5 Reading Nook Ideas for Creating the Perfect Cozy Space

A great book can transport us to faraway lands or distant times. When venturing afield in our imagination, it is a joy to do so from a comforting, dedicated space in our home. A cozy reading nook is an ideal place to burrow away for the day and get lost in a literary adventure, and we’re serving up five reading nook ideas for building the perfect space for cozying up at home.

It’s important to note that reading nooks delight bibliophiles of all ages, from those just mastering their ABCs to those who have tackled all the classics. No matter your home’s style or size, there are numerous creative ways to incorporate a reading nook into your design. Let’s explore.

Reading Nook Elements

As a snug place to nest as you read is crucial, all reading nooks share certain fundamental elements. All our favorite reading nook ideas stem from three core elements:

1. Comfortable Seating

When selecting a reading nook chair, remember that your seating element can also take the form of a chaise lounge, a pouf, or a plush bench with ample throw pillows. Regardless of form, its function remains the same: to provide an enveloping oasis where you can disappear into your reading.

2. Light Source

A source of light to prevent eye strain is also important to consider. Some choose to build their space in sun-drenched corners, while others tuck their nook into a dark pocket of a room and rely on sconces or task lighting.

3. Storage or Shelving

Finally, you’ll want to include a place to rest your reading accouterments. When space permits, this could be a full bookcase. Others may opt for an end table to store only their current tome, a mug of tea or glass of water, and reading glasses.

The Fanciful Kid’s Reading Nook

Kids reading nook

Instilling a love of reading in young children can set them off down a path of lifelong literary enjoyment. Among our favorite reading nook ideas are kids’ reading nooks. These spaces should be brimming with whimsy—a cozy corner that evokes the kinds of adventures your young readers will encounter in the pages of their books.

Make it Magical

First and foremost, take care to make your children’s reading nook a place of true escape. That may be a canopy or playhouse in the corner of your little one’s bedroom. Perhaps it’s a bookcase with seating nestled within. If your child is very young and you will be reading with them, create a space that’s comfortable for adults, too. Invest in a sturdy chair that’s big enough for both parents and children to snuggle up together with their favorite read. 

Other kid’s reading nook ideas we love are to incorporate artwork from classic children’s books to bring character and whimsy to the space. Select art that reflects your young reader’s age and literary interests.

The Bedroom Reading Nook

One of our favorite ways to unwind after a bustling week? Curling up with a good book in a private, tucked away space. Transforming an underutilized portion of your bedroom into a dedicated space for reading allows you the freedom to enjoy a secluded area to read at any time of day, not just in the evenings when you climb into bed. 

A vacant, sunny corner can be an attractive place to create your reading nook. Adults benefit from the bright, natural light as they soak up the pages of their story. However, there are other less obvious places to create a bedroom reading nook.

If you have closet space to spare, consider converting it into a bedroom reading nook. Transitional spaces, too, such as a corridor between the master bedroom and bath—perhaps traditionally occupied by a vanity or dressing area—provide another ideal option.

Ground Your Nook

Photo by Cary Hazlegrove.

Once you’ve selected the space itself, consider your furniture needs. Select one piece of furniture to ground the nook. Whether the area is large enough for a large armchair or can only accommodate an ottoman with throw pillows, identify a piece that will be comfortable for long reading sessions.

Also important to consider is who will be using the space. Will this be your own private reading space, or will you share it with a partner or children? If it is a reading nook for two (or more), ensure that you have the appropriate seating and storage to accommodate everyone’s needs.

The Clever Corner Reading Nook

Photo by Joyelle West.

Not only is a corner reading nook comfortable, but it’s also an effective way to utilize space that may otherwise lay bare. Any corner in your home has the potential to become a cozy reading nook, from a bend in a hallway to an odd space atop a stair landing. 

For these corner reading nooks, it’s essential to make the most of the little room. If floor space is tight, consider installing a hanging chair or hammock to keep your footprint minimal or nonexistent.

To bring an otherwise neglected corner to life, incorporate texture and warmth with textiles. Embroidered pillows, shag throw rugs, and blankets in rich velvet or knobby knits can make even the tiniest corner feel like a welcoming oasis.

The Sheltered Built-In Reading Nook

Built-in reading nook

To fully customize your reading nook, consider a built-in design. Built-in options allow you to take advantage of niche spaces within your home, ones where store-bought furniture may not function. Built-in reading nooks are ideal for places such as lofts in summer cottages or ski homes.

In primary residences, you may consider turning the area around a picture window into a reading nook, complete with bench seating and shelving incorporated into the framing. Some even choose to establish built-in reading nooks under a staircase, with custom-upholstered pillows to line the elevated nook.

Frame Your Space

For built-in nooks, remember to frame the space. This may mean adding architectural character, such as beadboard or natural wood, which lends texture and makes the new reading nook feel a part of your home’s existing style and design. Alternatively, you may add elements that set off the reading nook, creating an entirely separate world with curtains or wood paneling.

With built-in reading nooks, it’s crucial to remember to include storage space in your design. Without tables and freestanding bookcases, you’ll need to incorporate a place to rest your book and essential items in the nook itself.

The Library Reading Nook

Library reading nook
Photo by Jessica Delaney.

The most devoted bibliophiles may have a dedicated room in their home for their beloved literary favorites. A personal library provides the ideal space for a reading nook, surrounded by your many dog-eared books.

Those who opt to create a library reading nook will likely incorporate built-in bookcases. For those who wish to make a fairy tale reading space, wall-to-wall bookcases with built-in ladders are evocative of a scene from your favorite 18th-century novel.

But library reading nooks need not be all fantastical elements. Including a desk or workspace in your library reading nook is a practical design element, allowing you to use the space for both work and recreation.

A cozy reading nook provides a comfortable place to escape into the pages of a good book. At the end of a long workday or on a rainy weekend, there is nothing more enjoyable than delving into an engaging story. A comfortable space to retreat to with a favorite read can even provide a relaxing respite from a harried day. All that is required are comfortable furnishings, creative book storage, and a little imagination.