30 Reading Nook Ideas to Elevate Your Space

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated April 25, 2022
woman reading book in chair
Photo: lechatnoir / iStock / Getty Images

Cozy up with a good book using these clever reading nook ideas for adults and kids

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Envision a peaceful, snug space where you can relax and read. With a reading nook, you can do just that! 

A reading nook is a space where you can unwind after a long day and get lost in a good book. While you can dedicate an entire room to this, such as a library, a reading nook can also be a small and simple area in your home, like a window seat or corner of your bedroom. If you have young children, it can serve as a quiet place for them to read and play. 

Whether you prefer a weekend DIY project or hiring a local general contractor, these 30 inspiring ideas will help you craft a reading nook you’ll enjoy.

How To Build a Reading Nook

The best part about a reading nook is that there are no rules—you can build it however you like! Depending on the size and structure of your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Use these quick tips on building a reading nook too cozy to leave.

Choose a Designated Spot

Find an area of your home that is vacant or where you can make space. This can be a corner of a bedroom, a section of the living room, or even a large closet.

Select the Seating

Next, make sure the nook is comfortable. Use seats with soft cushions and pillows that support various reading positions.

Add the Essentials

Consider a place to arrange your books, such as shelves or storage bins. Opt for adjustable lamps or installing light fixtures to ensure there’s a good source of light.

Make it Unique

Finally, be sure to incorporate your personal style! From creative themes to modern elements, there are many ways to spice up the reading nook to make it your own.

Creative Reading Nook Ideas

When conceptualizing your reading nook, the goal is to make it a distinct area for relaxation that’s free of distraction. Aside from that, have fun with it! Here are several clever ideas to get you started.

bedroom corner with sofa
Photo: Studio Light and Shade / iStock / Getty Images

1. Transform a Bedroom Corner

Is there an empty corner in your bedroom? This is an ideal spot for quiet reading time. Simply add a chair and reading lamp for a quick, minimalist nook.

2. Add a Pop of Color

Mood-boosting colors, such as yellow and pastels, can make the space feel cheerful and invigorating. Opt for a vibrant chair shade or bold pillow designs for an extra pop.

basket with blankets in bedroom
Photo: Yuriy Kovtun / iStock / Getty Images

3. Make it Cozy

Use soft cushions and fluffy pillows to maximize comfort. You can also keep a basket nearby to store extra blankets or throws. This will make your reading nook the perfect place for a good nap.

woman drinking coffee on bench by window
Photo: Stígur Már Karlsson / Heimsmyndir / iStock / Getty Images

4. Use a Window Seat

An ideal spot to catch natural light, window seats make easy reading nooks. Add your favorite pillows and a stack of your current reads for decor.

dog sitting near window
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5. Install a Bench

If you have empty space near a window, consider installing a bench to make your own window seat. This way, you can customize it to your liking, such as creating an area beneath for shelves or storage.

woman hanging a picture on the wall
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6. Take Advantage of Wall Space

Spruce up the surrounding walls with framed art, decorative wallpaper, or wall painting design ideas. You can also install floating shelves to display additional books.

picture and clock on wall
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7. Frame a Book Quote

If you have a favorite passage from a book, consider framing it! You can also gather inspiration from your favorite author to style the space, such as hanging several of their quotes to form a neat collage or incorporating artwork from their novels.

Hemingway-inspired moodboard infographic
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woman sitting by window and eating
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8. Add Plants

Plants and flowers can make your reading nook feel more natural and lush. A nice, sun-drenched corner is the perfect spot for them to flourish.

woman reading in sunroom
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9. Restyle the Sunroom

If you need inspiration for a relaxing sunroom, restyle it as your personal reading nook. A sunroom is another great location for plants to thrive and serve as decor.

woman holding box full of books
Photo: StefaNikolic / iStock / Getty Images

10. Build a Bookshelf

What’s a reading nook without a bookshelf? From built-in bookshelves to stacked crates, feel free to think outside the box for options that complement your style.

Kids’ Reading Nook Ideas

Adults aren’t the only ones looking for a cozy indoor retreat. Reading nooks create a comfy, quiet place for your little ones to escape into storybook land. Foster their love of reading with these fun ideas.

11. Refurbish a Wardrobe

Is your child a “Chronicles of Narnia” fan? Turn an old wardrobe or armoire into a secret reading nook! Replace interior shelves with seat cushions and blankets, and use the bottom drawers to store books.

kids reading a book
Photo: Dejan_Dundjerski / iStock / Getty Images

12. Build a Tent

Construct an indoor tent for your mini-bookworm to use as a playful hideaway. Fill the inside with floor cushions and blankets to form the perfect reading nook and nap area.

kids bunk beds
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13. Use a Loft Bed

Free up the space under a top bunk or loft bed. Add a small futon or bean bags to create a cool study nook for older kids to relax and do homework.

father and daughter reading together on couch
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14. Section Off the Playroom

Encourage the kids to take a break from games and screen time by setting up a reading corner in their playroom. You can dress up the area with a small loveseat, rug, and bookshelf of their favorite stories.

young girl in playroom
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

15. Put Up Wall Decals

Easy to put up and mess-free, wall decals are a great decor solution for children’s rooms. Find wall decals of your child’s favorite book quotes and characters to post around the room.

Dr. Seuss-inspired moodboard infographic
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girl taking a nap in bedroom with book on lap
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16. Hang a Canopy

Canopies are great for naptime, playtime, and storytime! Simply place cushions and plush pillows beneath to make a cozy reading space.

woman drinking coffee on outdoor patio
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17. Use String Lights

Decorate your child’s reading nook with string lights to create a magical ambiance. Throw in glow-in-the-dark stickers for the perfect nighttime glow.

printable reading chart mockup

Download Weekly Reading Chart Here

18. Include a Reading Chart

Reading charts are a fun and creative way to encourage your kids to read daily. Post these weekly charts next to their reading nook and use stickers to mark each day they’ve read. Offer a prize or treat when they successfully read every day of the week.

Reading Nook for Small Spaces

It may be tricky to find a reading nook spot in a small living space, especially if you live in a studio apartment. Fortunately, with a little optimism and creativity, even the tiniest spaces have some wiggle room. Here are a few small space reading nook ideas to try.

wall book shelves
Photo: Dejan_Dundjerski / iStock / Getty Images

19. Mount Wall Shelves

Floating bookshelves are a great way to declutter your home while simultaneously adding decor! Place books, plants, lamps, and more on wall shelves to free up space for a small reading area.

20. Make it Portable

Purchase a rolling book cart to push wherever you sit. You can relax in any area of the home and easily return the cart back out of sight after you're done.

21. Hang a Curtain

Using an under-stair area or closet? Hanging a thin curtain can help create some privacy for your reading nook without making the space too stuffy.

couch in storage loft
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

22. Revamp a Storage Area

Since reading nooks don’t require much space, a small storage area can work. From under stair storage to basement spaces, a remodeling contractor near you can help bring your vision to life.

23. Construct a Bookshelf Bench

Save some space by constructing a storage bench. Use the bottom storage portion beneath the seat cushion as “shelves” to place and organize your books. Consider hiring a local professional furniture builder to help create the storage space how you envision it.

24. Use a Closet

The perfect hideout for adults, a closet can have just the right amount of space to sit on some pillows and read a book in peace. Closets also make a great space to get shamelessly creative with decor themes, such as a favorite fantasy novel.

Fantasy-inspired moodboard infographic
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Outdoor Reading Nooks

After a long day of house cleaning and chores, some people prefer to read and relax outside. The following reading nook ideas are perfect for backyards and outdoor areas.

backyard outdoor patio garden
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

25. Create a Garden Snug Space

Is the garden your favorite outdoor respite? Set up a lounge chair, outdoor rug, and side table. Stack a few books on the table to choose from while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

woman with headphones working on computer in backyard patio
Photo: Milko / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

26. Use Your Patio or Gazebo

A small patio also works as a reading nook. Just add a chair, small table, pillows, and a few potted plants to make the spot warm and inviting. You can also keep a small basket nearby to store books, bug spray, candles, and other outdoor essentials.

woman reading in a hammock
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27. Hang a Hammock

If you have a few tall trees in your yard that form a shaded area, use them to your advantage. Hang a hammock between them to create an easy reading nook and nap station. Include a side table next to it to place your books.

28. Transform Your Shed

Do you have a shed in your yard that isn’t being used? Convert it into a private reading nook. The enclosed area can provide just enough space to retreat with a good book. If you live in an area with cold winters, hire a local electrician to run power to the shed for a space heater.

family in backyard with camping tent
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29. Set Up a Camping Tent

Pitch a camping tent in your backyard and make it cozy with blankets and pillows. Bring a lantern to enjoy an evening of reading beneath the stars.

woman reading book in hammock
Photo: tdub303 / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

30. Build a Treehouse

Treehouses aren’t just for kids! Adults can also escape to a backyard treetop haven to read and recharge. Consider nestling the structure around trunks or building a platform between the branches. A skilled local carpenter can assist in the logistics and construct the ultimate treehouse reading nook.

Overall, these 30 reading nook ideas will inspire your inner bookworm to make time for self-care. Ready to get started? Hire a local designer and builder today. These professionals can skillfully transform a closet or small space in your home into a relaxing, enjoyable spot.

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