Reading nook ideas: 13 inspiring spots for book lovers | Real Homes

Reading nook ideas: 13 inspiring spots for book lovers

These cosy reading nook ideas will instantly make you want to curl up with a good book and a bucket of tea. Mmmmm...

Living room by Laura Ashley
(Image credit: Laura Ashley )

This collection of reading nook ideas will make you want to drop everything, grab your favourite book and hunker down for a day of reading. From airy outdoor spaces to cosy armchairs complete with open fires, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.

Creating a dedicated reading nook sounds like a fabulous idea to us. After all, getting lost in a good book, whether it's Wuthering Heights or a Sophie Kinsella novel, is a favoured pastime for many of us.

For loads more living room ideas and inspiration, head over to our hub page. 

1. Create a traditional reading nook idea with antique furniture 


(Image credit: Mark Scott)

You can create an atmospheric, alluring reading spot by lining your shelves with antique tomes picked up at fairs and specialist shops. Complete the look with an array of finds, including accessories and artwork.  

Dan Cruickshank's Georgian home (above) is the closest you’ll get to a real-life fantasy world. Filled with a vast collection of intriguing antiques and one-off pieces, this truly unique home has the power to bring the magic of fairy tales to life.

2. A window seat makes the perfect reading nook

window seat in front of traditional window in cotswold home


(Image credit: Darren Chung)

Windows are often unexploited, with seating placed facing away from the view and into the room. So why not create a window seat that's designed with nothing other than a morning read while taking in the view (and exploiting the natural daylight) in mind? Filled with cushions, they are an inviting design feature in the home of every book lover. 

Continue exploring Simon Fenwick’s restoration (above) of the unloved Grade II-listed Elm House into a beautiful, traditional country home.

3. Place a reading nook where there are no distractions

window seat in living room of arts and crafts home


(Image credit: James Balston)

The ideal reading spot will be TV-free, perhaps even radio-free, and most definitely smart assistant-free. That way, it's more likely that you and your family will settle down for an uninterrupted delve into your favourite books.

The simple design and airy feel of this living room (above) makes it the ideal distraction-free spot. Plus it has a gorgeously lit window-seat which is just perfect for curling up in a cosy blanket and immersing yourself in a page-turner. Discover more beautiful design features inside this restored Arts and Crafts home.

Find more serene white living room design ideas in our gallery.

4. Make sure reading nook seating is inviting


(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

There is nothing quite like snuggling down under blankets with a good book in hand and the fire roaring while the snow falls outside. But to make the experience really work, you'll need to ensure you invest in the best sofa. We think these gorgeous velvet sofas would lure us in.  

Explore the rest of Nikki and Hugh Quinn's beautiful chalet hideaway (above), which is nestled in the French Alps. 

5. Build a home library

built in shelving library in an Amsterdam factory restoration


(Image credit: Anne Nyblaeus)

A wall crammed full with books is any reader's dream, so consider whether you could devote an entire side of one room to your book collection. The more cluttered the shelving, the more charmingly eccentric it will look.  

Take a look at Urban and Lara’s home (above), which is filled with intriguing collections. Check out our favourite book storage ideas, too.

6. Use colour to create a calm reading nook

Surrey House Love Interiors

(Image credit: Love Interiors. Photographer Rachel Smith)

Just as white walls and furnishings will create a bright, light reading spot, using deeper, cooler shades will make for a serene space that's perfect for settling down with a book. Here, the book shelves have been neatly blended with the grey walls, while the books on display are colour co-ordinated in inspiring blues and greens – perfect for inviting a book lover to settle down with a good read. 

7. Zone a room with furniture to create a reading nook

Cambridge Barn

(Image credit: Neville Johnson)

If your home has a large open plan kitchen diner and living space, it's likely that there's plenty of room to place a comfortable armchair right next to a shelf full of books. Ideally, place an occasional table and reading lamp close by to encourage evening reading, too.

We've found the best armchairs for cosy living spaces; don't miss our guide to creating an open plan kitchen diner and living space, too. 

8. Turn a garden room into a quiet reading spot


For those who love the garden just as much as they love reading, this gorgeous summerhouse is a fabulous addition to any bookworm’s plot. It offers the serenity that accompanies a beautiful garden, with some protection from the unpredictable British weather, making it a year-round getaway.

Take a look around the rest of Gay and David Engledow's incredible garden, and don't miss the chance to browse these beautiful summerhouses to inspire your own project.

9. Find space for reading nook ideas outside 

cottage garden bench


(Image credit: Stuart Cox)

You needn't create a reading spot in a room surrounded by books – or even indoors. Why not take a step into the world of The Secret Garden’s Mary Lennox or Anne of Green Gables and settle down in a real life secret garden? This bench is hidden in a gorgeous flowering meadow; ideal for letting yourself get lost in the sunshine for an hour or maybe two.

Continue to be inspired by Ben and Mark Hamilton Anderson's quirky cottage renovation; find out how to grow a cottage garden, too.

10. Make a reading nook for your little ones

Jenny and Anthony Kakoudakis combine colour, heirloom pieces and mid-century style in a home reminiscent of a Parisian hotel


(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies © Future)

How cute is this? We love this kid's room set-up, which makes the most of a spare corner with some well-stocked bookshelf and the coolest chair we've ever seen. Want to do the same in your child's room? Make sure you add some task lighting, some soft furnishings for maximum comfort, and incorporate it into their play space to make reading more 'fun' than 'homework'.

Get more ideas from this colourful home by taking the tour

11. Go dark for maximum hygge

Jason Traves house: A dark and moody seating area in a loft conversion with an armchair and footstool, woodburning stove and deep grey painted walls


(Image credit: David Woolley)

Okay, now this is what we mean by cosy. Armchair, footstool and stove are the dream combo for a cold evening set-up, and this space makes us want to settle straight down with a cup of tea and a book of Gothic tales, because it might not be Halloween, but we've always got time for a spooky story or two. Create your own cocooning space by extending a dark wall colour to the ceiling – it's a bold move, but you'll reap the rewards when you're oh-so-snug on a chilly night.

Come over to the dark side and read all about this moody renovated home

12. Maximise natural light for easy reading

December 2019: Katy Waters and husband Jason have created a Scandi-inspired master bedroom in the loft of their home in Ealing


(Image credit: Chris Snook )

If you crave sunlight and wilt when it's cold and gloomy, you're going to want to maximise the sunshine with plenty of natural light in your reading nook. The owner of this loft conversion positioned her reading nook next to a set of sliding doors, so she benefits from constant rays in the daytime. Add a mirror to reflect that light around the room, and position a wall light over your armchair for those days where the sun's just nowhere to be seen.

13. Set aside a corner in the living room

Living room by Laura Ashley

(Image credit: Laura Ashley )

This reading nook idea has everything you could possibly need: a comfy chair (back cushion a must), a window for natural daylight, a lamp for when it's night... and a great collection of colour-coded books to hand. Love it.

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