How to Create the Perfect Cozy Reading Area in Your Living Room

a dog sitting on a brown chair in a reading area of a home, complete with white footstool
@ashleynicoleinteriors / Instagram
  • 01 of 10

    Settle-In with a Good Book

    If we dedicate spaces in our homes to peaceful activities, such as reading a novel, working through a stack of magazines or even putting on a mud mask and meditating, they can serve as reminders to slow down and find time for self-care in the midst of hectic schedules.

    A reading nook can achieve this. Although a soft chair, plush throw pillow, and ottoman is an invitation to crack open a favorite read, a reading nook is a place where you can simply sit and take a breath. It should be a corner, or if you like, an entire room of your home dedicated to your needs and unique personality.

    What are the things that make you feel cozy? Is it a warm, handwoven throw blanket you bought on Etsy? A small table filled with books, pictures, and flowers? Perhaps it’s being surrounded by a veritable indoor jungle of houseplants.

    The trick is to think about the things that make you feel happy and soothed, and bring those elements into your reading nook. Maybe it's your favorite pup. In the meantime, here are some inspiring spaces to get you started.

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  • 02 of 10

    Incorporate Soft Materials

    Nothing says “cozy” more than a chair that you can truly sink into. Find a chair that feels sumptuous to the touch, then match it with a throw pillow that brings in texture along with personal bits of decor, like family photos or wall hangings brought back from a vacation.

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  • 03 of 10

    Include a Bookshelf

    Someday you’ll have a home library that rivals the one in "Beauty and the Beast." For now, if you’re working with a small space, such as a window seat, flank your reading nook with a built-in bookshelf. A bookshelf that’s alongside your reading nook means your top tomes are always at the ready for an afternoon of reading. And with natural light like this, you won’t miss a word.

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  • 04 of 10

    Weave in a Pop of Color

    Color has this power to instantly inspire happiness. If your reading nook is intended to be your personal happy place, a punchy ​shot of color might be just what you need. You can do this by showcasing a vibrant green chair, charming polka-dot pillow and pink side table, producing a cheerful palette.

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  • 05 of 10

    Place Your Nook in a Bedroom Corner

    A reading nook doesn’t require a lot of space, and an ideal spot for one is that random, empty corner of your bedroom. You can create a classic reading nook through use of a monogrammed wingback chair, striped throw pillow and gold lamp, which is perfect for morning newspaper reading. 

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  • 06 of 10

    Forgo the Chair

    Sometimes, a reading nook doesn’t even need a chair.  A small corner houses faux-fur pelts, a throw blanket, and hand-dyed shibori pillows, which you can DIY yourself. A camp chair doubles as a small table or footstool, which goes to show that even the tiniest corners can work as reading nooks.

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  • 07 of 10

    Make It a Spot for Impromptu Naps

    A reading nook doesn’t have to be solely for reading. It can be your official spot to unwind and recharge, a place where the occasional, unplanned nap is totally acceptable. A good way to do this is by setting the scene for reading and snoozing alike through the placement of a lounge chair, comfortable pillows, a blanket and even a modern mobile fit for adults.​

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  • 08 of 10

    Display a Gallery Wall

    When you put down your book, you can allow your mind to wander, taking in the scenery around you. Make it beautiful scenery to behold through a gallery wall that includes some of your best-loved pieces, like vintage signs, old photographs and other treasures that make you smile.

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  • 09 of 10

    Sit in a Jungle of Houseplants

    It’s scientifically-proven that plants lift our spirits. By bringing the outside in, our moods improve and stress is banished. A reading nook should be a place where we can really relax, so why not surround it with a grouping of oh-so-green houseplants? Palms can create an especially tropical vibe.

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  • 10 of 10

    Set a Reading Nook in a Wall

    A reading nook can take up residence in your living room by setting it into your wall. It’s a fantastic space saver and it can be an opportunity to bring additional decor into the room. It’s like a small room unto itself, featuring shiplap, barn-style lights, a soft cushion and plenty of throw pillows.

    Wherever you choose to place your reading nook, there are near-limitless ways to cozy it up, represent your home’s decor and display your personality.