How to Create a Bedroom Reading Nook

Aagamia/Getty Images

A good book, an hour or two of free time, a comfortable chair… what a pleasure it is to read. And when you have a designated spot to curl up and lose yourself in a good story, it’s even more of a treat. Sure, you can read in the living room or sitting up in bed, but an actual reading nook turns the simple act of reading into something special enough to deserve its own space. Because the bedroom generally has less traffic than other rooms in the home, it’s the perfect spot for your designated reading corner.

Don’t think that your bedroom has to be huge to fit in a reading area – unless your bedroom is truly tiny, you can carve out a corner for your own special me-time use.

There are really only two necessities for a reading nook: a seat and a light. You can, of course, add several extras to make your reading corner even more special, but it really all comes down to a comfortable chair and excellent lighting.

The Right Chair

When it comes to your reading nook chair, the key word is “comfort.” What defines comfort varies from person to person, however – for the majority, an overstuffed chair or chaise lounge with enough room to stretch out, good back support and upholstered arms is the best choice for reading. For other people, especially children or teens, the most comfortable reading seat might be a beanbag chair or a pile of oversize cushions piled on the floor. Whatever seat you choose, have some fun with it.

Keep the general style of the chair in step with the rest of the bedroom furniture, but feel free to play with the color, the pattern or the shape. Go wild with zebra print, add a splash of bright red, yellow or green, or choose upholstery in a soft pastel for a soothing touch.

Light it Up

Insufficient light makes reading difficult and leads to eyestrain and headaches.

Don’t count on overhead lighting alone for your reading area – for the best illumination, set a floor lamp with an adjustable neck behind your reading chair. This lets you direct the light onto your book’s pages, instead of into your eyes or towards the floor. For the easiest reading, pick a lamp that can use a 50-100-150 watt bulb, and top it with a lampshade that is translucent, not opaque. If your reading chair is near enough to your dresser or nightstand, the bedside lamp or a table lamp perched on the dresser might be sufficient for your needs. Your reading lamp is another opportunity to something special to your bedroom décor – choose a metallic floor lamp, a whimsically shaped table lamp or a colorful lampshade to jazz up not just the reading area, but also your entire bedroom.

Add a Few Extras

Once you have your chair and your lamp, pamper yourself with an extra or two for the coziest reading nook possible. Consider adding a few of the following:

  • A basket or decorative box to hold magazines and other reading material
  • A soft throw blanket to wrap around yourself while reading on chilly nights
  • A tiny table to hold a cup of tea or wine while you enjoy your book
  • An area rug underneath your reading area to demarcate the space as something special
  • A no-hands-needed stand to prop up your book or e-reader for extra convenience while you sip your tea
  • A footstool or ottoman to prop your legs up comfortably
  • A roll-shaped throw pillow to wedge behind your back for extra support
  • A pretty box or tray to hold your reading glasses

If you love to read, it’s a real treat to have a special spot to indulge yourself. Even if your room is small, with careful planning you should be able to fit in a chair and lamp to serve as your recharging zone.