How to Create the Perfect Cozy Reading Nook

reading nook

@ashleynicoleinteriors / Instagram 

In our chaotic lives, a responsibility-free afternoon or even five minutes is a luxury. But 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 amid 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 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. Here are some inspiring spaces to get you started.

  • 01 of 10

    Incorporate Soft Materials

    @natashacadman / Instagram

    Nothing says “cozy” more than a chair that you can truly sink into, just like this one softened up by Natasha Cadman Photography. This chair, rendered in cloud-like white faux fur, calls for a few restful minutes (or more) spent with a beloved book. 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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  • 02 of 10

    Create a Reading Nook for Two

    @themerrythought / Instagram

    If you prefer to read in the company of a significant other, pal or pet, bring a loveseat into your reading nook. Take a cue from The Merrythought and pile it up with comfy throw pillows and include wall art, quotes, and photos that give you the warm fuzzies. Cat not included.

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  • 03 of 10

    Include a Bookshelf

    The Habitat Collective

    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, like this one crafted by the interior designers at The Habitat Collective. 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

    Tessie Fay

    Color has this power to inspire happiness instantly. If your reading nook is intended to be your happy place, a punchy shot of color might be just what you need. In this delightful reading nook, watercolor artist and surface pattern designer Tessie Fay has showcased 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

    The Faux Martha

    A reading nook doesn’t require a lot of space, and an ideal spot for one is that random, empty corner of your bedroom. That’s what Melissa Coleman of The Faux Martha did in her home. She created a classic reading nook with a monogrammed wingback chair, striped throw pillow and gold lamp, perfect for morning reading with the newspaper.

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  • 06 of 10

    Forgo the Chair

    Room for Tuesday

    Sometimes, a reading nook doesn’t even need a chair, proved here in this tribal-themed nook made by Sarah Gibson of Room for Tuesday. 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

    My Scandinavian Home / Photo: Niki Brantmark / Styling: Genevieve Jorn

    As we mentioned, 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. Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home has accomplished this, setting the scene for reading and snoozing alike through 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

    @thebelmontranch / Instagram

    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. This gallery wall curated by Sarah Melito of The Belmont Ranch serves as great inspiration.

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  • 09 of 10

    Sit in a Jungle of Houseplants

    @hiltoncarter / Instagram

    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 relax, so why not surround it with a grouping of oh-so-green houseplants? Palms create an especially tropical vibe in Hilton Carter's lush reading nook.

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  • 10 of 10

    Set a Reading Nook in a Wall

    Little Vintage Nest

    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, seen here in a farmhouse reading nook built by Sarah Joy of Little Vintage Nest. 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.