Reading Nook

Bookshelves & Reading Nook Ideas and Inspiration

Curling up with a good book is more enjoyable with a dedicated space for reading. A reading nook is ideal because it’s a cozy spot to sit for a spell, and even if you aren’t much of a reader, you can still enjoy your nook for daydreaming, napping, meditation, or just relaxing. Here are some inspired ideas for bookshelves and reading nooks that could work well in your home.

Built-in Beauty

Reading Nook
Built-in Bookshelves

You may be fortunate enough to have built-in bookshelves or a window seat that can be used for the perfect reading nook, and by adding a soft throw and overstuffed pillows, you can make the space more inviting. If you don’t have one, you can talk with top interior designers about building a nook from scratch. Pick a bright, sunny window and add a bench with under-seat storage or bookshelves to frame it. Another option is to repurpose an under-utilized closet for a reading nook. What you lose in natural lighting you can gain in privacy.

Take It Vertical

If you don’t have a lot of room for your reading nook, you may want to take your space to new heights with a birdcage chair. These inviting seats are sturdy and comfy without taking up too much square footage in your home. Place a small bookshelf or table nearby to stack your reading material and hold a cup of tea (or glass of wine), and you are ready to dive into a good book.

Vertical Bookshelf

For more ideas, consult with Santa Barbara interior designers to see how they have helped past clients create reading nooks in smaller spaces.

Adding Style

Once you’ve established the right location in your home for a reading nook, you can add your personal flair. You can use examples of Santa Monica interior design for your muse, or you may want to consider the following ideas:

  • Concentrate on neutral colors and pale hues that complement your home’s design.
  • Pick a spot with natural light, such as an oversized window, especially if it frames a beautiful landscape vista.
  • Include soft textures to increase the coziness factor with pillows and throws.
  • Don’t crowd your nook with knick-knacks or towering stacks of books that add clutter instead of peace.
  • Opt for plush or unstructured chairs, poofs, or other less formal seating to recline or sit up if you so choose.
  • Be sure the lighting is adequate to reduce eye strain if your nook isn’t near a window.

Shelve It

Let’s focus for a moment on your bookshelves; after all, a shelf can be another design element and not just another functional piece of furniture. Take care when you organize your books for clean lines that have a minimal feel, arranging them by color, topic, alphabet, or any system that works for you.


Feel free to add a few statement accents from your personal collection, or include other elements that can help you relax, such as candles, plants, or family photos. You can also add color by painting or handing wallpaper behind the shelves to make them a standout custom feature in your nook.

Hopefully, these ideas can motivate you to add bookshelves and reading nook in your home. It may be the perfect spot for self-care and a welcome respite from the bustle of your everyday routine.


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