28 Reading Nooks You Could Read in Forever

Reading nook with two chairs with throw pillows near windows

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

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 28

    Incorporate Soft Materials

    Soft reading nook

    The House on Hillside Lane

    Nothing says “cozy” more than a chair that you can truly sink into, just like this one softened up by The House on Hillside Lane. This chair, rendered in cloud-like white, 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 color or texture, along with personal bits of decor, like family photos, or wall hangings brought back from a vacation.

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  • 02 of 28

    Include a Bookshelf

    Reading nook bench

    House of Harvee

    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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  • 03 of 28

    Place Your Nook in a Bedroom Corner

    Bedroom reading nook

    Maite Granda

    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 Maite Granda did in this bedroom. She created a classic reading nook with a simple white chair, flanked with a small side table and gold lamp—perfect for morning reading with the newspaper.

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  • 04 of 28

    Consider Comfort

    reading nook

    @reflektiondesign

    “When we think of a reading nook we envision a small, cozy space where we can lounge, read, and simply escape from our day to day for a little while,” says Megan Dufresne, principal designer at MC Design. “Traditionally this would include a comfortable oversized chair, chaise, or sofa, a good light source, and of course a place to keep books, magazines, newspapers, or more likely a tablet these days.”

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  • 05 of 28

    Add Whimsical Details

    reading nook

    MC Design

    With the basics in place you can add your own creative touch to make it unique and fit your specific needs. “Consider adding a vintage record player, a bar cart, or a fun art piece,” suggests Dufresne.

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  • 06 of 28

    Use Vertical Space

    reading nook

    @masha_kindjer

    Vertical space is worth taking advantage of—whether you’re working with a small space or you just want to keep your books up and off the ground. Add a couple of additional decor pieces and you have yourself a sumptuous corner to get cozy in.

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  • 07 of 28

    Make the Most of Angles

    reading nook

    MC Design

    Dealing with some weird corners in your space? Instead of trying to work around them you can embrace the space and turn it into a distinct nook. This will add visual interest and make your reading nook even more cozy and unique.

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  • 08 of 28

    Go Green

    reading nook

    @thevisionaryhusbands

    A bohemian design-inspired book nook is super easy to emulate: all you really need is a chunky wicker chair and a couple of plants. Consider adding a few colorful cushions to make the space even more welcoming and comfortable.

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  • 09 of 28

    Take Advantage of Small Rooms

    reading nook

    @ourpnw_home

    Those funny third bedrooms usually wind up being used as storage—but it’d be much better off using your teeny extra bedroom for a reading room. Consider installing a couple of shelves, add a pretty little lamp, and position a comfy chair next to the window for optimal coziness.

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  • 10 of 28

    Look Under the Stairs

    reading nook

    @realtor_niafox

    Harry Potter fans know that a cupboard under the stairs is more than enough space for a little reading nook. The dead space that can occur in an open concept staircase is one of the best spots to throw a couple of pillows or accent chairs for reading.

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  • 11 of 28

    Opt for Unique Wallpaper

    reading nook

    @thecollectivedallas

    If you don’t have the space to carve out a full corner or room for reading, you can easily make the distinction between social living space and reading nook by using a unique wallpaper for an accent wall. Add a comfortable chair and a lamp and you have the perfect spot for curling up with a good book.

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  • 12 of 28

    Take It Outdoors

    reading nook

    MC Design

    Indoor reading nooks are wonderful—but a spot to read under the stars is even better. Consider adding a couple of weatherproof pillows to an unused corner of your balcony or backyard patio—and don’t forget the steaming cup of coffee to keep you warm as you turn each page.

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  • 13 of 28

    Use Transitional Spaces

    reading nook

    @itshomeyall

    Wondering what to do with that awkward extra space in your bedroom or hallway? Consider adding a small bench and a cozy stack of pillows or blankets. The transitional space can easily be transformed into a reading nook as long as it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic from other members of your household.

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  • 14 of 28

    Get Cozy in a Corner

    reading nook

    @love_in_1000_square_feet

    You really can’t beat an unused corner when it comes to reading nook real estate. Position a comfy chair kitty-corner, add a side table for your coffee and bookmark, and let the must-read stack of books grow.

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  • 15 of 28

    Take Advantage of Natural Light

    reading nook

    @layeredhomeliving

    If you’re lucky enough to have space in your home that becomes flooded with natural light, you might want to consider creating a reading nook that’ll allow you to bask in the sun. Consider a more minimal chair that won’t block the light and a simple side table or footstool for added comfort.

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  • 16 of 28

    Section Off Your Space

    reading nook

    @trevorfulmerdesign

    Reading nooks require tranquility—but if you have a hard time finding space in your home that doesn’t get foot traffic you might need to take matters into your own hand. A simple dressing screen can create a cozy space free from the distractions in the rest of your space.

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  • 17 of 28

    Hang Out

    reading nook

    @i.hate.wednesdays

    Cozy chairs and sofas are great—but a hanging hammock chair? Even better! An indoor swing or hammock instantly adds a sense of play and whimsy to your space and makes for a surprisingly soothing experience.

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  • 18 of 28

    Play With Scale

    reading nook

    @darbywallisdesign

    Reading nooks are always a more whimsical part of home decor—so you may as well lean into it. Playing with scale (like adding an oversized pouf or a micro-mini side table) will set your nook apart from the rest of your home while still remaining practical.

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  • 19 of 28

    Try Patterns

    reading nook

    @selinalake

    Texture and patterns can make or break a great reading nook—especially if you lean toward more colorful designs. Consider stacking multiple cushions of varying shades for a visually interesting and comfortable space.

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  • 20 of 28

    Use a Closet

    reading nook

    @area3design

    Lots of homeowners have leaned into the closet office trend over the past couple of years—but a closet reading nook might be even better. It takes a little more effort to create a fitted bank for the space but you can just as easily add a couple of chairs or a pile of pillows.

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  • 21 of 28

    Create a Window Seat

    reading nook

    @homesweetlakehouse

    A window seat is one of the best spots to create a book nook—it’s cozy and offers, quite literally, a window to let your mind wander. If you don’t have a window seat in your home you can add a chaise lounge chair for a similar effect.

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  • 22 of 28

    Take It To-Go

    reading nook

    @thewellreadgram

    If you’re lucky enough to have an abundance of cozy nooks and crannies in your space, you might want to forego one designated book nook and instead lean into the idea of a book cart. This will allow you to roll your nook around to wherever it is that has the best light or the least amount of distractions at a given moment.

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  • 23 of 28

    Take Advantage of Cushions

    reading nook

    @little_weavers_cottage

    The right cushions and pillows can turn just about any space into a comfortable reading nook. If you don’t want to invest in furniture or home improvement projects, a simple cushion thrown on the floor with a couple of pillows to prop yourself up will be just as cozy.

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  • 24 of 28

    Play With Lighting

    reading nook

    @bokcily

    The easiest way to make a space feel instantly comfy and inviting? The right string of fairy lights! Many of us forget just how cozy and magical fairy lights can be once we graduate from our college dorms—but a simple string of warm lights can make any space relaxing.

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  • 25 of 28

    Take Advantage of Dead Space

    reading nook

    @masha_kindjer

    Do you have dead space in front of your existing bookshelf or storage area? It might seem like a no-brainer but adding a comfortable chair and a couple of pillows will turn the dead space into your favorite nook in the house.

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  • 26 of 28

    Make Use of Odd Space

    reading nook

    @reddalec

    Whether it’s a cramped corner or a staggered part of your split-level, creating a book nook in an odd part of your home will instantly turn the space into your most-used part of the house—just add pillows!

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  • 27 of 28

    Create a Tent Space

    reading nook

    @sorenshouse

    Hoping to foster a love of reading in your little one? Creating a cozy reading nook for kids is pretty simple—all you really need is a pile of pillows and a canopy. Consider adding extra cushions on the ground if you plan on sharing the space.

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  • 28 of 28

    Go for a Multifunctional Space

    reading nook

    @englisheccentriccottage

    If you have more than one need for a quiet and cozy space—lean into it and opt for something more multi-functional. A booth by the window with a small side table will make the perfect reading nook during the day and cocktail spot for happy hour.