18 Gorgeous Reading Room Ideas We Want to Steal

Dominique Gebru

Dominique Gebru

Every bookworm knows the feeling: the experience of losing yourself in a riveting novel, flipping page after page while the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight. Unfortunately, finding a great spot to read can be just as difficult as finding the time to do so.

To help inspire you to make the space and the time for your collection of books, here are 18 reading rooms that are so cool and classy we can't help but swoon at the sight of them. With each eye-catching design, we've included simple tips to help you create your own stylish reading room.

Grab your novel, your cup of tea or glass of cabernet, and your favorite throw—it's time to get lost in a good book.

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Play with a Stacked Look

Reena Sotropa office space with book stacks.

Reena Sotropa

If the look of traditional bookshelves doesn't suit your style, play with the arrangement. Try stacking your books in groups of three or alternating between vertical and horizontal groupings. Mix in some decorative elements throughout until you've landed on a style you love.

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Take a Minimal Approach

Reading room with full bookshelf and blue couch.

Dominique Gebru

The highlight of any good reading room is the books, so why over-style? Create a space that puts your collection on display. Choose furniture with a modern or Scandinavian vibe.

Your décor should add to the calm and quiet aesthetic, so select artwork with warm undertones and consider a cozy throw across the sofa and perhaps even a faux fur rug under the coffee table.

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Incorporate Art

Reena Sotropa white built in bookshelf.

Reena Sotropa

Working with a smaller assortment of books? Display your collection with some abstract artwork. Interior designer Reena Sotropa alternated between books and pictures in these white built-in boxes. Although she's placed a number of pieces on display, layering frames and coupling ceramic vases, the finished product looks airy, artsy, and hip.

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Flip Your Books Backwards

Dwell Aware bookshelf with backward facing books.

Dwell Aware

You can learn a lot about a book by skimming its spine, but for the folks who want a more cohesive look (and a little mystery to boot), flip the books backward. This is a great option if you have a wide selection of books, varying in color, shape, and even genre.

If you would also like certain decorative pieces to catch the eye, backward books will feel like a blended background of off-white, so your décor can pop off the shelf.

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Add Some Rustic Charm

Erin Williamson

Erin Williamson

The best reading nooks possess a feeling of warmth and comfort and what better way to achieve the aesthetic than with a little rustic charm. This design by Erin Williamson incorporates some simple rustic influences with the rocking chair and vintage artwork to complement the rough stone wall.

Even with a stark white bookshelf and a boho basket, the room has a cozy cabin vibe, perfect for an afternoon spent indulging in a good book.

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Arrange by Color

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

This darling design by Rikki Snyder is playful and beautiful, showcasing books arranged simply by color. To accommodate such a large collection, Snyder opted for a stacked approach and organized each pile to create a rainbow pattern. This design acts as an artistic focal point against the solid white walls, dressed with a simple letter board to complete the masterpiece.

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Embrace the Library Vibe

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

For many bookworms, libraries provide a quiet retreat where they can read in peace. The design above encapsulates the library vibe with a unique wallpaper resembling rows of books. This charming reading nook rounds out the cozy aesthetic with textures galore. Sink into a fuzzy armchair, prop your feet up on a knitted ottoman, and escape into another world.

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Snuggle Up by the Fire

Dwell Aware cozy living room with brick fireplace.

Dwell Aware

If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, resist the urge to furnish your mantel with a flat-screen TV. Instead, claim the room for reading.

This living room by Amanda of Dwell Aware uses the walls bordering her rustic fireplace to display books, plants, and memorabilia. The leather sofa and textured area rug mimic the warm shades in the brick, to complete the serene space. Even her kids can't help but grab a book and settle in.

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Paint the Bookshelves

Rikki Snyder eclectic reading room

Rikki Snyder

Why settle for a stereotypical black or white when you coat your bookshelves in a playful shade? For a whimsical feel, try a pastel pink or a more vibrant tangerine. Achieve a moody design with a midnight blue or forest green, perfect for rainy days spent reading indoors.

The beauty of this tip is the options are endless. Select whatever color suits your fancy.

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Aim for a Natural Aesthetic

Stately office and bookshelf space.

Reena Sotropa

For a reading room that doubles as an office, you'll want to find the balance between peaceful and professional. This design features natural woods with a rich, warm stain on the floors, the built-in shelving, and even the midcentury modern desk.

The soft beige paint on the adjacent wall completes the classy, comfy vibe, and the lack of décor ensures the space stays clean and uncluttered—perfect for meeting with a client or chilling with a good book.

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Keep it Classy

Victorian inspired reading room with chaise lounge.

Rikki Snyder

A home library is a luxury, so don't be afraid to embrace extravagance. The design above has a modern-penthouse-meets-Downton-Abbey feel. The space blends an emerald velvet couch and silver wingback chair with contemporary shelving and lighting, and the elaborate mural amplifies the opulence. In a reading room like this, one can't help but feel like royalty.

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Make Space for the Kiddos

Kaelyn Guerin kids playroom and reading room.

Kaelyn Guerin

Playrooms are quite common today, so why not devote a corner of your child's play space to reading? The design above by Kaelyn Guerin takes the essential components of an adult reading room and adjusts it for a younger audience.

The foam play couch encourages kids to make the space their own, and the blocky bookshelf is perfect for books of all shapes and sizes. If the grown-ups get a reading room, the kids should too.

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Get Eclectic

Rikki Snyder eclectic modern reading room.

Rikki Snyder

Arranging books in a rainbow pattern may inspire you to fill your reading room with bold pops of color—and you should run with it. Color combinations like blush and black or navy and white are popular among many interior design styles, but a room that embraces tangerine, violet, teal, and lime can create a fun and free-spirited space.

Wild and artistic arrangements like these make it hard not to smile when you walk into a room, and why not recreate that feeling in your own space?

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Try a High Contrast Design

Jenn Pablo Studio reading room with cozy couch.

Jenn Pablo Studio

If you haven't quite landed on a look you love, you can't go wrong with the classic pairing of black and white. This design by Jenn Pablo Studio makes the homeowner's book collection jump off the shelf, by setting them against a charcoal backdrop.

The beige walls and furniture add a softness that complements the darker tones, and no matter your stylistic preferences, this high-contrast combo offers the best of both worlds.

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Splurge on the Armchair

Reading room with luxe velvet armchair.

Reena Sotropa

Reading rooms don't demand much in the way of design. After all, the books provide a perfect focal point all on their own. However, if there's one purchase that deserves special attention, it's the armchair.

No cozy reading nook is complete without a chair you can sink into at the end of a long day. Find a piece that's stylish, but not stiff. The fabric should be comfortable and inviting, such as a velvet or cotton. Don't be afraid to splurge on this piece.

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Use the Space You Have

Cathie Hong Interiors bright white kitchen with bookshelf.

Cathie Hong Interiors

Not every homeowner has a spare bedroom they can dedicate to books alone. If that's you, use whatever space your home will allow. Reserve a corner of your living room or office for reading.

If you have an oversized closet that's collecting clutter, consider purging the space of your paraphernalia and creating a quiet reading nook instead. There's no need to embellish; all you need is a cozy chair and your books.

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Bring on the Mood Lighting

Afro Bohemian Living booshelf.k

Afro Bohemian Living

Warm, soft lighting is a crucial ingredient in your reading room, so get out your lamps and your candles and get ready to chill.

For a modern or contemporary look, consider a mushroom lamp on a small side table or an arc lamp behind your armchair. If you like the bohemian style, search for a natural-fiber lampshade like wicker or bamboo. Stick with daylight bulbs, as they can better illuminate the page without hurting your eyes, and if you have some candles, grab a couple for good measure.

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Mix in Vintage Heirlooms

Rikki Snyder antique reading room.

Rikki Snyder

Getting lost in a good book is a relaxing way to unwind. It makes us feel at home and for some may even feel nostalgic. If this is true to your own experience reading, consider decorating your home library with antique pieces and family heirlooms. Incorporate items that are sentimental, things that remind you of a close relative or friend.

Every time you sit down to read, you'll feel more at ease surrounded by reminders of loved ones and pleasant memories spent with them.

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