30 Reading Nook Ideas for the Ultimate Cozy Hideaway


Designing for relaxation and wellness are top 2023 decorating trends, and reading nooks are becoming popular as more people try to limit their screen time. A cozy reading nook is the perfect place to take a break and get lost in your latest read.

Your reading space can be as simple as placing a comfy chair in an unused corner, but if you really want a space that’s comfortable for hours, consider a built-in design. Below, we’ve gathered our best reading nook ideas, including furniture considerations, how to approach a built-in book nook, what lighting you’ll need, and how to design the perfect library. There are book nooks for kids and even a reading nook hidden in an unused closet. Happy reading!

Primary Bedroom Reading Nook

Hector M Sanchez

A bedroom reading nook adds a sense of serenity and provides a natural place to unwind before bed. Here, a leather recliner cozies up to a small bookshelf and floor lamp. Use warm or even red light to help your body get ready for sleep.

Monochrome Bookshelves

Anne D. Schlechter

Painting your entire room, including your bookshelves, in one color adds drama and allows reading materials to pop. Here, dark sage shelves frame a closet that’s been repurposed as a study, a great place to concentrate on reading for work or pleasure.

Study Space

Julie Soefer

Adding a table to your reading nook can be useful if you read oversize materials or if you need the area to double as an office. Placing the tulip table in this corner of built-in shelves makes it easy to grab and put away reference materials. Picture lighting creates a library look.

Create an Oasis

Robert Peterson

Replicate this sunroom reading nook by first locating a secluded spot with plenty of natural lighting. Comfy furniture is essential, as is a mix of artificial and natural lighting. Pile on the pillows, then add a side table or two for placing drinks or books. A great view is just a bonus.

Kid’s Reading Nook

Adam Albright

Adding a reading nook to a kid’s closet might be a better use of space than hanging clothes that could just as easily fit in a dresser or wardrobe. The small space is a great way for kids to decompress and offers limitless options for play.

Library Ladder

Werner Straube

A library ladder is both stylish and functional for maintaining shelves. Be sure your floor is a durable material, and consider adding railings to the ladder for safety and accessibility.

Bookshelves for Kids

Adam Albright

If your reading nook is in a kid’s room, shallow display shelves allow kids to see the book options and select what they want to read. A traditional shelf where only book spines are visible can be hard to navigate for young kids who can’t yet read.

Reading Nook Materials

David Land

Details like upholstery choice can be important when making a reading nook both comfortable and beautiful. We love how this sleek chair looks in the midcentury modern surroundings; its leather upholstery helps readers stay cool in the warm climate.

Decorate a Reading Nook

Gordon Beall

Your reading nook should feel like an escape, so be intentional with how you decorate. If it feels good to be there, you’ll want to go more often, so fill your reading nook with things you like, such as a favorite upholstery pattern or a vintage find you’ve been meaning to display.

Built-In Reading Nook

Werner Straube

If you’re building a reading nook, consider what size would truly be comfortable. This cave-like nook is deep and wide enough for most adults to stretch out fully. If you plan for a comfortable space upfront, you’re more likely to get good use out of it.

Design for Comfort

John Granen

Make sure your reading nook is stocked with blankets and pillows, so you can adjust your posture and stay warm if needed. While there’s no lamp in this book nook, a large mirror reflects light to keep the space bright.

Playroom Reading Nook

David Greer

A playroom is a perfect place for a reading nook, and makes it easy to transition from playing to winding down for a nap. Decorate a kid’s reading nook with colorful pillows and shallow display shelves, so little ones can easily see and select books.

Book Nook Closet

Dustin Peck

An unused closet makes a perfect book nook. This one is outfitted with grass-cloth wallpaper and a built-in seat, but you can achieve something similar with a cozy chair. If you don’t have lighting in your closet already, consider adding an outlet or using a battery-powered light.

Use a Daybed

Anthony Masterson

When considering furniture for your reading nook, a day bed is a great option, especially if reading often leads to a nap. This sweet pine option covered in vintage embroidered pillows makes for a gorgeous escape from the day.

Transportive Reading Nook

John Bessler

With matching wallpaper, drapes, and upholstery, this might be the ultimate transportive book nook. It’s certainly a look worth recreating, but you could also do so on a budget with a deep paint color and matching cushions.

Reading Nook on a Landing

Tria Giovan

A reading nook is a great use for a landing that might otherwise be dead space. A modern lounge chair easily makes use of a blank area and is great for kicking back your feet as you read. A small area rug, side table, and floor lamp provide all the essentials for a cozy book nook.

Window Seat Reading Nook

Joyelle West

The combination of natural light and a cozy cushion make a window seat hard to beat for a place to read. Choose a high-density foam for your seat cushion for the most comfort and be sure to add throw pillows for back support.

Add Privacy

Jay Wilde

Privacy and a sense of seclusion will allow you to get lost in what you’re reading. Add curtains to your book nook for a destination feel, or use tall bookshelves or a privacy screen.

Carefully Select Furniture

Kim Cornelison

Comfortable furniture is essential for a reading nook. If you’re buying new, go in person and test out different options to ensure a comfortable seat. This wide-seat chair can accommodate a range of body sizes and positions, and a footstool makes sitting for long periods more comfortable.

Reading Nook Shelves

Adam Albright

The type of shelves you use will influence how your reading nook looks and functions. These floating shelves in natural wood lend a warm, rustic feel against dark green walls. You can DIY your own or purchase ready-made.

Set Up Your Space

Dane Tashima

Make sure your reading nook is somewhere you want to stay for an extended period of time. Adding a table for drinks and even keeping a carafe of water in your reading nook ensures you won’t have to get up every time you need a drink.

Organize Books

Brie Williams

You may want to organize your bookshelves as part of your reading nook design. If you tend to reference or re-read books often, we recommend organizing by topic or author. If the aesthetic is more important, you can’t go wrong organizing by color.

Natural Light

Tria Giovan

Look for a spot with abundant natural light to make reading easier and more pleasant. A sunny spot like this porch allows you to read in the early mornings and until the sun goes down.

Create Space for a Reading Nook

Helen Norman

You might not think you have room for a book nook, but you only need a small area. Mounting your TV creates a natural gap underneath, which can be the perfect space for some large floor cushions. This built-in nook follows the same logic, making maximum use of the space.

Easy Access to Materials

Justin Coit

Placing your reading nook within arms reach of a bookshelf is a no-brainer, and if you’re someone who reads multiple books at once, this is a perfect setup. And don’t forget a light source and cozy furnishings.

Create a Gathering Space

Tria Giovan

If reading together with someone is part of how you unwind, use a multipurpose living space as your reading nook. This porch still has the coziness of a nook while allowing space for multiple people to relax together.

Hallway Reading Nook

John Bessler

A hallway might not seem like an obvious place for a reading nook, but if you have the space, a comfy seat is a fun way to get more use out of a transitional space. This built-in bench opens onto the room below, allowing natural light to flow in.

Decorating Bookshelves

John Gruen

This daybed near a built-in bookshelf makes the perfect place for an afternoon rest. Intersperse plants and art objects on your bookshelves to add interest and depth.


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