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Designing the Perfect Reading Corner

You can never have too many books! But finding a quiet, well-lit space to indulge your passion for the printed word can be impossible in a busy family home. The answer is to create your very own reading nook and we have the perfect ‘how to’ guide to create one!

Barbara Cartland, the famous romance novelist, would recline on a luxurious chaise lounge, clad in luxurious layers of silk and dictate her novels to her secretary. You too can emulate a similar scene in your reading corner.

Sitting or reclining ‘with a good book’ is many people’s idea of heaven on earth. But you can’t give your full consideration to the make-believe world the author is transporting you to if the noise of the TV is a dull roar in the background or the pinging of phones and games cut across your thoughts.

The answer is to create a space all of your own to read. You may find that this relaxing space is hijacked from time to time by other members of the family too.

Interested? Here’s how to create your own:

Step 1 – Choosing the ideal spot

Some readers are adept at opening the pages of a book or their e-reader and blotting out everything else around them.

Whether you are easily distracted or not, a reading nook is a cosy place to put your feet up for an hour or two with your latest book.

Our tips for choosing a great location are:

  • Natural light but not too much as it is nigh on impossible read in glaring sun
  • Choose a spot away from the main ‘thoroughfare’ in a room or your home because when you are snuggled with a book, you don’t want kids running past
  • Small is delightful and with our seating for small spaces ideas and solutions, the smaller the better

Ideas for reading nooks are the corner of a spare room, the space under the stairs, a garden studio or a window seat.

Step 2 – Decorate

Once you have chosen a spot, the time has come to clear it out and to decorate.

When creating a reading nook you need to bear luxury and cosy in mind:

  • Block colours – lighter colours open a space and reflect light, giving it a crisp bright feel. For some people, light colours are the way to relax but for others, cosy signals the use of darker shades and tones. Don’t be worried about it being dark because we talk about lighting in the next step.
  • Feature wallpaper – if you are decorating a small space, you may find your budget stretches a little be further which is why we love the idea of artisan feature wallpaper that would normally be too expensive in a larger room. Or why not consider mural style wallpaper with an atmospheric landscape?

Step 3 – Lighting

Whether you read books in print, on an e-reader or both, lighting in the reading nook is a critical addition.

Get it wrong, and you’ll either be squinting to read or dazzled by the bright light.

In smaller spaces, LED lights work really well. You can buy these as spotlights and table lamps, as well as strip lights and standing lamps. They can be dimmable too, which is perfect for adjusting when reading.

LEDs don’t give off heat either and as well as being energy efficient, they are possibly the kindest light for our eyes too.

Step 4 – Seating

With decoration sorted and the perfect combination of light, you can now do the very exciting bit! Choose the right seating solutions for you.

You may want to recline or you may wish to curl up in a generously wide chair. You may sit in a chair as it ‘ought to be sat in’ or you may want to add a footstool to raise your feet.

Seating is a very personal choice and there are no right or wrongs. Tub or bucket chairs can be the perfect curvaceous shape, supporting a slightly more relaxed approach to sitting and enjoying a good book.

Step 5 – Rules!

We know of some people who are possessive over their reading nook, and with good reason.

It is a space that offers a brief interlude from the chaos of everyday life and reality.

It is a space that for some, is magical, opening the door to an imagined world love and good triumphs over everything.

And so setting rules is a common means of making sure every user of the reading nook respects the space.

Tell us, what would your rules be?