Bookworm or not, you can reap major benefits from adding a reading nook to your home. Aside from a reading nook's primary job (to give you a conducive environment to get lost in your favorite read), it can serve as a calm place to collect your thoughts after a hectic day.
So whether you're gripped by a classic hardback, glued to an e-reader to catch up on the latest blogs, or quietly listening via to an audiobook on your phone, it's worth investing in this space.
The best part? A reading nook can be as elaborate as a full room or as tiny as a cozy chair. To help inspire you to create your first (or second) reading nook, here are 30 eye-catching reading nook ideas that are so cozy and beautiful—you'll wonder why you hadn't incorporated this smart addition to your home just yet.
Add a Secretary's Desk
This reading nook doubles as a reliable workspace. Secretary desks, a more compact version of traditional desks, will give you ample storage to tuck away your books (without taking up too much floor space).
Use Bookshelf Wallpaper
If you're imagining a reading nook piled high with books arranged on stately bookshelves (but aren't blessed with custom built-ins or an impressive collection of hardbacks to fill up a personal library), we have solutions for you. You can still achieve a full look without minimal additions by using bookshelf wallpaper. Browse online, and you're bound to find hundreds of iterations for every style, from hyperrealistic, to whimsical and classic library feels.
The above wallpaper uses a concept called Trompe l’oeil. This is a type of image which makes you believe the printed or painted thing exists in reality. This mural or wallpaper choice can be ideal for anyone looking for a super realistic background feature, including Haussman-style walls, bookshelves, or even scenic mountains!
Lucky enough to have built-ins? Try incorporating them into your paint color scheme. Choose one dark navy hue and dip your entire room, floor to ceiling (which is technically your fifth wall) in the same color. Navy can lean either modern or traditional, depending on which design elements you pair with it. And the good news is it's a hue that will never lose its appeal.
Try a Minimalist Route
If dark blue rooms cause feelings of overwhelm and you'd rather read in a sleeker space, this reading nook idea is for you. To execute this look, place two accent chairs in a conversational arrangement juxtaposed against one large piece of wall art (versus several small pieces) for a sophisticated result.
Play With a Moody Glam Look
For the minimalists who crave a splash of glam, add a stylish settee (a long seat with a back or a miniature loveseat) to your space. We adore the one shown above in this jet-black reading nook, upholstered in soft bouclé (but you can pick another luxe fabric too, like velvet, to get the same effect). For a finishing touch, add a few plants and an illuminated sign.
Say Yes to Plants
Calling all plant aficionados, this reading nook is for you. To dress up this boho-inspired space, lean on natural, eco-friendly materials. Think rattan or wicker furniture, beeswax candles, and wool rugs.
Use Rustic Charm
Picturing something warmer with a more lived-in aesthetic instead? Mount a vintage cabinet to your wall and stuff it with your favorite books. Nestle a few rattan or wicker baskets below for extra storage, and add a straight straightforward wooden chair that complements the rest of your décor.
Look to Your Dining Room
Your dining space can also double as a reading nook. Especially if you like to host book clubs, it can provide the perfect spot to indulge in good company, food, and novels. Just be sure to use stylish book storage ideas to keep your dining space looking tidy.
Design an Indoor/Outdoor Reading Nook
If you have an addition to your home that's connected to the outdoors (like a patio, enclosed sunroom, or cabin), build a reading nook here unique to your taste and comfort. To achieve a cabin feel as shown above, display a stack of firewood.
Make Use of a Mudroom Window Seat
Lacking a spare room? Make use of your mudroom by building a custom bench with a soft cushion adjacent to a window for the ultimate laid-back reading (and napping) nook.
Create a Office-Reading-Nook-Combo
For a low-maintenance space, we love this office and reading nook combo, fully equipped with a custom corner cabinet and desk. It's ideal for maximizing storage and productivity while keeping clutter out of sight.
Children's Reading Rooms
Designing reading rooms for kids can boost any curious learner's productivity too. To create this spin-off, start by installing a mural that boasts a kid-friendly feel, and snag the basics like a storage unit and daybed.
Spruce Up an Underused Corner
Clueless about what to do with that odd corner in your home? Convert into a reading nook. Simply place a small drink or accent table adjacent to your accent chair that goes with your color scheme.
Pick One End of Your Living Room
If you lack an empty corner, pick one end of your living space and position two accent chairs with ottomans next to each other. In the center, use an accent table with enough surface area to hold books, drinks, or décor at a height that's comfortable to reach while reading.
Mix in Every Color of the Color Wheel
Veering toward richer hues? For a lively rhythm, pick a cheery color scheme for your reading nook. Dot your room with your favorite hues and top off the space with a sculptured task lamp that moonlights as a piece of décor.
Designate a Reading Zone by a Fireplace
There's no better way to design a calm and warm aesthetic than to place a reading nook right by a fireplace. Here, you'll notice two bamboo chairs positioned to face the fireplace creating a zone within the living room (while still feeling cohesive with the rest of the space).
Or Add a Single Chair Next to Your Fireplace
Not enough space to create a full zone in your living room? Sometimes a seat with one throw pillow is all you need.
Design a Bedroom Reading Nook
If your main living spaces tend to stay busy, create a reading nook in a quiet bedroom instead. Add a fun swivel accent chair with a patterned throw pillow. And if recliners don't fit your aesthetic, compensate by adding a small ottoman nearby that you can move into position when your feet need a place to rest.
Use a Chaise Lounge
Why choose between beauty and comfort when you can have both? Chaise lounges are great furniture alternatives to accent chairs and recliners alike.
Read on the Floor
Reading nooks can even be as tiny as a simple floor cushion creased in between two beds (with a floating shelf above).
Go for a Penthouse Suite Look
This impressive reading nook hits every sophisticated note—thanks to its crisp white walls covered in wainscoting. With a modern silhouette chair and crystal chess pieces on stand by, this is one deluxe space.
Keep It Simple
We're in favor of unfussy reading nooks too, especially if you're craving a modern, simple look with just the reading essentials placed overhead to minimize distractions.
Just Use an Empty Wall
If you don't have bookshelves, empty corners, or a personal library, sometimes you just need an empty wall. Drop in a cushy seat, some artwork, and a floor lamp, and you have yourself a budget-friendly reading nook that will only take a few minutes to put together.
Invest in a Corner Window Seat Reading Nook
For cramped spaces where you need to utilize every square foot, opt for a custom-built corner bench. We love this one for its scenic view and ultra-cozy cushions.
Plan Out a Terrace Reading Nook
Reading in an outdoor space with fresh air can be a revitalizing break from a busy week. Although this terrace comes fully equipped with a roomy sectional and umbrella, you can always deck out a small patio too. Snag an indoor/outdoor rug and comfy seating (plus a couple of handy side tables), and you can recreate this same feel.
Read Around a Firepit
For another outdoor reading nook idea, nestle two chairs and an accent table circulating a firepit.
Boost Your Eclectic Vibes
This cheerful corner acts as a "room within a room" layered with colorful bookshelves, artwork, and a comfy lounging spot. This reading nook makes a compelling spot to curl up to your novel or spend a few minutes just napping.
Put a Reading Nook in Your Kitchen
If you're a kitchen dweller, place a cushioned bench in any open area. This will serve as a quick-access reading nook, perfect for catching up on some reading between meal prepping or sorting through your favorite recipes.
Design a Mini Living Room Reading Nook Combo
Another idea for a smaller reading nook is designing a space fit for occasions of all kinds. You only need a mini loveseat, a coffee table, and two accent chairs. By day, it's a straightforward reading nook, and by night it's a makeshift entertaining area elegant enough to host friends and family.
Add a Daybed
If you have an open space loft-style home with available square footage, use a day bed placed next to a book cabinet for the ultimate relaxing book haven. Careful though, you may end up napping more than reading.