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How to Turn Any Space Into a Cozy Reading Nook

A throw on a couch; a wood side table; a blue accent chair
Tuddrom/FirsTime & Co./BELLEZE

As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, curling up with a good book sounds better than ever. Luckily, whether your home is large or small, you only need a few key items to create the cozy reading nook of your dreams.

If you’re a bookworm, chances are you’d love a reading nook, but maybe you’re convinced you don’t have the space. Think again! If you don’t mind getting a bit creative, you can turn any corner into a comfortable place to relax with a good book.

Comfortable seating tops the list of must-haves, but from there, you can personalize your nook with everything from wall décor and paint to other design accents. We’ll get you started with the five main items you need to create a warm, inviting spot you can escape to all year.

A Comfortable Chair

A blue accent chair; an oversized gray chair
BELLEZE/Stone & Beam

The focal point of any reading nook is, of course, a comfy, inviting chair. When you’re curling up with a good book, the last thing you want is an uncomfortable seat. Instead, look for a chair that’s equal parts style and function: something that matches your personal style but also provides plenty of support and a nice set of cushions to really sink into.

The BELLEZE Modern Accent Chair has a stylish look without sacrificing any of the comfort. Designed with elegant, curved lines, rolled armrests, and a tufted backrest with detailing, it’s just the right size and shape for a charming reading corner. The linen material comes in several different colors and even a few patterns to match with any decor.

For a chunkier look, consider the Christopher Knight Home Cecilia Swivel Chair. A deep seat and a sturdy curved back give this chair more of a low, squat profile. Unlike many cozy accent chairs, however, it features a swivel base, so you can turn it at any angle, any time, without the usual hassle of moving it.

If you really want to sink into your reading chair, go big or go home! The Stone & Beam Lauren Oversized Armchair is exactly what is claims to be: a deep, wide, super-cushy armchair. You’ll have plenty of room to stretch out or curl up in any way your heart desires. You can also choose from a variety of fabrics or even leather options to suit your style.

A Cute Accent Table

Two round accent tables next to chairs
FirsTime & Co./Walker Edison

While a smaller reading nook won’t have room for a full bookshelf, you’ll still want a place to set your book, a few accent pieces, or a hot cup of cocoa. That’s what an accent table is for! Small and slim, these make the perfect perch for a lamp and whatever else you need to make your reading nook feel like home.

A basic round table, like this wooden option from Winsome, is slim and versatile enough to work in any space. With a round top, a smaller round shelf on the bottom, and a flat drawer, you’ll even have a few storage options.

Winsome Wood Sasha Accent Table, Black, 20.00 x 20.00 x 27.00 Inches

You can't go wrong with this basic accent table.

If you’d prefer something with a bit more personality, check out the FirsTime & Co. Miles Rustic Table. With darker legs and a patterned, multicolored wooden top, it strikes just the right balance between rustic farmhouse and contemporary. You can also choose from four different color and wood options for a more custom look.

If sleek glamour is more your style, this marble-top table by Walker Edison could be just the thing. The sleek, X-shaped base is topped with a gleaming, faux marble top. It’s sure to add an elegant touch to your new reading nook.

A Good Reading Lamp

A couch with a floor lamp next to it; a table lamp

Whether you read a lot at night or not, you’ll definitely need good lighting to prevent eyestrain. The size and shape of your reading nook will determine whether you need a floor or table lamp. Either way, there are plenty of options that will shine just enough light, while also suiting your décor.

The Rottogoon Floor Lamp offers a neutral, adjustable, slim profile. It also comes with two shades (one beige and one with a wood-grain pattern) to better suit your style. The lamp head is also adjustable, so you can angle it any way you want to get the best reading light.

If you need a table lamp, this one from Boncoo offers a classic style with a modern twist. It’s a neutral tone (black) with three lighting levels—you can toggle between them with the simple dimmer switch. It also has a convenient charging port, so you can charge your phone while you catch up on your reading.

A Cozy Throw

A cream couch with a white faux fur throw; a gray knit throw on a wooden chair

A warm, soft blanket can instantly elevate any space from basic to cozy. When you’re not using it to keep warm, throwblankets become part of your décor—just toss it over the back of your reading chair.

Throws aren’t meant to be big and bulky. They come in a ton of textures, materials, and colors, so you’re sure to find something that perfectly matches your style.

For something soft and luxurious, consider the Tuddrom Extra Soft Faux Fur Throw. This double-sided blanket features one made of soft, non-shedding, faux fur and the other made of velvet fleece for ultimate comfort. You can choose from a handful of colors, including neutrals and pastels.

Knitted textures feel especially cozy, and they can be made from any number of comfortable textiles. The Chanasya Textured Knitted Throw has all the hallmarks of the ideal knit blanket: a sturdy knit, soft and relatively lightweight material, and stylish tassels. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors, from neutrals to vivid brights.

Chanasya Textured Knit Super-Soft Throw

A classic knit that comes in a variety of colors.

A Candle

A candle in a jar; three fake pillar candles
Yankee Candle/YIWER

Nothing adds a bit of ambiance like a candle. If you have the space and a safe setup for it, a real candle will add a cozy glow to your nook and, if you like, your favorite scent.

A vanilla candle can be a great choice for a reading nook, with a sweet, warm, and inviting scent. Try the Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle in Vanilla Cupcake for a long-lasting, high-quality candle. The 22-ounce candle offers over 100 hours of burn time, with a natural fiber wick that helps to give the best possible scent throw through the space. The same jar candle comes in a large variety of other scents, whatever your favorite is.

If your space won’t allow a real flame, but you still want those candlelight vibes, snag yourself an artificial one. You’ll get the ambiance without the mess (or risk of fire). We like these remote-controlled pillar candles because you get three different heights. They’re also fragrance-free for those who prefer that.

After you’ve gathered the basic pieces to create your cozy reading nook, it’s time to accessorize and personalize it even further. Add a beautiful piece of art or paint an accent wall. Once you settle into your new reading space, you might never leave!

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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