When it comes to making a reading nook, the first question to ask is – what elements are needed for a reading nook and who is it for?
The most important element for reading is the lighting. Natural light is best, so if you have bay window or dormer that you can utilise, that would be ideal. If not, how about an alcove, the landing or under the stairs. This is a good use of space and is an attractive way to add to an interior scheme.
If you need to add additional lighting because natural light is insufficient and you want to use the space throughout the day and evening, then consider hotel-style reading lights, they are efficient, directional, and unobtrusive.
Who is going to be the prime user of the nook? The decision on seating and upholstery will depend on need.
A nook designed for children would need a very different seating design to an adult. Consider making the nook fun for children by ‘tenting’ the space, using a simple attachment and sheer fabric, inexpensive but eye catching!
By building the nook as joinery (e.g., window seat) and adding doors to the front will create an excellent storage space for books and toys. An upholstered cushion made to fit the top of the joinery, works the best, add scatter cushions for a back rest and added comfort.
For adults, the same idea can be adapted but if the nook is for an older person, who may need a more supportive chair, then consider still using the dormer or bay window but have an upright comfortable chair with a small occasional table and floor lamp.
There are other considerations such as how to dress the window. I would avoid curtains and use blinds or shutters which will be space-saving and give cleaner lines.
What’s a reading nook without lots of books, if there is space, why not integrate joinery into the design – giving you storage for your book collection and design pieces, if space is at a premium a small table for the ‘to read’ pile will do…then sit back and enjoy!
Here’s one of the reading nooks we created at a recent residential project. Also below are sketches of a kids/adult reading nook (by Millie, how clever is that!