in the pages of your book and the rest of the room. Go for the softest fabric for the dreamiest getaway.

12. Plush Up With Pillows

Pillows talk, perhaps even louder than words on a page. Dress up a chair with enough cushions for lower back support for reading while sitting.

13. Set a Scene

Reading nooks don’t have to be indoors, just like reading isn’t an indoors-only activity. For when the temps are just right and the stories are calling your name, set up a swinging chair, pouf and side table.

— Cozy Reading Nooks —

14. Arrange a Library Wall

Bring the library home to a bedroom or living room corner. Opt for built-in shelving or recessed bookcases to fit in as many volumes as your heart can dream up.

15. Add a Pop of Color

When you’re curled up in a chair reading, you’re journeying off to distant times and places. Let your decor match your reading life with rich pops of bold, energizing color.

— Reading Corner Ideas —

16. Organize Chairside

Add a nightstand or a table with open display shelves to make reaching for your next book easy. Here, a basket makes the perfect way to encase a stack of novels.

17. Bring in Storage

You can never have enough storage, whether you’re styling a reading nook, entryway or bedroom. Use chairside drawers to stash reading glasses, pens, paper – and tissues, if your current read has less than a happy ending!

— Bedroom Reading Nooks —

18. Simplify the Seating

If the seating itself is plush cozy, you don’t need extra cushions. If reading is your first hobby, the reading nook chair is perhaps the most important item you’ll buy, so test out as many as you can until you find your perfect comfort match!

19. Cozy Up

Bring the setup closer by eliminating the table altogether – and using a stack of books as a table in and of itself. This creates a seriously literary aesthetic that’s as inexpensive as inexpensive gets.

— Reading Room Ideas —

20. Let in Natural Light

The serious reader sees the day as just another opportunity for reading, so place a reading nook setup by a window. When morning hits, draw the shades and get to ingesting.

21. Wind Down With Footrests

A matching footrest for a chair allows a reader to stretch out or curl up as desired. Opt for swiveling to turn or move back and forth as the climax of the story calls for it!

— Reading Nook Furniture —

22. Perfect With Poufs

The squishier cousin of ottomans, poufs allow for a little more wiggle room. Use a pouf to rest your head as you lie supine, or as elevated support for legs.

23. Optimize With Ottomans

If you want harder support, go with an ottoman. When you’re not reading, use it as a coffee table to display a tray, a mood-setting candle – and of course, books!

— Cozy Reading Room Ideas—

24. Display More Than Books

Use your nook to create themes of travel by incorporating items from your own travels. Mementos from family, friends and acquaintances are fair game and add to the richness of a literary landscape.

25. Read the Room

When styling a reading area, don’t be afraid to use the whole room. Turning a home office into a library makes the reading feel more dignified, more elegant and, somehow, more official!

— Nook Decorating Ideas —

26. Try Small Treasures

Look twice at the contents of your nightstand or “junk drawer.” Things you might think are nondescript may pack intrigue on second glance. Arrange such knickknacks or tchotchkes along the shelf of a bookcase for decorative statements.

27. Look at the Bigger Picture

Balance items in a tall shelf display, so that larger items have an equal and opposite counterpart. Also, refrain from filling every space, as a few blanks can actually help the shelves to “breathe.”

— Reading Corner Ideas for Adults —

28. Go Old-Fashioned

Grandma’s recliner is actually tres chic. Dress up an overstuffed, tufted, brown chair with a light throw and a mod side table for a mix of comfort and haute “couture.”

29. Layer Up

Change your reading nook for the seasons by layering up (or stripping down). In colder times, add on a furry throw blanket!

— Reading Nook in Living Room —

30. Darken Down

“The classics” don’t just refer to books – they also refer to dark leather accent chairs. If your library contains Dickens, Tolstoy, Orwell and other English major staples, this is the chair for you.

31. Find Your ‘Anywhere’ Chair

The best reading nook is one that doesn’t cramp your style. If you find you want to read in the living room one day and the home office the next, find a chair that’s easy to transport!

— Small Reading Nook —

32. Opt for Portability

Portable poufs and accent chairs aren’t just for when you need to change different rooms – they’re also for when you want to change your reading nook layout within the same room. Look for lighter-weight pieces so that you can move them around as your styling needs call for such.

33. Look for Details

You may not read every detail in an online Terms of Service or Privacy Agreement, but you will notice every detail of a furniture item you’ve just purchased. Since you’ll be living with it and looking at it every day, opt for the details (like this textured weave!) that make you smile.

— Reading Nook Ideas for Adults —

34. Curate an Aside

Like a Shakespearean aside, an armchair placed strategically “offstage,” away from a desk, makes for a reading nook that doesn’t call attention to itself. Use this setup in larger rooms to make it easier to read in peace.

35. Know Your Lines

You may only be reading, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also play the part. Know your lines, and deliver them with style; opt for grid-tufted backrests, tapered legs and straight armrests!

— Corner Reading Nook Ideas —

36. Let Materials Captivate

A reading nook is just as much about the furniture as it is about the books. Just as the plot of a romance or thriller reels you in, so too should the fabrics, colors and designs of the chair and ottoman upon which you lounge!

37. Shape Your Literacy

Drift off from the squares and rectangles; broaden your visions with oval and circular pieces for a more whimsical book nook. Paired with soft fabrics like sherpa and cotton, curves feel comfy and inviting.

— Reading Nook Decor —

38. Incorporate Add-Ons

Things that you don’t necessarily need to read . . . but make the experience a whole lot more comfy. Think furry throw blankets – we favor extra-large for extra bunching and cuddling!

39. Glow a Little

Perfect for the fantasy lover, antique lanterns cast a spell fit for wizards and witches of all ages. Use a set of two to transform a reading nook into a “hallowed hall!”

— Cozy Reading Nook Ideas —

40. You Can Go Home Again

Strip the idea that a reading nook is a separate part of the house. When you incorporate cozy reading spaces in all spaces of the home, you get an abundance of comfy places to curl up with the latest paperback on your list.

41. Reading Reclining

Read between the reclines! Adjustable sofas that let you choose the precise angle of your preferred reading position makes time spent with your books as blissful as possible.

— Bedroom Reading Nook Ideas —

42. Write a Series

Every patterned accent chair needs a sequel . . . in the form of a patterned accent ottoman! Complete your style “series” with matching patterns and colors.

43. Open With an Ottoman

The foreword, or the opening chapter, if you will, of a reading nook: the lush ottoman, leading up to the reader’s throne. Opt for a height that will keep your legs elevated to a tee.

— Reading Corner Decorating Ideas —

44. Turn the (Decorative) Page

If you regularly buy books, you know the satisfaction that comes with new stories. In the same way, refreshing your nook with new pieces or decor can make your space feel energized and exciting.

45. Light With Lamps

If you follow all the steps on this list but don’t have a lamp, your reading nook is point moot. For night owls especially, the right lighting will take the burden off your eyes as you keep the pages turning well past dusk.

Reading Nook Ideas

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