These cozy reading area ideas will help adults improve their book nook space at home with some of the most unique interior design elements on the internet.
When we moved into our new home, I knew our loft would be a great place to finally work on implementing my reading corner ideas. It already had built-in bookshelves!
So, I did my research and created a place that worked well for me without breaking the bank. Now, I am going to share all the specific details of my reading room with you so that you can upgrade your own reading space!
I didn’t have a huge budget for this small space (under $1,500), so everything I used and shared below was cost-effective.
And my focus was on keeping the larger elements, like the chair and rug, neutral because books are all very colorful and busy.
I also wanted to incorporate some fun and unique items of visual interest to both bring me joy and give my guests something to look at and remark on.
You will also see a lot of cat-themed items here because, well, I love my cats, and they often sit with me when I read!
The focus of this post is to show you the exact reading area ideas I used to create my own personal book nook (and some similar items, where the exact item is not available online).
Not everything here will be “for” everyone, but it will give you a head start on making a list of the basics you need, as well as show you exactly where to purchase the items of mine that you do really like and want to use yourself.
My Reading Area Ideas
Below are details of all my reading area ideas, followed by a collage of images of the items I used and recommend to you. You can scroll and click through to shop for everything listed.
Comfortable Reading Chair
The first and most essential item every cozy reading corner needs is a comfortable reading chair.
My space is in the third-floor loft of our house, and we had a hard time moving a larger chaise lounge chair we already owned around the many stairs and small landings (think: Ross on “Friends” yelling “Pivot” when he moved his couch). So, my strategy then became finding a very small lounge chair.
First, I basically narrowed my options down to the smallest width on Wayfair, then selected this beige Rhoda chair lounge, which has one arm, a throw pillow, and storage under the seat. It worked pretty well for a small space for a child, teen, or petite adult. I am 5’4″, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone taller than myself.
A few months later, I realized I still wanted something bigger, so I upgraded to this IKEA Kivik chaise. Because it came in two flat boxes and had no arms (something I had researched), we were able to get it up to our loft area easily. I honestly LOVE it! Readers ask me about it all the time.
The best reading corners will naturally contain all of the favorite books you love to read. On my shelves, you can see that I am showcasing The Dutch House (my favorite book of 2019) and The Vanishing Half (my favorite book of 2020) on these exact bookstands from Amazon.
It helps that these books also have stunning covers! When I think about what other books to showcase, the cover design plays a huge part in what I choose.
Coffee Table Books
Another great way to feature books in your reading corner is with bookish coffee table books. On my own personal shelves are Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany and Bibliostyle: How We Live at Home with Books.
Another essential for reading nooks is a good reading light. It’s helpful when you really need extra lumination and also when you want to turn the overhead lights down low for some mood reading.
I wanted something that felt cozy and had an adjustable arm, and I was really happy to locate this specific Danna 51″ task floor lamp on Wayfair. I love the oil-rubbed bronze finish and the tan fabric drum shade that has a linen look.
String lights also always make popular reading area ideas for mood lighting. They feel so magical!
An Area Rug
An area rug will also soften up your reading corner and provide another place to sit for any additional activities you want to do, like writing in your reading journal.
I knew I wanted something cheap and neutral, as my bookshelves are already filled with a lot of colorful objects. Neutrality can help ground the space, let the books be the spotlight, and keep your area feeling very relaxing.
I settled on this West Elm slub sweater rug, and I absolutely love it! The name totally caught my attention, since sweaters are cozy, and I wanted this space to feel cozy. It’s neutral, chunky, and soft, which feels just perfect. If it’s on sale, grab it fast, as it doesn’t go on sale often. I waited several months for a sale!
A small accent table is a really useful item to place in your reading spot to hold everything from a mug to candles and/or pens to mark up your book while you read.
I had this specific Amazon Kate and Laurel “Celia” round metal foldable tray accent table (gray with a gold base, but it comes in many colors) on my home wish list forever, so when we finally moved to a bigger home, I quickly snagged it for my reading corner, and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks!
You can get really creative with wall art in your reading space. When we moved into our home, shopping for art became one of my favorite things to do. Looking at beautiful prints improved my mood and made me feel so relaxed!
When I found this specific vintage reading woman portrait on Etsy, I fell in love! It’s both a stunning piece of artwork AND feels sort of “tongue in cheek” in a modern reading room.
I was able to create a larger standout print of it on Mpix. It’s a high-quality printing service that was recommended by an online art print store I also purchase from. The quality is exceptional, and they are really light and easy to hang.
I also have a gallery wall of maps in the staircase leading up to my loft that looks great, and you can even display literary maps if this idea excites you!
Now that all the basics are in place, it’s time to accessorize your cozy reading nook with these fun reading area ideas.
As far as I am concerned, blankets go hand in hand with every reading session. The two high-quality blankets I use (which are also bestsellers with my readers are the soft and fuzzy Barefoot Dreams blanket (good for warmer weather) and the large, thick, fleece-like Chappywrap blanket (for colder weather)
I store mine in a cute little cat-themed woven rope storage basket (similar) I received as a gift so that my cats can jump in and relax if I am not using a blanket.
On my table, I keep this specific Bibliophile Ceramic Vase: Collected Curiosities illustrated by Jane Mount from Amazon filled with this exact eucalyptus leaf and white berry floral Spring pick from Target.
Lastly, I keep a relaxing lavender-scented candle like this Voluspa French cade and lavender candle (another scent I own and adore).
On my shelves, I keep storage for my reading accessories in the form of these popular and stunning Creative Co-op cane and rattan glass lid boxes (set of 2 in “natural”) from Amazon. They had been on my wish list for months (or years?) and, once I finally got them, I was both happy and impressed with them.
Bookends are another essential element for your bookshelves, and I had my eye on quirky quotation bookmarks (similar) forever, so I was thrilled to finally have a space for them. I also added pretty agate stone bookends (similar) which always make an impact in any space, and hand bookends, which had also been on my list forever. Love them all!
To finish off the look I added a set of faux succulent plants (similar) for a more natural element (but “faux” because my cats would eat the real thing).
In the future, I may also add some custom throw pillows or get a cover for my throw pillow! I love a good monogram.
Shop My Reading Area Ideas
Shop all of my exact reading room ideas and similar alternatives below.
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